The Zac Brown Band brought their unique down-home country fried rock to the crowd of Brits lined up for last weekend’s Hard Rock Calling music festival in London. With three Grammys and nine Billboard Country Chart number ones under their belt, it’s safe to say that guys have been around the block a few times. But this trip to the United Kingdom gave them an experience that they haven’t had in quite some time: They’re back to being the new guys!
“At home we sell out 28,000 hard tickets, and all of our fans know our music and know what to expect,” Zac Brown told us when we caught up with the band after their stellar performance. “But here it’s fun because it’s the old challenge of trying to figure out how to break through to them, and how to pick our set list and do it the right way and try to engage them.” That might help explain why the Southerners laid into the Led Zeppelin classic “Kashmir,” giving the local audience a taste of their own Brit stadium rock!
It’s not surprising that Zac and Co won the crowd over. Not only is their musicianship unparalleled, but they’ve been getting some pointers by the best in the biz: Mr. Bruce Springsteen! Apparently the Boss is buddies with the band, and isn’t shy about taking them under his wing.
“You know he’s been very paternal to me and given me lots of great advice, like on how to do things the right way. And it’s invaluable because there aren’t that many people that have done it as long and as well as him, and that’s what we want to do.” And now they’re doing it. In fact, Bruce brought Zac out during his headlining set to add guitar on”Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.”
“We’re very grateful to have a relationship with him. I can ask him a question, like how did you handle this about your family, or your career, and he’s been an amazing source for advice. You’re not supposed to take advice from anybody that’s not doing better than you are and he’s in another stratosphere. So it’s an amazing relationship.” From music to girl troubles and everything in between, we feel like Bruce would have an answer for anything that life might throw your way! You’re in good hands, Zac Brown Band.
[Photo: Getty Images]