glennhughesjasonbonham400 Classic Rock Magazine reports:

Former Black Country Communion stars, singer-bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham, have announced the formation of a new band – California Breed. Featuring the astounding talents of 23-year-old singer-guitarist Andrew Watt, the fact that their first album has been produced by Dave Cobb, whose spectacular work with Rival Sons has received so much acclaim, gives a big clue as to what they sound like.

“It’s proper rock,” says Hughes, “but at the same time it’s very now. Andrew is as influenced by Mick Ronson as he is Jimmy Page.”

“I grew up listening to all the grunge bands,” says Watt, “but my dad always played me The Who, the Stones and Led Zeppelin so that became my music too.

“This kid is amazing,” says Bonham. “The first time we met I thought he looked like the white Jimi Hendrix. And he plays in the studio likes he’s onstage!”

The three-man line-up got together as California Breed for the first time last year after Hughes was introduced to the newcomer from New York by their mutual friend Julian Lennon. “Julian was having an exhibition of his photographs at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in LA,” Glenn recalls, “and he said, ‘You must meet this guy, he’s the most fantastic guitarist – who turned out to be Andrew.”

Reconvening at Hughes’ Hollywood home a few days later, “The chemistry was just instant,” says Hughes. “We immediately wrote two songs together, Chemical Rain and Solo, both of which have ended up on the album. That’s when I called Jason and said you’ve gotta come down right now.”

“The energy when I walked in the room was crackling,” recalls Bonham. “I was so pleased. Glenn and I had not only really locked in as a rhythm section in BCC but we’d started writing together and we both really wanted to keep that good feeling going.”

Indeed, all 12 tracks on the as-yet untitled forthcoming California Breed album – the band have signed a deal with Frontiers label – have equal co-writing credits amongst the band. Recorded at Cobb’s Nashville studio, “Everything was done more or less live,” says Hughes, “including the vocals. Which is the reverse of how I’ve always done things”.

The end result is a sound that combines all the classic rock elements of BCC – big, meat-cleaver riffs and heart-rending vocals – but with a 21st century gloss that comes from working with someone as up-to-the-minute and talented as Watt (whose previous music can be heard at his Soundcloud page.

Look out for the first single, Midnight Oil, a raunchy Stones-esque rocker with breathless female backing vocals, deep groove rhythms and face-smacking guitars. The other breakout track is All Falls Down, the kind of spine-tingling pop-rock-who-knows-what that starts all color and light and finishes all towering harmonies, back-arching guitars and epidemic-sized catchiness.

There are others but, as Hughes says, “You’ll have to wait for the album in May to hear them. This, I promise, is going to be something special.”



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  • Scott on

    One wish granted….now….if only Bieber will be sent away for 10-20 years.

  • Nic on

    Good for these guys! I’m glad they’re moving on with a young, hungry guitarist that could be in this for the long haul. BCC could’ve been so much bigger and gone much further had they not had that self-centered, overrated guitar player in their band that just wanted to focus on his lame solo career. I wish more great musicians like this would take out the trash and move on.

    • DC on

      C’mon, now. Joe is a phenomenal player. I’ve been a fan of his for a while and really enjoy the amount of material he puts out. I am bummed that his ambitions got in the way of BCC, but so be it. Either way, Joe is a beast of a player and is probably one of THE hardest working musicians on the planet. I don’t think the guy sleeps.

      I’m excited to hear this new band! Congrats to Glenn and Jason on launching a new band!

    • Chris on

      I absolutely love BCC, but you gotta admit; Joe rips off Eric Johnson big time!

    • Dana on

      Eh, not sure I completely hear that, but then again, I do not play guitar. So, I am relying solely on my ears 😉

      Eric Johnson is a major fanatic when it comes to his sound/tone, not sure Bonamassa exerts that much effort/perfectionism into his tone.

      There maybe some influence there, but just basing it solely on listening to Ah Via Musicom many times, he is not a doppleganger. Personally, I hear more of SRV influence myself.

      Dana from 🙂

    • Nic on

      Chris, I hear the Eric Johnson thing too. Check out John G’s comment below. He nailed the whole Joe Bonamassa thing I was getting at.

  • Matt on

    the over/under is 3 months before Hughes self-distructs.

  • George on

    This should be awesome band, BCC was a Fantastic band, quickly became one of my favorites. But to the gentlemen above called Nic. You need to get a clue on great guitar players, obviously you don’t know or have not heard much of Joe Bonamassa, His solo career is far bigger than BCC was before and after, He is the talk of the world right now, while I was as upset about BCC breaking up as much as anybody else, this guy is already one of greatest guitar player’s today and will go down in history as one of the best, this cat plays blues first and foremost, but he can shred as well as any the best out there, great melodic player, he can do it all flawlessly, check out his solo work, I dare you, check out his albums> Dust Bowl, Driving towards the daylight and many others, check him out on Live on Youtube!! Whether you like that type of rock or blues, if you don’t get blown away what this guy can do, you don’t have an ear for music at all and should just stop listening to music. I am fan of great guitarists, Iommi, EVH, Page, Satriani, Lynch, Rhoads, list goes on and on. Overrated, Open your ears Man and Listen!!

