Ahead of Glenn Hughes taking to the stage in Newcastle next week, we caught up with the “greatest white soul singer” Stevie Wonder has ever heard.
Glenn was vocalist/bassist in Trapeze before joining Deep Purple along with David Coverdale to replace Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. He recorded three albums with Deep Purple in the ’70s before the band split.
Since then he’s recorded the classic Hughes/Thrall album and made an album with Black Sabbath. He recorded What Time Is Love as ‘The Voice of Rock’ for Dance act KLF, and was also asked to join Earth Wind and Fire at one point. The singer is also a member of Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa.
Q: Are you looking forward to touring here again?
A: It’s always a pleasure playing in the UK and I’m really looking forward to breaking out the new songs. I live in America most of the time now so coming home to England is something I love to do, so I’m really looking forward to the tour.
Q: You’ll be joined by Soren Andersen on guitar who is returning to your band. What’s it like having Soren back with you?
A: Soren’s been with me for 10 years, but Doug Aldrich was with me last year as Soren had a contract that he couldn’t get out of and he’s an honourable guy. Doug stepped in and did a wonderful job and we had a great time. Soren is like a family member, he’s such a good friend and a great sidekick on stage with me, so it feels so good for him to be back.
Q: With a new album out you will want to be playing a few songs from that. What sort of set list do you have planned for the tour?
A: I think I’ll do about three new songs, but if I had my wish I’d play the whole record back to back. Maybe I’ll do that next year or later on when people have lived with the album for some time. I think these songs are immediate and people will like them, but I have a lot of music to play so I’ll do maybe three new songs then material from across my career. I’ll be playing some songs I didn’t play last year so along with the new songs you’ll hear a lot that you didn’t hear last year.
Q: We’ve mentioned your new album, Resonate, that came out a couple of months ago. Are you pleased with the reaction so far?
A: The album for me is a return to my roots and a return home. I feel that I’m in the last stage of my career now and I want to go out the way that I came in. I was very focused when I wrote Resonate and I knew what I needed to do, what I wanted to do and I knew what my fans expected from me. My fan base is growing and I’m now seeing teenagers at my shows singing along to my songs so a lot of young fans are coming to my shows now, so it’s good to know that my music is not just connecting with my older fans, but the younger generation too.
Q: It’s your first solo album in eight years?
A: My last one, First Underground Nuclear Kitchen, was such a soulful groove-based record so it wasn’t a typical rock record. The problem with that, is that it was put out on a rock label and it probably would have been better to put it out on a label that was more soul orientated. I loved that album and think it’s a beautiful piece of art.
“When I started to write for Black Country Communion and then California Breed, I went back to my roots and back to the Glenn from where I came from, and that struck a chord with fans across the world, so I knew I’d make a rock record next time. I went into my studio and wrote a new song each day, musically and lyrically. I wrote one, finished it and moved onto the next and worked like that until I had enough songs to record.
l Glenn Hughes plays Riverside, Newcastle, on January 20.