By Carl Begai
During my recent interview with Nevermore frontman Warrel Dane for the band’s new killer of an album, The Obsidian Conspiracy (found here) we discussed their latest round of cover songs that accompany the release as bonus tracks, ‘The Crystal Ship’ by The Doors and ‘Temptation’ by The Tea Party. The cover of ‘Temptation’ was of particular interest to me due to the fact that The Tea Party is a cult favourite in Canada and easily one of the most underrated bands in the world (in my humble opinion). Like Rush, they are revered at home to the point that Canadian citizens claiming not to like The Tea Party risk having their passports revoked.
“I would hope so,” laughs Dane. “It’s really weird that they were so fucking popular in Canada and Australia, but in the US they never hit. I have no idea why that is. Any of my friends that know me really well know that I worship that band. I’ve turned them all on to The Tea Party and they’re all like ‘Why isn’t this band fucking legendary?’ Well, they are, but they just don’t sell huge numbers of records.”
“I fucking love The Tea Party so much, but that’s actually not the song I wanted to do. I wanted to do ‘Transmission’ because that’s my favourite Tea Party song besides ‘Sister Awake’. It turned out good, though. The way we approach covers is normally deconstructing them and recreating them. That one is a little more straight ahead because the song didn’t call for something like the way we fucked up ‘The Sound Of Silence’.”
“Fucked up” is in the ear of the beholder, of course, but it’s fair to assume Nevermore’s thrash version of hippie ballad went over like a fart in church with Simon & Garfunkel’s fans. When we discussed the band’s rendition of the song back in 2002 Dane said he was waiting for Simon to come knocking at his door with lawyers in tow.
“(Laughs) I’d really like know if he’s ever heard that, but I guess he might have. I’m also fairly sure he would hate it.”
Interestingly enough – for myself, at any rate – I was reminded of the Alice Cooper classic ‘Steven’ while listening to ‘The Blue Marble And The New Soul’ off The Obsidian Conspiracy. Dark and brooding, there’s a single vocal melody line in the verse that brought me back to the days and weeks I’d played the living hell out of Welcome To My Nightmare as a teenager. It’s a song tailor made for the Nevermore treatment. Dane seems to think so too…
“Oh! Goosebumps! Way to plant a seed, buddy.”
Check out ‘Temptation’ and ‘The Crystal Ship’ as remagined by Nevermore here. Audio samples from The Obsidian Conspiracy can be found here.