Glenn Hughes Discusses His Departure From The Dead Daisies, His Forthcoming Uk Solo Tour To Celebrate Deep Purple’s Pivotal Album, ‘burn’, And Hints At New Activity With Black Country Communion.

Glenn Hughes Discusses His Departure From The Dead Daisies, His Forthcoming Uk Solo Tour To Celebrate Deep Purple’s Pivotal Album, ‘burn’, And Hints At New Activity With Black Country...

Interview by Mark Lacey

Photo Credit: Mindhex Media

 

Glenn Hughes career with Deep Purple was short, but highly impactful. In the three years from 1973-76, under the Mark III and Mark IV line-ups, the band produced arguably some of their most dynamic material. The arrival of Glenn and David Coverdale in 1973 provided a catalyst for the sensational ‘Burn’ album, which featured the electric title track, as well as ‘Mistreated’. The departure of Ritchie Blackmore in 1975, saw the arrival of Tommy Bolin, resulting in the ‘Come Taste the Band’ album, before the band split just a year later. With 2023 marking the 50th anniversary of that iconic first collaboration, the time seemed right for Glenn and his solo band to revisit those songs for new audiences.

“When we look back at ‘73, I think for the first time in a long time, Deep Purple were a family again, and so the camaraderie, the laughter, all the colours or what you want to call it, were very prevalent and very on point. The band were fresh and ready to rock”.

 

MGM: The last time many UK fans got to see you was with the Dead Daisies in December last year. You’ve since announced your departure from the Daisies to concentrate on your solo tour. You created some amazing music together, but did you always see that as a short-term project?

GH: I am primarily a solo artist, and I’m real comfortable being in that genre. When I joined The Dead Daisies, David Lowy had me come in and write some songs, which turned out to be great. And we recorded ‘Holy Ground’. And then the pandemic hit and we obviously did a second album and you saw some shows. In December, David Lowy wanted to take a hiatus for six months, and it was at that time where I was getting a lot of offers to do my own work again. And Joe (Bonamassa) and I decided to do Black Country Communion ‘Five’. So, at the beginning of this year, I switched gears and started going back to my solo work and playing with my band, and writing with Joe. The Dead Daisies will continue with my friend John Corabi, and I had nothing but great times with that band, but it was never going to be forever for me. I may have said before that Black Country Communion will be the last band I record with, and I believe that will be the truth. And with The Dead Daisies, it was all good. We ended amicably. They didn’t want me to go, but it was time for me to go back to my band.

MGM: Fans will be really excited to hear about your live dates to celebrate the anniversary of ‘Burn’ and of course you’ll be reconnecting with Soren Anderson and your solo band, and playing the UK for the first time since 2019.

GH: That’s correct. We did a couple of shows in 2019, and this show for me is the legacy songs. While ‘Burn’ is now going to be 50 years old and the legacy is hot, I’m going to do this for a little while longer before I go back to being Glenn again.

MGM: Did you always have it in mind to do these solo dates around those classic Deep Purple songs? Or is it just because it coincided with the 50th anniversary. You’ve got so much material to draw from.

GH: Yeah, I do. I don’t have a solo album to promote right now, so my management team and I thought it would be good doing this for fifty years of Burn. Let’s just concentrate on celebrating that album and other songs. We figured that would be the first thing I’d do after I left the Dead Daisies, and go back to playing these songs again. I can’t see me doing this forever. I am yearning to do solo touring again under the banner of Glenn Hughes.

(Our interview is subject to intermittent growls and some panting. But thankfully Glenn explains, “I’ve got three small dogs; Papillons and Chihuahuas. They’re so sweet. I got one on my lap right now”).

MGM: ‘Burn’ was the first album that you did with Deep Purple, and to be celebrating the 50th anniversary must be an amazing experience. Why do you think that album has stood the test of time and been so successful?

GH: With David (Coverdale) and I coming in …  the two new guys …  I think when we look back at ‘73, obviously ‘Machine Head’ had done great and Purple needed to up their game, and with that album that was written in the castle, we were brand new to each other. I think for the first time in a long time, Deep Purple were a family again, and so the camaraderie, the laughter, all the colours or what you want to call it, were very prevalent and very on point. The band were fresh and ready to rock. Can you believe it’s been 50 bloody years! And the album still sounds great.

MGM: It must be an exciting opportunity for you to re-visit some of the songs again for this tour, especially as you might not have played some of them in a while.

GH: I haven’t. I’ve been playing ‘Gettin’ tighter’ off of ‘Come Taste the Band’. But I love doing ‘Sail Away’ and stuff like that. And I put my spin on ‘Mistreated’. In general, people are loving the show and we’ve done a couple of runs this year already and it’s been a great success. I’m bringing it to the UK (my homeland), and I think all these shows are going to pretty much sell out.

MGM: You’ve played ‘Burn’ and ‘Mistreated’ over the years with some of your other projects including Black Country Communion, and some fans will remember you playing those songs at the Childline Rocks shows with Ian Paice one year, and the following year with Jon Lord. On this forthcoming tour, are you going to try and stay faithful to the versions on the original album or will you experiment?

GH: Well, over the last few years, I’ve been listening to ‘Made in Europe’ and ‘Cal Jam’ of course, and other recordings like ‘Live in Paris’ to take some of those arrangements from that. I don’t really do the album versions. I do the long live versions with Ian and Jon and Ritchie. So, it’s more inclined to be that route, more of a more musical endeavour. I’m not doing ‘A 200’, that’s the instrumental. We played ‘What’s going on here’ in Europe, but I’m not doing the whole album; I’m basically doing cuts from the album because they’re quite long. I’ve chosen the songs which I think will resonate with fans. I believe what I’ve done, is get the right material for this tour.

MGM: What memories do you have of those sessions? You mentioned that you’d written the songs at that castle in Forest of Dean, which I’m guessing is not far from where you were brought up.

GH: We were down there in the summer / early September of ‘73, which is coming up now to fifty years. We went in there with no material and we came out with eight songs, and we wrote a couple of songs a couple of times a week. We’d write a brand new piece of music, and then David and I would work on melodies and lyrics. The essence of those songs is you can hear a fresh, young band. That’s what I feel about ‘Burn’. It’s a great rock album.

MGM: Before the UK tour, you’ve headlined the Saturday night at the Maid in Stone festival. It’s great to see rock music coming back to that park after a few years. Will the October tour feature the same set?

GH: I did Maidstone in 2017. I remember very clearly. It was great, and I’m really glad it’s in the same place again. It is the same set. About four months ago, I said to my manager, it’s a long time till October. Maybe I should do a few shows in the summer, and we put together four shows for July. We started in Cardiff, then Norwich, then Northampton and then Maidstone. So, it was just a quick run of some shows for me to get back to my fans.

MGM: There have been a few announcements recently about the return of Black Country Communion. Your last album BCCIV, released in 2018, was a pivotal moment. Since that album tour finished up in the UK, it had gone slightly quiet, not last because of the band’s competing busy schedules. Did you always intend on the band reconvening when the time was right?

GH: I did. The problem with that is getting the schedules of Joe, Jason and myself aligned. Black Country Communion to me was always a bit of a priority. These days, as much as I love working with Joe, Jason and Derek, it really can’t be a priority, but I love working with those guys. The album is recorded.

MGM:  There has been a few teasers across social media in recent weeks, talking about BCC’s comeback. What can you tell me about the album right now?

GH: It sounds like Black Country Communion. There’s no left turns here. I think you can see it’s a Glenn and Joe collaboration. The writing is what it’s always been. We’re very close and it’s a continuation. I wouldn’t say it’s anything like any of the other albums, but it sounds like the band. We’re all very happy with it. Joe and I are very good friends. All the albums have been written at my home here, and we just love working together. I’ve always loved playing live with Joe, Jason and Derek. And it’s not been very often that it happens, so I’d like to do it behind this album. But I can’t have any expectations; my schedule next year is crammed. But the album itself is going to be out early next year and we’re looking forward to releasing it.

MGM: The band are already announced to play on the ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ cruise in March 2024. Do you think, if schedules allow, that Black Country Communion will get a chance tour the album next year as well?

GH: Joe and I have spoken about it, and we are willing to do that. It’s just a matter of getting the window aligned so all of us can be ready to do that. But Joe’s schedule is manic and mine next year is bloody real manic, and I’m going to be out there playing the music I created all those years ago and eventually get back to playing Glenn Hughes music, but BCC; let’s see what happens. What I won’t do this time, I’m not going to tell anyone there’s going to be a tour when there isn’t one. I don’t want to do that. Would we like to do one? I think we would like to do one, but the answer to ‘will they do one?’ I don’t want to be taking blame for that one.

I’m smiling, because I’ve been down that road. In general, in life, I have no expectations anymore. I’m actually okay, I have enough where I’m at. The idea of playing with my friends is very appealing, but it’s a matter of now seeing it on paper.

MGM: It’s been five years since the last album BCCIV came out. Are all of the songs on this new album recently written and recently recorded, or do some of them date back throughout that period?

GH: No, they’re brand new. They were written at my house in April. Joe came over four times in four sessions. We came up with ten songs. It was amazing. It was absolutely astonishing. I’m smiling because it was a typical Glenn and Joe extravaganza. When he comes over, we go into this zone; we finish each other’s sentences off. It’s truly amazing to sit down with Joe and write some music. He loves doing this, as you can see. He loves it. I would like to play live, but I can’t hold my breath.

MGM: You’ve been a professional musician your entire life now, and it’s been 55 years since you recorded that Finders Keepers song. Could you ever have imagined that your career would have lasted this long or taken the twists and turns it’s taken?

 

GH: When I was 17 years old, you don’t think. Back then anybody at my age would be, like, ancient. But I got into music simply to be a musician. I read music as an eleven-year-old kid at school and I was fascinated by music in general. So, for me to start all those years ago in 1968, playing music was just something in the moment. I didn’t know how long it was going to last. But I was in love with music and I have been in love with music from the very beginning up until this very day. And long may it continue.

MGM: So, it doesn’t sound like you’ve got any plans to retire anytime soon.

GH: No, the word ‘retire’ scares me because retirement means really not doing anything but sitting at home. And, it’s okay; I live in a beautiful home here at the beach in California. But I like playing music. It’s difficult travelling these days. It’s not easy, but I just love those 2 hours or 1 hour 45 on stage. It’s truly amazing.

MGM: Have you got any unfulfilled ambitions as a musician? Anything that you still want to do?

GH: I don’t think I do. I get asked that question, would you like to play with this person or that? I think I’ve played with everybody. I have enough. I’m not searching for that last whatever it is, I’m just not looking for it. I’m actually quite happy in this moment right now. I do this one day at a time, one tour at a time. I mean, I’m busy next year, but I can’t think about next year.

MGM: Speaking of the future, if these dates where you’re celebrating ‘Burn’ go down well, then surely the temptation has to be to come back and see if you can celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘Stormbringer’ the following year, or maybe ‘Come taste the band’ in 2025. Do you think that’s a possibility?

GH: Let’s see what happens, because I know my schedule is full to the end of next year doing the legacy songs. I’ve got a feeling I know what’s going to happen in 2025. I can’t say what it is, but I’m going to be making music. I’m writing music all the bloody time, and I’ve got to write new music. It’s just what I do. And as long as I’m writing new music, I’m in a good place.

MGM: What do you do for fun when you’re not writing, recording or touring?

GH: Well, basically, the writing is my main hobby. I just live in a great place and I swim a lot and I meet my buddies and do normal stuff. I go for walks. I like to be out in nature and in the garden planting things. That’s what I do.

 

www.glennhughes.com

 

Glenn Hughes will be performing his ‘Classic Deep Purple Live’ shows throughout the UK from 10th – 29th October.

 

For tickets: www.thegigcartel.com/Artists-profiles/Glenn-Hughes.htm

 

 

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