Vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes is known as “The Voice of Rock” thanks to his memorable turns in the bands Deep Purple (with whom he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016) and Black Sabbath. As a solo artist, he’s released more than a dozen albums. Now, he’s expanding his career even further, fronting the group The Dead Daisies. Hughes’ first album with them, Holy Ground, came out in January and has placed on more than three dozen charts around the world.
After all that success and experience, Hughes has very clear thoughts about what might help artists who are just starting their songwriting careers. His biggest piece of advice, he says, is to “Walk through the fear.”
What this means in practice. Hughes says he will “write about the human condition and what goes on in our lives, and I’m not frightened to dwell on that. I think ‘fear’ is the big word here. If you’re going to write, whether you’re writing a book or you’re writing a song, you can’t have any fears. Even if you do, you’ve got to let them go, because your best work is when you walk through that fear.”
Hughes knows this is easier said than done. “We are driven, as humans, by a hundred forms of fear,” he says, “but I’m not frightened to tell you exactly what’s going on with me—which maybe is going on with you, too.”
When finding resonant topics for songs, Hughes says he looks to “life experiences—the good, the bad, the weird, the wonderful, the wicked, the celebration, the grief, the death. When I got clean and sober thirty years ago, someone said to me, ‘You’re going to go on to write better music, better lyrics.’ I said, ‘No, I don’t think so, I think I’ve done all that I needed to do in the ‘70s.’ [But] funny enough, in the last 25 years, I’ve had more acclaim as a writer, for sure.”
Most of all, though, Hughes says it’s important for songwriters to remember to feel gratitude for the craft of music: “I’m so grateful to still be doing what I’ve been doing,” he says.
More information about Glenn Hughes and Dead Daisies can be found here.