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The cover art was done by Bill Narum who designed all the ZZ Top album covers of the ’70s, and we thought it would be apt for him to do the cover of Censerro Blanco , masterpiece of the 21 st Century.
Pique: I don’t speak much Spanish so could you tell me what that means?
Clem: Censerro Blanco has a lot of different meanings. Some people think it’s talking about narcotics. Some people think it’s talking about censorship. Some people think it means nothing at all. But what it means in Spanish, literally, is White Cowbell.
Pique: What else did you get up to down there? Did you lick any toads?
Clem: We went through a whole toad-licking period but we’ve all gone through detox since. I’m on the toad wagon. I’m all into salamanders now. And if you’ve never licked a hippopotamus, you don’t know what you’re missing. I will try anything once....
Pique : It seems like you’re showing a more thoughtful side with this album. For example: on the song Put the South in your Mouth the line "let me slop my biscuit in your gravy" is clearly a comment on the much criticized interventionist policies of the current Bush administration.
Clem: That’s right. Let me slop my biscuit in your gravy – very, very poetic. Poetical-political. I’m tellin’ you, that song has many layers of meaning. It is probably our most Coleridge-esque song. A strong Kubla Khan influence.
It is also about southern cuisine, which has a multi-faceted, fascinating history, that southern cuisine. It’s also about oral hygiene, which is very important – something many of us in this band have overlooked.
Pique : Are you ever going to stop playing this devil music and become a preacher man or something of the like?
Clem: Sometimes we get on the road and we gots nowhere to stay so we go to the local preachin’ house and we sing the old salvation for you. If you wanna hear it, we’ll sing it. We’ve been there. We can sing the gospel like nobody else’s business.