Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Faces Of Rock recently conducted an interview with legendary vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
69 Faces Of Rock: What compromises needed to be made in order to keep [BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION] going?
Hughes: It brings me back to you asking me why we didn’t play Chicago last summer. It should’ve been Chicago, Detroit, and many other Midwestern cities. I can’t really hide the fact that if you look at Joe‘s [Bonamassa, guitar] touring schedule, and if you look at what’s going on with Joe. I mean, all I have to do is look at that schedule, and realize there isn’t too much time left for BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION to play. He can’t really play twice in one city in the same season. Do a show as BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, and then two months later come back as Joe Bonamassa, or Glenn Hughes. So what Joe is obviously doing, he’s taking the Bonamassa route, and you know, I’m really happy for him. But as I said before, my main concern is getting BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION off the ground. I mean, we do really well in Europe. But, my main concern is to get this band off the ground, and my hands are little bit tied if you know what I mean. The beauty of it is. What it’s done for me is it has shown people that I’m back in a rock ‘n’ roll band again, and it’s where I should’ve been for the last twenty years. I mean, I really should’ve been doing that, but I’m back now, and it’s really great. The world is accepting the fact that I put my rock hat back on, and I really love playing rock music.
69 Faces Of Rock: How different is BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION from what you do on your own?
Hughes: Well, for Joe, it’s completely different because he plays blues. I think even Joe‘s next album will be more pure blues. For me it’s a little bit different. I may say this to you, that from here on now I’ve decided I’m going to make rock ‘n’ roll music, so the line between BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and Glenn Hughes is very fine, really. I’ve decided I’m gonna be focused on rock ‘n’ roll. Whether it’s the ’70s rock that BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION does, or just really straight-ahead, groove-oriented rock music.
69 Faces Of Rock: Glenn, you were involved with DEEP PURPLE in the past. It was a huge band, but also a band that made several mistakes along the way. What mistakes are you trying to avoid with BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION?
Hughes: We just have to keep everything friendly and honest. For me, the whole thing about being the older guy in the band is that I got to make sure everyone else is on the same page. And I’m a little bit of a control freak, and I am the one that carries the flag for the band. I think you know that. Although, everybody else has got other things to do, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION is real special, and I really take it to heart! Of course back in the ’70s everybody was getting high, lots of women, and lots of drugs, and buzz, and so on. It was a great time, you had ZEPPELIN, SABBATH, PURPLE, WHO, PINK FLOYD, STONES, YES, and all those great British bands. It was a great time for music. I’m sort of one of those survivors of that period. And as you know I’m clean and sober now. The mistakes I’ve made actually had been life lessons for me. So, I kind of feel responsible for the other members of this band as far as keeping the flag flowing, if you will. As I said to you in the past, it’s a very touchy subject for me. If it was my decision only, and I was managing this band, I would have the band out and do 250 shows a year. I’d be doing 50 shows in America alone every year. But unfortunately I’m not that guy who can answer that question. But to all the fans that read this, they need to know that If I had my way we’d be doing mass touring!
69 Faces Of Rock: There is already a talk of the third album being written. How are the new songs coming along?
Hughes: I mean, they’re great. I’ve got pretty much a whole record of songs ready to go. Like I said, I don’t really know too much of what’s gonna happen in the future. There are rumors that we will make an album this summer. But I’m not too sure. For me, all I wanna do is play live in BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION. We’re supposed to go in the studio, but by the time it will come out, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen.
69 Faces Of Rock: After two successful BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION records and plenty of Glenn Hughes solo albums, when you write a song, how do you distinguish where it will end up?
Hughes: BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, to me, is pretty standard classic rock, and that is also the direction my music will also take. And like I said before, it’s a little bit of a fine line for me. It’s hard to really release a Glenn Hughes album, and BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION album in the same year. Especially now, when I went back to rock. Prior to making the BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION I’ve had a couple of funky albums on my own, which I really liked, by the way. It’s a difficult procedure for me because of that fine line. I am writing a lot of the music, but I think there is a definitely BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION sound to it. I do have a bunch of songs written that aren’t BLACK COUNTRY songs. I’ve got an album’s worth of solo material as well. Slightly different, but it’s not too dissimilar. What I’m not gonna do, and you know I love black music and funky music, is specifically write in that sort of feel. But I think now, the general consensus in the music industry, and especially with fans is that Glenn Hughes has returned to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band. To be that guy, your father liked, or people from my generation of rock fans that really wanted me to do it again. I promised you, and I got thousands of letters, and e-mails from fans welcoming me back to pure rock. And of course since I went back to playing rock, the doors had been opened where they may have been closed before. And I’m gonna say this to you, I don’t do this for money, I don’t bow to the god of money. I do things that make me sleep at night. As you know I’ve been cursed if you will with the knowledge to make funky soulful albums, and to make them real. And also I’ve been blessed to be a rock and roller, a really hardcore rock and roller. And there is not many people that have crossed that divide, really.
Read the entire interview from 69 Faces Of Rock.