Billy Bob Thornton in Ridgefield
The Academy Award wining actor is also a noted musician
Billy Bob Thornton best known for being an Academy Award winning screenwriter and actor -- and ex-husband of actress Angelina Jolie -- is also the lead singer for the band The Boxmasters.
Thornton came to international attention after writing, directing, and starring in the movie Sling Blade in 1996, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Some of his most notable movies include Armageddon, A Simple Plan, Monster's Ball, Friday Night Lights and Bad Santa. In 2014, Thornton starred in the TV series Fargo earning him an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
Thornton started his band The Boxmasters in 2007 and they have just released their fourth album Somewhere Down the Road.
**Exclusive for Townvibe readers, a chance to win two tickets to see Billy Bob Thornton perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 8pm. To enter just "like" the Facebook post about him. -- Winner selected
I had the opportunity to speak with him about his music career.
Is it true that music is your first love?
Probably. Tied with Baseball. That's what we had when I was growing up, music. I probably had a real band at 11 or 12 years old but before that, before we could afford any musical instruments, we would take brooms and pretend they were guitars and pretend we were The Beatles or other bands until we discovered you could make a guitar out of a cigar box and rubber bands. My Uncle finally bought me a kids guitar with a picture of Roy Rogers on it. I grew up as a drummer but I always played guitar well enough to write songs on it.
Is there a group that inspired you?
The first record I ever bought with my own hands was The Beatles' single "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
When writing music is it lyrics first, or the music first?
It happens different ways. Generally, I have a concept or a melody and a few lines first, that's generally how it starts.
What is your favorite song on your new album Somewhere Down the Road?
It's hard to say, I like them all for different reasons. There's a song on it called "This Game is Over" that I'm very fond of, we play that in our live show. There is also a song on the other record "Away, Away" that I really like. You may know this but our album is a two record set since we were going for the two different sounds we have. Our sound is inspired by a Memphis sound and the other a late 60's LA, country rock, British invasion sound.
What’s the best and worst part of touring?
The best part is being with the guys, these are the guys I hangout with at home any ways. Also, being able to see the fans face-to-face, it's a great feeling.
My little girl is going to be 11 so being away from her is the worst part. When I make a movie I'm gone for 3 to 4 months and I rent a house and take her with me. A tour bus is no place for a little girl, it's not safe, (laughs) I don't mean like that, we aren't wild. We are all married with kids. There are no seat belts, we sleep in bunks and the guys end up smelling like wet dogs (laughs) so it's not really appealing for a little girl.