Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse said the band was going to record what will be its 21st studio album during 2019, and hinted at the possibility of U.S. tour dates.

Their last LP was 2017’s Infinite, which had been speculated to be their final release because the associated tour was titled the Long Goodbye. Morse is also continuing work with prog band Flying Colors, he told Andertons Music Co. in a video interview at this year’s NAMM music convention in Anaheim, Calif.

“We’re starting two albums – one with Flying Colors and one with Deep Purple,” he said. “And I know there’s more Deep Purple gigs that they haven’t announced yet, so don’t tell them that I told you so. … This year it might be U.S., but there’s nothing booked for sure. I’m running on rumor power.”

You can watch the interview below.

In a previous interview, Morse predicted his colleagues would keep working even after the band finally ended its career. “I also plan to stay in music, but not so actively as now,” he said. “But you do realize that, when the music for so many years is the most important place in your life, [it’s] impossible in one day to abandon it. In general, I know that the guys are not going to retire. They would rather die onstage than in bed.”

Singer  Ian Gillan said last year that while the band was definitely moving toward retirement, it still had some time remaining. “We’re so close to the end now – within a year or two, three, four. Who knows? But it’s close,” he reported.

Bassist Roger Glover admitted he was “dreading” the band’s end in a separate interview. “[Deep Purple] has been such a presence in our lives for 50 years that none of us want it to end, but the realization is there that sooner or later we are going to have to stop," he reflected. "I’d love to go on and make another album. Emotionally, we’re not ready to stop, so we could carry on for another four or five years.”

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