Legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, CALIFORNIA BREED) spoke to Billboard.com about his first solo album in eight years, which was recently completed at a studio in Copenhagen, Denmark for a tentative November release. Joining him during the sessions for the follow-up to 2008’s ‘First Underground Nuclear Kitchen’ were Søren Andersen (guitar), Pontus Engborg (drums) and Lachlan “Lachy” Doley (keyboards).
“It’s possibly the heaviest record I’ve ever made,” said Hughes. “I don’t want to confuse it with horns-up heavy; it’s not metal. But it’s definitely fucking heavy. It’s dense. It’s dark. There’s some aggression on this record. Every bloody track is begging to be played live.”
Song titles set to appear on Hughes’s new album include “Let It Shine”, “God Of Money” and “Steady”, with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS drummer Chad Smith, a regular Hughes collaborator, making a guest appearance.
While he was in the studio recording his new album, Hughes talked to Denmark’s Metalized magazine about the musical diversity that has been his trademark throughout his four-decade-plus career.
“I never make the same album twice,” he said. “Go back to the first TRAPEZE album. The second was different and the third one was different. And then you go to ‘Burn’, and ‘Stormbringer’ was different from that, and then ‘Come Taste The Band’. You got HUGHES/THRALL and that was different from DEEP PURPLE. And then you go to ‘Seventh Star’ with Tony Iommi. That was different from HUGHES/THRALL. And then the blues album and then the Glenn solo albums.”
He continued: “Although some of [my albums] have been very, very soulful and very, very funky, the key for me — as I am an Englishman that grew up in the West Midlands — is rock. But when I moved to America in the early seventies, I started to listen to what came out of Detroit. And I met Stevie Wonder. He became a very, very close friend and still is. He became my mentor.
“I need people to know that my success has come from the foundation of rock music. As much as I love THE BEATLES, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder, when you think of Glenn Hughes, you think of the guy who plays bass and sings in any register.”
Hughes added: “I am friends with a lot of famous rock stars and they are one genre. I wouldn’t say who, but they have a one-genre-dimensional sound. You know it’s them. And you know it’s me because of my voice.
“I have been cursed and blessed with the ability to switch very quickly from rock to soul to funk to acoustic and almost into jazz — without scaring people. When you mix those ingredients, that’s Glenn Hughes.
“This will be an album that is entirely Glenn Hughes music. For that reason, it is an important album.”
Hughes previously credited his involvement with the supergroup BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION as the catalyst leading to his return to rock music. “What I will do on the next Glenn album is portray the image of the Glenn Hughes on the BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION albums,” he told IHeartGuitarBlog.com in 2011. “Because it’s the same Glenn that was in DEEP PURPLE, really. The classic rock iconic Glenn that, let’s be clear, the majority of the fans want. The ‘F.U.N.K.’ album was very well recorded and I love the songs, but that’s for a cultured audience and a different kind of audience. It’s more of a cult audience, if you will. But my audience now with BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and a lot of my fans are rockers, man, so it’s time to rock. So the next album will be a rock record.”