The first new studio album from ZZ Top in nine years is LA FUTURA, set for release September 11 by American Recordings. The album harks back to the hallmark raw sound of the band's formative years and will, inevitably, be considered a return to form on multiple levels.
The album, co-produced by Billy F Gibbons, the band’s guitarist/singer, finds the legendary group infusing the newly recorded work with the electric blues/roots approach that typified ZZ Top's earliest work while, at the same time, reaching for new sonic horizons. At its fundament, this is the incarnation of the band whose influence resonates today with such artists as The Black Keys, Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age and many others.
Now celebrating their 42nd year with the same line-up, Gibbons along with bassist/vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard have come up with ten tracks that reflect the band’s intuitive take on rock brought to new, sometimes surreal, plateaus. “We thought long and hard about what this album should be,” commented Gibbons. “We wanted to recall the directness of our early stuff but not turn our backs on contemporary technology. The result of this melding of the past and the present is, of course, LA FUTURA.”
The fact that the new album’s title is in Spanish is a nod to an early ZZ Top tradition manifested in the titles of some of the band’s earliest albums including Tres Hombres, Fandango!, El Loco and Degüello. Known for decades by the sobriquet “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richards in 2004 and has maintained a very active international and domestic touring schedule over the intervening years. They signed to American Recordings a few years ago and have been working on what would become LA FUTURA in spurts since then. Last year they finally entered Foam Box Recordings in Houston, working full time to lay down the tracks that would comprise the album. Additional recording for the album took place at Shangri La Studios in Malibu, CA.
ZZ Top is currently on an extensive tour of European concert halls and festivals that kicked off earlier this week at Moscow’s Crocus Hall with other dates in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Norway. The band will embark on a string of U.S. dates thereafter, highlighted by a rare New York appearance at The Beacon Theatre the day after the release of the new album.