We're a Nostalgia Act. We Do Oldies

X guitarist Billy Zoom on the past, present and future of punk rock

I suppose a little bit, but it doesn't have to do with playing with the band. I don't have to be playing with the band to think that. Any time someone tells me how much X meant to them, I feel that way a little bit. But that doesn't relate to me playing with the band.

Do you personally like the people in the band?

Oh, I don't know. I kind of like DJ [Bonebrake, the band's drummer].

Okay, it's a perfect world, and you have enough money to do everything you want to. You've got your own studio, your own label, you're financially independent so that you don't even care what your productions sell, you just put out exactly what you want to put out. What are you doing?

A little bit of everything—jazz, gospel, country, a little bit of everything.

Would you play rockabilly again?

I wouldn't be doing any of the music; I'd be producing other people.

But you're so good on so many different instruments—don't you want to play them?

It would be so obsolete by the time I finished. I don't know. Maybe I'd play on something.

Do you have anyone you're looking at and thinking, "I can't wait to get these guys in the studio someday?"

Mmmmmm . . . not really. I'm just dying to get the studio finished and see what it sounds like. I'd really like to get into film scores, too.

Punk is still around, in the hands of hordes of young bands who might not be all that the first string was.

To me, punk was making fun of '70s music. I don't think the people who are into punk today understand that. They don't have to listen to it. It was such a narrow thing in the '70s; there was so little to listen to it was such a closed field. I think the whole punk thing came about because people were so sick of that.

So the music you were playing at the time was basically reactionary as opposed to simply making the music you heard in your head? It functioned strictly as satire?

It was satire, absolutely. It was a combination of "let's bring back the '60s and make fun of '70s rock guys" at the same time.

Who was the worst artist from the '70s?

I really didn't like anything from the '70s except for the Ramones and maybe Asleep at the Wheel.

Conversely, who has inspired you musically over the years?

I don't know . . . ummmm . . . [Patsy Cline producer] Owen Bradley. [Roy Orbison producer] Bill Porter. Ummmm . . . I suppose [producer] Phil Spector to some extent because his was the first stuff where I actually knew who produced it. I like John Coltrane a lot. Sometimes. I love the solos he played on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album. I've been into Gerry Mulligan a lot lately, too.

Where would you like to be in five years? Will you be done touring with X by then?

Every time we finish a bunch of shows, I figure, "Well, that's that." Then I throw a bunch of money into the studio and think, "Boy, I wish we had some more shows."

X PLAY TWO MORE SHOWS AT THE GALAXY CONCERT THEATRE WITH THE BLEEDERS (7:30 P.M.) AND CREEPER LAGOON (10:30 P.M.), 3503 S. HARBOR BLVD., SANTA ANA, (714) 957-0600. FRI., 7:30 P.M. & 10:30 P.M. $22.50.

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