Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 49 - TEN / Gary Hughes

TEN


From being a very prolific band early in their career, with 6 albums -- including a double-live -- in the first five years, the release rate for Ten slowed dramatically over the past 10 years, with a full five year gap between 2006's 'Twilight Chronicles' and this year's 'Stormwarning'. During this period, there have been various comings and goings within the band, with the latest shake-up taking place just prior to the band's long-awaited return to the stage at this year's Fleetwoodstock Festival on November 5th. Of course, as with most things Ten, this was done in the utmost secrecy, and trait that has caused much frustration and consternation amongst even the band's most loyal followers.
However, having witnessed the new line-up's amazing live performance in person, it has to be said that Gary Hughes' decisions over the past few months certainly appear to have been vindicated, and with this show hopefully the launch pad for the re-birth of the band, editor Bruce Mee thought it was a good time to get Gary back under the spotlight and put to him some pertinent questions.

'Stormwarning' came out earlier this year to generally very good reviews, but I understand that this album was recorded under a strict set of conditions laid down by the record company that necessitated the album being more commercial than maybe you would have wanted?

The music scene is such that it is very difficult nowadays for most bands to maintain their label deals. I have been proud of every album we have ever made, and each album has been, what I felt, to be the best collection of songs I had available for the new offering at the time of contract. I try, with each new album, to maintain the essence of Ten but at the same time move forward with the band's evolution. This sometime requires a certain departure from the usual Ten stylisation. Over the years, these changes, albeit not particularly drastic ones, have not always been well received by our labels. It is hard sometimes to strike a balance between what the label wants from us and what we the band want to record. In a perfect world, bands like Ten would record their albums without interference from the labels. Unfortunately, this is 2012, the rock music genre is still in recession and the bottom line is that albums require financial backing. Cue the labels. They know you want the contract and they know they hold the purse strings. If you want the contract then you allow 'executive production' input from the label. The problem is that no band can ever completely 'write to order'. Wherever possible I always try to comply to the labels request in balancing an album, however, it is unreasonable to expect any band to record to a shopping list. "We'll have an 'After The Love Has Gone', two 'Name Of The Roses', two 'Valentines', a 'Spellbound', an 'Apparition', a 'Don't Cry', a 'Rome', a 'Robe' and three 'Reds'...only painted blue!...no really!" If a band is to develop it has to be an ever changing animal.
So, to return to your original question the answer is Yes. You are totally correct about the very specific requirements from Frontiers for the album 'Stormwarning'. They requested a very particular blend between rockers, ballads, epics, etc, etc and had very specific ideas regarding stylisation. On the whole I felt I complied.

You've just completed your first live show in 5 years, one which has been universally acclaimed. How did you feel after such a long break, and do you feel vindicated in all the decisions you have had to make?

I was very please with the show and very relieved that my old bones managed to last for 2 and a bit hours [laughs]. It was a blast to see so many fans again, some of whom had travelled ridiculous distances to be at the show. Our sincere thanks go out to every single one of them. It was great to sing the older songs again, interspersed with a generous portion of newer material. It was just the tonic we needed and we're all hungry to tour again now. The Marine Hall gig gave us the outing we desperately needed without being under the microscope of a mainstream festival. It was also performed in aid of children's charities which made the occasion even more satisfactory from our standpoint. We were moved by the good causes involved and so waived our fee accordingly, in order that the charity would raise even more on the night. The crowd were amazing. We surprised ourselves and most importantly, the potential within the band now is huge.

Many fans were pleasantly surprised Steve was back in the band. What's the story there?

Simply that Steve fell off the radar for a time but now I have him firmly marked on my Sat Nav, ha ha! Mark did a fabulous job on 'Stormwarning' and I respect him as both friend and musician. But it is fair to say that for ten years Johnny and I had never stepped foot on stage without Steve, and if the truth were told we missed him. The fans, I'm sure, are glad to see him back too.

After performing such a fantastic show, with a 2 hour set covering a vast number of Ten classics, we would hope to see the band out there playing live more often. Are there plans for further live shows and perhaps some European tours?

No, we've had enough now. One show every millennia is quite enough of that thank you...NOT!! Yes, please God let there be more! We're so totally up for it it's untrue. We're booking a Spanish tour for March or April 2012 where we will finally film the band's first ever Official Live DVD. We also plan to do some UK and European dates before then as warm-ups and in particular put some in after that tour, to keep the kettle boiling this time. I have missed the live arena. Ten are a band who thrive on the buzz of our live performances, which have been too few and far between in recent times. The hunger is back and with it a renewed purpose to raise the bands profile back to where it once was and beyond.

You are still signed to Frontiers, and when we see new young musicians like Erik Martensson writing and producing solo/band albums for Toby Hitchcock, Jeff Scott Soto, Jimi Jamison and the like, some of us are wondering why Gary Hughes isn't in there, writing projects for Frontiers like he used to do with Bob Catley. Is this something you would still like to do?

Of course! Writing for other artists and other voices is an intriguing challenge and one I relish. I love song-writing but it is immensely time-consuming for me. Not specifically from a creative standpoint but with regards to recording and programming sketch demos. I would need to know that the album would have a guaranteed release and the right backing, but if Frontiers, or anyone else for that matter, came to me with the right deal, and asked me to write an album of songs for them, of course, I would. Again though, it is very much a question of having the right financial backing for any project, album or otherwise, and things are very tight in the current musical climate. This being the case I have revived my own production company in order to develop new, exciting talent, at least to the stage of bringing it to the attention of the labels. I have another ongoing project I am working on one right now in fact. In addition to the concept project I mentioned earlier, I am currently working on an album collection of my own melodic rock songs for a fantastic new unsigned female singer. She looks great, she sounds great and the songs, although I say so myself, are very strong indeed. All that said, it will not be easy to secure the right label for this project.
Launching a brand new commodity requires a 'longsighted' commitment and belief. When I wrote the first three solo albums for Bob Catley I had the benefit of the fact that he was 'Bob from Magnum'. A known quantity. It is very hard to procure financial backing for new, unknown artists, today, no matter how fantastic they are.

Read the full double page spread where Gary talks in-depth about his return to the live stage, the music business and Ten’s future in Fireworks #49.

Ten-Preview
Available from:

• Participating WHSmith and McColls Group stores (see Store Finder for participating stockists)
• Here in the Rocktopia Shop  (registration required)
• Here in the Fireworks Magazine Mini Store (no registration required) 
• Direct from Fireworks HQ by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , paying via Paypal. Send £6 (Inc P&P)

Ten-Gary-Hughes-Interview

Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

Status Quo - 'Backbone'
21/09/2019 | Central Electronic Brain
article thumbnail

'Backbone' proves that Status Quo have still got it – and long may they continue!


Latest News on Rocktopia

David Hasselhoff releases second single from new rock album
24/09/2019 | James Gaden

Iconic star of the screen and stage and multi-plat [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  November 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 6 hours, 55 minutes ago
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site