CULTURE

The Zappas play Zappa in Athens

Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa, sons and collaborators of the ingenious musician Frank Zappa, will play in Athens tonight at the Olympic softball facility. The music of Zappa – with Ahmet on vocals, Dweezil on guitar, and other Zappa-linked musicians – will be heard live in Athens for the first time. Dweezil spoke to Kathimerini. What’s it like to be a musician and the son of Frank Zappa? First of all, I feel very fortunate. As a musician, of course, I can’t be compared to him. But, to be honest, I’m glad that I’m presenting his work, not somebody else. Why? For many reasons. The most important one of all is that I fully respect his work. Also, it can’t be played that easily. We practiced about three months for 30 songs. Even he, I remember, used to rehearse a lot. His music is complex and needs to be deeply understood, as was also the case for the man himself. So who was Frank Zappa then? Many things. Unfortunately, he was widely misunderstood and the media haven’t presented him as they should. He was funny, tender with us, liked to play lots of games with us at home, extremely clever, and, in terms of music, a genius. It was unbelievable what he could do when he sat down to write. Everything was ready in his mind, even the arrangements. He was unrivaled as an arranger. Would you classify his music as rock? No, even though it’s also rock. It’s also many other things, which can be attributed to what I said before – his masterful arrangements… What got you into music? As a kid, I wanted to become a baseball player, but when I heard Eddie van Halen play, I decided that I also wanted to make that kind of noise… I learned a lot about production and sound alongside my father, but as for the way I play guitar, I was greatly influenced by Eddie van Halen and Steve Vai, who was a member of my father’s band when I started playing. Did Frank Zappa ever visit Greece? No, but I know that he wanted to, which is why I’m extra glad we’ll be there. Who’s idea was your name, Dweezil? My father was making plans for a band named Dweezil in the 60s. The group was never formed, but the name ended up with me.