Brian Setzer Drops the ‘Checkered Flag’ from ‘Gotta Have the Rumble’

Brian Setzer | Photo: Russ Harrington

On August 27, Brian Setzer will unleash Gotta Have the Rumble (Surfdog Records) — his first solo album in seven years.

This week, the iconic guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter dropped “Checkered Flag,” the first single from the 11-track set of original songs, complete with an accompanying animated music video by Juan Pinto.

“Obviously, it’s a reference to my motorcycles and hot rods, something that hasn’t changed since I was 15 years old,” Setzer says, commenting on the title of the new album. “I still have the same passion for going fast and adrenaline. But it’s also about my hearing problem with tinnitus — the ringing of the ear. It was pretty bad, and I realized that I couldn’t play the way I wanted to. As I recovered, standing in front of a small amplifier just didn’t cut it. The sound from my big amp makes the guitar rumble. Which is a big part of my sound. I was really despondent for a while because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do that again. So, Gotta Have The Rumble refers to both of those things.”

The new album was produced by Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, Cheap Trick), and contains songs all written or co-written by Setzer. Gotta Have the Rumble is available to pre-order on Vinyl, CD, and Digital with special bundle packs available through Setzer’s website.