Rock legend and former Mott the Hoople frontman Ian Hunter has announced his new solo album, Defiance Part 1, is set to feature a seriously A-list guest line-up of guitar talent, including Slash, Jeff Beck, Mike Campbell, Jeff Tweedy and Billy F Gibbons.
Hunter has encountered much of rock’s great and good during his career and the new album features an extensive list of contacts from Hunter’s seriously big little black book.
Among them are two sorely missed stars, Taylor Hawkins and Jeff Beck, as well as (strap in): Slash, Billy F Gibbons, Mike Campbell, Johnny Depp, Joe Elliot, Duff McKagan, Todd Rundgren, Jeff Tweedy, Robert Trujillo, Waddy Wachtel, Brad Whitford, Dean and Robert DeLeo (plus Eric Kretz) of Stone Temple Pilots, Billy Bob Thornton and JD Andrew (from The Boxmasters) and Ringo Starr.
“It was a fluke,” says Hunter of the stellar list. “This was not planned. Really, I’m serious. I really couldn’t believe some of them. I mean, it’s amazing what’s happened. It’s been such a buzz.”
The lineup reportedly came together as a result of the downtime in the 2020 lockdown, which saw musicians of all stripes homebound and off the road, looking for creative outlets.
“Everybody’s sitting around,” explains Hunter. “It’s Covid. Nobody’s going anywhere. We started sending them out. Slash started doing something. Robert Trujillo from Metallica. Ringo Starr, Mike Campbell. Joe Elliott is on a few tracks. Johnny Depp said ‘Jeff Beck’s with me and we’d like to do a couple of songs.’
“I know Todd Rundgren, I toured with Todd way back, he’s done an amazing job. Billy Gibbons. Billy Bob Thornton and JD Andrew from The Boxmasters. It’s never ending. I mean, every day we’d get a phone call, this guy wants to do it, that guy wants to do it. It was like, I can’t believe this.”
The first taster of the record is Bed Of Roses, featuring Mike Campbell and Ringo Starr, which you can check out above. Slash, Robert Trujillo and John Mellancamp drummer Dane Clark take on the title track Defiance. Trujillo reportedly used a bass formerly owned by Jaco Pastorius for his contribution.
Elsewhere, the late Jeff Beck contributed lead work to the song No Hard Feelings, while Taylor Hawkins contributed multiple drum tracks, including This Is What I’m Here For (with Joe Elliot), and Angel (with Brad Whitford, Waddy Wachtel and Duff McKagan) and Kiss N’Make Up (with Billy F Gibbons on lead guitar, plus Billy Bob Thornton sharing vocal and percussion duties).
It’s likely one of the finest rock line-ups cemented in the modern era, but also fair tribute to Hunter’s own legacy as a musician and songwriter.
“There are a lot of reasons for calling this album Defiance,” says Hunter. “It’s like, people my age shouldn’t be making records, blah, blah, blah. But we’ve still got a bit left.”
Speaking of a bit left, Hunter also confirms that there’s more left in the tank and there will be a part 2 to follow, featuring yet more big names.
Ian Hunter Defiance Part 1 track list
- Defiance (feat. Robert Trujillo & Slash)
- Bed Of Roses (feat. Ringo Starr & Mike Campbell)
- No Hard Feelings (feat. Johnny Depp & Jeff Beck)
- Pavlov’s Dog (feat. Dean DeLeo, Robert De Leo & Eric Kretz)
- Don’t Tread On Me (feat. Todd Rundgren)
- Guernica (feat. Mike Campbell & Joe Elliott)
- Angel (feat. Taylor Hawkins, Duff McKagan & Brad Whitford)
- Kiss N’ Make Up (feat. Taylor Hawkins, Billy Bob Thornton & Billy F Gibbons)
- This Is What I’m Here For (feat. Taylor Hawkins, Joe Elliott & Waddy Wachtel)
- I Hate Hate (Alternate Version) (feat. Dennis DiBrizzi & Jeff Tweedy)
Defiance Part 1 is released April 21 on Sun Records.
Head to Ian Hunter’s site (opens in new tab) for more information and preorders.