ZZ TOP's Billy F. Gibbons says that his band's "long-awaited record is still long and awaiting," but he also makes it sound like the wait is nearly over. "It's down to seeds and stems," Gibbons tells Billboard.com, "just picking through the good stuff."
The Texas trio has been working on its first studio album since 2003's Mescalero with producer Rick Rubin, who Gibbons says is part of a braintrust that's keeping ZZ Top from getting too bogged down in the process of making its new music.
"As a couple of friends of ours said, 'You really don't have to get that much better; your big job is really holding it down and not making too many drastic changes,' which I kinda like," Gibbons explains. "And back to our buddy Rick Rubin, he said, 'It's just pretty much straight-ahead. I don't see any major changes. If we stumble into something drastic, fine. If it works, we'll know it."
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ZZ Top will headline the 24-city Gang Of Outlaws Tour as it winds its way across The United States beginning in May. 3 DOORS DOWN will open the entire trek, with GRETCHEN WILSON also performing at select shows. Confirmed dates are as follows:
25 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Arena
26 - Atlantic City, NJ – Trump Taj Mahal/Etess Arena
27 -Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
30 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion
1 - Winston Salem, NC - Joel Coliseum
2 - Fayetteville, NC - Fort Bragg
3 - Fredericksburg, VA - Celebrate Virginia Live!
5 - Richmond, VA – Innsbrook Pavilion
6 - Simpsonville, SC - Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
8 - St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
9 - Atmore, AL – Wind Creek Hotel & Casino Amphitheater
10 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
12 - Hollywood, FL - Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel
15 - Estero, FL - Germain Arena
16 - Orlando, FL - Universal Orlando Resort Music Plaza Stage
17 - Clearwater, FL - Tropicana Field
19 - Southaven, MS - Snowden Grove Park & Amphitheater
20 - Nashville, TN- Bridgestone Arena
22 - Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge River Center
23 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
24 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
26 - Des Moines, IA - Wells Fargo Arena
27 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
29 - Hinckley, MN - Grand Casino Amphitheatre
It is expected ZZ Top will preview new material from their forthcoming release over the course of the Gang Of Outlaws Tour.