Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Sep 16th 2010 4:00PM by Pat Pemberton
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"I've got a Rickenbacker 12-string that belonged to Roger McGuinn," Gibbons tells Spinner. "I'd like to do 'Mr. Tambourine Man,' Byrds-style."
But what about ZZ Top songs? Are there any he'd like to see the Heartbreakers jam to live?
"Maybe one of the bluesier ones," Gibbons says. "Something kind of lofty. Maybe 'I Need You Tonight' or 'Blue Jean Blues.' That might work out great."
The two Hall of Fame bands will meet up beginning Sept. 16 in Tampa. They will share the stage at six shows, including gigs in Raleigh, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix. While the Texas-based ZZ Top have long been known for its raw guitar sound, Gibbons says he's a big fan of Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.
"He's a great, great player," Gibbons says. "I've got such admiration for the things they do internally within their band. Some of it is so complex, much of what they do may pass a good portion of the audience. It's challenging -- you have to listen to pick up on the hard stuff that's going on. But Mike makes it look so easy, you're just sitting there smiling."
When this tour ends, Gibbons says ZZ Top will return to the studio to record an album with producer Rick Rubin, who has worked with a slew of artists, including Petty.
"He's very instrumental in striking a resonant chord," Gibbons says of Rubin. "He's able to find ways to pull things out that you might not know where there in the first place."
With Rubin at the helm, the power trio, which hasn't recorded an album since 2003, could return to the charts but it won't be easy. The blues rockers haven't had a Top 10 album since 1990's 'Recycler' and with the industry so vastly different than it was during the band's heyday, the challenge for any band is just getting the message out, according to Gibbons.
"There's more music now in every shape and form -- something to please everybody," he says. "I think the bigger challenge is: Where do you go to discover it? If you're lucky, maybe word of mouth. Somebody will make a recommendation, and if you trust them, you might take the time to check it out."
But, he added, there are plenty of loyal ZZ Top fans out there.
"We're kind of in the cat-bird seat," Gibbons says. "We're very fortunate that we've established a gangload of fans that may not have a place to go buy a CD but, by hook or by crook, they will either beg, borrow or steal it."