Different Approaches To Cover Songs
Cris: When you do cover songs, how much do you try and capture a note-for-note reproduction and how much do you try and just get the feel and let yourself kind of shine through?
Brian Nevin of Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Great question. Actually, it's a good little timing on that because we released a cover we did with John Popper, the harp player from Blues Traveler. We did a version of Bruce Springsteen's "Rosalita" with Popper doing the sax part (on harmonica), which is killer. But to respond to your question, so I'm listening to (the original track). It's some serious drumming on that track. That was Springsteen's I think first drummer. It was Vini Lopez I think was his name. "Mad Dog" Lopez I think, if I recall. I could be wrong on that, but I think that was his name. I like his drumming. Those first couple of Springsteen records, he plays a lot more like a kid from the block who you know has some Latin roots. I mean he had a feel. Totally different than Max Weinberg. But Max should be the guy. Point is, on that one I actually tried to play his style because I like his style on that song. So I did try and learn his licks and how he'd play them. Push the fills. They rush a little in this section. Keep the groove. But generally, if we're going to do a cover, I actually try and separate myself from the original part and try and hear it from (the perspective of) our song. How would we play this? So I usually don't go to the original drum track first. I think it keeps it fresher. I think the idea when you do a cover is it's us doing that song.
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