The Rise of the Hybrid Children: Beatallibangers Unite!
Beatallica on stage, breaking it down.
“What happens when you combine the greatest band of the 60’s with the greatest band from the 80’s? You get the greatest band of the 21st century!” This quote from Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) sums up the band that has created not only its own unique sound, but a whole new genre in itself: Hybrid Metal. Beatallica combines the catchy, unforgettable tunes of The Beatles with the speed and intensity of Metallica in a style all their own. Their songs, or “Bash Ups” as they are known, are just as catchy as they are ingenious.
Titles such as “I Wanna Choke Your Band”, “A Garage Dayz Nite”, and “The Thing That Should Not Let It Be” represent their ability to combine two genres, which are seemingly worlds apart. Their lyrics, while containing some allusions to both The Beatles and Metallica, are all original. They address such important topics as drinking, keeping Heavy Metal pure, beer, the death of Glam Metal, more beer, hatred of posers, and, most importantly, beer. Targeting Glam Metal bands, such as Dokken and Winger who are mentioned specifically, Beatallica is on a crusade to keep metal strong and pure, while ridding it of posers who only care for soft music and ballads. This originality has spawned a phenomenon, which has come to the attention of metal fans on an international level.
For those of you who are not familiar or, most likely, have never heard of Beatallica; let me present a brief background on the band. Beatallica is Jaymz Lennfield (lead vocals, guitar), Grg Hammettson (lead guitar), Kliff McBurtney (Bass, backing vocals), and Ringo Larz (Drums).
Jaymz Lennfield in his element
Grg Hammettson gently stroking his guitar
Kliff McBurtney on bass, he’s so punkrock!
and Ringo Larz, the drummer, looking unwashed.
They’re four simple guys from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who formed the band to play in a local Milwaukee concert known as “Spoof Fest”. They recorded an EP (A Garage Dayz Nite) that year, but thought nothing of it until it was leaked onto the web without their knowledge. Impressed by the buzz it received from fans around the world Beatallica decided to release another EP (Beatallica/ The Grey Album).
Beatallica first became well known over the Internet when word of their legal troubles spread. They had recorded two ablums of their own brand of “Hybrid” metal, but were issued a cease and desist order by Sony Records, the owners of the rights to The Beatles’ music. Word of this spread to Lars Ulrich of Metallica who offered Beatallica the use of Metallica’s legal council to smooth things over with Sony. Beatallica was able to release their albums, but they were not allowed to profit from them. They instead offered the albums for free download off of their website beatallica.org (though they are no longer available). This publicity was enough to gain them recognition and they began to tour not only the United States, but Europe as well.
This brings us to today…well, Saturday, July 7th when Beatallica performed live as a part of Tribute Wars 18 at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill in Times Square. This current tour marks the release of their first real album, which will be released in stores Tuesday, July 10th. This was the second time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Beatallica in concert; the first being at the Knitting Factory back in December of ’05. This time I was accompanied by the lovely ETL, as this was part of my birthday gift to her, and a small cadre of others. With the exception of myself, our group hadn’t heard much of Beatallica before the show. Perhaps some new Beatallibangers (as Beatallica fans have come to be known) will be born.
We mostly chatted while the Motely Crue cover band finished up their set, but we hit the floor once Beatallica hit the stage. Adorned in their Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band uniforms, Beatallica began to tear up the stage playing the title track to their new album Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band. They played a mix of their songs from their first two “internet only” albums as well as all of the new tracks from their new album.
Beatallica’s stage show really shows their prowess as musicians, with each song featuring extended guitar and bass solos not featured on any pre-recorded track. Jaymz mimics James Hetfield’s (lead singer of Metallica), vocal style for Beatallica, and he also does an uncanny Glenn Danzig for the song “I am Evil”. Between songs the band members show that they are just average Joes from the mid-west who are just looking to play some music, drink some beer, and have some fun while putting on an awesome show for all those fans who show their support. And fun was the key word of the evening. Joking around on stage, telling stories about their international tours, and the current status of their band’s global popularity all contributed to the fun.
Their appreciation for the audience is definitely the driving force for their music. That evening the audience was composed of not only older 40 and 50-somethings, but also 20-somethings and even teens. The appeal to such a large demographic shows that Beatallica tapped a musical revolution (or revol-ooh-tion) that has earned the respect of not only fans worldwide, but other metal bands. Touring the world with bands such as Motorhead, Dream Theater, and other giants of metal, Beatallica has established a name for themselves in the world of metal. With the release of their first studio album July 10th 2007, Beatallica continues their current tour of the US, next moving on to Europe and for the first time ever, Asia. Beatallica is quickly shedding its skin as an underground band, and is bringing to light the greatness of their own brand of Hybrid Metal. So, Beatallibangers unite and throw your support to the most unique band of our times. OOOH YE-HEAH!!!
Article Copyright © 2007 to Dazvsemir; Photos Copyright © 2007 to ETL