Soon after two teasers and track premieres HERE and HERE, we’re back with the full stream of the newest covers album from California based funk punk rockers EASTER TEETH, giving you 10 interesting, genuine takes on different tracks from 12 varied artists and genres, with the band’s first-hand track by track commentary below!
“Covers” by EASTER TEETH is now available to stream on all major platforms, and to download at easterteeth.bandcamp.com!
Track 1: I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) by Hall & Oates
Josh, in particular, has been infatuated with Hall & Oates for some time now. He insisted that we learn I Can’t Go For That. Who doesn’t love this song?! We originally were trying to find a friend to play the sax solo on a real saxophone, but then I [Tim] had the brilliant idea of using a kazoo instead. Anyone who’s seen us live knows about our briefcase full of little instruments. So the kazoo is in good company with the vibraslap, flexatone, tambourine, shakers, triangle, whistles, cowbells…
Track 2: Revolver by Rage Against the Machine
Besides just being a bad-ass song, if I remember correctly, we learned a Rage Against the Machine song before we went on tour because one of our buddies who was putting on our show in Albuquerque, Adam Smith of the band Crushed!?, was a big RATM fan. We just wanted to make his day. One of the challenges in arranging our version of Revolver was what to do to replace Tom Morello’s lead guitar work. Then it hit us. What could be better than a good ol’ PE coach’s whistle? Totally nailed it.
Track 3: Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult
This is just one of those songs where the main guitar riff translates well into a bass riff, and when you pick up the tempo a little, the groove is there. It’s also a bit tongue-in-cheek like much of our originals. And the addition of the vibraslap of course makes it a crowd favorite.
Track 4: Burning Down the House by Talking Heads
Followed by others like Gang of Four and The Clash, Talking Heads was the first band I realized, although I couldn’t really articulate it until years later, “Hey these guys have more of a punk ethos but are incorporating elements of funk and soul! THAT’S what I want to do!” We’ve never played this one live, but we had to give Talking Heads a nod, and we arranged it a way that we could play it live by looping the main bass part and adding the accents with tapping on the bass in the left hand and the keyboard part in the right.
Track 5: Super Bad by James Brown
We say it all the time, James Brown is our biggest influence. His brand of funk is harder than anyone else’s. If we could’ve just been his rhythm section, we’d rather do that, but we couldn’t, so we started Easter Teeth. His drummers lay the hardest grooves. His bass players lock it up harder than anyone. And he screams more than sings. He was punk! We were nervous about finally covering one of his songs. We wanted to pay homage, but not unless we could really do it justice. We’re pretty proud with how it came out. This is one we learned how to play live, but then went on hiatus before we actually performed it.
Track 6: Life And Limb by Fugazi
Fugazi is another huge influence on the punk side of our spectrum. We both love Life and Limb and wanted to learn it in our previous band with a guitar player. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking I could probably pull it off playing the bass in the left hand and the keys in the right, so we went for it! This is the most challenging two-instruments-at-once song that I’ve learned, and I’m proud of it! Here’s a low quality clip of it live at a show: https://youtu.be/_zT8plfJOk0
Track 7: Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young with Crazy Horse
Similar to Godzilla, Cinnamon Girl is a song that translates well to a bass and drum song with no guitar. We arranged it with that more driving kind of groove like some earlier Motown songs such as Bernadetter by the Four Tops. Our original song Punk Archeology has a similar feel. The famous single note guitar solo in our version of Cinnamon Girl was achieved with a Mini Pog Octave pedal.
Track 8: Bounce Rock Skate Roll
We’ve had this inside joke for years with a good friend, Shaun Wallace, about how Roll Bounce is the greatest movie of all time, and Lil’ Bow Wow is the greatest actor of all time. So we wanted to learn this jam for Shaun. It was a lot of fun arranging the end of the track with all the added instruments like cowbell and flexatone and getting my wife and kids in on the party banter.
Track 9: Breed by Nirvana
This is our oldest cover song. We actually learned it while our band name was still Larry H. Parker and the 2.1 Million – born out of necessity when the guitar player in our main band, Springtime is Wartime, couldn’t make a gig and we didn’t want to cancel. Breed was an easy enough song to learn in a day with only bass and no guitar. At the show, the crowd loved it. And as Easter Teeth evolved into a full time band, they still love it a decade later.
Track 10: Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite
We previously recorded this one for a comp, but we wanted to redo it. We changed the key from E to dropped D, partly so the groove is deeper and partly so it’s in our vocal ranges a little better, not that it made it any more beautiful! Haha. As goofy as it may seem for us to perform this song, it’s rich with funk history: the riff is originally written by Herbie Hancock, and Deee-Lite’s version is played on bass by Bootsy Collins. Our keyboard part that emulates the horn part on Deee-Lite’s version was originally performed by friggin’ Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley of James Brown’s band! And of course Q Tip of A Tribe Called Quest does the rap. So it’s a star-studded jam to say the least. Plus it gave us the chance to add a slide whistle to our arsenal of little instruments in our briefcase.
Track 11: Priests and Paramedics by Pedro the Lion
This is our second oldest cover song. We learned it in 2010 for our first West Coast tour. I love the original song. It’s so sad. Dave Bazan is a sad sad man with a sad story. And in our version with the upbeat tempo, I think it adds another level of sadness in the irony. It’s also the closest to pop punk we’ve ever sounded.
Track 12: Party All the Time by Eddie Murphy
What better way to close this album out than with the greatest song ever written?! Eddie Murphy is an inspiration to us all. He proves himself to be in the upper echelon of triple-threat artists with the likes of Barbra Streisand and Christopher Walken. Plus it’s written and produced by one of the funkiest ever – Rick James. Thanks for listening, everyone!