BW&BK Exclusive: ZZ TOP Ink Deal With Rick Rubin To Produce New Record

May 7, 2008, 10 years ago

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Arguably the world’s greatest living bluesman, Billy Gibbons, spoke to BW&BK; recently about ZZ TOP’s upcoming DVD Live In Texas, the reissue of Eliminator, and also work on the band’s first record since the highly entertaining but somewhat ignored Mescalero album from fully five years ago.

“That starts pretty soon,” says Billy. “We just inked a deal with Rick Rubin that will be announced shortly. And I’m sure he’s got plans to make way to drag us off the touring trail back into the studio, which will be a nice excursion.”

Given his reputation for paring things back, would you be moving in the same direction, going for a back to the roots thing?

“Could be. Rick and I have been friends for a couple of decades now. And we both like a lot of the same things. And mostly it is that rootsy kind of sense of realism. That’s his genius.”

Would Joe Hardy not be involved? (Of note, Hardy has been a big part of the band’s steely, trebly, energy-filled sound through the ‘90s).

“Well now Joe, Joe is strictly present with ZZ Top from an engineering standpoint, although he is a great producer himself. I’m sure he and Rick or anybody else, would maintain a forward motion. Yeah, we all pretty much work in the same fashion.”

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