    • Dana on


      I agree with you. While Bonamassa isn’t my favorite guitar player, he is very talented. Also, I am one of the few who think he can sing as well.

      I saw him live and thought he was great. I never understood all the hate for the guy, but you know what they say about opinions….

      Dana from 🙂

    • Nic on

      I think you missed the whole point of that George. While you’re clearly a mark for Bonamassa and his playing, it doesn’t excuse the point I was making in that this guy rode the BBC gravy train buzz for four albums (counting the live album) and then decides he wants to take his ball and go home after stringing Glenn along with his little I’m in, I’m out, I’m in, I’m out bs. Only now Joe’s this household name thanks to BBC among the hard rock/metal world and not just the talk of the town among those flocking the open mic night blues bars from here to all corners of the earth that somehow think “Clapton is God.” The other three guys in the band were already household names in the music community, not just in a niche that’s known for praising boy wonder blues guitarists like him that emerge every decade. I remember when people where talking about Kenny Wayne Shepard in the 90’s like he was just the greatest thing. Then there was Eric Johnson in the 80’s, only technically better. Joe was lucky to have his run in a band like BBC. I’m just glad Glenn and Jason have hopefully moved on to a player that is dedicated to projects they start and shows a greater degree of maturity and respect than Joe ever did. Interestingly enough you have some excellent examples of great guitarists, but one only has to look at Joe and can see that aside from his playing – which is debatable – the guy has no stage presence and looks like some 14 year old boy that you’d see taking guitar lessons from a guy like the men you referenced that are not just paragon-level guitarists, but bonafide rock stars: look, presence, style, attitude, charisma, etc. The men you mentioned – Iommi, EVH, Page, Satriani, Lynch, and Rhoads are either the innovator, game changer, or stellar sort of guitarists that inspire generations in droves to pick up the instrument and are as unique as their playing, while on the other hand Bonamassa should consider himself lucky to get the press of an Eric and Kenny Wayne some 15 to 25 years from now. Though if for nothing else he’ll be remembered as a footnote for his run in BBC, thus the whole reason he used those guys in the first place. Btw, just because one isn’t easily impressed doesn’t mean “they don’t have an ear for music” quite the contrary. There are plenty of guitarists out there that can sing the blues on their six string and can play in every mode frontwards and backwards, yet are devoid of all the other things that make the other gentlemen you mentioned truly great. Some just can’t separate the men from the boys when critiquing this sort of thing.

    • Dana on

      Hi Nic,

      While I know you are not replying to me, I just had to address a few of your points.

      1. Actually, I had heard of Joe Bonamassa before BCC. Our local public station here in NYC (Channel 13) featured a J.B. special and that is how I got introduced to him as a guitar player, singer and songwriter.
      2. Glenn Hughes was aware from the start that BCC was a side project for Bonamassa. He made it crystal clear that his solo career came first, and that if it fit into his schedule, then he would tour with BCC. Glenn admitted himself, that he was hoping for something more permanent.
      3. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion about J.B., but to say that his guitar playing is “debatable,” is a tad silly. Unoriginal? Perhaps, but he can play. I saw him live, he has chops and this is coming from a Randy Rhoads, George Lynch, John Sykes nut.

      Dana from 🙂

    • DR on

      ‘Talk of the world’? Nice hearing from the President of the Joe Bonamassa Fan Club. That statement is as over the top as Bonham stating the new kid looks like ‘a white Jimi Hendrix’. Bonamassa is a very talented player and no one can dispute whatever success he’s had. But his influences are quite visible in his playing, and I don’t mean that in a good way. No matter what great players are out there now, there is not a lot of ingenuity out there currently, which isn’t surprising given the past greats. But lets go easy on the over-glorifying of Mr. Bonamassa. He’s a very good player with a nice solo career, and has every right to choose between his career and the future of BCC.

    • metalmania on

      I’m with you on this one, Joe Bonamassa is a fantastic guitarist. His “lame” solo career had already made a name for himself well before his time in BCC. I really liked BCC, and I’m disappointed it ended the way it did, but I always had the feeling it was a side project for Joe from the start. Maybe it got bigger than he expected, and probably didn’t expect an album per year pace from the band. The guy is a blues player who happened to shine in a classic rock band, I’m kind of surprised it came out as well as it did for 3 albums. So, goodbye BCC – I wish there was more to come from you but thanks for what we got while it lasted.

  • John on

    To Nic, Sorry to say, but to state that Joe Bonamassa has a “lame” solo career I can’t agree with. I loved BCC as much as the next person, but Joe made it clear from the beginnings of BCC that his solo efforts were his main focus. I’ve seen him live twice, met him once and have all his solo stuff. He is the guitar hero we all need in today’s musical environment. I’ve met Jason Bonham before too as well, all great guys! I wish Glenn and Jason all the best with this new band, but Joe Bonamassa in a band or solo, is a huge force to be reckoned with, and much respected!

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