Milwaukee's Decider recently conducted an interview with Jaymz Lennfield (vocals, guitar) of the Milwaukee-based band BEATALLICA — a satirical mashup act whose hilarious schtick marries the songwriting prowess of THE BEATLES to the deep-throated rock growl of METALLICA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Decider: What is your definition of a cover band?
Jaymz Lennfield: The definition of a cover band is doing things directly and doing things verbatim.
Decider: How much reinterpretation can you have and still fall within that definition?
Jaymz Lennfield: You can have reinterpretation. I think that even if you are a cover band and you do things exactly to the note, to a "T," that's great, but if you can add some of your own creativity, which is why people should be musicians to begin with, I think that's even better. You use things as a starting point and see what you can do with it from there. If you are just lifting it and you're like, "Ah, that sounds exactly like the original," congratulations. That's cool, but to me that's not that interesting.
Decider: Do you bristle at being lumped in with other cover bands in people's minds?
Jaymz Lennfield: Not really. I play in a couple Irish bands. The Irish thing is based a lot on tradition and doing songs that have been written hundreds of years ago, or if it is more contemporary or whatever. If I'm doing a bunch of Irish songs that were written in the 1800s, what's the difference between that and a cover band?
Decider: Which group has had more influence on modern music: THE BEATLES or METALLICA?
Jaymz Lennfield: THE BEATLES. Me and [bassist] Kliff [McBurtney] have this fun running feud about who wrote the first heavy-metal song. I said it was Paul McCartney with "Helter Skelter". He disagrees. He thinks it's [IRON BUTTERFLY's] "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". I tell him just because you want to get high and listen to a 17-minute-long song doesn't make it the first heavy-metal song.
Decider: Has METALLICA's image recovered from their anti-Napster crusade?
Jaymz Lennfield: From what I've read on blogs, I think there are going to be people who never recover or never say, "Okay, that's cool. I understand." I think most of them have [changed their mind] because sometimes people need to be educated. Those people who were upset at a band, they're just seeing the initial impact of their heroes saying they are upset and saying screw the fans.
Read the entire interview from Milwaukee's Decider.
BEATALLICA's first official CD, "Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band", was released on July 10, 2007 via Oglio Records.
Comprised of members Jaymz Lennfield (vocals, guitar), Grg Hammettson (guitar), Kliff McBurtney (bass), and Ringo Larz (drums), BEATALLICA has been converting naysayers into believers for years — having made fans throughout the world, including such renowned headbangers as DREAM THEATER's Mike Portnoy and ANTHRAX's Scott Ian.
BEATALLICA in 2005 received help from METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich in their dispute with the Sony Corporation over BEATALLICA's "unlawful use" of the group's compositions "without authorization or license." The case has since been resolved, with BEATALLICA being allowed once again to operate their web site, Beatallica.org, and continue performing their patented blend of BEATLES tunes in a METALLICA style.
BEATLES's "Masterful Mystery Tour" - Europe 2009:
Mar. 26 - D-Lübeck, Riders Cafe
Mar. 27 - NL-Enschede, Red Ribbon Rock Festival
Mar. 28 - NL-Drachten, Iduna
Mar. 29 - NL-Goes, t' Beest
Mar. 30 - B-Antwerpen, De Rots
Mar. 31 - FR-Paris, La Scene Bastille
Apr. 02 - D-Hamburg, Ballroom
Apr. 04 - D-Amberg, Rockdomizil
Apr. 06 - D-Töging/Inn, Silo 1
Apr. 08 - D-Karlsruhe, Jubez
Apr. 09 - CH-Luzern, Schüür
Apr. 10 - CH-Zürich, Werk 21 (Dynamo)
Apr. 11 - D-Berlin, Frannz
Apr. 12 - D-Dresden, Tante Ju
Apr. 13 - A-Vienna, Szene
Apr. 14 - HU-Budapest, A38
Apr. 15 - PL-Warszawa, Progresja
Apr. 16 - PL- Poznan, Piwnica 21
Apr. 17 - PL- Kraków, Zascianek
Apr. 18 - PL-Wroclaw, Od Zmierzchu Do Switu