DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice suffered a minor stroke last year, forcing him to miss the band’s shows in Sweden and Denmark — the first time his medical condition prevented him from performing with the group. Asked for an update on his health, Paice told Ultimate Classic Rock in a new interview: “I’m good. I had a little event last year in about June which frightened the shit out of me, but I got fixed up real good. So long as I take these four tablets once a day for the rest of my life, there’s no reason why it should ever happen again. But it was pretty scary for me. My right hand had nothing to do with the rest of my body, to the point that I couldn’t even sort of scratch [myself]. I just had a lump of flesh on my right side. But it came back pretty quickly and the doctors told me that I’d been very lucky. It’s what is called a TIA rather than a full-blown stroke, and I recovered. Blood pressure is great, heart is great, so I’ve been a lucky guy.”

Paice said that it “broke [his] heart” to have to cancel PURPLE shows. “You think that nothing’s going to happen to you, that you’re bulletproof and immortal, and then suddenly nature shows you that you just ain’t,” he explained.

The iconic drummer added that the experience “was terrifying for about ten or fifteen minutes, and then you go into self-preservation mode. You go, ‘How do I get out of this? What do I do? What do I do to look after myself?’ That’s what kicks in straight away. ‘Get on the phone, get somebody there, get me in the hospital.’ That all happened in twenty minutes, man. I was so lucky.”

DEEP PURPLE‘s new album, “InFinite”, was released on April 7 via earMUSIC. The disc was tracked in February 2016 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee and was once again helmed by Bob Ezrin, who has previously worked with KISS, PINK FLOYD, PETER GABRIEL, ALICE COOPER and KANSAS, among others.