Gail Flug of Attention Deficit Delirium recently conducted an interview with guitarist/lead vocalist Jaymz Lennfield of 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.
Attention Deficit Delirium: How did this all happen, combining THE BEATLES and METALLICA?
Lennfield: We all love having fun, and April Fools' Day brings about a time in Milwaukee for a festival called Spoof Fest, where local musicians do parody and satire of other musicians and bands that they like. So one year we were doing the works of MUTTALLICA, and I was James Hetfield in MUTTALLICA. To up the ante a little bit we started making these MP3s of just fun songs that we did for April Fools' Day, and we handed them out at the show. This festival is 17 years old — I book it, so it's one of my babies — and this thing got onto the Internet without us knowing it. Some guy put it up on the Internet because he was a BEATLES radio host, and he got a hold of me six months later. He said, "Hey, you don't know who I am, but do you want to come out and meet me for a drink?" I said, "I've got a girlfriend, dude." He was like, "No, I want to talk to you about your band." I was like, "I'm not in a band, man." "You are now." He showed me all this e-mail that his radio show was getting and said we needed to write some more tunes. Those were the simple beginnings that lead to more drastic middles and uncharacteristic ends.
Attention Deficit Delirium: What was METALLICA's initial reaction to this? I know that Lars [Ulrich] has pretty much been in your court.
Lennfield: They were first turned on to it when they were touring Europe with the "St. Anger" stuff, and a reporter from the U.K. sat down with them presumably to talk to them about their tour, and a couple of questions in he presses play on a boombox that's got our CD in it. He asked, "Have you heard of these guys?" They didn't know what it was. Three weeks later they're in Italy somewhere, and a reporter sits down, asks if they have heard of us, presses play on a CD and it's us. They thought it was a little weird, so they started doing some recon about what we were all about. At first they may not have been put off but were certainly skeptical about what this was all about because no one had ever done anything like it before, and all of a sudden it's getting out and almost getting a little bit out of control. We didn't even know what it was all about.
Attention Deficit Delirium: Are you hated or loved by more METALLICA fans or BEATLES fans?
Lennfield: We're hated by more METALLICA fans. If people get really incensed, they're generally going to be a METALLICA fan, but if people are really passionate about loving the band they also tend to be METALLICA fans. We're just finding that the metal/rock side of life has a lot more spit in them either way. THE BEATLES fans tend to be a little bit more mellow. If they don't dig it they kind of just let it go, but if they do dig it, they tend to be a little bit more calm in their demeanor. I think you can be a fan or not a fan of something, and it doesn't have to rule your life. It's good to have passion about music — I understand passion about music, everyone in this band does — but it doesn't completely control our lives. It runs them to an extent, but there's plenty of music out there I don't like. But I'm not hacking on Lady Gaga's message board.
Attention Deficit Delirium: Have you heard anything from the estates of the various BEATLES or the surviving [members of] BEATLES?
Lennfield: Everything has to be run through the mill. We have legal folks that have contact with various licensors from THE BEATLES. I pretty much deal with METALLICA directly, which is cool. Some of it goes well with THE BEATLES camp, and some of it is a little bit trickier because not all of THE BEATLES catalog is owned by one person or one company. If it's their cup of tea, then they're cool and things come to pass, but if it's not their cup of tea it's little bit more of a fight. We have songs that have been denied and things that have been delayed. That's just the nature of the beast and will continue to be with this band.
Read the entire interview from Attention Deficit Delirium.
"Fuel On The Hill" video: