Glenn’s new supergroup to rock the Black Country
A new band called Black Country will feature legendary Midlands rockers Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham. Debbie Bennett and Ian Harvey speak exclusively to the group's frontman.
Legendary Midlands rockers Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham have joined forces to form a new supergroup . . . called Black Country.
Cannock-born Hughes – former bassist and singer with Deep Purple, Trapeze and Black Sabbath – and Dudley-born drummer Bonham, the son of Led Zeppelin sticks man John Bonham, have named their group after the Midlands birthplace of heavy rock.
Joining them are American blues rock guitar maestro Joe Bonamassa and keyboard player Derek Sherinian, who has worked with Dream Theater, Alice Cooper and Kiss.
Speaking exclusively to the Express & Star from his Los Angeles home last night, Hughes revealed:
"Joe and I have been working on this for a year when we've both been in LA together, in a Hollywood studio, getting to know each other.
"He's the hottest guitarist on the planet and we've become real good friends.
"The fateful event happened in November in LA when Joe was headlining a blues event. He asked me to come down and sing Medusa by Trapeze which is one of his favourite bands. What happened that night was something that Joe and I knew anyway – that we would make a record together."
It was at the suggestion of legendary rock producer Kevin Shirley, that Jason Bonham – who famously filled his father's shoes behind the drum kit at Led Zeppelin's 02 reunion concert in 2007 – was called in.
Black Country have already laid down six tracks for their debut album and will be heading back into the studio in March, with a release pencilled in for September this year.
Talking about how the band got its name, Hughes said: "Jason came out to LA and we performed a few sessions a month ago at Shangri La Studios.
"Before we even played a note I looked around and thought half the band hail from the Black Country. That's where I played in my youth. I'm a Wolves fans, Jason was born in Dudley – so what a name that would be!"
And he revealed that his connections with the Bonham drummers go back decades.
"I was in my teens and John Bonham was 22, he was in the biggest rock band in the world," said Hughes.
"I would go with him in his car to Trapeze gigs. He was championing the band. Now all these years later, here I am playing alongside his son.
"Jason's like me – he's turned his life around. He's very funny and charming. John was one of the greatest drummers of all time and would be very proud of his son. He's a phenomenal rock drummer."
Hughes said the album would be a real return to his own rock roots, insisting: "This isn't a side project, we want to go all the way with this. It's taken a front seat even to my beloved Wolves."
Bonham, recently told music website Spinner: "We just went in with Kevin Shirley and played riffs and just jammed for two days. And that's really exciting.
"We're actually recording an album, literally in that process of jamming it out and editing and putting together and going, `Yeah, that's really cool'."
Shirley, who has worked with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden and Journey, said: "The songs are all original, and what a line-up. They are all the very best players in the world for my money. We're planning to get this out late summer, and it's promising to be phenomenal!"
Meanwhile, Hughes, will be releasing his autobiography this year – including a luxury edition which will cost up to a whopping £550.
Co-written with Joel McIver and featuring an introduction by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, the book – called `The Life, Near Death and Rebirth of a Rock Star: Deep Purple & Beyond' – will appear in a luxury first edition complete with rare photos and an exclusive 10-inch vinyl eP.
Hughes said: "My autobiography is going to be a literary event. I've been working on this book for the last three years and you've never read anything like it.
"It's the true story of the Voice Of Rock, from my childhood via my career in Trapeze and Deep Purple, to my addiction and recovery.
"I'm now on top of the world as a solo artist and after so many years of sobriety, I can hardly believe that I survived. I spent a million dollars on cocaine and, when you've read this book, you won't believe it either."
The book features contributions from David Coverdale, who Hughes sang with in Deep Purple, as well as Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Angie Bowie.
Only 400 sets of the `regular edition' of the book are being printed, along with just 100 sets of the `deluxe edition' which will be numbered and signed by Hughes, hand bound in white satin and accompanied by a specially-recorded 10-inch record, pressed on white vinyl and authenticated with a hologram.