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| 19 September 2017 | Reply


By Shane Pinnegar

Glenn Hughes returns to Perth this Sunday, 24th September, for an evening of Deep Purple classics at The Perth Concert Hall. I grabbed ten minutes with the man to talk about his vast back catalogue, and how he feels about being called the Voice Of Rock.

Glenn: Good afternoon – or good morning.

100% ROCK: Glenn, it’s an honour to talk with you, sir. How are you today?

Glenn: Shane, what city are you calling from?

100% ROCK: I’m from Perth in Western Australia. It’s quarter past 8 in the morning here.

Glenn: Oh good, I’m glad … I’ve just done a couple of interviews, I didn’t know where I was speaking to, I knew it was an Australian but now I can understand I’m now talking to the people of Perth, how lovely. Cool.

100% ROCK: Well, look, it’s wonderful to talk with you, I’ve been a fan for many, many, many years. I first raided my uncle’s Deep Purple collection when I was … Well, gee, we’re talking mid ’70s, when I was about 10 or 11, and discovered Come Taste the Band and Burn and Stormbringer and I’ve been a long term fan ever since.

Glenn: Well, that’s great, I mean, I’ve got such a long, long history of work I’ve done, so I’m really glad I’m still able to do what I do and still be on the right side of the grass, so to speak.

100% ROCK: Your CV is staggeringly impressive – I mean, I lost count trying to count how many studio albums you’ve made, it’s dozens and dozens. Are you a completist in terms of ensuring you have the full catalogue of your own work on the shelf somewhere?

Glenn: Yeah. I recorded over a hundred records in my life and I own most of them. I kept those… obviously some of the work I’ve done with other people, I don’t own [a copy], but I do like to garnish the right to that, so we live in an age now where music – records and CDs and what have you – aren’t doing the business anymore, so we download and we stream and this and that and these things are killing young musicians, because they can’t make any money, you know? So the idea is to keep it alive with concerts and keep it alive organically, because in two years time there’ll be no CDs and it will be just downloads and streaming and at some point, to make sure these young musicians have a working life, we have to figure out how the artists can make money from streaming, rather than just the record companies, so that’s really important to me, to make sure that happens.

100% ROCK: Definitely. Your most recent album is magnificent, by the way, Resonate, fantastic. Most 65 year olds have settled comfortably into retirement. What drives you to keep creating and keep writing and keep touring and challenging yourself?

Glenn: I have a phone that doesn’t stop ringing and I just think that the way I live my life and the way I operate is… because, you know, being my age, some people don’t want to do it, some people lose the hunger, if you will. But I am driven by the need to keep writing. I think in the last 15 years I’ve written more songs than anybody would even understand. I write the minimum of 30, 40 songs a year and most of them get published, so it’s what I love to do. It’s like I get up in the morning, clean my teeth, have some breakfast and then I go into my studio – because it’s in my home – and it’s what I do. It’s, like, part of [who I am]. And that only started to happen in the millennium – 2002-ish, where I started to write daily rather than every month or something. So I write daily. It kind of rules my life.

100% ROCK: You’ve survived debilitating addiction, you’ve made such an incredible body of music with an array of the world’s finest musicians. Do you have a bucket list of projects and potential collaborators that you’d still like to get to before you hang up your spurs, so to speak?

Glenn: Well, you know, I’ve done R&B, I’ve done rock, and now I’m doing some country stuff as well. I’ve done Billy Ray Cyrus’ last album – Miley’s dad – and just late last night with Eric Church, the number one country artist in America right now, so I’m crossing over. No need to worry my rock fans, because I’m still that guy you know with the voice that you know, so I take that voice and put it into other music. I’ve done techno records and I’ve done this and I’ve done that, but I do like to keep people guessing. I like to shock people, I like to do things a little off centre – and it keeps it fresh and it keeps me working.

100% ROCK: You were, of course, dubbed as the voice of rock many, many years ago. Was that at times a difficult epithet to live up to?

Glenn: Well, I don’t really call myself the voice of rock, other people do… and I think it’s an honour, you know, when you’ve got Jon Bon Jovi calling you ‘The Voice Of Rock’, that’s like… I laugh, of course I laugh, because there’s a lot of great things out there, but once you’ve been labelled that by the record business and fans, it’s kind of… it’s a label that I’ve welcomed but I don’t really wear it on my head when I walk around. It’s like, I’ve got this voice, it’s a very special gift, and I’ve been given this ability to sing and I am very honoured to show up, and you can call me The Voice Of Rock if you wish, and I’ll take it.

100% ROCK: Well, Mr Hughes, thank you so much for your time today, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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