JOE BONAMASSA Isn’t Going To be Bullied Into Touring

According to, Sterling Whitaker of Ultimate Classic Rock spoke with guitarist Joe Bonamassa about the band’s new album, Afterglow, his public feud with Glenn Hughes and whether the band will ever work together again. Portions of the interview appear below.

Ultimate Classic Rock: What was your goal musically going into [Black Country Communion’s] the third album?

Joe Bonamassa: I didn’t really have a whole lot of time to participate on the creative side, the front side of it. I think the first record, you’re writing a book from scratch, or you’re watching a movie and you have no idea how the movie’s gonna end. The second one, you kinda get a glimpse of the ending, but it could be a surprise plot twist. This one, I kinda knew. We’d kind of established a sound.

Glenn came in with some good stems of tunes, some rough sketches of stuff, and when you have an impetus of a song and you throw the five of us in a room, it’s like piranha. We all have a very unique approach to all of the tunes, and it’s very much a collective creative process. Between Kevin Shirley, Glenn, Derek and Jason and me, all of a sudden three hours later you have a track.

I think the record came out great. It’s definitely something to be proud of.

Ultimate Classic Rock: Glenn has been talking about wanting to do a lot more touring with this band. Is there going to be a more aggressive touring plan?

Joe Bonamassa: Probably not. At least, not with me. You know, the deal was, three years ago when this thing started, everybody had day jobs. Everybody has a good day job. I tour the Spring and the Fall, religiously. And I’m not gonna be bullied into doing something. Whether Glenn wants to do more touring or not, that’s for him to decide. But it’s not for him to decide for me.

Ultimate Classic Rock: He has said this might be the last Black Country Communion record if that doesn’t happen. Do you believe this is the last album?

Joe Bonamassa: You know what, never say never, ’cause I’ve seen s— in this business that defies logic, and you have, too. (Laughs). Every day, stuff that defies logic. And I think a lot of it was just unneeded windup and bullying, to be honest with you.

Ultimate Classic Rock: This band has always engaged in a fair amount of using Twitter to communicate its inner workings. Do you actually go to one another and talk when there are issues, or do you just go straight to Twitter and vent?

Joe Bonamassa: You know, I wish he would have called me. My number has been the same since 2001. Anyway, it is what it is at this point in time. There’s an agenda above and beyond things, sometimes. And that’s not for me to participate in.

Ultimate Classic Rock: What will happen, then, to promote the new record? Will there be some limited touring?

Joe Bonamassa: No. Not with me. I start next week on my own in Dallas, and then I’m out until the end of the year. As far as I’m concerned, he’s done enough to promote this thing in the wrong way, and what are you gonna do? I didn’t do the press tour.

Ultimate Classic Rock: Is there anything else you want to say about the new record?

Joe Bonamassa: I think it’s a good record that’s unfortunately been tainted by all this amateur hour type of interview skills. I just think it’s a good record that’s been tainted. But I think people will enjoy it, and I’m not saying it’s the last one. I think Glenn will come to . . . he needs to have a little reality check, and that’s fine. We all love him, and we’ll forgive him. And it doesn’t diminish the fact that he’s a world class singer, a world class writer and a world class bass player.


Black Country Communion’s third album, Afterglow, is out and available for purchase now.


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