So it turns out that Trivium’s Matt Heafy’s been doing covers and popping them up on YouTube. What doesn’t come as a surprise is that they’re pretty damn good what with Heafy being an incredible guitarist and talented vocalist.
The one I just came across is of Blink-182’s “Dammit” done in the style of early In Flames / Johnny Cash (!). As one commenter points out: “the great thing about Blink’s stuff, especially Dammit, is they’ll make you go places emotionally you had no idea about, while making it all seem like it’s a happy time with their upbeat, fast songs.” This is true of a lot of pop/punk. It’s easy to think the bouncy music means that the songs are all flowers and unicorn shit, but so many of them are about heartbreak, cheating, losing loved ones, unhappy relationships… By toning the song down a bit “happy-wise”, Heafy’s brought out the darker side of the lyrics in this Blink-182 classic.
A bit more about the song, from the man himself…
If you’re familiar with my musical path, you’ll know that before Trivium, I tried out for a pop punk band with the song “Dammit” by Blink 182, and never made it in the band.
Defeated, I was about to give up on music, until I stumbled upon “The Black Album” by Metallica.
You know the rest.
I’ve always loved Blink, and I wanted to cover “Dammit”, but I knew it had to be different. I thought in my head, “How would In Flames Jester Race / Whoracle / Colony-era do ‘Dammit'”? Musically, this is that result.
Vocally, I wanted to stick with that Johnny Cash covers album sorta range, but add in the fun harmonies that I love to do.
The result is something I’m definitely proud of.
The method I’ve been doing the most recent covers is after rehearsing the song countless times; recording the main acoustic tracks first in Logic, doing a rough run through of the main vocals, tracking the backup vocal parts, any overdub guitars or vocals… then I track another acoustic and lead vocal track while shooting the video so that it’s still a live shot.