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How to Brand Your Band with a Cover Song

 This is a guest article by Erica Cantin.  Rock on, kids!

So you’re a little known band just trying to make your way in this crazy world. According to your alcoholic and slightly suicidal manager, the key to branding your bland and somewhat inconsequential musical style is to cover a previously released song. And he couldn’t be more right, my friend. But covers aren’t just for the new guys; established musicians can also get in on the act, since there’s no better way to make a bigger splash in the public music pool filled with so much pee and cigarette ash than a cover song. So what does the song say about you besides the fact that you’re lazy and don’t like creative work? Let’s explore this together:



We Care So Very Much About Social Politics

For the top dogs, care and compassion is hard to convey when your private jets are oiled by the blood of the workers and fueled by their tears and various other oppressive fluids. So you totally got the upper hand on this if your hand me down van breaks down every 40 miles. For the new guys we recommend U2, since Bono had long perfected insufferability to an artform.

But what if you’re already famous and want to hammer home that you care about the fellow man you observe from your castle made of gold-plated hookers and sweet, nourishing gin? How about Joni Mitchell? No one could possibly sound insincere while singing clouds, hills, and spotted apples, right?

We Are Deep, Open-Minded Free Thinkers and You Aren’t

If you ran out of angry teenagers to hang upside down and shake change out of, don’t fret. Instead of clinging tightly to an outdated persona a la Marilyn Manson and being reduced to marrying teenagers for attention, just regroup your band. Be sure to make it indistinguishable from its previous incarnation, and this time cover John Lennon. Continue to pretend you are brave and unique for doing so.

But let’s say you’re British. (We’re sorry.) Even the most transparent humility is therefore impossible, so don’t even try to fake it. Better to take a song titled the praising of God and make it look like you’re on the same level. Have your video include stares of awe and reverence, black and white slow motion shots and orgasmic cheers. That should do it.

Hey, Man. We’re Just Hangin’ Out Makin’ Some Tunes

So you don’t really have a political agenda, and you guys just want to celebrate music at its most fun- rockin’ guitar riffs, kickass bass lines and universal lyrics everyone can enjoy. Plus dirty, dirty groupies and maybe a month-long bender or two. That’s pretty admirable, really. The key is to not go too deep. Metaphors need to be apparent, and everyone can sing along. Doobie Brothers is perfect!

But you want sex appeal. You may not be much to look at, but you can croon into a mike like it’s paying you for a handjob. What’s a shallow band to do? Frank Sinatra? Pfft, too obvious. You gotta go with Neil Diamond, since 5000 elderly women can’t be wrong nor can they be wet without assistance from industrial lubricants. And like the young and punchable director who put your cover in his movie, make it look like these concepts were all your idea.

We’re Retarded Hillbillies

Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is really the only way to go. Especially if you and your audience is too simple to know what simple means.

But if your album covers should be a picture of you with a shovel in your hand, cover the song Sweet Home Alabama. Even if you’re not even from Alabama.

6 Responses to "How to Brand Your Band with a Cover Song"

  1. SchitzofreNIC says:

    There’s also the Cranberries song, Zombie, recently done by the band Miser. The only problem I have with it is that it’s almost EXACTLY like the original, just in a male’s voice. There’s so much more they could’ve done with that song artistically, but… guess that’s why they chose to release a cover – Just follow these 3 simple steps: copy, paste, & press record. Voila!

  2. Whatev says:

    What about limp bizkit with Faith the George Michaels song.

  3. nerd says:

    Ataris covering Don Henley’s Boys of Summer. Didn’t change a damn thing about the song. Fucking pointless.

  4. Keil says:

    First. Keil is gay

  5. pratik says:

    What about Alien Ant Farm? They debuted with Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”, but all they kept singing was “Annie are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay Annie?” the whole time. It was beyond sad.