Total Rock Radio conducted an interview with legendary rock English singer Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) at this year's Stonedeaf festival in Newark, United Kingdom. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the current status of his health after postponing his 2019 U.K. tour due to illness:
Glenn: "I'm feeling great. I had to have some time at home. Everybody needs some time off. Unfortunately, it stopped me from touring. Let me tell you: I'm so looking forward to seeing you all in November."
On having perspective on his career in DEEP PURPLE:
Glenn: "For the longest time, we all know, if you follow my music, I've been doing certain songs of DEEP PURPLE, as we should do. When we got into the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame three years ago in 2016, I got to interacting with a number of promoters across the planet who asked me if I'd like to do a legacy evening of DEEP PURPLE. 'What shall we call it?' 'Let me get back to you.' After some time thinking, I said, 'I think I'm ready to do this.'"
On the differences between performing PURPLE material in the 1970s versus today:
Glenn: "I'm not the man that I used to be. Let's just say that I'm in a good place these days. I was in a good place those days, but having the life of recovery for almost 30 years has changed the whole perspective of music for me. I'm not the same man as I was yesterday, so I'm certainly not the same man that I am today."
On whether he feels "more in the present" and "in the now" with PURPLE's material:
Glenn: "When I first got sober, a good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, told me in 1992, that when I'd had some free time to get sober, I would write better songs. I would become way more clear. I'd be able to sing better. I'd be able to do many things. I said, 'What? I think I've done everything I needed to do.' Maybe that was it for me. But the man was right. I certainly can breathe better. I appreciate my audiences better. I'm very much in tune with the way you feel in my audiences. I'm here for you; I'm not here for me, and long may that continue."
On the fact his voice has held up so well in light of his well-documented substance abuse issues:
Glenn: "The answer to that is 'F-E-A-R.' 'Fuck everything and run.' 'Fear.' Let's just say my dear friend [English football player] Alan Shearer when he was taking penalties. If he was one millimeter of scared, he would hit the bar and he wouldn't score. When I enter the stage, when I walk on that stage, the fear is gone. Now, when I leave that stage, I'm liable to fall over. I'm liable to fall down. I'm liable to do a bunch of things I shouldn't be doing. But when I'm on stage, I'm so full of gratitude that I have no fear of anything at all. Anything. I'm just so full of gratitude."
On getting sober in time so his since-deceased parents could experience him revitalized:
Glenn: "There was a rumor, I think it was in Kerrang! [magazine], years and years ago in the late '70s. They reported that I died. My mom and father read it before I got to read it. That was really hurtful. Over the years, I've been sober and clean for so damn long. This is important. It doesn't matter what people say about me, report about me, think about me — all I can say is this: I'm alive, on this planet, living in the present, in a strange, strange time. I'm here to provide love through my music, and a message. What is that message? I'm a messenger and this is my prophecy: it's called 'love.' Guilty as charged."
Known as the "voice of rock," the 68-year-old Hughes is best known for fronting the Mk. III and Mk. IV lineups of DEEP PURPLE in the mid-1970s and for singing on BLACK SABBATH's 1986 album "Seventh Star". He was replaced by Ray Gillen after only six live performances with the band.
In 2009, Hughes formed BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION with blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, SONS OF APOLLO) and drummer Jason Bonham (BONHAM, FOREIGNER). Hughes recently told Midlands Metalheads Radio that the group will reunite to record its fifth album in January of 2021.
Hughes also recently announced his joining of THE DEAD DAISES, the hard "collective" founded by Australian musician and businessman David Lowy. THE DEAD DAISIES — Lowy, Hughes, guitarist Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO) and drummer Deen Castronovo (JOURNEY, BAD ENGLISH) — recently recorded "Righteous Days" and an unknown number of other songs at Los Angeles's Sunset Sound recording studio for a new album expected to be released in 2020. It will serve as the follow-up to the group's fourth full-length release, 2018's "Burn It Down".