Classic Hits & Oldies

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons says new solo album ‘Hardware’ is a “hard rockin’…muscular release”

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Concord Records

ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons‘ third solo album, Hardware, gets its release today, June 4.

As previously reported, Gibbons recorded the album last year with guitarist Austin Hanks and ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum at a studio in the California desert, near Joshua Tree National Park.

The 71-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer tells ABC Audio that the album was influenced by the desert locale where it was made.

“That part of the world has a strange mystery that can’t be defined by words or photographs,” he explains. “Hardware [has] got a thread of that mystery. It’s good old rock ‘n’ roll. It’s hard rockin’. It’s a muscular release…It’s kind of what came from the three of us puttin’ our heads together and making loud sounds.”

Gibbons says Hanks and Sorum suggested that he record a new album with them at the studio near Joshua Tree, and Billy, who’d previously worked on some projects with Queens of the Stone Age in the area and who had downtime because of the COVID-19 pandemic, agreed.

“Lo and behold, we tiptoed in on a Friday afternoon and we didn’t leave for 90 days,” Gibbons recalls. “Three months later, we had been recording, recording and recording, and we came up to what we called a conclusion.”

As for recording as a trio with Sorum and Hanks, both of whom backed Billy during his tour supporting his 2018 solo effort, The Big Bad Blues, Gibbons says it wasn’t so different from working with his ZZ Top mates.

“It’s just another extension of accepting the challenge,” Gibbons notes, “perhaps even a step further, as Austin and I are playing two guitars with Matt’s big bottom backbeat. But it’s all about having a good time.”

Here’s Hardware‘s full track list:

“My Lucky Card”
“She’s On Fire”
“Shuffle, Step & Slide”
“Vagabond Man”
“Spanish Fly”
“West Coast Junkie”
“Stackin’ Bones” — featuring Larkin Poe
“I Was a Highway”
“Hey Baby, Que Paso”
“Desert High”

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