"This isn't just any old album to me. It's more like life and death. Now, that might sound strange coming from somebody like myself who's made a lot of records over the years. But I just got to a point where I said, 'That's it. I have to share my secrets. No more hiding. I'm going to write songs that matter deeply.'
"On a business level, this was an important record for the band [which also includes Joe Bonamassa, guitars and co-vocals; Jason Bonham, drums; and Derek Sherinian, keyboards] because we wanted to do a proper tour – well, in-between Joe's schedule, 'cause he likes to do something like 365 solo shows a year [laughs] – and really have the greatest set of songs possible. One album wasn't going to do that; we needed two. So it was decided – and we talked with [producer] Kevin Shirley about this, as well – that before we did any real roadwork we'd have two records of material under our belts.
“The bulk of the writing was left up to me. Because he was touring, Joe could only commit to writing two songs, so the bones of the album fell on my shoulders. Joe and Kevin asked me if I could work up the majority of the material, and I was very honored – to have your partners trust you to that degree is very gratifying.
“The first album was done in a flash – Kevin likes to work fast and capture raw energy. I don’t think he likes music to sound artificial; he likes to hear a band play a song like it’s their first time doing so. That’s pretty much the case with us. [laughs] I think we recorded 14 songs in 10 days – that’s five days longer than we spent making the first album - and the 11 best tracks made the record.
“Kevin wanted to nail that ‘Bonham sound,’ and in order to do so we went to this fantastic studio in Hollywood called East West. It’s got this massive room where Frank Sinatra used to record with an orchestra. Now, Jason Bonham sounds good no matter where he plays, but on this album the drums are most impressive, I must say.
“There’s energy and passion on every track, but there’s also something more important: a real band. We felt like a band when we made the first album, but this time out, there was no question that we belonged together.
“Musically, I’m embracing riff-rock in a way I never have before. On a lot of my solo records, my feet were planted firmly in a lot of funky soul and R&B. On BCC 2, we’re going with a classic British rock vibe, without sacrificing groove and melody. And when you’re lucky enough to play with musicians this talented, groove and melody are never in short supply.”