Satan’s Bestie is my recent musical recording project, creating devilishly good music. With each cover or original song I try to push things beyond my previous capacity, whether it is crossing musical genres with a remake, rewriting lyrics to develop a narrative in a new direction, or breaking up the rhythmic structure to try something a little different.
The above link takes you to a media player with some sample songs.
Ring Around the Moon is a bluegrass song by one of my favorite bands, Elephant Revival. I contacted them for permission to make a punk/metal remake of their song, Ring Around the Moon, and was granted permission to stream a cover on ReverbNation. The song is written using a pentatonic add 2 scale for solo instruments. In the original that is violin and banjo. Check out the original in this video.
In my remake that is transitioned to electric guitar. I increased the tempo, moved the rhythm guitar chords from open fingering to barre chords up the neck so I could hammer on them in the background. I also wanted to create rock motives to change the feel of the song. The driving, rhythmic motive played by Randy Rhoads at the beginning of Ozzy Ozbourne’s Crazy Train was an inspiration.
I wrote a rhythmic guitar motive that is played on quarter notes and half notes by different instruments at different points in the song. In addition, during the first verse I introduce dissonance by having the lead guitar slide down a step from the root note while the bass remains on the root note. This gives a subtle eerie feeling during lyrics, that in my version, come off as paranoid and disturbed, in contrast to the sweet delivery of the original.
The song “Why Can’t the Devil Have a Best Friend” explores the story of the devil being cast out of heaven to create hell from a different perspective. In this telling God is the playground bully and the devil is the scapegoat, set up for giving complex knowledge to humankind.
“The House of the Setting Sun” explores the classic House of the Rising Sun exploring why the narrator of the story would choose to follow his father’s path into alcoholism and gambling. In this tale, to get by, the boy’s mother takes a lover, but the son can’t handle the complexity of his parent’s situation and becomes self-destructive.
“The Halloween Song” was written and recorded quickly before the holiday was upon us. A cheeky take on spooks, goblins and holiday parties, the song drifts moodily about, like a lost soul.
What would happen if the devil took up singing spirituals? “Dem Bones,” performed with a voice modification to drop the vocal an octave gives us a good idea of the results of such an endeavor.
How would a male country artist sing a Taylor Swift tune? We get a feel for that with “I Knew You Were Trouble,” as a country boy gets played by a city slicker in heels.