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This article was originally published in issue #53
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A lot has happened since we last recorded the 'Afterglow' album in 2013, so, in many ways, the new album shows BCC with a much harder, riffier and bigger and bolder sound. If you’re looking for a folk album, this ain’t the one,” comments Glenn Hughes.
Black Country Communion is back with a bang with their latest album, BCCIV, the band's first in five years—and with news of two huge UK shows in January 2018, Guitar Interactive Magazine editor Jonathan Graham speaks exclusively with the band's vocalist and bass player, Glenn Hughes in this issue's cover feature.
The term "Supergroup" is one rock music fans are all too familiar with in today's world of music. However, not many acts can claim the pedigree of Black Country Communion, a band featuring four bonafide veterans of British and American hard rock.
Formed in 2009, BCC is in an alliance between bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze), blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham (Foreigner, Led Zeppelin) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen). The band recorded and released their self-titled debut in 2010. The universally well-received record charted in the U.K. Top 20 and the U.S. Billboard 100 and after a handful of live dates, the band quickly got to work on writing material for a second album and plotted a 2011 world tour.
Following the release of two more studio albums, 2011’s 'Black Country Communion 2' and 2012’s equally impressive 'Afterglow,' (plus an excellent live CD, 'Live Over Europe' released in 2011) the band had already firmly established themselves as one of hard rock’s premier acts. However, with busy schedules from ever-growing commitments to other projects, the band collectively decided to go on hiatus in 2013 leaving fans to wonder if they would ever hear anything new from the group ever again.
Fast forward to 2017, and Black Country Communion is back for a long-awaited fourth studio album, 'BCCIV.' Reuniting with longtime producer Kevin Shirley, the album (recorded at The Cave Studios in Malibu, California) is already proving to be one of the band's biggest and best releases to date and once again delivers their unique brand of take-no-prisoners hard rock to a world that's thirsting for some music with substance.
“All four of us wanted to make a record that stood up to the first three albums, however, the new album is more of a progression, as we wanted to be careful not to repeat the previous albums. A lot has happened since we last recorded the 'Afterglow' album in 2013, so, in many ways, the new album shows BCC with a much harder, riffier and bigger and bolder sound. If you’re looking for a folk album, this ain’t the one,” comments Glenn Hughes.
Regarding content, ‘BCCIV’ expands upon the progression that took place between the first three albums. With an abundance of heavy riffs, undeniable hooks, melodic flair and infectious choruses, BCCIV is a spectacular album that demands repeated listens.
All songs on the new record were co-written by Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa, with Glenn penning all the lyrics on the album except for the song, ‘The Last Song For My Resting Place’ which was written by Joe.
“We had around 4 months to write this album, and I think the results speak for themselves," explains Hughes. "I wanted the new album to physically shake your soul. It’s a wake-up call.”
"I had written the Riff to this song in the morning of the first day of writing BCCIV. Joe came over, and I played him the riff, and we finished the song before lunch. I had a feeling that Collide would set the pace for the record."
"This was a song I had written after a session with Joe. It was kind of like One Last Soul where I had written a song & was unsure if it would fit our style simply because it was more mainstream. One Last Soul definitely clicked with Rock fans, and got a lot of Radio airplay.
‘Over My Head’ is in the same ballpark, big groove and memorable chorus. I can hear it on the radio."
THE LAST SONG FOR MY RESTING PLACE:
"Joe had two parts to this song: the intro and outro where the track is suited with a mandolin and fiddle. The middle part, heavy and dramatic and dark. Absolutely love Joe's vocal on this song. A tale of the Titanic going down into the deep, and a violin that would perish alongside its many fateful passengers."
"A swagger riff leads the way on this track. We changed the groove, when Jason suggested it should have a "Smooth Criminal" Michael Jackson vibe. This was how Jason's Dad, John, would have approached it in Led Zep. I'm mesmerized by the beat in the verse, and when it hits the chorus it's full on Classic Rock, once again the vocal is carrying the message."
"Joe captured the mood brilliantly on this song. I'm still shaking my head in astonishment. I wanted to write a song about my love for dolphins. Each year thousands of these beautiful Souls are murdered by Hunters in the coastal town of Taiji Japan. They are driven into the Killing Cove and brutally slaughtered. I have been working with Ric O'Barry from the Dolphin Project for four years and told him I had written a song about this senseless & horrific scenario for BCCIV, which has been happening for decades."
"My heart aches as I watch on live stream on what happens in the Cove. I ask you all to listen to this song and understand how deeply affected we all are as animal and sea life protectors. The Dolphin Project has changed my life, and to my dying day, I will be of service to be a protector of all inhabitants that live in the sea. There will be a video for this song thanks to Ric and his son Lincoln for supplying the footage."
"It was time to get up out of our chairs in the writing session and stand up to find a pulse for this rock song. All push & pull, coming and sounding like the Joe and Glenn song ‘Black Country’ from BCC1. I wanted to reference the Crow, who watches over our band."
"Hats off to Joe for bringing this idea into the session with an insane verse groove. Love Derek's grand piano lead into the last verse. I wanted to take the chorus to a very melodic Abbey Road vocal vibe. I've always been a wanderer, always returning, coming home with a Sense of lessons learned and never leaving my spiritual path."
"I wrote this song for my Dad on the flight back to the UK for his Memorial Service. When I went to record it, my Mom had also just passed away. So I sang it for the both of them. I was installed with a greater sense of gratitude. I used a mid-falsetto vocal on the chorus to add sensitivity to the melody that I had written. The content is quite simple. When the last breath is taken only love remains."
"A song about living forever. A song for the Loyal. A song for the evergreen. I wanted to ramp up the chorus and relive the long nights of freedom."
"The feeling I had with this song was; I had woken up from a dream and walked down the hill through the field to be by the water at my home. Most of my work involves themes of coming home to be by the sea. The last song on this album finds me in a safe place, almost like the ending of the Wizard of Oz, surrounded by Joe, Jason, Derek, and Kevin. Our brotherhood - long may we continue.”
Black Country Communion will be performing at two exclusive concerts in Europe during January 2018 to support the release of 'BCCIV', which is available now via Mascot Records. These will be the only two concerts the band will play in the UK and Europe is 2018, so don't miss your chance to see BCC live on:
2 January 2018 - Wolverhampton Civic Hall
4 January 2018 - London Eventim Apollo
For further information, please visit: www.bccommunion.com/#upcomingShows