Candice Night Talks About Motherhood and the Day She Met Ritchie Blackmore
Blackmore’s Night, featuring guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore and vocalist Candice Night, recently released ‘Autumn Sky.’ The album’s name was inspired by the couple’s daughter, Autumn, and Night sat down with Noisecreep to talk about that, along with the other factors that inspire their popular blend of folk/renaissance music.
What is it about renaissance culture and music that appeals so much to you?
Ritchie first introduced me to renaissance music; I had never heard it before I met him and he listens to it all the time. But for me, it’s the fantasy of that world. The woman in jagged skirts waving a handkerchief from the window of a stone walled castle as her man rides off on a horse through the mists under a star filled sky. Bonfires blazing on the hillsides, owls and bats flying overhead. It’s a magical scene and a fantasy visual that it’s easy for me to become bewitched by- which makes it easy for me to write lyrics that are inspired by that era.
How did your child influence the creation of the ‘Autumn Sky’ album?
It’s a very cathartic experience when you are writing music. You write deep reflections of your soul and then share them with the world for them to judge. It makes you very vulnerable. To create something so close, such a part of you while you are creating a life inside you as well, the parallel is overwhelming. I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl and I recorded up until 3 weeks before I gave birth to Autumn. But when I look back on the lyrics now that Autumn is here, it does bring a different dimension to the words for me. They take on a depth for me now that I wasn’t even aware existed when I wrote them.
What is like so far juggling the duties of being a mom with your singing career?
It certainly can be tricky at times, but honestly those moments that are difficult are also some of the funniest ones. We were just in the studio in our home doing some mapping vocals on some of the new songs for the next cd and Autumn was there with us and anytime I started singing she started singing also. She can’t say words yet, she’s only 1, but she was singing on the top of her voice and grabbing the mic away from me to put her parts on. Then she grabs my woodwinds away from me when I play them, and she blows into them. You can imagine what those mapping tracks sound like, but we were hysterical laughing the whole time. She’s very entertaining and loves music.
Ritchie’s been giving her guitar lessons since she was 2 months old. When she was 3 months old I had to go on tour in Germany and leave her home. That was really difficult and the agent was taking bets that I would be on the next plane out to go home as soon as we had a break. But I Skyped with her twice a day and now that she’s old enough to travel, she’ll be coming with us on our next tour, with a nanny. But as far as writing is concerned, we write songs that she inspires and when we work on music she loves to be in the room watching so, so far its all going really well.
Watch ‘Locked Within the Crystal Ball’ from Blackmore’s Night
What did you listen to growing up?
There was probably a year I listened to nothing but Queensryche‘s ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ and Rainbow’s ‘Rainbow Rising’ believe it or not. I loved 80’s rock bands too- those are my teenage years so I was seeing concerts every weekend. Then in 1989 I discovered Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac and really loved her music- the imagery, visuals, and the fact that she is such a strong female mystical presence.
What do remember from the day you met your husband?
Absolutely everything! I was working for the biggest rock station on Long Island and Deep Purple came to town and wanted to play our radio station soccer team for charity. I went to cheer on my team and Ritchie had stacked his team with ringers. So they beat us really badly. After the game I went over to ask for an autograph, along with lots of other people, and he looked up at me and told me he thought I was beautiful- then signed an autograph. I took it and walked away thinking that what he said to me was a great Ritchie Blackmore story. But he sent a roadie through the crowd to ask me to meet him afterward at a pub. So my friend and I started to drive to the pub and 1/2 way there his roadie/driver pulls over his Mercedes and asks me to get in the back of the car. Ritchie’s in the front passenger seat. I hopped in the back, my friend was following in her car, and he started asking me questions about myself. I was nervous until he pulled one of the socks off that he had just played soccer in and threw it at me- right at my face! I laughed so hard- that totally broke the ice.
Later we went to that pub and talked till the sun came up. He later said it was like seeing an old friend again as soon as I walked in the room. I went straight to college the next day- exhausted from being up all night. But he called me a couple of days later and arranged for me to come to his house in Connecticut and then kept in touch with me wherever he was in the world on tour. We were friends before anything else- it was a really natural evolution. He said he couldn’t believe that I could keep up drinking with him- rum and cokes all night long! But the truth was that I was pouring them out when he wasn’t looking. There was no way I could keep up with an Englishman drinking!
Talk about the role that charity/giving back plays in your life
We do a lot of work with animal charities- large worldwide ones overseas and small local ones here. We both have a great love for animals. I believe that they are more spiritually advanced that humans. Yet so many humans are so heartless towards them. Animals ask so little and give so much in return. I think the people who run the charities or work at them and volunteer their time are true angels on earth. We try to raise funds and bring awareness whenever we do shows, but these people are living it, dealing with it and fighting for them everyday of their lives. They have seen some horrific things and they keep trying to help – it’s amazing. We have sponsor dogs at local shelter where we live and two cats in our home and we feed everything in our yard from raccoons to deer to foxes to possums and birds. To help these amazing creatures just completes me. To see them hurt destroys me.