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Deep Purple 'Smoke On The Water' by Dan Gibling, Luke McDonnell

Promonews - 7th Mar 2024

Dan Gibling and Luke McDonnell have risen magnificently to the challenge of creating a new visual for one of the classic rock anthems - with one of rock's great back stories - with a riveting, six minute-long animated video.

Famously Deep Purple wrote and recorded Smoke On The Water in 1972 in a rush, whilst in Switzerland, just after the fire that destroyed the Montreux Casino on Lake Geneva, where they were due to perform. As the song tells the story of the events around the fire, Gibling and McDonnell's video - made for a remastered version of the song, for a new Deluxe release of the album Machine Head - merges the song's narrative with it's inspired creation with flair, imagination and humour.

Using a variety of animated styles, but mainly 2D based on McDonnell's illustrations, supplemented by AI, this thrill ride features the band on a tourbus being pursued by a montrous record stylus down the grooves of the vinyl record, before the bus undergoes a remarkable transformation. The video also includes moments of vintage live footage of Purple in their pomp.  

"It’s been an honour to put visuals to this song, undeniably one of the greatest rock tracks of all time," say the directors, Dan Gibling and Luke Mcdonnell. "The fact that the song is itself a story meant we had no shortage of inspiration for the scenes that accompany the music.

"Our idea for the video is centred around the fact that the band were under pressure to make this record on time after the events that unfolded at the casino. We wished to depict all these events and band members respectfully, but also elevate the music video into an exciting action-packed chase that see the band pursued by the stylus as they ride along the deep grooves of the record.

"On their journey we visit the places and heroes mentioned in the song, as well as encounters with fire, water, smoke, police and even dragons as they strive to take control of the record stylus and cut their track into the vinyl. The writing of the album was an adventure summed up in the lyrics, and we hope we have created an accompanying adventure that existing and new fans will feel honour the gravitas of this song."

Promonews - 7th Mar 2024


  • Animation
  • Director's notes

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Dan Gibling
Luke Mcdonnell
Dan Gibling
Production Company
Chiba Film


Robin Andrews
Richard Leshone
Lead Illustrator
Luke McDonnell
Valeriia Proskurina
AI Technician
Lawrence Wheeler
Lead Clean Up Artist
Corin Schencks
Clean Up Artist
Ethan Schencks


Dan Gibling


Alicia Yaffe
Moritz Trapp
Warner Music Group
Universal Germany

Promonews - 7th Mar 2024

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