GLENN HUGHES: ‘I Don’t Like Corporate People Telling Me What To Do’

Saturday, 07 January 2017

Dave Lawrence of Hawaii Public Radio and “All Things Considered” recently conducted an interview with legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION). You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the songwriting process for his new solo album, “Resonate”:

Glenn: “I went to have double-knee replacement Christmas [of 2015] and January. While recovering February through April [of 2016], around about when I went to do the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame [with DEEP PURPLE], I was still kinda struggling. I had this time at home to recover with therapy. I knew I was going to be writing, but I didn’t know I was going to be writing an album of songs that would eventually be a Glenn solo album. I have not released a solo album for eight years because I’ve been busy with projects. I just felt while writing this album, which we didn’t know it would be an album, I felt, ‘I think I’m on to something with this.’ [The songs] were very focused, if you will. They were slightly diverse; I don’t repeat myself on this album, as you can see. I wanted to have something that was completely, that as you could say, was in the rock genre, with a lot of swagger, a lot of movement, heavy content lyrically, as well as heavy content musically. Dense and dark, again spiritual, if you don’t mind. I’m a bit pissed off on this album as well. I let the real Glenn stand up, if you will. I let myself be free. It was an overwhelming thing for me. I’m so grateful.”

On the subject matter found on “Resonate”:

Glenn: “The album for me is a very autobiographical record, but when you listen to it, because I don’t write about fictional subjects, I only write about the human condition and soldiering on, the healing process, if you will, the grieving process when you’ve lost something or someone. Also, the writer of this album, me, had to learn how to walk again not knowing when I had this operation, I would be left as a 14-month-old child trying to learn how to walk. I had to have therapy to show me how to… ‘You’re walking well, Glenn.’ No, I’m not. Then I see videos and I’m walking like a fool. I had to learn how to walk. I had to learn how to sit without pushing anything. I had to learn how to get out of a chair. I had to go to Olympic studies for this; it was quite difficult. But I was able to write this album in this state of mind.”

On writing an album that suits the tastes of his fan base:

Glenn: “I’m going to tell you the truth: When I make music… How do I say this? I don’t like corporate people telling me what to do, what color to paint my new car. Unless you are actually singing it with me or writing it with me, don’t talk about it. Especially in rock music. Rock music is not hip-hop. Hip-hop sells a lot of records. Rock music, for me, is a genre I go out and play. I do this, I do blah, blah, blah, so a lot of my fans have always wanted… I’m very R&B-influenced, I’m very much into soul music, and big riffs. Like, Tom Morello [RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE] is a riff merchant, but his background is not metal; it really isn’t. It’s, like, I wanted this album to be, if you will, a tip of the hat to my fans who have maybe waited for this album. I had to be ready to make this album; I had to be completely ready to do it. Was I ready to write that song called ‘Flow’ or ‘God Of Money’? Was I ready to take a journey on ‘Long Time Gone’? Maybe I wasn’t last year, but I most certainly am this year.”

On how his parents influenced his early career:

Glenn: “I’m the only child of Bill and Sheila Hughes, named after Glenn Miller. I grew up listening to — you’re going to love this story — Frank Sinatra was played in my home seven days a week until I left when I was 21. It just so happened that I became friends with Frank in 1981, and it just so happens I got to introduce my parents to Frank. Frank gave my father some of his clothing, and it was, like, you just never know where it’s going to take you. Remember, this is the guy who was all jacked up on blow and Jack Daniel’s in the ’70s who never would have met Frank Sinatra under those circumstances. When I started to get my life in order and realized how things have to change… I’m kind of a guy who always likes to change. It’s simple for me: I got to keep changing, I got to keep thinking differently and keep growing. I’m never going to stop until the end. I’m not an artist that’s going to say, ‘Hey, I’ve done it. I’ve created it. I’ve done it. I’ve arrived.’ No, I’m still working at it, I’m still working, chopping away. I’m going to be chopping away until the very end. I never want to be that comfortable. I just want to be able to mix myself around people, and watch people, and learn. I love to check out what everyone else is doing. So I like to be silent. I like to walk around, let nobody know I’m there. That’s the kind of person I am. I want to be a student.”

“Resonate” was released on November 4 via Frontiers Music Srl. It features his live solo band members, Søren Andersen (guitars and co-producer), Pontus Engborg (drums) and newcomer to his band, Lachy Doley (keyboards), in addition to longtime friend Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS), who joined them in the studio for the opening and closing numbers.

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