Kris Barras On The Pressure Of Working With ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons


Former MMA fighter and musician Kris Barras recently spoke to Classic Rock to reveal the hardships of performing with Billy Gibbons.

Kris Barras is known as the singer and guitarist of Supersonic Blues Machine, a trio consisting of Barras, Kenny Aronoff, and Fabrizio Grossi. The band has collaborated with many guest artists for their works and live performances, including Steve Lukather, Lucky Peterson, Robben Ford, and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

In 2015, Gibbons contacted Grossi to collaborate on a song for a commercial. Although the song didn’t end up in the commercial, Gibbons told Fabrizio to write songs and start a band. From then on, they jammed together every time possible, and that song, ‘Running Whiskey,’ became the band’s first single from their 2016 debut ‘West Of Flushing, South Of Frisco.’

Barras joined Supersonic Blues Machine in 2018 as their frontman and performed his first gig with the band in June that year. During that show, the musician had a chance to work with Billy Gibbons. In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Barras recalled working with Gibbons.

Kris Barras told Classic Rock that he was pretty nervous before the show because he wasn’t singing his own songs and had a lot of things he needed to remember. According to the musician, this put him under tremendous pressure. Resembling this situation to a cage fight, Barras argued he didn’t let this pressure consume him, and he did his best.

Speaking to Classic Rock, Kris Barras said the following:

“It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been before any gig. They’re not my songs I was singing. I had a lot of stuff to remember. There was a lot of pressure. But you can’t let it consume you. Same with the fighting.

If I’d wanted to step into a cage and have a fight, there’s no point getting so terrified about it that I can’t get in there and do it. If I go: ‘Oh god, I’m playing with Billy Gibbons, what will I do?’ I won’t be playing with Billy Gibbons because I’ll do a crap job, and I’ll get fired.”

Although surprising for many fans, Kris Barras felt under pressure before getting onto the stage with Billy Gibbons. However, he later realized there was no point in getting nervous because this would affect his work negatively, and he would ultimately get fired. Since he wanted to continue working with Gibbons, his only option was to succeed.