Deep Purple are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and do have a new album en route this year, but the band is starting "The Long Goodbye" tour, which is viewed by some of a farewell run. In a new interview with Rock Antenne, Ian Paice and Roger Glover discuss the inevitability that there will eventually be an end.

Paice explains, "There's going to be a day in the not-so-far future when it is going to be 'the last.' That's an emotional strain that I don't think any one of us are brave enough to say 'This is the date.' But we are thinking… not thinking, we are realizing that time is creeping up every day that goes on, those numbers mount up. It's inevitable."

He continues, "I know we feel differently about this, but this will be the last big major world tour. Not that it's physically demanding; we tour very easily, but it could take two or three years. In two or three years, who knows what the state of the world or us are going to be in. We just have to accept the reality that the decision will have to be made some time in the future, and if we can play everywhere that wants to see us and make sure we covered as many territories as we can, that could take two-and-a-half and three years. That could be the long goodbye." Paice says that even if Deep Purple eventually calls it quits, he feels that Glover will still write songs and that he'll continue to play drums as long as he can.

Deep Purple will issue their InFinite album on April 7, but that may not be the last album for the group. Glover teases, "Personally, this is the start of the goodbye, I guess. We don't know what's going to happen. I personally think we could do another album." Paice agrees with that assessment, while Glover cautions, "InFinite and 'The Long Goodbye' tour are there for you to interpret any way you will, but we're not saying definitively we're going to end now."

With Deep Purple having one of the lengthiest rosters of alums, the members were asked if past era members would return for "The Long Goodbye" tour. Paice stated, "No. It doesn't work like that. It hasn't worked like that so far. This incarnation of Purple has been together the longest time. This is it. It's been this way for years since Don [Airey] joined the band. Whatever was in the past, was glorious. Sometimes very hard to deal with, but it is in the past. We can't undo the things that have been done. We can't un-say the things that have been said. We have to shut the door on that. It's gone. People, obviously, still like what we do. We're having a ball. We're having a great deal of fun."

Deep Purple will head to Europe in May, June and early July for dates before joining up with Alice Cooper for a North American tour in August and September. See all of their scheduled dates here.

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