OF THE BEST, TOGETHER AGAIN!
An Interview with Joe Lynn Turner and Glenn Hughes of
The Hughes Turner Project
Interview by R. Scott Bolton - May 2003
It's the kind of pairing that Deep Purple fans - and rock fans in general - might consider a dream. Two of rock's best-known, best-loved and most respected vocalists, teaming together for a new project.
Well, dreams do come true and the Hughes Turner Project - the result of a pairing between the legendary Joe Lynn Turner and equally legendary Glenn Hughes - is now available at your favorite record store. We loved it (click here to see our review) and we think you will to.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with both legendary rockers and talk to them about the new release, a little about their past and more.
JOE LYNN TURNER
Rough Edge: What was your thinking going into this CD?
Turner: Glenn and I have been friends for a long time. When I did a tour in Japan for my
"Holy Man" album, Glenn played bass and also did some vocals plus a few songs of his own. Then my manager and the
Japanese record label agreed that we should do something together. I think we pushed each
other, which made the whole thing an incredible self-growth process, spiritually and mentally. We knew we
wanted to work together but we had no idea that the quality that would come out of it would
be so great. HTP was a total team effort between Glenn, myself and the great players on the album.
Rough Edge: Did you plan on having a certain sound, was it just something that happened once you got into the studio or something else entirely?
Joe Lynn Turner: We were in Mike Scott's studio, a home studio, which is common nowadays because of programs like Pro Tools, etc. It was an intimate setup. There is one microphone on one side of the room and one microphone on another side of the room, and there's Glenn and there's me. And he turns on the tape and we start to play and sing. And I said, "No, no, no. Stop, stop stop! Glenn - come over here!" I said, "Let's sing on one microphone!" We were literally cheek to cheek, you know, face to face, like hand in hand. Like sometimes we have to hold each other to both be able to sing into the microphone. And I believe that this friendship, that this spiritual magic, that this excitement, this spontaneity really happened!
Rough Edge: Speaking of getting into the studio, what brought you and Glenn together again?
Turner: See my answer to number 1 above. Plus, Glenn and I worked a bit with the Voices of Classic Rock
project which involved singers from all these great bands like Toto, Orleans and Loverboy. We did
some shows with that organization and those moments even made it more apparent for use that we
needed to do a (recorded) project together.
Rough Edge: There's some great energy on this CD. Most of the songs really rock and the others (the slower tunes) still have a great edge and power to them. Was that charisma a conscious effort or, again, was that just something that happened as the project proceeded?
Joe Lynn Turner: You either have charisma or you don't. It's an innate quality. We, being who we are, have it naturally. What I mean is that if you think we are charismatic and others do also, then it comes to us naturally. We do not think about it or have never thought about it.
What was the writing process like for this record? How was it different from previous albums?
How about the recording process?
Joe Lynn Turner: The fact that we were on two different coasts meant that we swapped a lot of faxes, phone calls, emails. That is where the process was different.
Rough Edge: This album seems to be generating real heat here in the U.S. How does that happen? Is it radio airplay or just getting the word out? Something else entirely?
Joe Lynn Turner: The album did not come out in the States until late March, early April. Prior to that it was only available as an import so it had to be special ordered. USA radio stations rarely or never play imports because they want their listeners to be able to hear something on the radio and go buy it easily. Until a CD is distributed in the USA, officially, it is not often considered for airplay by USA radio stations. This is the case with any artist. However, we are very happy that it is now available to the American public for a reasonable price and is getting some airplay.
Rough Edge: Any plans to tour the U.S. in support of the new CD?
Joe Lynn Turner: Nothing definite. We certainly would love to do some shows in the USA we are just waiting for the right situation to come along.
Rough Edge: Our East Coast Editor, Christopher J. Kelter, has asked me to thank you for your vocals on Yngwie Malmsteen's "Odyssey." He also asked me to ask you if there was anything from your experience with Malmsteen and "Odyssey" that you've utilized in your musical endeavors since?
Joe Lynn Turner: Absolutely, yes. Everything is stepping stone. We can all learn from one experience after another in life. As far as that particular album goes, it was a turning point in Yngwie's career and mine and many feel it was one of his best albums, me included.
Rough Edge: Has there been a time when you've thought about giving up on the music business?
Joe Lynn Turner: I have given up a lot on the "business" but not on "the music."
Rough Edge: You've worked with an eclectic series of artists - Deep Purple, Taylor Dane, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Joel, Cher, and Michael Bolton. Was it just a matter of where the work was or did you have personal and/or artistic reasons for working the varied styles?
Joe Lynn Turner: First of all, I love them all and they all called me. They said they were looking for me to provide strong vocals. I got a great vibe from each and every one of them, gained or learned something from all of them and was proud to be a part of their endeavors.
Rough Edge: Can we expect more from the Hughes Turner Project in the future?
Joe Lynn Turner: Absolutely! As of this interview, Glenn and I are in the final stages of finishing up the second HTP studio album. It's really turning out great and we will have a few special guests on it. I do not want to reveal the whole list because we are still in the process and more could come to the table or the studio so to speak. Check out joelynnturner.com for the final studio report.
Rough Edge: What was it like recording vocals beside Joe Lynn Turner? You're both vocalists of legendary stature - it must have been unique to say the least.
Hughes: We had a good time.
Working with Joe is simple. We both love each other.
Rough Edge: The CD sounds very Deep Purple-ish but extremely fresh as well. How did you go about keeping it contemporary while not turning your back on your original sound?
Hughes: When I wrote the songs, I had a vision in mind about production values.
I wanted to jog the listener's memory. I wanted an MKIII vibe with an updated sound.
Rough Edge: Any particular track on the CD you're especially happy with? If so, why?
Hughes: "On the Ledge" is a personal favorite. But it is hard to pick just one.
Rough Edge: You've enjoyed a lot of years of success in the music business. What has kept you coming back?
Glenn Hughes: It is a gift. Music is who I am.
Rough Edge: How do you think your musical career would have been different if Trapeze had gotten more commercial success?
Glenn Hughes: Good question. I would have stayed with them.
Rough Edge: How have your diverse musical experiences contributed to the Hughes Turner Project?
Glenn Hughes: I had to leave a lot of my musical adventures aside. This is a classic rock project and I am very proud of this project.
Rough Edge: What do you hope to accomplish with the Hughes Turner Project?
Glenn Hughes: HTP is all about fun. It 's fun for me. It's been getting great reviews and sales are great so let's just see what happens.
Rough Edge: Where do you expect the CD to succeed most? What efforts are being made to promote the new disc in those territories where the album might need a bigger publicity push?
Hughes: The album has already done well in Japan and Europe. The USA push is
Rough Edge: A live CD is due to be released later this year, correct? Tell us what to expect from a live Hughes Turner Project show.
Glenn Hughes: It is a great CD recorded live in Tokyo. It has a lot of energy.
Rough Edge: Our East Coast Editor, Christopher J. Kelter, has asked me to thank you for your work on George Lynch's "Sacred Groove." Can you tell us a little about that experience?
Glenn Hughes: To be honest, I can't remember too much about it! That was over 10 years ago.
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Revised: 06 Oct 2019 11:48:51 -0400.