Prior to his performance at the recent Stonedeaf festival in Coddington, United Kingdom, Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) spoke with Tony Heare of Midlands Metalheads Radio. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his health:
Glenn: "[I feel] incredible. I needed to take a minute in May to breathe. I needed to do that. The tour [that was postponed] is going to happen in November, and I'm very happy to tell you that everything is great."
On DEEP PURPLE:
Glenn: "I saw them at Wolverhampton Civic, as my manager in TRAPEZE, Tony Perry, was the executive [in charge] at the Civic Hall Wolverhampton. I saw them on the 'Highway Star' album, 'Machine Head'. I hadn't really heard them at all, because I'd been living in America since the early '70s, so I missed 'Fireball' and a couple of other records. I saw them live, and they were in the full flow of 'Smoke On The Water' and 'Highway Star'. I was very impressed with what I saw. I saw [Ritchie] Blackmore doing his thing. I saw a very cool band [and a] great musician. That was my first memory. The only things I heard from DEEP PURPLE living basically on the road in America — I've never been, really, a guy to listen to radio — was 'Highway Star' and 'Hush' and 'Smoke On The Water'. Those three songs were mega, mega songs... They were asking me [to join] for a year, kind of flirting with me, all the way through '72-'73. [They] wanted to meet with me, and I met with them three times each individually, and then in April of '73, I was playing in Baltimore, Maryland, and I had two days free. They were playing in those days at [New York City's] Madison Square Garden. Jon [Lord] called me up and said, 'You want to have dinner tomorrow night? We're playing here. After the show, we can go out.' I saw them play, and it was incredible. They were on fire. The next day, I'm sitting with Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Ritchie Blackmore. There's no Ian Gillan; there's no Roger Glover. I didn't know what was going on, and their lawyer and two managers, after about half an hour, said, 'We'd like you to join the band.' I said, 'Me?' I said, 'Great.' [Then they said,] 'But we want you to play bass.' The next second thought was, 'What? Surely you'd like me to sing also.' Ritchie said, 'We want to find another singer so it can be two singers'... They wanted somebody to play bass who could sing, and a new [member] who didn't sound and look like Gillan... The band announced to me that the singer they were going to ask and wanted was Paul Rodgers, my dear friend. The second they said Paul Rodgers, a little voice said to me, 'Imagine him and I singing some songs together. Okay, I think I'll join.' Of course, three days later, when the word went out that I'd joined the band, Paul had started BAD COMPANY, so what was I to do? I made friends with Ian Paice. I actually moved into his house in London. That's where it started, and after about six and seven weeks, we started to receive reels and reels — maybe five or six hundred — until one day, we found a guy from the Northeast [who] sent a RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS song. Ritchie went, 'Hang on a minute. This doesn't sound like anything we've heard before'... We invited David Coverdale to come down on the train. David came down with a bottle of Bell's whisky to play with us. He was a little bit legless, and we started to jam with him. Then Ritchie, Jon and Ian went for lunch, and I said to David, 'Why don't we stay here? We'll go to the piano, we'll do something quiet [and] we'll see how our voices mend together.' The great and glorious thing about that was his voice was deeper and wider, and mine was bright and, you know, the Glenn thing. What most people don't realize is we had the same vibrato — the same exact vibrato, to the point of injury. When they came back, we played them what we had come up with, and that was a big part of him getting the gig. I love him — I've always loved him, and I always will. I'm so glad he got that gig. He deserved it."
On DEEP PURPLE's 1974 album "Stormbringer", which was recorded prior to Blackmore's first departure from the band:
Glenn: "We didn't know Ritchie was going to leave... Ritchie brought in two songs: 'Stormbringer' and 'Soldier Of Fortune'. Jon, Ian, David and myself were left with the carnage of writing a record without Ritchie being that involved. He was involved, but his head was somewhere else. Little did we know at the time, his head was out with by brother Ronnie [James Dio]. Some songs on 'Stormbringer' are very un-DEEP PURPLE-ish, but... 'Stormbringer' was meant to happen. It's a beautiful piece of work. I love that record."
On the future of BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION:
Glenn: "Joe [Bonamassa, guitars] and I have been talking. We've been talking for nine months now about album number five. At the moment, we have an earmark — we're looking at January 2021 to record. Hopefully we can go through with that."
On whether he'll ever resurrect CALIFORNIA BREED, his project with drummer Jason Bonham (BONHAM, FOREIGNER):
Glenn: "No. Jason's gone. I can't replace Jason in a band. It was only a trio. Jason's my dear brother. I knew his father... I've know Jason since he was [a child], but more than that, Jason Bonham breathes air into any project he does, especially CALIFORNIA BREED."
On HUGHES/THRALL, his short-lived project with former PAT TRAVERS BAND guitarist Pat Thrall:
Glenn: "We recorded [album] number two [in] 1999 and 2000. It sounds amazing, but they're not songs that could come out today and people will go, 'This is great, but what is it?'... BLACK COUNTRY, for me, is putting that certain hat on. I'm singing. It must be that way for the rest of my life. HUGHES/THRALL II is slightly off that chart. It's amazing, but it may cause people to go, 'Is that really G?'"
Hughes fronted DEEP PURPLE from 1973 until the group's initial breakup in 1976. He has also recorded with acts such as BLACK SABBATH, Gary Moore and Joe Satriani.
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION — which features Hughes, Bonamassa, Bonham and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (SONS OF APOLLO, DREAM THEATER) — released its most recent album, "BCCIV", in 2017.