Billy Gibbons: 'We're available as the space shuttle's lounge band'
The ZZ Top guitarist talks about his solo ‘Hispanic-bionic boogie’ album, barbecue sauces, gossiping with Hendrix, deep space, and why he’d most like to be compared to Depeche Mode
ZZ Top have been compared to all sorts of unexpected bands, because of your presumed satirical quality and trash aesthetic: Kiss, Devo, the Cramps, B52s, Ramones. Which do you think is the most like you?
I know the one I’d most like to be compared with – Depeche Mode. I’m really fanatical about those cats. I had the pleasure of making their acquaintance in 85 and we’ve stayed pals ever since. I worked with them last year, actually. They had a record called Soothe My Soul [from 2013’s Delta Machine] and I got a phone call from Dave [Gahan] saying, “We’ve got to do an extended remix, and we need a little Texas mud sprinkled over it.” I said “I’m your guy!”
Did you hang out with Dave and Martin (Gore)?
Yeah. Martin is actually an underrated guitarist – he’s quite the six-string slinger.
Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top: “Believe it or not, I listened to all of Depeche Mode”:
A recent record that you liked?
- Believe it or not, I haven't stopped listening to Depeche Mode, going back to the early days, when it was nothing but pure synth-pop. And as you probably know, Martin Gore , who is a great synth player, is also a great guitarist. When they finally added a real drummer, Martin started playing more guitar. They started to sound like a pure rock band. And that opening riff of Personal Jesus [hums], it's awesome. Did you play it?
- Oh yes ! And then, maybe three years ago, I got a phone call from Martin and the singer, Dave Gahan… Over the years we had become friends, but I didn't expect that: “Hey man , we need some Texas mud! " And I played on a great song, Soothe My Soul .