Multi-talented actor, screenwriter, director, and musician Billy Bob Thornton sits down with Dan Rather for an all-new episode of The Big Interview, airing Tuesday, May 21 at 8pE/5pP.During the in-depth discussion, the Oscar®-winner opens up about his acclaimed career, fatherhood, and why he sometimes feels like an outsider in the industry. He also talks about his new album with his band The Boxmasters, “Speck,” which is being released June 7.
In this exclusive first look, Thornton discusses his passion for music, and the artists who inspire him. On his introduction to music, Thornton reveals, “I had one of those guitars you get out of Sears, and it’s something that I still write songs on… I got my first drum kit when, I think, I was 10.” Though raised in Arkansas and east Texas, Thornton’s band has a sound that is distinctly rock n’ roll—combining the classic tones of the British Invasion with the riptide of southern California rock that swept through the late ‘60s. This can be credited to a childhood spent listening to true pioneers such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, and The Allman Brothers Band.
But it was two groups from across the pond that, perhaps, had the greatest impact on the early stages of his musical career. “I was strictly a rock n’ roll guy,” Thornton explains. “When The Beatles came along, and I saw ‘em on Ed Sullivan, like everybody else, it changed my life.” The goal was suddenly to become the next Fab Four—the only problem was every other band had the same idea. Thornton continues, “So, [my first band] decided we were gonna be The Dave Clark Five… we played a lot of Dave Clark Five songs, and… it set me on a path of listening to almost everything.” Watch it here.
The Big Interview airs every Tuesday at 8pE/5pP, only on AXS TV.