We’ve been doing our ‘Messin’ With The Music’ series for a while now. A couple of years ago we decided to put all the song content on our YouTube channel. I think most people tend to find their music there – I do most of my Grapevine searching on YouTube. The first step of my music search begins in magazines, either print or online (I still love reading print). I use the reviews to try to determine if a band’s style sounds interesting – I’m not as worried about someone’s opinion on quality. I then search for the narrowed down selections on YouTube. Some songs have video, some have a static photo for the video. We realized that the first couple of songs we messed with didn’t end up on YouTube as we were just starting up our channel at the time. I thought this would be a good time to put the early ones up with the rest of the songs – that way people could find them all at one location. They’ll also end up on the ‘Videos’ page on this web site. Here’s our first three Messin’ tunes.
The first song here is ‘The Lovecats’ by The Cure. It was a non album single released by the band in 1983. To make our version a bit different we didn’t use the very prominent bass line and changed the vocal scat singing between verses to a line on banjo. We were just beginning to figure out how to convert ‘electric’ songs to acoustic instruments. I think our version sounds a bit ‘darker’ than the original. The studio doesn’t have any cats, so we’re using a picture of the studio ‘love dogs’ Bonnie and Samantha.
The next song is ‘It’s Gonna Be A Long Night’ by Ween. This is the first song we tried in the Messin’ series. The original song is a screaming blast of noisy crunch. It’s from their 2003 album ‘Quebec’. I’ve read that they were trying to make a song that sounded like Motorhead. Lyrically it’s about two people trying to ‘out substance’ each other over the course of a night. So we slowed it down and changed everything to acoustic. We thought the contrast of the lyrics and the acoustic version was a bit odd, so of course we had to do it. We even added a background ‘evil voice’ for the chorus. This really set us up for making the cover versions any way we wanted to instead of doing something similar to the original.
‘Messin’ With The Music’ is a labor of love for us. In our case it means we only cover songs we really love. I’ve always been a huge fan of The Gun Club. This song is from their 1983 EP ‘Death Party’. This is one of the few Messin’ covers that was primarily recorded on electric guitar. We didn’t record a lot of tracks – the main electric guitar, bass, electric slide guitar and hand drums. We tried to get the feel of a room bathed in black lights and incense. If you check out our YouTube channel you can find a live band version of The Gun Club’s ‘Ghost On The Highway’. I could happily cover their entire first album ‘Fire Of Love’.