20 Questions for...Glen Hughes

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Glenn Hughes, fronts the rock supergroup Black Country Communion and has previously been bass guitarist and lead singer of the band Deep Purple as well as a performer with Trapeze.

He recently played at Northampton’s Roadmender ahead of the release of Black Country’s second album ‘2’ which is released on June 13.

1) Can you tell me a bit about what fans can expect from your forthcoming solo tour?

It is a retrospective of my career, from the time before Deep Purple with Trapeze to my solo career, it spans the whole lot of it. There is nostalgia there and a chance for me to play songs people remember.

2) Stevie Wonder once called you his favourite white singer, what was your reaction to that?

I think everybody has their favourite stars who mean a lot to them and mine was Stevie Wonder. I was working with Deep Purple in Los Angeles and he was working next door, then I bumped into him in the toilet and I took him to the studio and played him a song. We became really good friends from that moment, then I read that he was calling me his favourite singer. It is everyone’s dream to be talked about by a mentor.

3) Does it surprise you what a strong following Deep Purple still has, decades after the band first started out?

Deep Purple has a very strong backbone of fans. In the 70s there were these iconic bands, there were 10 of them in Britain, including The Who and Genesis. These bands attracted the largest fan bases and I was in two of those bands. It is incredible I’m still able to do what I do.

4) You have worked with some fantastic musicians throughout your career, is there anyone you would really like to work with in the future?

I used to say X, Y or Z. I’m getting older now and know there are some idiots out there, I don’t want to work with anyone who is negative or who doesn’t want to push the envelope.

5) Can you tell me a bit about Black Country Communion’s new album?

Lots of people have asked us why two albums in a year? I wanted to make two albums. It is a real statement and we are proud of it. It took longer for me to write this one and I took time off from my solo work to do it.

6) What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Less is more. I think everyone wants more. We are also all moved by fear, but there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

7) What tips would you give to young musicians trying to get into the music business today?

I would say learn the legal system, learn where you are going to want to spend money and where you are not going to spend money.

8) How do you like to spend your time when not working?

I live on the beach in California with my wife and four dogs. We don’t have children but we have a lot of animals. We spend a lot of time at home swimming and riding bikes. We live in a big city, in LA, but there is a great core group of friends here and I love to have dinner with people. When I was 20 I was different, I would go out and be eating curry at 3am. Now I find myself putting my hands in the dirt in the garden. I watched my mum and dad do that and thought I never will do that, and now I’m doing it.

9)What is your proudest achievement?

Getting clean and sober for me was the turning point in the road. A lot of media in the UK were upset with me for giving away my talent. Since then I met my wife and the greatest achievement was when I put down the drugs.

10) What is your worst habit?

I have just kicked sugar again, I don’t smoke either, I’m a really health conscious guy. But I started going back on the chocolate and I’m doing the chocolate one day at a time. I would like to say it is fine Belgian chocolate, but it is Cadbury’s.

11)What are your pet hates?

Ignorance. I have been overweight too and I hate when I see people laughing at people who are obese. I also don’t like the yob culture which is everywhere in the world. I have been attacked a couple of times in England by young silly boys and it makes me sick to my stomach.

12) What meal do you most like to cook at home?

My wife won’t allow me in the kitchen. When I met her I think I was making her shepherds’ pies and stuff, now I’m not allowed.

13) What do you drive?

A Jaguar XK8R, Portfolio. They only make about 150 a year and you only get about four a year in California.

14) What is your most treasured possession?

It would have to be the wife and dogs. Perhaps 20 years ago I would have said something else but living, breathing things are the most important things to me.

15) What has been your best moment?

I have been doing this for a while and I had a major success with KLF when I came out of Betty Ford. Then there was a number one album last year with Black Country Communion. Not many people manage to have number one records with a 40 year span and I’m amazed by that.

16) What has been your worst moment?

I think the 1980s, I don’t remember them clearly. That was the hardest, dark period. I did make an album with Black Sabbath but only did 17 concerts in the 80s because I was so paranoid about leaving the house, I even had food delivered to the house. My book came out this week, launched in London, which talks about my story. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

17) What makes you laugh?

A lot of stuff, if I’m not laughing I’m going. Everything makes me laugh.

18) Who has most inspired you in your life?

People from musicians to politicians, my parents and my wife who is a wonderful human. I attach myself to people I can gather from and grow from, everyone is my teacher.

19) Of the music you have performed, what is your own, all time favourite track?

Mine is Cold from the new album. I lost five or six good friends in the last five years and never had time to grieve. You can’t grieve in public with cameras in your face. I wrote this song about that.

20) What ambition would you most like to fulfil?

I would like to continue to do what I do until I stop laughing and hopefully that will be never.