9 April 2017

seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
A weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
Where they came from, who did them originally, and other strange facts!
Sometimes there's even an interview with the covering band! (This entry for example!)
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Quick bit of news about the blog: It's on DreamWidth now. LiveJournal has proven to be too problematic. (New TOS, Russian hosting and legal compliance issues, suspicious scripts, ads I can't even see have been present, etc...) DreamWidth 'seems' a solution, however the import of my content from LJ has rendered ALL embedded music players inactive and Bandcamp players are not formatting to the space correctly, though they will play. (If you have any insight on how to fix the Bandcamp embedding problem please let me know, thanks.) Each entry has to be corrected individually. Also many links that currently lead to LJ entries need to be redirected to their new DW counterparts. All of that will take some time. I've gotten the most current of posts updated but there's a lot to do. Please be patient. I'll get it worked out. Thanks.

It's Second Sunday Slowly where I present a downtempo cover. I couldn't tell you how I first encountered this band, but I can tell you they are one of my favorite discoveries of 2016. In fact, had I not already done previous entries for Cry Little Sister or Wicked Game, I probably would have already featured them here. Luckily, they recently released this track AND they gave me the opportunity to do a quick interview with them! But first, as usual, a little history:

PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)
Experimental alternative punk rockers Butthole Surfers released their seventh album, Electriclarryland the day after April Fool's Day, 1996. (The album title was a humorous swipe at Jimi Hendrix's 1968 LP, Electric Ladyland.) Its only charting single, Pepper, was released in May. The track was reportedly written to reflect the experiences of singer Gibby Haynes during his early college years in the Texas punk scene. It's believed to have been granted airplay and a single to some extent because it fit the musical genre that had been popularized on alternative radio by Beck's 1994 hit, Loser. Pepper marked the height of the band's mainstream commercial success before their eventual breakup after the following album.

PreCog, a darkwave/synthpop group formed in December 2015 out of Nashville, released their version of Pepper online a few weeks ago in February. The band's vocalist Jason Thomas, composer Gerald Josef , and synth player Ty Winstead joined me for a chat online to talk about it.

SDSD: Since your all-original debut album last year, you've released covers of Chris Isaak, Nirvana, Gerard McMann, and now this cover of the Butthole Surfers. One thing they have in common is that they all come out of the decade between the mid-80s to mid-90s. What is it about the music from that time that seems to inspire your music?

Jason: It's really just the songs I grew up listening to. All of those songs hold a special place for me and always will. It's been a real goal of mine to cover the songs I feel shaped me as a musician. It's been practically impossible until Gerald and Ty came along. They help me take the songs in the direction I'm wanting. We have several more covers coming out soon (we like to stay busy) from groups like Queens of the Stoneage, Bobby Darin, and A Perfect Circle.

Ty: I feel that era really represents our own personal growth and nostalgia. It was a transitional time for music and we were growing along with that transition.

Gerald: I agree that this was def a transition time. I myself grew up in the 80s so some of these songs would not have been on my radar for covering, but I love the challenge of taking what was and putting our spin on it to make it new and unique again.

SDSD: According to your social media, you've wanted to do this cover for years. Why specifically "Pepper?"

Jason: It's such a unique song. I've always loved the writing and flow of the lyrics and of course the super dark undertone. Overall I just always thought it was a unique track.

SDSD: How did you go about making the song "PreCognitive," so to speak, make it sound like yours?

Jason: We tend to bounce a track back and forth between each other a couple times. One of us will start the base track, then send it off to the other to add some flavor or bend it in a different direction. Usually after the first go round it sounds totally different. I tend to push things a bit more towards the darker side, but Gerald and Ty add the real meat to the tracks and give it the real solid personality that makes it shine. I think it's the mixture of all our personal styles together that molds us into PreCog.

SDSD: Your bio says you consider Depeche Mode and Massive Attack among your most direct influences and you can definitely hear a bit of both throughout this cover. Is there any track by either you want to cover in the future?

Ty: As a matter of fact, we've been covering Depeche "Never Let Me Down" live. It's so incredibly fun to play and people seem to enjoy it.

Jason: "Butterfly Caught" by Massive Attack would be a fun one, but that track is so perfect as is I don't know how we could make it any better.

Gerard has since confirmed that their cover of Never Let Me Down will be included on an upcoming compilation, Unmute: A Tribute To Artists On Mute Records, which will feature various musicians doing tracks from 1978-1989. Pepper may not make it to their next upcoming album because, as Gerard states, they "have been together a little over a year and have written close to fifty songs!" You can however, listen to their cover here:

The Cover:


The Original:



Next week:
A Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th Century on Easter! In memory of goth icons who did a dark version of a late 60's rock tune named after a different spice that was also mentioned on today's featured cover.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account or OpenID to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention. Please identify yourself if you comment with the "anonymous" option.)

I'll be spinning this Saturday night in Boston. Links to Details and RSVP on FB can be found on my site with more info about my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Apr 02 - Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)
Mar 26 - nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
Mar 19 - The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)
Mar 12 - Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies

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seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

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