Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse recently spoke to Joe Bosso of MusicRadar.com about becoming the longest-running guitarist for the band. Morse also discussed if he’s ever heard anything from Deep Purple’s founding guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore.

“I’ve had no contact with him, but he has made some comments which I thought were remarkably… restrained. He’s certainly had perfect opportunities to say whatever he wants, negative or otherwise,” Morse said. “But I’m really relieved that he hasn’t said anything harsh about me. The most he ever said, and I’m paraphrasing, is something like, ‘This guy plays very well and does a lot of different things. I’m not sure if he’s right for Deep Purple...’”

Morse said he would understand if he was a target for Blackmore or Deep Purple purists.

“But you know, how can anybody replace Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple?You can’t,” he said. “All you can do is come in, do what you do and change the band here and there. You can’t be a clone… and you shouldn’t.”