Yesterday, WWE.com — the official website of World Wrestling Entertainment, and one of the Internet's most popular destinations for young males — posted its first-ever exclusive live music stream, an acoustic performance by the New York-based rock band BRAND NEW SIN. The group recently joined WWE music director Jim Johnston at WWE's music studios in Stamford, Conn., to record an unplugged rendition of "Crank It Up", their interpretation of the entrance theme music for the 7-foot, 500-pound WWE ECW superstar Big Show. The original version appears on the new Columbia Records release "WWE: Wreckless Intent", which debuted at No. 8 on The Billboard 200.
"WWE: Wreckless Intent" is the latest in a long line of successful fusions of pop music and sports entertainment. From the original "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection" two decades ago to the appearances of rock group P.O.D. and DESTINY'S CHILD vocalist Michelle Williams at WrestleMania 22 this spring, WWE has effectively used music to further its storylines, and BRAND NEW SIN's acoustic performance is a perfect example of why the recently formed WWE Music Group was formed to link the WWE brand with popular music across all media platforms, including film, television, radio, the Internet, ring tones, video games, and emerging digital technologies.
"This is clearly another example of the great symbiotic relationship between WWE and the music industry, and we welcome the opportunity to create new avenues of expression for a wide variety of artists on all available WWE platforms," says Neil Lawi, General Manager of the WWE Music Group. "BRAND NEW SIN is kicking off yet another addition to the WWE.com family, which helps create awareness and visibility to millions of fans around the world."
BRAND NEW SIN vocalist Joe Altier says the acoustic performance of "Crank It Up" — available as a streaming video download for $1.99 — was challenging in that the band, which normally specializes in meat-and-potatoes heavy rock, had to rearrange the song's bridge and alter its tuning to make the unplugged version work. And while he feels the original electric version captures the emotional intensity of the lumbering strut and overpowering presence of Big Show's character, he thinks the acoustic rendition also possesses the energy the song requires. "When I sing 'Hold you up above me and plant you in the ground,' you can see Big Show getting ready to choke-slam someone," he says.
WWE.com — overseen by WWE's Executive Vice President of Global Media, Shane McMahon — is seen by 15 million unique visitors a month, and provides 55 million streaming video downloads and nearly 450 million page views each month.
Since forming in 2002, BRAND NEW SIN has released two acclaimed albums — a self-titled debut that was recently reissued, and 2005's "Recipe For Disaster" — and toured with such legends of hard rock and heavy metal as MOTÖRHEAD, SLAYER and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. Their new album, "Tequila", will be released Oct. 3.