ZZ Top spent some time in the studio recording the follow-up to their 2012 album La Futura prior to hitting the road, and prior to the sudden passing of bassist Dusty Hill. Guitarist and vocalist Billy Gibbons said in an interview with Variety that Hill recorded both bass and vocals for the album, though they'll require a little "completion work."
"It's gonna require some completion work," said Gibbons. "I think the luck of the draw was, I handed Dusty a couple of lyric sheets and I said, 'Hey, see if you can make heads or tails out of this." He said, 'Can I sing it?' I said, 'Dusty, you could sing the calendar if you wanted to — people would love it.'
"'Hey, that's not a bad idea. If we ever get back to go to work, can we add the calendar into the show? I know all the words.' I said, 'Get in there. Go sing." So, yeah, we've got a couple of things [with Dusty singing lead] that'll make sense."
Gibbons also touched on Hill's bass technique, which he said is simply unmatched.
"I remember a night where they said, 'Well, you're the producer. You've got to tell Dusty to stick around or let him go. He's delivered his parts." And I said, 'Oh yeah, hold on a sec.' I say, 'Hey, Dust, thanks, man. Great job.' So off he goes, and no sooner had he left the parking lot and gotten well on his way down the freeway than we encountered a very short section that I had overlooked. It was only eight or 10 bars.
"And I said, 'Gee whiz, that goes by in not even 30 seconds…' I said, 'Bring me Dusty's bass,' and I handed it to the engineer and said, 'You're a bass player… It's only eight bars. Let's just fill in.' Two hours later, we had passed the bass guitar around to every single living soul in the studio, and we still couldn't match Dusty's tone. He had something in that damn right hand of his that can't be described, other than fierce."