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ZZ Top Almost Finished With New Album

Billy Gibbons
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons said their next studio album will stay true to the sound they have laying down for over 40 years. The still untitled project may be out this year, as Gibbons tells Billboard. “It’s down to seeds and stems.”

“As a couple of friends of ours said, ‘You really don’t have to get that much better,” the guitarist explains in the interview, “your big job is really holding it down and not making too many drastic changes,’ which I kinda like.” The Texas trio hasn’t released an album since the 16-song ‘Mescalero’ in 2003. This one will be smaller.

It’s not clear if the album will be done when ZZ Top opens the Gang of Outlaws tour on May 25. It’s likely fans will get their first taste of the new music on television, as the song ’25 Lighters’ is being used in a marketing campaign for Jeremiah Weed whiskey. “It’s a good product, so I thought, ‘Why not…?’” Gibbons says.

Rick Rubin is producing the new project and encouraging the group to stick with the girl they brought to the dance. “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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