Former Black Country Communion members Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham have formed a new power trio act with a new young guitarist, Andrew Watt, who is 23-years-old.
They band have opted to go for a sunnier climate sounding name of California Breed.
Both Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham wanted to continue working with each other after the acrimonious split with Joe Bonamassa shortly after the release of Black Country Communion's third album 'Afterlife' in 2012. Derek Sherinian is not part of this new project despite Hughes previously hinting that he and Bonham would all continue together.
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Glenn Hughes says: "California Breed is real rock n' roll – but made for right now."
Andrew Watt says: "Getting to play with these legends has given me wings. I don't really believe in luck. For me, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. And if you're prepared and you're met with the opportunity, you rise to the occasion. That's what California Breed has been like for me. So that we've come out with something I'm really, really proud of."
Julian Lennon introduced Andrew Watt to Glenn Hughes when the pair were in New York.
"Literally, the first day me and Andrew got together we wrote two songs," recalls Glenn. "One was 'Chemical Rain' and the other was 'Solo', both of which are now on the finished album. I was so moved by the music, I said, 'We've got to record this!' That's when I called Jason."
"I was excited from the start,' says Jason, "because apart from locking in as a rhythm section, Glenn and I had started writing together in BCC, and we wanted to continue that."
"There was such energy in the room the first time we all played together, me and Glenn didn't even have to talk about it," says Jason. "He was so excited to be playing, though, it was infectious! He was just on stage! No going through the motions, kicking the chair over, everything! I was like, you know what, this kid is a free spirit. It was cool, we all just clicked straight away."
"Nothing though has gotten into my blood like California Breed," says Glenn. "I feel the same way," says Jason, "I feel like a kid again starting out."
Recording with Dave Cobb at the producer's own studio in Nashville, added all the finishing touches, says Glenn.
"I'd gotten into Dave's work via the Rival Sons, who I know and really love. But Dave has done a lot of great stuff. That whole Nashville trip which Dave is a part of. Well, me and Jason don't want to sound like anyone else, we already sound like ourselves, but we felt we needed some fresh energy – and Dave absolutely brought it."
At Cobb's insistence, every vocal was recorded live as the band was playing. "Totally the reverse of what I'm used to," says Glenn. "But I went into that aggressive rock soulfulness and everything down to the whispers, it was all done live! I enjoyed myself so much, just going for it."
For what is on paper a three-piece, the sheer range of sounds and melodies you get from California Breed are breathtaking.
"I'm the oddball of the group but I'm the thing that makes us different from any other classic rock band. I grew up loving grunge music," explains Andrew.
"But my father always played me The Who and The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. I always felt like I was in the wrong generation. I used to make rock music on my own and I'd play all the instruments because I could never find anyone my age that really got it the way I heard it. Then I got to play with Jason and Glenn and I haven't picked up anything but a guitar since!"
"What we've got here is a kid who isn't a hammer-on, virtuoso," says Glenn, "but a whole new entity. This kid grew up listening to Mick Ronson on Bowie's records, as well as Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin. He has a completely different take. And it's fresh and bold and so exciting. It just gets into your blood."
All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey in the Black Country, but the sun is certainly shining for California Breed. The album will be released by Frontiers and is out in May 2014.
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