What do you get when you mix two classical bands together? One kick-ass band! Who are these bands exactly? One is a rock n’ roll band that many Americans are quite aware of, while the other is pure metal! On with the name game… What happens when you merging these two classic bands together? BEATALLICA!
Beatallica Bassist, Namaste, spoke to me just about the band’s formation, album releases, and what it’s like to enter a whole other of music.
NP: Where did the band name come from? Give us a short summary on how the band formed.
Kliff McBurtney: 2001, a joke CD by a Metallica cover act got passed around a party. This CD was some hastily conceived idea of Metallica covering the Beatles. Later, unbeknown to the band, a local Physics professor/Internet DJ posted the CD under the name “Beatallica.” Many people saw that site, including Sony Music. Agreements were made regarding the furtherance of this unlikely project, and fan appreciation was high. The band was reformed and rehearsed. The first “Beatallica” show was El Paso Texas 5 /31/ 04. BalloonFest hosted by KLAQ-FM, We made sure to have our name AFTER the puppet show.
NP: You must get a lot of freedom to do what you want to do with your music.
Kliff McBurtney: If coloring within the lines of Metallica and Beatles is what you call “freedom,” and making sure all licensors are compliant, then yes we do have a lot of freedom, ironically.
NP: If every member of Beatallica was locked in a room together what could you all agree on to listen to?
Kliff McBurtney: How long are we locked in there? Once while driving through a freak snowstorm in western New York, I offered to put on my 3-hour CD of Iron Maiden. They all scoffed not knowing it was an mp3 cd. Three hours later they said “Damn you weren’t kidding!” I’ll say Iron Maiden, but no more than 3 hours.
NP: What are Beatallica’s upcoming plans for the rest of 2009?
Kliff McBurtney: Well, the CD just came out, and with it we have a video to our Hero of the Day Tripper. Look for that soon. Tour plans are being banged out as we speak, including a return to Europe touring with German band; J.B.O. out of Nuremberg. Europe is cool.
NP: Any tour anxieties?
Kliff McBurtney: Traveling is fun, but very stressful. I have developed phantom body pain due to unrequited stress. We have done it enough now where it is like punching in for work for a while. Any time our itinerary brings us through London’s Heathrow airport I have great anxiety, like “Will I make it home today?” “Will my luggage makes it home today?”
NP: What are you currently listening to?
Kliff McBurtney: I am infatuated with French Prog-Metal band, Adagio. Everybody in this band is a ripper. Unfortunately they don’t have near the recognition that they deserve. Check them out!!!!
NP: Does that make it difficult when the time comes to practice or write? Is the writing done separately and then sort of pieced together, or is it more of as group effort?
Kliff McBurtney: Writing a Beatallica song starts as an individual assignment. One of us just picks a concept and goes with it. Then we lay it on the other dudes to see if they dig it. Nobody remains silent with the demo; we will all voice our opinion as to whether something is clever or shit. If it passes the muster, then we collectively bang out the end result. Probably how most groups operate?
NP: How do you feel like “Masterful Mystery Tour,” is different than the other albums that Beatallica has released?
Kliff McBurtney: In the past it was a combination of “don’t give a fuck” and “what the hell.” Seeing the ugly insides of Rock and Roll, Beatallica tends to have a more seasoned approach to the project. While this makes the general feel lose some of the spontaneity present in the original demos, it is replaced by a full sounding, well crafted audio work. Natural progression I suppose.
NP: How does it make you guys feel to hear so many other bands trying to sort of mimic your sound? Is it flattering?
Kliff McBurtney: Really? I hadn’t heard of this. I saw a You Tube video of some Asian kids doing a half-ass job of it. It is good to know I work a little harder than that!
NP: Of all of Beatallica’s albums, what is your personal favorite? Or is that like asking you to try and choose a favorite child?
Kliff McBurtney: Honestly, they are all on my iPod on random, so I tend to hear everything at once. The original MP3s have their charm, and the new tunes have a great sound. The differing guitar styles have intrigued me as well, from the original KRK, through GRG I-III, and even our special guest; Diablo Mysterioso adds a new melodic texture. I will prefer the hypothetical future live album that will capture the love of the Beatallibangers along with our balls out performance.
NP: Any last words of wisdom?
Kliff McBurtney: Support your local music scene so it doesn’t rot from the inside. Starting by buying our new album; Masterful Mystery Tour, visiting Beatallica.org, Myspace.com/beatallica, facebook.com/beatallica, Twitter.com/beatallica etc… blah blah blah.
I am personally bothered by the amount on connectivity we all have. I am also a weirdo who doesn’t bide with toting a cell phone. Guess I am just old school. Most Professional sports are rigged and the amount of money wasted on them could feed the world! They should be abolished. Get the hell out of the country you were born in and travel somewhere else. Speak to people face to face, in their native tongue. You will appreciate your home more, and gain a broader understanding of the world you live in. Learn to brew your own Beer, Wine, and Mead. It’s easy, less expensive, and better!
Thanks for the pulpit.
Namaste (Peace Out), Kliff McBurtney