Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on Jun 6th 2008 2:00PM by David Chiu
"I'm very proud of my heritage and being John's sister," she tells Spinner good naturedly. "So it's cool, it's fine."
Bonham is hoping that people's perception of her as just being the younger sibling of the late rock legend will change with her upcoming third album, 'Duchess,' which is also her first U.S. release. It is a collection of English blues influenced rock that features Bonham's soulful singing in the vein of her heroes Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Stone the Crows singer Maggie Bell. The album's first single, 'Hold On,' is a duet with former Free and Bad Company front man Paul Rodgers, whom Bonham opened for on his UK tour. "That [song] really is about keep fighting, holding on and getting through it because there's nothing much more than you can do, really," says Bonham.
'Hold On' also features her nephew and John's son, Jason, on drums -- he helped out on his aunt's song at the same time he was rehearsing for the Led Zeppelin reunion show from last December. "Without a doubt he's right up there with his dad," Bonham says. "I think now in the world of music, Jason is one of the best, if not the best, drummers on the planet."
'Duchess' is a contrast to her 2004 record, 'The Old Hyde,' whose name refers to Bonham's home. At the time of that previous recording, the singer was coping with the deaths of her other brother Michael and her father. "I was struggling big time on 'The Old Hyde,'" she says. "['Duchess' is] coming from an area of strength. Although the pain is all still there, I've dealt it with now."
The song 'The Old Hyde Revisited,' which will be on the digital release of 'Duchess,' is a tribute to Bonham's family. It is usually performed at the end of her shows. "When I finished [writing] the last line, 'I'll hope I see them again,' I was in tears," she says. "It's quite a spiritual song and it always goes down a storm."
Bonham remembers an unassuming and gentlemanly side of her brother John, who died at age 32 in 1980, which was different from his public persona. "[John] was a very, very kind man," she says. "He lived at home a family man, so removed from what I've read and heard about him on tour. He had a good sense of humor. [He] and my other brother Michael were hysterical."
While she says she had some musical training growing up, Bonham finally decided to pursue a singing career shortly after John's death. She recorded her first album, 'For You and the Moon,' in 1985, but then quit the music business for almost 20 years. "I just thought I can't even record," Bonham explains. "I couldn't get out of this [recording] contract, and I needed to refocus. I don't think I was ever meant to be a young girl doing it anyway. It's taken me a long time to find that place but I'm there now."
Following the album's U.S. release, Bonham is planning to tour the U.S. sometime in late August or early September and is looking forward to bringing some of that English blues rock. More importantly she is enjoying making music the second time around. "It's taken me a lot of time and a lot of years," she says. "But at long last I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully things are going to work out okay."