No one likes a backseat driver. Everyone, however, likes cover bands. Cover-to-Cover’s Jake Bruene and Ian Dull are doing their best to spread the gospel.
Scene&Heard: Tell me a little about Cover-to-Cover.
Jake: We had a sweet idea when we were freshman to put together a group that would make it so we could hear some of our favorite albums of all time in a new way. Our first idea was to put together Weezer’s Blue album, but instead of just guitars and drums and bass to incorporate violins and brass quartets, solo piano players. We wanted to branch out from these favorite albums and give each song a new flavor.
S&H: Can you describe the different artists during the Weezer show?
J: We had a violinist and an acoustic guitar player from the Yale Symphony Orchestra do “My Name is Jonas.” We had a beautiful female piano player — very Regina Spektor — do track two, “No One Else,” creating a little bit of irony because the song is about jealous love. A rapper on “The World Has Turned;” a sick band rocked out on “Buddy Holly;” another sweet band on “The Sweater Song;” an acoustic duet on “In the Garage;” one of the best piano players we’ve ever heard on “Say it Ain’t So” take us through a journey of circus music, reggae, sweet, slow Elton John harmony. We had The Battle Kites play “Only in Dreams,” which was awesome — I think they might have thrown together that band for the show, so we like to think we gave them a little bit of a boost. Up until the last day we had a brass quartet from the School of Music on “Only in Dreams,” but The Battle Kites picked it up at the very last second.
(More after the jump)
S&H: Aside from Weezer, what else have you done?
Ian: Weezer is our only complete show so far, but we are doing Third Eye Blind’s self-titled soon. Another thing we wanted to structure Cover-to-Cover around, though, was just having fun with music. There are so many music groups on campus but it’s such a commitment; we’re one of the few venues for playing music and having fun with it in such a way that doesn’t ask for all your time.
J: Cover music is a guilty pleasure, and we’re totally embracing that. All it takes is for any musician to look up tabs on the internet, learn how to play a song and then play in one of our shows.
S&H: Do you ever think you’ll have one band do an entire album or is it more focused on showing the diversity of each piece?
J: We wanted to create as many different flavors as we could.
I: It’s also much more of a community thing. At our last show, people were milling around the stage, playing, hanging out.
J: You get 10 bands together and you already have an audience of 50 people, so you’re playing music for musicians and all the other people who just love the albums.
S&H: Plans for the coming year(s)?
J: One goal is to work up to The White Album. We’ve already spoken to some people in the School of Music because that’ll take some pretty legit musicians. And that’s another cool thing: we have everything from School of Music musicians to kids who just picked up a guitar a year ago.
S&H: Do you ever seeing yourself moving away from cover music?
J: It would be great to be able to present an entire of a band’s own stuff, but there’s still a lot of creativity involved in the way we’re doing it. We don’t always want to put on single album shows either; we want to do One Hit Wonders, Beatles vs. Stones, songs from Nintendo games —
I: — 80’s power ballads.
S&H: Do you think there’s a lack of live music on campus?
J: That’s what started this entire thing. We thought Low Strung was sweet, covering rock songs with nothing but cellos, but we tried to take it in a different direction with individual bands. We feel there are a ton of independent musicians who just play in their rooms and we’d rather have a community. Also, and this is another goal, we’d love to have one of the actual bands that we’re covering come and play a song during our show.