Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our “7 questions” for us at Heavy.
ZZ Top paid us a royal visit during the 2017 UK and the European tour, culminating with a headline appearance here in the UK at the Ramblin’ Man Festival.
The band expressed a very strong measure of excitement coming back through Europe bringing something new as well as a case of the tried and tested, [in your own words], “same 3 guys, same 3 chords”… We trust you enjoyed the run as much as we!
Well, yeah…! We may be the same three guys with our same three chords but many things can change whether we plan ‘em or not! As we continue going forward, there’s always a possibility that elusive fourth chord may show up in times to come. On occasion, we are somewhat predictable yet the bottom line is we’re always geared up for a good time with lots of what we know you like and lots of what we think we like.
ZZ Top has played a fair share of UK festivals over the years, from headlining Monsters of Rock in 1985 through the Download Festival , High Voltage, and even Glastonbury. What fond memories do remain from over 30 years of appearing UK festivals?
We particularly remember the Eliminator Hot Rod flying over the crowd at Castle Donington Festival, underneath a helicopter, before your set. Something health and safety wouldn’t allow these days!
Oh, yeah, a flying car is always there in the memory bank. What a trip…! We shared the bill with, if memory serves, Twisted Sister, Metallica and Marillion and I think we our set closed with Dusty delivering one of his best Elvis covers. At Glastonbury, we threw in another spectacular Jimi Hendrix specialty. And… Yes, we do take requests.
Will another tour take you further afield in 2018?
We last ventured around the globe taking in where you guys at Heavy hail from down under Australia-way and it’s certainly an aim to get back quick. Surf’s up…!
ZZ Top recently released ‘Cinco’, a box set of your first 5 albums on 180-gram vinyl. ZZ Top has always embraced modern technology, but do you also regard vinyl’s superior sound as important nowadays as downloads/streaming etc?
We definitely dig the sound, look and, heck, even the aroma of vinyl. Contemporary formats are cool but putting a needle to the platter is that near-religious experience so, yeah, get into the grooves and groove. As the label sez, “It’s what in the groove that count”…!
Apart from performing out on the road, do the band have a creative input regarding the live albums, the latest being 2016’s ‘Live Greatest Hits From Around the World’?
Absolutely so. We lay down and sample a few various versions of the songs captured at specific spots around the planet and go with tournament play to select the favorites that make the final release. We play “juke box jones” with our stuff to stumble upon our favorites.
It’s a well-known fact that your love for cars is a huge passion in the life of BFG. What, if any, are the parallels when it comes to the creativity between building a car and writing music
As the saying goes, ” Anybody can copy a car… It takes a real man to cut one up!“… And, in essence, we get into something familiar and in turn, really start torturing… The right elements make like a fine plate of barbecue… gotta bear down on the meat and ease off th’ potato salad.
Are there any plans in the pipeline in respect of recording new material for ZZ Top? Or, have you been involved in any other projects recently that we can look forward to being released
The juice in the pipeline is always on the flow. The rarity of time between tour dates allow a strict return to our little studios back in Texas and California. Working on new, good sounding stuff is the reward. Then again, ain’t nothin’ finer than keeping it raw and raucous. That’s always a bonus.
Many thanks for your time once again Billy. We look forward to seeing you onstage in Manchester, UK
We’re ready to rock!
We as well, amigo…! ! !