Famous since the late 60’s when they made their debut on the American rock stage, ZZ Top is amongst the few bands that are still going strong and writing history today.
ZZ Top, as made famous by guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and Frank Beard as drummer, is well known for its strong blues roots and humorous lyrics, setting them apart from the rest of the rock bands in the US and worldwide.
Since they launched their debut album in 1971, the band has experimented with vary many musical styles over the years, from new wave to punk rock and a sort of dance rock.
From heavily use of synthesizers and back to guitar driven sound, indifferent of their style, ZZ Top remains up to this day one of the best-selling musical artists in history.
They have sold over 50 million albums worldwide up to 2014 and the good news is ZZ Top is back on tour in 2015!
The band has once again decided to entertain true rock enthusiasts worldwide with their most famous hits, such as “Give Me All Your Lovin”, ”La Grange” or “Tush” in an European and US tour this summer.
The ZZ Top tour of 2015 started June 19th at Azkena Rock Festival in Spain and the band concerted almost every day at top European rock festivals in France, Ireland, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. The European tour ended on July 11th at the Bospop Festival in Netherlands, but the tour is yet to start in the USA & Canada.
Their first concert of their US & Canada tour will be held at the Bethlehem Musikfest Grounds in Bethlehem, PA on August 12th, while their last concert of the 2015 tour will be in October 3rd at the Casino Rama Entertainment Center in Rama, ON, Canada.
In total, ZZ Top will be concerting in over 9 US states as well as in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Hence, it’s best to buy the tickets in advance and not miss the ZZ Top tour, especially if they will be concerting in your hometown or nearby. Rock on!
Marc S. Boriosi of The Levity Ball had the honor of spending some time with Mr. Billy Gibbons.
How much did you enjoy working with Mike Flanigin on ‘The Drifter’? What’s next as we get closer to the release? Any other extremely welcome collaborations on the horizon?
Mike is a great talent who is gaining much deserved recognition with the release of this first and fine solo release, ‘The Drifter’. Mr. Flanigin’s something of a sonic savant and, definitely the go-to guy when it comes to the land of Hammond B-3. He’s been working with us on a rather exotic solo project of our own as well… Do we hear, “Afro-Cubano”…?!
What are your thoughts on the importance of a talented guitar tech?
A guitar tech is to a player what the Secretary of State is to a President. He’s the person who gets the world ready for one’s agenda and makes the message exactingly understood by one and all. And, our main-man, Elwood Francis is in a worldly class rock ’n’ roll diplomacy of the first order. Elwood Francis is right on.
What sets Pearly Gates above all others? Also, my cousin, Bryan Harvey, Sr. is a major guitar and gear collector, what in your opinion is a must have acquisition?
Pearly Gates remains something of a mystery, akin to DNA mixing. Why this one guitar sounds better than some others is something that bears additional analysis but let’s just say the gene pool was especially rich the day she was born. As far as must-have acquisitions are concerned, we always want our Billy-Bo Gretch Jupiter Thunderbird in the “guitarsinal.” Bo Diddley approved! As far as effects pedals are concerned, we’re intrigued by the Schaffer Replica out just now from SoloDallas… looking forward to giving it a “test drive.” Gotta have a spin with Andy Alt’s “Little Thunder”. The “Little Thunder” performance pickup is really fresh.
You, Billy, are a living guitar legend and have been for some time now; as we know Jimi Hendrix once named you as “America’s best young guitar player” during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Who on the scene impresses you? Anyone you’d like to work with or work with again?
There are a lotta happening cats (and kittens) out there who can plaaaay. Really digging our old buddy Doyle Bramhall II, a fellow Texan, who’s been out with Tedeschi and Trucks. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Ben Edge, a great punk rock slinger from LA who heads a group called Surprise Vacation.
One of my best friends, Charles Ferri, owns Star Vodka, an ultra-premium “Made in the USA” vodka. You strongly support Pura Vida Tequila and absolutely crushed the goal on Indiegogo.com. What interested you in getting involved and what excited you about Pura Vida?
We’ve been involved with Pura Vida since its inception. The folks behind it are “muy authentico” in their passion for the best possible tequila experience possible so I’ve thrown my lot in with them in the expectation they’ll continue keeping a leg up in the market place. The stuff is really the best there is but don’t take my word for it. Try it!
How are you enjoying the current tour? Your fans adore you as they have since the start, what do you guys do to keep it fun for you?
It’s great.. we traipsed across Europe, enjoying every major festival across the Continent and it all stands as a regular blast. We took time to making the local sounds and sights experience a ‘must-do’ excursion .. Meanwhile, as the show is getting prep’d, we’ve been known to champion those tiny, radio-controlled race cars across the flats of venue parking everywhere on many an occasion. Please shout about it with Team Gibbons!
What do you like to do in your free time when not creating or performing music?
Collecting African art has long been a passion. Then we’ve got quite a few cars in the ever building motor pool and, of course, the hunt for great guitars continues to be an obsession. We manage to keep ourselves occupied handily while out there on the road or experimenting in the recording studio.
What advice would you share with younger musicians and what words of wisdom might you share with the younger generation in general?
Play what you want to hear…! Chances are if you like it, everyone else will, too.