Greetings, Mr. Billy…!
* Please tell us about the shows unfolding for 2017.
It’s part of the ZZ Top “Tonnage Tour”, named after the song “Sixteen Tons” which, of course, we enjoy delivering, night after night. For the remainder of the set, let’s just say you’ll hear songs you know, songs you haven’t heard but will know, along with some that will be totally unknown, especially to the band. It’s a good time. And loud…!
* What has kept the band together for such an admirable long time?
Separate buses. Makes for a real ‘party train,’
* ZZ Top were together for more than a decade before all the MTV hits like, “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man”… What was the adjustment like dealing with such increased exposure?
We began playing bigger and bigger venues so we amplified accordingly and, as we’ve said all along, “Same three guys – same three chords.” It’s a measure of keepin’ on keepin’ on.
* How does the band turn up the enthusiasm after running the road so long?
Well, it’s always good time and an exotic excursion which we look forward to. It’s great hang with the folks who were in it from the beginning and those yet to have made the planet, doing their best to catch up. We do enjoy this selective individualism, of this there’s no doubt. As such, we get together as a three-pronged monster. It’s a ball rippin’ it up big time.
* Is there another band on the scene that qualifies as carrying on the ZZ Top legacy?
There are quite a few ZZ-esq outfits we like out there although we’re not entirely sure what we are exactly. We certainly like and admire a couple of spiffy outfits from back home in Los Angeles , namely “Vintage Trouble” and “Surprise Vacation”. The common denominator they bring to the party is doing their own thing with their own special sound.
* Can one or two highlights be identifiedin the band’s career?
The induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Keith Richards certainly remains a high point. That was a night not to be forgotten. Touring with Jeff Beck… extremely memorable — we’ve admired Jeff since we shared the bill with The Jeff Beck Group (whose singer was a shy guy named Rod Stewart) back around the time the earth cooled.
* Will we ever see a beardless ZZ Top?
Only our fair percussionist, Frank Beard has recused himself from chin whisker display and since his last name is actually ‘Beard’ the answer is most likely ” not”.
* What’s next for the band?
We’ve spent some time in the studio of late, off the touring trail. We’re cooking up another new sonic experiment with a bluesy background. Whether these are released as an album or come out single remains to be seen. Whatever it is, we’re looking forward to it.