Home / Interviews / 20 Questions / 20 Questions with Glenn Hughes, 10/19/04

20 Questions with Glenn Hughes, 10/19/04



Singer/Bassist Extraordinaire GLENN HUGHES!

Glenn Hughes is a man who really needs no introduction, but it would be impolite of us not to give him a proper one. He’s a well respected singer/bassist whose career has spanned the better part of four decades, and has been a member of countless bands including Trapeze, Deep Purple, Hughes/Thrall, Phenomena, Black Sabbath, the Hughes Turner Project, and probably a whole bunch we’re forgetting. He’s also a highly sought after session vocalist and it’s likely you have at least one CD in your collection in which Glenn Hughes appears on, even if he isn’t credited as such. Most recently, he appears on the "DEP Sessions," the latest offering by Tony Iommi, which was actually recorded in 1996. He’s a dignified and classy gentleman, so we’re proud to pummel him with a barrage of off-color and borderline insulting queries, which ends up being this week’s 20 Questions. Enjoy!

Glenn Hughes1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to promote whatever it is you have to plug.

i have a new DVD/live CD coming out called "Soulfully Live in the City of Angels" which features my band and chad smith from the red hot chili peppers on drums. i have just completed a new studio record, also with chad, that will be released next spring. we just completed the video for the lead song yesterday with chad and dave navarro.

and with tony iommi i have the DEP sessions cd out oct 11th.

i have a full plate and i am ready to go.

2. So the DEP sessions you recorded with Tony Iommi back in 1996 have finally been released. What led to this project in the first place, and how do you feel about it being called "IOMMI with Glen Hughes" this time instead of "Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi?"

we were at a music awards dinner in the UK in ’94 and we both thought it would be a good time to write some songs. i think this project leans more towards it being our names than black sabbath as it was deliberately written different from that.

3. Rank the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a wank who sounds like they gargle sand, and 10 being a master of the art of voice.

i know all of these guys personally & i have never been one to say anything bad about anyone..

Glenn HughesDon Dokken = i prefer it when he sings ballads.

Jeff Scott Soto = a lovely fellow. jeff is a work in progress.

Joe Lynn Turner = joe’s a great pop rock vocalist and i like to hear him sing in this style.

David Coverdale = one half of the famous unrighteous brothers. the only david coverdale i know is mrs. coverdale’s little lad from yorkshire.

Ronnie James Dio = a great metal rock fantasy singer and a smashing chap.

Rob Halford = a unique voice and quite possibly the greatest metal front man of all.

Ian Gillan = saw him a few weeks ago w/my old band. i wasn’t impressed. he seems to have burnt his voice out. (ian, please do not sing with pavarotti again)

Ozzy Osbourne = although he doesn’t have the greatest pipes, he’s got a very identifiable voice. he will always be young at heart.

Joe Elliot = another nice guy. i thought mutt lange produced him well esp. on the early DL records.

Lemmy = he’s not a singer, he’s a shouter.

too bad you guys didn’t ask me who my favorite singers were…

4. We heard that back in ’86, you were slated to tour the USA as the frontman for Black Sabbath, but only made it through the first few shows due to some sort of vocal problems. What happened, and did it sadden you when you found out you’d been replaced with then-unknown singer Ray Gillen?

this was a blessing in disguise as this was the lowest point in touring for me. i had gotten into a fistfight where i was the victim of a wicked right hook to the nose and eye. it caused serious problems with blood in my nasal cavity & throat and i got an infection in my vocal cords and i couldn’t speak or sing. this was a wake up call for me. all is well with tony and me again.

Glenn Hughes in Black Sabbath, 1986

5. You also play bass as well as being a vocalist. Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of musicians say that it’s quite difficult to master the art of playing bass and singing at the same time, especially in a live setting. Even such renowned singer/bassists like Geddy Lee, Jack Bruce, and Kip Winger have agreed with this sentiment. Do you think there’s a trick to it, is it a natural-born ability, or is there a special, secret school somewhere in a remote part of Britain, kind of like that Hogwarts place in those Harry Potter novels, but one where they mold and shape singer/bassists instead of witches and wizards?

it is a natural thing. for me it’s like a religious experience. i love singing and playing bass. i have always said it is the notes that i don’t play that make it sound different. i am all about the groove and the pocket and a lot of skank on the high frets. to sing on top of that is better than sex.

6. What "rock star" deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

i would never hit anyone in the face but there are a few i would like to bend over my knee and give a good spanking to.

7. Of the following, which do you prefer and why?

Glenn HughesCucumber sandwiches or beans on toast = beans on toast. i grew up on it.

The Young Ones or Monty Python’s Flying Circus = MPFC it was part of my teenage yrs.

David Bowie or Alice Cooper = DB although he owes me some money

New York or Los Angeles = LA cuz that is where i live

Ferries or underwater tunnels = underwater. on the 1st ferry ride i took there was an accident & we had to be evacuated by helicopter and now i hate ferries.

Phil Lynott or Rory Gallagher = tough call. i knew both. both nice.

Bass Ale or Newcastle Brown = neither. i haven’t had a drink in 13 yrs. i have lost my thirst.

Sex Pistols or The Clash = SP: steve jones is a friend

Rugby or Cricket = cricket. but preferably football. wolves FC

Wimpy’s or Burger King = wimpy’s reminds me of driving up and down the M1 with trapeze in the early 70’s.

Glenn Hughes8. Back in 1991, you did an album of blues covers with a bunch of glam rockers called "L.A. Blues Authority." A second album with the same concept was recorded a few years later as well. Do you think these were worthwhile projects, or merely a sad attempt for these floundering Sunset Strip guys to reinvent themselves in the face of grunge?

i don’t think it was necessarily a sad attempt. it was my 1st album in sobriety. to be frank w/you, i was just happy to be back making music. it wasn’t my choice to use some of these guys even though they were my friends.

