Billy Zoom

I shared a few e-mails recently with one of my favorite musicians, Billy Zoom, the incredible lead guitarist from the L.A. punk band X. We chatted with about his side project, the Billy Zoom Band.

Tell me about the Billy Zoom Band, your sound and your band mates.

The basic lineup is Mark Neill on guitar and vocals, Craig Packham on drums and vocals, and Johnny G. on bass and vocals. I'm Billy Zoom, I sing, and I play saxophone, flute, and guitar. I also write most of the material, but we also do an assortment of covers. Sometimes we play authentic rockabilly, sometimes we play 60's style R&B, sometimes we play gospel, and sometimes we play cool, jazzy stuff. This is a side project, and we're just in it for the joy of playing music. It's always a thrill for me to be able to play with musicians of this caliber. These are some of the best players I've ever heard.

Your website has Billy Zoom Band mp3's from the 1970's and 1980's. Do you have any plans to release a CD or add any current recordings of the band to your website?

I'd like to record a CD. I've talked to few labels and, although they're interested, I they're not sure how to market us. They'd prefer that we pick a particular style and stick to it. I'd like to do a rockabilly album, a jazz/R&B album, and a gospel album. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Other than occasional shows in California, does the Billy Zoom Band have plans to tour?

We'd love to tour, but it's not possible until we put out a CD.

What does your band have in store for your fans in the next 12 months?

We plan to keep playing as often as possible. We hope the fans will enjoy our music as much as we enjoy playing it.

Feel free to promote anything else you'd like that applies to your band, including websites, myspace page, merchandise, etc.

Visit, and the Billy Zoom Band myspace page, If possible, see X on tour and say hi. I'm the tall one.

Please share a thought on Dimebag Darrell.

Obviously a real tragedy. There are a lot of really unhappy, messed up people out there. We're all lucky this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. When I'm onstage, I always want to reach out to the fans and make the show special for them, but at the same's always in the back of my mind.

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