Skip to main content

Angry Bonamassa pissed vinegar

Joe Bonamassa has admitted the long road to success left him “pissing vinegar” with frustration – and he’s offered his own advice to those who want to avoid the pitfalls that caught him.

He believes young musicians should shun the glitz and glamour of the mainstream music industry and concentrate on building small businesses for themselves.

Bonamassa tells the Independent: “If you met me 10 years ago, I had chips on both shoulders. I was so angry. I’d struggled my whole career to get noticed. I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve got to play faster and louder than the rest of you and I’m going to make you notice me.’

“I didn’t care how many people I had to rub the wrong way. I’ve mellowed out now – I’m more Zen and more thankful.”

But he knows it’s not the same for those who hope to follow in his footsteps. “It’s sad when a 19-year-old musician hears nonsense from some major label with an antiquated business model,” he says.

“It’s not about grassroots flowering with them. They’re more interested in what song you’ve got next, and if it doesn’t fit the mould of the next Beyonce, it’s off to the next person.

“But if you record your tune on your iPhone, put it on social media, you own it. It’s your idea and you’ve got your own business. That’s the message I want to get out.”

Bonamassa recently released 16th album Different Shades Of Blue. He’ll play four shows at London’s Eventim Apollo next year, on Mach 17, 19, 20 and 21.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.