DEEP PURPLE’s Ian Gillan and BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi took everybody by surprise in 2011 by releasing a charity single, “Out Of My Mind”, renewing the collaboration that led the pair to record an album in 1984, “Born Again”, under the BLACK SABBATH moniker. For the occasion, the two rock legends called a few friends and were soon joined by Jason Newsted (METALLICA, VOIVOD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE) and Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN).

The single was a joyful and inspired moment. The spark to bring Iommi and Gillan in a studio, together again was to finance the rebuilding of a music school in Armenia they had visited together on various occasions in past years.

Far from being a spectacular charity project, WHOCARES was a nice gesture, done with class, from two musicians with nothing to prove, willing to support music, where music is considered a luxury.

“As I said once in the song ‘Razzle Dazzle’ (DEEP PURPLE’s ‘Bananas’ album), ‘It’s a real fine line between an orgy of destruction and a wonderful time,'” Gillan tells about the forthcoming CD. “The destruction of conformity in this case: Some of these pieces never really fitted into their contemporary program and got side-lined or forgotten, and some of the album tracks never had much exposure. As the track listing for this album came together, I noticed many of the titles had character similarities; a combination of freshness as they finally felt the sun on their backs and rebellion in a ‘yeah told you so’ kind of way. And that adds up to a wonderful time. And that adds up to more money for the music school we are building in Armenia.”

“And what about WHOCARES… this ad-hoc benefit band put together by Tony Iommi and myself on a flight home from Yerevan, where we’d been deeply humbled by the honors and expectations bestowed upon us. Well that’s it really, in a nutshell, so to speak, what more can I say; it’s all there in the music.”

Among the tracks set to appear on the upcoming album are the two original WHOCARES songs; DEEP PURPLE’s unreleased studio jam “Dick Pimple”; a song from REPO DEPO (a band Ian Gillan formed before the DEEP PURPLE reunion which never released any material); two previously unreleased songs from Tony Iommi featuring Glenn Hughes; obscure collaborations, B-sides lost on seven-inch vinyl; and exclusive live versions recorded live on radio.

“WhoCares” will be released on June 22 via earMUSIC.

“Out Of My Mind” video: