Glenn Hughes, English rock bassist and vocalist, chats with Kevin Cooper about Black Country Communion’s first ever UK gig at the Civic Hall Wolverhampton, his single most extravagant purchase, headlining 2019’s Stonedeaf Festival and touring the UK with The Classic Deep Purple Live Set in 2019.

Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, Deep Purple, as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He currently fronts the super group Black Country Communion which was formed in 2009 with drummer Jason Bonham, blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. After the release of three albums, the band disbanded in 2013, although they were reunited in 2016 and released their fourth album, BCCIV in 2017.

Hughes also fronted California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015 and in April 2016 he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

Whilst busy preparing for his 2019 tour of the UK, he took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

Hi Glenn how are you?

I’m good thanks Kevin, it’s good to hear your voice once again man. How are you today?

All is good with me thanks for asking, and before we move on let me firstly thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

You are very welcome my friend.

And just how is life treating you?

Never better, I am very grateful.

You and I last spoke prior to the release of Resonate. Were you happy with the fans reaction to the album?

Yes I was, I was very happy and also very responsive to all of the people who took the time to buy the record. I really was very excited with it all.

A lot of your fans claim that it is your best work to date. Putting you on the spot would you agree with that?

I think so; it is an album that I made in a period of time where I was genuinely making a good old fashioned rock and roll record. It really was something that I felt that I needed to do two years ago. Resonate really is an important record for me.

Do you have any thoughts on making a new studio album?

To be honest with you I regularly get asked to do them but the simple fact is that I am far too busy. Making records now is a lot different for me. The question is ‘do I really need to be making another record right now’ and the simple answer to that is I don’t think so. So what I intend to do is to keep playing live.

I have seen you performing live many, many times now and I have to say that in January 2017 at The Rescue Rooms here in Nottingham you simply blew everyone away.

Thank you, that is so kind of you to say that. It was a difficult show for me because at that time my mother was very sick and just a few days after the show she passed away. I remember the show, in fact it was a great show and I look forward to coming back to Nottingham in May.

You have toured most of 2018 with The Classic Deep Purple Live Set. How has the tour been received?

I am pleased to say that the tour pretty much sold-out everywhere around the world. It is a great show and the tour is going to run for two and a half years. So you could say that at present it is a pretty well-oiled machine (laughter). I am very grateful that people still want to hear and see these particular songs. It is a really great time for me.

I have to tell you that I have recently purchased your Live In Asbury New Jersey 2018 CD and I love it. It is currently being played to death.

(Laughter) thank you, thank you very much for that.

It makes you feel up close and personal.

I hope so (laughter).

You have briefly mentioned the forthcoming tour where you will be playing eight dates here in the UK during May. Are you looking forward to being back here and performing live in the UK?

Yes I am. As you are aware I have now lived in America for most of my life but the UK is where I am from. I am a UK boy so for me to come back, especially to the East Midlands really is a big thing for me. That part of England is very important to me. Having said that every part of Britain is important to me. I want to let everyone know just how important it is for me to come back to the UK and play for you.

It’s a shame that the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton is now closed.

Yes it is, I was going to play the Civic Hall. We were going to headline the Civic Hall but the powers that be are now telling me that they are going to tear it down. I had originally thought that it was going to be renovated but now it appears that it is never to return. That is the reason why I will be playing in Birmingham.

That is really sad especially when you look at who has played there over the years.

I know what you are saying, everybody has played there. I personally have been playing the Civic Hall since way back in 1968.

I can remember seeing Black Country Communion’s first ever UK gig at the Civic Hall, Wolverhampton on Wednesday 29th December 2010.

Thank you, it was a great show, I really enjoyed it. How can you remember that show in such detail?

I have told you in the past that I am a massive Nottingham Forest fan haven’t I?

Yes you have, I remember that from our last chat.

Well it just so happens that on Wednesday 29th December 2010 Forest hammered our fiercest rivals 5-2 at home. All through the gig my phone was vibrating telling me the latest score (laughter).

(Laughter) is that true? Well if it is what can I say? That is fantastic; I am so happy for you. Well then we had better get this straight, if Wolves ever play Forest on a gig night and you are there, please remind me to switch my mobile phone off (laughter).

