British rock legends DEEP PURPLE were denied entry to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year — losing out to such artists as American pop singer-songwriter Randy Newman and R&B singer Donna Summer.

The members of PURPLE, who will release a new album titled “Now What?!” on April 30 in North America via earMUSIC, say it is no big loss.

“I don’t think the band really care, actually,” keyboardist Don Airey tells The Straits Times. “It’d be nice but there’s been no ‘awwwww’, no disappointment.”

“The gig’s the thing with this band, the next concert. That’s what it’s all about and we’re looking forward to Singapore.

Newman‘s fantastic but he’s not really a rock act, is he? Neither isDonna Summer, although she made one of the greatest records I’ve ever heard. If you’re going to have a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, let’s have some rock and rollers in there.”

He added, laughing: “There was a kind of ripple of excitement, like ‘Oh, we’ve been nominated!’. Then [lead singer] Ian [Gillan] said, ‘Don’t worry, we won’t get in’.”

Gillan echoed those sentiments, telling AOL‘s Noisecreep: “I fought against, all my life, becoming institutionalized. So it really does not affect me. But on the other hand, my family and friends and everyone that has stuck with us all these years, it means something to them. They love that recognition.

“To analyze it, and I’ll try not to sound cocky or anything, I will say it as respectfully as I can, it’s sort of like the Oscars and Grammys and the other awards like that — in the States, just like it is in England, and other places — these awards and honors are usually not decided by the fans, but by a cartel of influential people. These are the same people that decided THE MONKEES were America’s answer to THE BEATLES. [laughs]

“So I’m not too concerned about it. Maybe it will happen one day, bit if not, my diary is full and I’m very happy. It hasn’t affected our career but it does concern the fans — that’s who I feel for.”