We talk to Glenn about his new album, Resonate, as he embarks on a UK tour.
This is your first solo album in a long time. Why now?
In early 2016 I had double knee surgery and had to, pretty much, teach myself how to walk again. That meant a lot of time at home. I wasn’t contracted to make an album, but all of a sudden I found myself with three or four songs and felt like I was on a bit of a roll. I just decided to continue and ended up with about 15 songs. So I booked a studio and just made an album.
So tell us a little more about it…
It deals with acceptance, fear, remorse, death, and all the stuff that happens in life. I’m the kinda person who doesn’t fear the idea of writing about real life and this album is a signature for me. I lost my father last year, which was devastating. A lot of great things happened too, though, like getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Deep Purple. I’m always growing and I feel like I understand life. But, then, I’m also a student of life. I want to study it. For me, making this album was very therapeutic. It’s also a tip of the hat to the rock side of me.
There are some big, big riffs – and songs – on this record. It really does sound like you’ve gone right back to your roots…
Yeah, man. It’s a really important record for me and I feel like each song has its own identity. I’ll actually be playing some of the songs from it on tour over the next few weeks.
You work with some incredible people. How do those relationships impact your music?
Well, I’m not just a simple rock artist. I have, for example, a very black American side to my music, so having the likes of Stevie Wonder as my mentor and also as a friend has, of course, made an impact. I have to work with people who understand the breadth of genres that I thrive in. I’ve been very lucky to have found those types of players, like Soren (guitarist and co-producer), who get that.
What’s it like to come back to the UK and perform?
It’s where I was born. I mean, Europe is so different to America and I’ve not lived in England for 44 years. Having moved to the States as a teenager, I’m very much American now, really. I do love coming back to play for the fans, though.
Black Country Communion – your project with Joe Bonnamassa – is set for a new album release too, right?
Yeah. The release date is now going to be in September, though. It was set for May, but scheduling has changed that. It’ll be finished in March, then released in mid-September.
Can we expect to see you over here with those guys?
I would hope so. But what I won’t do is say we’re doing it when I can’t confirm it. We have the love and suggestion that we will play, but, as with anything, we’ll have to wait and see. I would imagine we’ll put a tour together, though, yeah.
You recently said that you’re in the ‘last stages’ of your career? The power and strength of the songs on this album suggest quite the opposite. Do you really believe you’re nearly done?
Well. I may have said that because of what’s been going on in my personal life. You know, with one of my parents now passed away and another one unwell, I’m at a point in my life where I’m feeling like I have to stop and smell the roses more. It’s important to me that people don’t perceive the idea that I’m trying to be 25 again or act 25 – I’m sure some people think I am, but I assure you, I’m not. I’m very realistic about time and what I’ve got left to do. If it all ended tomorrow, I was overpaid, I’ve done great things, I’ve left my mark and I’ve won every award imaginable. I’m really not trying to compete with myself. Nowadays, I do one thing at a time – one song at a time, one gig at a time and one tour at a time. I don’t try making too many plans; I just do the next indicated thing. Like, right now I’m talking to you, then I’m going to get out of this van, go into the rehearsal room, put on my bass and play.
2017 UK TOUR DATES
The Riverside, Newcastle
Friday 20 January 2017
Islington Assembly Hall, London
Saturday 21 January 2017
The Robin 2, Bilston
Monday 23 January 2017
The Garage, Glasgow
Tuesday 24 January 2017
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Thursday 26 January 2017
02 Academy 2, Manchester
Friday 27 January 2017
Sub 89, Reading
Sunday 29 January 2017
The Junction, Cambridge
Monday 30 January 2017
The Church, Leeds
Wednesday 1 February 2017
The Fleece, Bristol
Thursday 2 February 2017
Book tickets from:
www.myticket.co.uk and www.seetickets.com
Photo credit: Stuart Westwood Photography