I know that you have played here in Nottingham many times over the years. Do you enjoy your time spent here?

Yes I do. I know that it has been a while since I have played up there in Nottingham, and so because of that the next time that I play in Nottingham on Friday 24th May it is going to be a very special evening to me. I have always found Nottingham to be an incredible place. I am really looking forward to being back there. It is going to be the last show on the tour and it is going to be one hell of a night up there in Nottingham.

You are spoiling us here in Nottingham because on the 24th August next year you will be headlining the Stonedeaf Festival won’t you?

(Laughter) yes that’s right I am. I am looking forward to it, it really is going to be a fantastic event. By the end of 2019 you will all be sick of the sight of me (laughter).

Have you put any thoughts into the set list for the Stonedeaf Festival as yet Glenn?

No I haven’t. What the set list will be I really don’t know as yet. As you know, some of the songs on the set list are literally set in stone. Having said that there may well be some changes. You will just have to wait and see (laughter).

I was recently speaking to Joe (Bonamassa) and he told me that you and he are currently trying to pencil in some time to allow you to start working on the new Black Country Communion album. How is that working out at present?

Yes we are, Joe and I are talking, that is totally correct. I did actually manage to spend some time with Joe a few days ago and we will hopefully be able to schedule the release of a new Black Country Communion album sometime within the next eighteen months or so.

And will we see you touring the album here in the UK?

I hope so, I really do hope so and I seriously really do mean that.

You have now been in the business for over fifty years. Have you enjoyed the ride?

(Laughter) I have been going forever, and it is as you say fifty years and let me tell you, there is no one more grateful than me at this moment in time. The ride, what can I say, if you have read Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography, you will know that there have been many highs but there have also been a hell of a lot of well documented lows. However, taking everything into consideration I wouldn’t do one thing differently. So I would have to say that yes, I have enjoyed the ride immensely.

During those fifty years at what point did you feel the most musically satisfied?

Bloody hell, that is really hard to say because there have been pockets of genuine love during the whole time that I have been doing this. During the very early 1970s and the time spent with Trapeze was incredible. And I also think that this moment both musically and vocally is good. I honestly don’t think that I have ever played or sung as good as this.

Is the music industry currently in a good place?

In my opinion there is no recording music industry anymore. It’s like I said to you earlier, why should I bother making a record when they never get promoted properly. There is no money to allow you to do things appropriately. So I rarely do things for money anymore, I just do things to serve myself. However, as far as playing live and singing live it is the Glenn Hughes epitome of what Glenn Hughes wants the people to know, go out and see Glenn Hughes performing live. That is where you need to see me sing; my songs sound lovely on the albums but to hear and see me sing live is exactly what I need to be doing.

I was recently speaking to Paul Carrack and he told me that Radio 2 will no longer play his music because they claim that it doesn’t appeal to the average housewife.

Well as you know I am British but I don’t live in this country. To put it simply I don’t know what Radio 2 is about anymore (laughter). I know Paul Carrack and I have to say that he is a great singer. However, I no longer understand the genres of what BBC Radio is.

What was the single most extravagant purchase that you made during your career?

Oh my god, I have to say that there have been quite a few along the years. I think that it would have to be a house that I bought in Atlanta, Georgia. It really was extravagant. I bought it but never really moved in. It simply sat there unoccupied. Back in 1990 it really was ridiculous, it really was a crazy thing to do.

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

That would have to be Blame It On The Sun by Stevie Wonder today on the Johnnie Walker show.

How did you spend Christmas?

I spent Christmas with my wife and my dogs in Los Angeles together with a couple of houseguests from New York. We went into Beverly Hills and did our thing and rejoiced. It really was a fantastic time.

I can never speak to you without mentioning your beloved Wolverhampton Wanders. You must be pleased with how they are handling life in the Premiership?

Yes I am, I think that Wolves will be fine this season. Thinking about it long term I really do see that Wolves are going to do well in the next five years. I think that the brand is a hugely successful thing, we have got a great team of backroom staff, the owners are amazing, and I truly wish the best for the club and also the fans.

On that note Glenn let me thank you for taking the time to speak to me, once again it’s been a delight.

Thanks Kevin you take care and please do come and say hi sometime along the tour. I really can’t wait to be back in the UK; god bless you all.