Ten Questions With Clay Cook and Coy Bowles From The Zac Brown Band

By Eileen Tilson

At this point, the whole country knows who Zac Brown is, but might not be completely sure of who Clay Cook and Coy Bowles are. Clay and Coy are by far two of the funniest and greatest musicians in Georgia and I am also lucky enough to call them my friends. For Atlanta Music Guide’s first ever “10 Questions With,” I jumped on the phone with Clay and Coy right before their appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Neither one heard each others answers, but both of them kept me laughing the entire time.

What is the most outrageous gift you’ve ever received from a fan?

CC: I actually haven’t had that many gifts, probably just like a box of cookies… I guess I really don’t have the crazy fans! Watch, after this I am gonna start getting babies in the mail.

CB: Besides some very freaky messages on Facebook, the most random gift I ever received was an airbrushed t-shirt of my face and a fans face.

How do you like your coffee?

CC: I don’t drink coffee! I actually drink a lot of soda. Yesterday I had a Mexican coke in the morning!

CB: I don’t drink coffee, I don’t like the taste…I just wake up, sometimes with a grouchy body.

If you could collaborate with any musician who would it be?

CC: Jon Brion

CB: Depends on what you’re aiming for… It would be amazing to work with the Allman Brothers, but if I wanted to really do something musically different it would be Mike Patton.

Who is your celebrity crush?

CC: Oh, Kelly Clarkson for sure! She is so talented, and really, really funny. She is way more talented than people give her credit for and she is hot! She is the best singer in her genre by far.

CB: Liv Tyler… I’ve had a crush on her since I was 15… I feel like our kiss would be magical, like it would be able to bend a spoon. If I kissed her I would hope that it would be so amazing that it would transfer all of my love to her.

If you were a girl for one day, who would you most want to take out on a date?

CC: Nick Swardson, he is a comedian… humor is very important to me, it is important to laugh!

CB: I would just be a lesbian and ask out Liv Tyler.

How old were you when you lost your virginity?

CC: I was 14… You have to remember, I was playing in bands with 18 -year-olds, so we had all these older girls come to the shows… It was actually pretty ideal; she was 16 and would drive me around everywhere.

CB: I can’t answer that! That’s way too personal!

Can you play the ukulele?

CC: Yes! I actually own three of them, and use them in concerts!!

CB: No, but I probably could if I had one. It would be just like playing a guitar… I can’t play one simply cause I don’t have one.

What was your first concert?

CC: The Marshall Tucker Band, when I was five years old… actually the lead singer (my uncle) threw his tambourine out to me in the crowd, and that is still my go to tambourine now… I use it on all my records and on stage.

CB: My first concert was the second Lollapalooza ever. My uncle bought me and my parents tickets. I was about 13 years old, and I was seeing all these amazing bands like Pearl Jam, Ministry, Soundgarden, and Ice Cube.

How do you feel about tequila?

CC: I’ve actually only had one encounter with tequila, and I was taking shots… Funny thing is that I don’t really drink. I think I have maybe drank less than 30 times in my entire life, and have only been sick from drinking once. April was the first time in my entire life that I drank more than I ever have before, and I think I was drunk like four times.

CB:Tequila is a beautiful thing; but I don’t do shots, I like to sip on the high end tequila. I already like to take my clothes off, but with tequila, I am like clothes off exclamation point.

If you were a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby, what would your name be?

CC: Cosmo Crabchip

CB: Well you would have to think of the most bad-ass horse you know, which would be Mr. Ed, and make him look bad. So, my horse name would be “Mr. Ed is my Bitch.”

If you were the star of your own reality TV show, what would you call it?

CC: “It’s Not What You Think.”

CB: Well the only kind of reality TV show I would want to do would be a countdown show of about 40 Victoria Secret models to see who would be the best in bed… and I would be the judge.

Can you dance?

CC: Yes, I mean not like ballroom dancing or anything, but I can get down when I am properly motivated.

CB: Yes… like a mother. I’m actually really interested in learning how to tap dance… I think I am going to buy a pair next week and start taking lessons.

What’s your favorite thing to do on your day off?

CC: We are on the road a lot so actually just lay in bed all day and watch movies. And if I am not on tour, just relax in the sun and get my Vitamin D. If I am not on tour, I am either in the studio or driving to the studio, so I need to get my sun!

CB: Swim in the river by my house, and drive really old cars

If you could live in the shoes of any musician for a week who would it be?

CC: Prince… it would just be awesome to get to play his music, and play it like he does… and of course get to dress like Prince.

CB: Bob Marley… but you probably wouldn’t be able to see much, so probably Ray Charles… No wait, definitely either Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, or maybe one of the guys from Motley Crue or Guns & Roses when they were raising hell.

What are you working on right now? Anything you are excited about?

CC: Well I just started working on my solo album, which is going to come out on Zac’s label. I have a few friends playing drums, but I am pretty much playing every other instrument on the album. And we are actually spending the money to have it mixed by the same guy that mixes the ZBB albums, so it should sound great. We are not putting it to radio or anything, it is only going to be on sale on the website or on the road. We are opening for the Kings of Leon in June in England, and I am really looking forward to that. It’s also being rumored that Lou Reed is going to be on that bill, which would be amazing.

CB: My album that I have been working on for about a year and half is about to come out, and is has some great musicians on it, such as: Sonia Leigh, Levi Lowery, John Hopkins, Clay Cook, and Jason Isbell. I wasn’t even thinking about doing another album, but Clay kept asking me when I was ready to go back into the studio, and just sort of talked me into it. It is a very emotional album for me… I was dealing with a lot stuff at that time with relationships and friends that had passed. I originally was going to call the album Love and Loss, but that just seemed a little bit too depressing, so I renamed it Love Takes Flight, and that should be coming out in about four weeks. Right at about the same time we are going to England with Kings of Leon. We love those guys; they have just as much admiration for us as we do for them. The first time we hung out with them was after the Grammy’s, and it didn’t take long for us to all be drinking beer and cutting up. We are all just a bunch of good ole boys… Good ole boys about to take over England.


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