Sunday Mail

Scotland’s Biggest-Selling Sunday

Interviews Joe Bonamassa while on his Fall Black Rock Tour

– Are you looking forward to coming to Scotland for your tour?

We have a real rowdy time in Scotland, it’s great. My girlfriends (Sandi Thom) is Scottish. She’s awesome and a complete sweetheart. We haven’t seen each other in a while and she’s on tour when I’m there, so we’re trying to work something out, it’s tough.
I met Sandi about two years ago but I have been a fan of hers since 2006. We toured together at different shows and did some songs together and when I lost my voice two summers ago, she came and bailed me out with the singing, she helped me, she’s wicked. We did the song This Ol’ World togetherand I’m also sure we’ll work on some other things as well.

– What was it like to work on the Black Country Communion Project?

That’s been fantastic and I’ve been spending a lot of time promoting it. It’s very difficult for us all to get together but when we do it’s really working. It’s wonderful to work and it’s wonderful to be a part of. I love Glenn (Hughes), Jason (Bonham) and Derek (Sherinian) and it’s a real gift and an honour to be in a band with them. We are trying to get a tour sorted for next summer. It will be very cool if we do, this band deserves to be seen live.

– Didn’t you have a lot of initial difficulties getting this project off the ground and problems with the name?

That’s true but nothing good ever comes without a little bit of struggle and we just sorted it out. There was a trademark issue with the name Black Country and we ended up going with Black COuntry Communion. We then called the album Black Country and from there it just sorted itself out just fine.

– Is it true that Rod Stewart was an influence for you?

Yeah, a fellow Scotsman, I love Rod Stewart, I love his work. I love his take on music and the swagger and the whole nine yards and he’s a good football player I reckon. I do like football, I dabble in it although I don’t particularly know a whole lot about it and I don’t really back a team because I don’t know enough about it. Sometimes it’s best to stay out of the football debate, I think it’s a good idea.

– Any plans when you come to Scotland?

I love the curries in Glasgow, I’ve had lots of great curries there, so I’ll go out for one. The place I went to before seems to be near the train tracks and close to the Renfrew Ferry. I can’t remember the name. I love Scotland in general, it’s a very open land and Sandi has taught me a lot about the history. Here’s a woman that cries at Braveheart, she is fantastic a very patriotic girl, she knows all thing Scotish and she’s always teaching me. There are some good guitar shops in Glasgow too which I’d love to wander around.

– Do you still do your guitar teaching workshops?

I do but I haven’t got my head around the schedule for October yet. I like to see young people coming through, there is enough room for everybody and the more people that listen and play music the better.
I was four when I started learning and my idols were people like Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jimmy Page and everyone in John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and Free.

– Album wise do you have anything else planned?

We are working on a solo record at the moment which will be out next year and we have lots of other things going on. We made our last album in Greece and we finished it in LA.
Sandi has been lobbying for us to come to Scotland and record but it’s hard to get all our gear over there- but I guess it was hard to get all our gear to Greece, so what’s the difference?
I’d would be wicked to record in Scotland, we’d just go out for curries all the time.