Today, my guests are Grammy Winner JD Andrew, and Academy Award Winner Billy Bob Thornton. Together, they are the two founding members of the rock group, The Boxmasters.
In this conversation, I had the chance to talk with JD and Billy about the formation of the Boxmasters, as well as their recording history. They have been together since 2007, with the lineup around them changing somewhat throughout the last 12 years.
But Andrew and Thornton have stayed together thanks to their mutual vision for the band. The group started by combining their love of British Invasion music with a hillbilly style (Thornton is from Arkansas, so it’s a natural fit.) But as they’re output continued to grow– The Boxmasters have released 6 albums since 2015–JD and Billy gradually evolved the sound to become the rock and roll band they are today.
Speaking of British Invasion, The Boxmaster’s latest album, Speck, was produced by the legendary and, sadly, late Geoff Emeric, who engineered some of The Beatles’ Biggest Hits, including Sgt. Pepper… Why the album is called Speck, you’ll have to listen and find out.
The Boxmasters kick off a 41-city summer tour This Tuesday, July 2nd, at Sony Hall in New York City. I will be seeing the show in Sellersville, PA on July 7th. (I am in my native state recovering from a nose surgery, so if I sound strange to you, that’s why! Ha!) For those of you listeners not in our region, with such a packed schedule, The Boxmasters are no doubt coming near you very, very soon. Click here for tickets!
Separately, Thornton and Andrew have had amazing careers all on their own. Billy won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Sling Blade, in which he also starred and directed. Thornton now stars as Billy McBride on Amazon Prime’s most-streamed show, Goliath. Billy teases the show’s return this Fall!
J.D. Andrew has made an impressive career as a sound engineer and producer. He’s worked with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Kanye West, winning a Grammy for the latter’s first album. I ask him what makes a talented engineer, and how the man in the booth leaves his mark on an artist’s record.
A word of warning, these gentlemen were in a rehearsal studio right next to Burbank Airport on our phone call, so at times you can hear a plane take off, or the audio scrambles thanks to their proximity to the airport, but it is nothing too major!
I loved doing this one. Check out my article covering the tour, new album, and some transcribed excerpts from this interview on The Music Universe by clicking here. I’ll also post my review of the show over at TMU! But for now, enjoy a truly rich conversation covering everything from Sound engineering, Porter Wagoner, Goliath, and of course, The Boxmasters!