Legendary rock vocalist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) was recently interviewed by Shawn SixX of “The Liquid Conversations”. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his work ethic:
Glenn: “I’m just super, super busy, more so than I have been in decades, and I am loving that. I’m in great mental and physical shape, so I thought I’d just go for it. I know what not to do — this is really important for me. Obviously, getting older — and I don’t hide from the fact that anybody can Google how old I am — the fact is, I’ve lived through it, I’ve done it, I’ve had five decades doing it now, and I’ve seen the weird, the wacky, the wonderful and the freaky. I’ve seen it all, and I really wouldn’t change a thing. I rode the crest of the wave, and I’ve been there and done it, and I’m super, super grateful to still be doing what I’m doing.”
On the key to his longevity:
Glenn: “I live in the now, not so much tomorrow. I try to live in the moment. It’s just 24 hours per day for me. I shoot for midnight. I do it one day at a time with everything I do, and it works for me. I don’t try to make too many plans, because God has a sense of humor. If I make plans, he’ll change those plans. I just keep showing up… Who would have thought a young Glenn Hughes at 21 in DEEP PURPLE, who’s now talking to you at 67, who would have thought that that would be possible doing the songs I’m doing now? It’s just unfathomable when you’re in your early twenties that you’d still be doing it at this age. I always think about Mick Jagger and the older guys. If he’s still doing it, I’ve got a chance.”
Glenn: “What I don’t want to do is glamorize the sex and the drugs and the weird stuff. It sells copy — we all know what it did in the ’70s — but remember, I lost a lot of my friends, people I played with. Some of my closest friends are not here. They didn’t even make it. They were bright, intelligent young men and women, and they were taken from us because of the foreplay before the ritual of rock n’ roll, which was sex and drugs. I’m still so grateful to have gotten through that 15-year period where I was completely out there. For me to change my lifestyle was a really beneficial thing for me. It’s not attractive to see a guy anywhere near my age drinking Jack Daniel’s and doing lines of coke. It’s just not attractive, and it’s just not good for anybody. I didn’t get sober to win a prize or to have a hit record. I did because I couldn’t take it anymore. I was beat down. The devil had his way with me, and I had enough of it. What I’ve been doing ever since is carrying the message of faith, love and hope, and living a spiritual life… I think sobriety’s really saved my life. I just wanted to change my life. I would have been dead if I hadn’t have done that. It’s very important for me to carry that message. I’m not the man I was in the ’70s. People say, ‘How come you can sing better now than you could in the ’70s?’ It’s very obvious for me — number one, I was over-served at the bar, wasn’t I? It’s difficult to sing when you’re inebriated or if you’re a little high, or in my case, quite a lot high… When we were in our twenties, we just thought, ‘Hey, this is going to last forever.’ Of course, a guy dies in the band, and things start changing. You’re not supposed to die when you’re 25, for God’s sake. Did that get my attention? Well, of course it did, but did it really get my attention? Of course it didn’t. I had to go out and do some more trudging, more drinking and more cavorting. I was one of the lucky ones to [realize] this is killing me. I just hope that message is clear to the youngsters today, because there’s so many different ways you can get stoned these days. It’s just a different entity out there.”
On how the music industry has changed over the course of his career:
Glenn: “[The] business is not the same now. It was all very straight-ahead back in the day — it was an agent, a manager, a promoter, fans and a band. There was no backdrops back in those days; there was no drum risers; there was no lasers. It was just guys in jeans and t-shirts and songs, and now, it’s completely the other way. It’s a new age now. The Internet has completely changed the world, and what I’ve subtly been doing is keeping abreast of it all with my team and try to stay as relevant as humanly possible in today’s age, and keep up with these whipper-snappers out there.”
Hughes‘s ongoing “Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live” tour finds him performing various hits and deep cuts from the DEEP PURPLE catalog, including “Burn”, “Stormbringer”, “Sail Away” and “Smoke On The Water”, among others.
The U.S. leg of “Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live” will travel around the Northeast before wrapping up in Tarrytown, New York on September 22.
Once the U.S. run wraps at the end of September, Hughes will return to Europe to continue to bring his interpretation of the legendary music of DEEP PURPLE to the fans worldwide.
During the “Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live” tour, Glenn focuses on arrangements from the live albums — not studio recordings — for the classic PURPLE songs, “giving fans even more insight as to what it was like seeing a DEEP PURPLE show during the 1970s,” according to a press release for the tour.