Billy Bob Thornton is an Oscar winning writer and Oscar nominated actor, though he’s perhaps best known for his position as the one-time daddy figure husband of Angelina Jolie. He’s also known by literally hundred of the world’s citizens as the powerhouse behind the hillbilly fusion band “The Boxmasters”. Following a particularly humiliating interview on CBC’s Radio Show “Q”, The Boxmasters have been booed off stage and canceled the balance of their Canada tour. Not because of the music, mind you, but because of something much worse.
Call it egomaniacal attitude, a senior moment, or a simple case of the “flu”, but The Boxmasters have opted to duck out of the balance of their Canada tour dates. Here’s a run-down of what happened so you can make your own call on the matter and decide for yourself if you want to see this band perform, or indeed even this actor.
You can decide for yourself if it’s fair, picking a fight, or just confusion. On the CBC Radio One program Q, The Boxmasters, led by Grand DILF Billy Bob Thornton, the interview took some pretty ugly turns.
Here are some quotes right out of the gate:
Jian from Q: “You guys formed only in the last couple of years, right?”
– Billy Bob Thornton: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Jian from Q: “How so?”
– Billy Bob Thornton: “I don’t know what you mean by that.”
Jian from Q: “When did the band form?”
– Billy Bob Thornton: “I’m not sure what that means.”
Jian from Q: “What have you learned from Willy Nelson, Billy Bob?”
– Billy Bob Thornton: “Uh… I never met him.”
Jian from Q: “Are you being ironic, or are you being serious?”
– Billy Bob Thornton: “No, I don’t really know him.”
Jian from Q: “You guys don’t really hang out on tour?”
– He again didn’t seem to know what host Jian Ghomeshi meant.
Jian from Q: “So how is it that Willie chose you guys to come out on tour with him?”
– Billy Bob Thornton: “Shit, I don’t know.”
It seems the problem stemmed from the fact that the introduction to the segment included mention of Billy Bob’s cinematic experience.
There was no mention of Billy Bob Thornton’s forgettable, regrettable phone-it-in appearances in films like Pushing Tin, Bandits, School for Scoundrels or Mr. Woodcock, but likewise there was no mention of brilliant performances in Sling Blade, Monster’s Ball or Friday Night Lights.
The interview continued and grew more uncomfortable pretty much by the minue. You can watch fellow bandmates in The Boxmasters hang their heads as needless tensions mount.
Thornton deflected questions about music, opting instead to head off on tangents about baseball (with non-sequitor answers to match), monster model building, and just about everything else (except for those things connected in any remote way to music.)
As hard as the host tried to keep brinding it back to music, it kept deteriorating. Here is the next round of uncomfortable quotes:
Jian from Q: But given that you seem to be quite passionate about music, I was just wondering about your…
– Billy Bob Thornton: Would you say that to Tom Petty?
Jian from Q: Would I say that he’s passionate about music?
– Billy Bob Thornton: Yeah.
Jian from Q: Yeah.
– Billy Bob Thornton: Really? Would you explain why it’s not a hobby?
Jian from Q: … Are you reacting to the fact that I said…
– Billy Bob Thornton: Yeah, yeah I am. You were instructed not to talk about that shit.
And it just goes on much in the same awkward, confrontational, famously terrible for radio sort of way.
Is the question really that offensive? Is it so strange that the host would mention Mr. Thornton’s background for which he’s most famously known? Surely it’s not an unfair question. Anyone with two or more noted careers should be asked the same question.
Jack Black – Jack black is most famous for his work on the big screen. He is also the front man for the comedy rock duo Tenacious D, where he performs alongside friend, colleague and mentor Kyle Gass. Their debut album went platinum and earned wide critical acclaim, all while media outlets aknowledged Black’s film notoriety. Wouldn’t it be fair to ask him if his first love was music?
Neil Young – Neil Young has been heard on more than 60 major label record releases, but he has said that he’s first and foremost a political activist. Since his efforts span two careers, wouldn’t it be fair to ask if he considers his first love music? It doesn’t take anything away from him, and the question may lead us to the knowledge that, no matter where his talents lie, he thinks of himself as somthing else.
Peter Garrett – This man may be best known to the world as the lead singer of Australian rock band Midnight oil, but he also attended law school and is a sitting member of the Australian House of Representatives. Despite his activism and career in politics, he still performs periodically to support a number of causes. It would be appropriate to ask him what his first love is.
If Billy Bob Thornton is so one-dimensional that he doesn’t believe he can exist in two worlds of influence at once, maybe we’re all just best to believe him.
Facing the fact for a second, if Billy Bob Thornton wasn’t the front man for The Boxmen, nobody would give them the time of day, let alone invite them in studio for a live radio interview. This is undeniable because tons of bands open for tons of great names year after year, and neither of us can name them.
He didn’t ask about Angelina Jolie, the cut rate hair plugs, or conspiciously obvious lack of musical talent, so maybe that alone was blessing enough.
So in a not-so-shocking announcement, the rest of the already abridged Canadian tour has been cancelled. You could believe the official line that Billy Bob came down with the flu, or you could see choose instead to believe that his unkind stereotypes of Canadians was so poorly welcomed that it was the first smart thing he’s done since slipping under the radar in favor of the Brangelina stories so hot with the paparazzi.
The Chicago Tribune reports the shows were cancelled because of a “flu”, and yes, they actually used quoataion marks around the excuse, saying, “It’s apparently just a 48-hour, single-country bug, however. They’ll rejoin [Willie] Nelson back in the States, for a Connecticut show Tuesday.”
This just reminds me of another lesser celebrity who got a little too full of herself, Sharon Osbourne, who on too many occasions has forgotten who she is, where she came from and what she’s worth.
If The Boxmaster’s music is undeniable, Billy Bob Thornton should be able to leverage his celebrity to get people to hear it, and from there the artistry can stand on its own merit, as was the case with Jack Black ala Tenacious D. The problem is that the music is mediocre at best, and the tagalong celebrity irritates him just as much as it irritates fans of quality music.
Our sincerest condolences are extended to J.D. Andrews, Michael Wayne Butler and anyone who has had to pay to hear the music brought about by the fame of Billy Bob Thornton.