ZZ Top to get the Rick Rubin treatment

Beardy band sign for beary uber-producer's label, set to make beardy music together

These days, ZZ Top are better known for their beards than for the integrity of their music. But the American rock trio look set to reinvent themselves after agreeing a deal with Rick Rubin's American Recordings label.

Rubin whose low-schmaltz approach helped to relaunch the careers of both Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond, also looks set to produce the next ZZ Top album as part of any arrangement.

The band's manager, Carl Stubner, said the forthcoming album would recall the one-chord blues of ZZ Top's 1973 hit La Grange, rather than the glossy hard-rock the band is now known for.

"We thought this was a great brand that was kind of dusty," Stubner told Billboard. "My goal was to polish it and do certain things they hadn't done before."

They recently released their first live DVD, Live From Texas 2007, and begin a European tour in Portugal tonight. They have no scheduled dates in Britain.

Come autumn, the three-piece intend "to go do smaller theatres, like 3,000-seaters for a low-dough ticket price. Then we'll go finish the record," Stubner said.

As far as we're concerned they can do whatever they like, so long as they keep the haircuts.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Rick Rubin on producing the Gossip

Since founded Def Jam Records in 1982, Rich Rubin has worked with Johnny Cash, Metallica, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Slayer and Neil Diamond. Add to that list the Gossip

Rebecca Nicholson

05, Jun, 2009 @11:13 PM

Article image
Rick Rubin to produce new Adele album

The big-bearded music mogul is to provide the singer's new LP with some of the magic that he brought to albums by, er, Slayer, Metallica and Slipknot

Sean Michaels

16, Feb, 2010 @10:20 AM

Article image
Justin Bieber teams up with Rick Rubin
Singer pictures himself with the legendary producer, who he has reportedly started recording with

Guardian music

15, Jan, 2015 @8:03 AM

Article image
Rick Rubin: Def Jam founder and producer announces debut book
The Creative Act: A Way of Being will be ‘a book about what to do make a great work of art’ and ‘a book about how to be’

Laura Snapes

11, Feb, 2022 @6:00 AM

Article image
Jay-Z's new album doesn't feature Rick Rubin – despite promo clip appearance
Sean Michaels: In the Magna Carta Holy Grail video the producer appears to be helping with the recording, but he's 'just listening and talking'

Sean Michaels

02, Jul, 2013 @2:11 PM

Article image
Justin Bieber nears completion of album with Kanye West and Rick Rubin
Singer says he had to scrap one version of the album because he was ‘in a dark place’

Guardian music

01, Apr, 2015 @7:21 AM

Article image
Yusuf/Cat Stevens: Tell ’Em I’m Gone review – revealing Rick Rubin-produced reinvigoration
A huskier Yusuf/Cat Stevens is another veteran spruced up by Rick Rubin on an album full of covers and interesting originals, writes Jon Dennis

Jon Dennis

23, Oct, 2014 @8:15 PM

Article image
Rick Rubin analyses Kanye, Cash and Jay-Z on music annotation site Genius
Super-producer adds insight to some of his most famous songs, and explains that Kanye used to give him ‘anxiety’

Guardian music

03, Feb, 2015 @8:59 AM

Article image
The Creative Act by Rick Rubin review – life lessons from the bearded beat master
The co-founder of Def Jam Records and the man behind countless hits, from the Beastie Boys and Jay-Z to Neil Young, offers artistic wisdom that is both gnomic and pertinent

Kitty Empire

10, Jan, 2023 @7:00 AM

Article image
Muse slate producer Rick Rubin at awards ceremony

Singer Matt Bellamy accepts the award for single of the year with a cheeky dig at his band's former producer

Helienne Lindvall

12, Feb, 2010 @1:24 PM