WORLD AS THE STAGE
A chance meeting with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl inspired the Zac Brown Band to aim higher. Now they are out to conquer the globe and Australia – and Byron Bay’s Bluesfest – is part of the journey
“They’re unbelievable, the band is so good they can be tracked live; we didn’t f--- with computers, we tracked live, four-part harmonies around one microphone. It’s rocking. People are like, ‘Oh, it’s country’. ‘No, it’s not, it’s like the Allman Brothers’. ‘No, it’s not, it’s jam band’,” Grohl told Rolling Stone. “I don’t even know what you would call it, it’s f---ing great.”
Their mutual admiration society had rather inauspicious beginnings. They met in a clothing store.
It was the John Varvatos designer store in West Hollywood, where Brown was picking up some gear.
He wasn’t going to let their random meeting pass without talking to the Foo Fighters man.
“We naturally ended up in the same place and started talking about studios, I had been working on mine and I had just seen Sound City (Grohl’s 2013 doco),” Brown explains.
“Man, he is everything you thought he would be and in the process of making the EP, we became friends.
“He doesn’t just talk about doing things, he actually does them and we share that in common.”
Seeing Brown lent his talents to Sonic Highways, it would seem only fair that Grohl would do the same for the next ZBB album.
“I have sent him a couple of songs to listen to but as of right now with his new baby and the album release and the series and the tour … he’s in a bit of a whirlwind right now,” he says. “But there will definitely be another Grohl Sessions one day.”
While the early adopters and the curious will have plenty of musical sustenance during their upcoming tour of Australia, the hardcore fans will be miffed they won’t be getting any ZBB Eat and Greets here.
The band have an ambitious version of the standard meet and greet.
The ZBB take an enormous mobile kitchen on the road during their American tours and will cook up a feast and eat with fans before a show.
“We won’t have our kitchen or our groceries with us down there – we have to come over lean,” he says. “But I would love to be able to do it there one day because Australian produce is amazing.”
American roots rockers Zac Brown Band are heading to Australia later this month.