9. In your opinion, who’s the most overrated band today?

most of them because they all sound the same. the best new bands still come from the UK.

10. You’ve also done backing vocals or appeared as a guest vocalist on countless projects throughout the years, including albums by Night Ranger, XYZ, Whitesnake, Lynch Mob, Sister Whiskey, Motley Crue, and even the KLF. What makes you such a sought-after vocalist, and why do you so often go uncredited on many of these recordings?

some sony record exec once told me that i could possibly sing on more records than any other singer as my name comes up a lot when people want to hire a singer. in 14 yrs i have probably done 40 albums. i try to narrow it down to about 5 a yr.

Glenn Hughes11. You have a relatively short discography for someone who’s been recording albums for over 35 years. Do you take a lot of time off between projects, or is there some other reason for not keeping up appearances? Please explain.

well, i think my discography from the 90’s maybe you haven’t seen the full list?

in the 80’s i remember doing a sabbath record, hughes/thrall and a gary moore record.

i think i spent the 80’s in a blackout.

12. In all your years of touring, what’s the sickest thing you’ve ever seen done to a groupie? You must have at least one good story to tell! We’re all ears.

i did see a lot of strange behavior with girls and my road crew in deep purple. it involved bottles.

Glenn Hughes in Deep Purple, 1975
By the way, can you find David Coverdale in this picture?

13. Yes or No, has Glenn Hughes ever done the following:

Glenn HughesFlown on the concorde = yes

Met a member of the Royal Family = yes-princess margaret

Sang along with a Robbie Williams song = yes and why not? he’s from my home county, staffordshire.

Climbed the Rock of Gibraltar = god no.

Swam the English Channel = swam in it but not all of it.

Gone on a fox hunt = never.

Been challenged to a duel = many times

Seen a ghost = absolutely

Passed out on stage = unfortunately yes, deep purple glasgow 1976.

Been arrested = yes in indonesia. i was accused of murder. a moment i will never forget. rest in peace paddy colllins.

14. If you had a gun held to your head and were forced to listen to one of the following 3 songs over and over again for 6 straight uninterrupted hours, which song would you pick and why?

Poison – "Unskinny Bop"

Warrant – "Cherry Pie"

The Carpenters – "Close To You"

the carpenters. i love that song and i love karen carpenter’s voice.

15. For what amount was your largest music-related check and what did you do with it?

in dp the checks were very large and thank god the catalog still sells today. but what i did with my money has been well documented.

Glenn in Trapeze, 1969

16. What do you remember most about the following years:

1974 = cal jam playing to 350,000 people& hanging out with bowie.

1977 = the yr i got my green card

1980 = the yr i broke my arm on the cake trolley at le dome in hollywood where sharon and ozzy were throwing a party for me.

1983 = the year i failed miserably at smoking crack socially

1986 = i was removed from the roof of my home by police and i was wearing only a fanny pack, my watch and socks.

1989 = when i recorded with david c. for whitesnake.

1992 = after 1 yr of sobriety i record my first sober record.

1995 = i lost so much weight there was a rumour i was anorexic.

1999 = i stopped dating european birds.

2003 = chad smith and glenn hughes form a friendship & musical collaboration that is undeniable and we want you to know this.

17. Of all the other bands that you’ve shared the stage with, which ones were the coolest to work with, and which ones were the biggest bunch of jackasses you’ve ever met?

cool: moody blues

jackass:blue oyster cult ’71. although i don’t really get into a lot of back and forth with other bands. i just want to sing.

Glenn Hughes and Slash

18. What’s the big deal about The Darkness?

they are a bit of a chuckle. for those of you who are older, Queen was the real deal.

19. The Last of Glenn Hughes:

Glenn HughesLast book you read = the 5 people you meet in heaven

Last concert you watched from the audience = dp aug 28 greek theatre la

Last sporting event you attended = LA lakers vs detroit in playoffs here in la

Last film you saw in the theatre = the village

Last celebrity you shook hands with = dave navarro

Last tribute CD you performed on = i can’t remember. i haven’t been doing a lot of those lately

Last time you spoke to Joe Lynn Turner = last week

Last time you got lost = yesterday coming back from the desert where we shot the video

Last time you got a speeding ticket = 1998

Last time you got piss drunk = 1991

Pat Thrall and Glenn in Hughes/Thrall, 1982

20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.

Gary Moore = brilliant guitar player. troubled individual

Don Airey = smashing fellow. i love uncle don

Stuart Smith = a very naughty boy. you owe me a couple diet cokes.

Geezer Butler = terence michael joseph butler. a reall brummie and aston villa fan. a wicked dark sense of humour

Andy Johns = i love andy and i wish i could spend some time with him but he has a raging demon that has the better of him.

Ray Gillen = a beautiful guy. i spent quality time with him before he passed away. he was always soulful and spiritual with me.

George Lynch = if focused, could do better.

Tony Iommi = one of the nicest guys i have ever met. he’s a brother to me. he has a sound that is truly recognizable undeniably you will know it when you hear the first note of his guitar. he still has a tremendous passion to play music and we are gonna rock you in 2005.

Matt Sorum = he’s my little brother. he is a good looking viking, is one matt. a great drummer and a very dependable friend.

Sebastian Bach = as mad as a hatter.

There you have it! Thanks to Glenn for giving us good answers and taking all of the questions seriously. Extra special thanks goes out to Ed Rivadavia the PR guy for hooking us up with the interview.

For more information about Glenn Hughes, his current projects and his illustrious career, be sure to check out his official Web site at www.glennhughes.com.

About Administrator