STONE SOUR has made the five song “Meanwhile In Burbank…” EP featuring covers from Alice In Chains, Judas Priest, KISS, Black Sabbath, and Metallica available for streaming here. The EP was recorded live at Room 237 in Burbank, California, and was originally released April 18 only on vinyl at select record stores.
“Meanwhile In Burbank…“ track listing:
1. We Die Young (ALICE IN CHAINS cover)
2. Heading Out To The Highway (JUDAS PRIEST cover)
3. Love Gun (KISS cover)
4. Creeping Death (METALLICA cover)
5. Children Of The Grave (BLACK SABBATH cover)
The band will release two more EP’s of cover songs titled “Straight Out Of Burbank” and “No Sleep ‘Till Burbank” according to vocalist Corey Taylor. Each will include five tracks including covers of Rage Against The Machine, Motley Crue, Bad Brains, and Violent Femmes songs.
By: Brooke Edgewater
In November, 2009, Freaks Like Me band-mates Dave Eve (bass), Jon O’Connor (vocals, guitar) and Steve Kilroy (drums, backing vocals) resolved to combine their talents and ambition to establish a tribute virtuoso for a world-renowned band that we are all acutely familiar with, dubbed Nirvana. Having grown up in the nineties myself, I feel that music was at its unadulterated prime, during this time period. The “grunge” era was all about long hair, flannel shirts, and music that resonated a deep-seated devotion for forlorn angst and inner self-reflection.
As a tribute band, ‘Nervana’ (aka Freaks Like Me), captured the epitome of what was Nirvana and the masses simply could not get enough as it lead up to a gathering of 60,000 fans, at a show on Mathew Street in Liverpool. Lead vocalist Jon O’Connor has a voice that captivates and exudes the same raspy emphasis the late, legendary Kurt Cobain possessed, but with an authenticity that is, exclusively, all his own. With Dave Eve’s background in an assorted variety of distinctive musical fields, playing bass, and the multi-talented Steve Kilroy’s artistic expertise, tinged with an aggressive beat, on the drums, the band was destined to evolve into something preeminent. And emerge, they sure as hell have.
After signing with record label Pavement Entertainment, the band’s progression commenced. On April 7th of 2015, their imminent evolution was conclusively introduced as a flawless new sound by the band, that is now entitled, Freaks Like Me.
Upon releasing their debut album, Philosophies for the Modern Ant, they have been consistently illustrated as “genre… Whatever You Want to Call It“ but I, on the other hand, would characterize them as a nostalgic, gravelly wrath of depth, that has recently made its profound presence and undeniable potential, officially known.
Brooke: First of all, where are you all from originally?
Jon: We’ll say Dublin. Though it’s actually Waterford.
Dave: London. But I’ve been living in the states for eight years now.
Steve: Boston. Dave grew up in a pod off world!
Jon: (laughs) Yeah…he was grown far away.
Dave: (laughs) That’s funny!
Brooke: (trying to not laugh and appear professional) So we have a band that consists of one member from Waterford, one member from London and another from Boston that have miraculously congregated to form the tribute band, Nervana. Aside from some obvious sort of divine intervention conspiring here, how did every one meet?
Dave: You know one thing that is especially pertinent with the tribute thing is we really don’t take ourselves seriously. We take our music seriously. Not ourselves. Steve and I have known each other for many years. We’ve been in a lot of bands together here and over in London. Steve is definitely one of the top drummers out there. I always try to stick close.
Jon: Steve contacted me on YouTube and asked if I was interested in doing a Nirvana tribute. I thought it was a joke, at first.
Steve: After I saw him trash a guitar in one of his videos. (laughs)
Jon: Oh yeah…that’s right!
Steve: Yeah, we flew him over and had a jam and immediate gig.
Jon: It definitely was that total click straight away. We knew it would work.
Steve: He also wasn’t ready for a New England winter and froze solid!
Jon: Literally. You could have shattered off my nipples!
Brooke: (still suppressing laughter) What was it like playing for 60,000 people in Liverpool?
Steve: Yea, more actually, but it was an insane amount of people. Whoa, it was totally surreal in Liverpool, right in the city center, it was awesome! (laughs) Madness and loud as fuck!
Brooke: Wait…is smashing instruments a common occurrence?
Steve: Yes, it is. (smiles)
Jon: Quite common. Sometimes when it’s not even intended.
Brooke: When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Dave: Oh, well before my teens. I’ve been obsessed with music as long as I can remember. I used to take stuff apart as a kid. I would build mini-studios and drove my parents mad!
Brooke: So Dave, your parents encouraged music for you at a young age?
Dave: I think they just wanted to keep me from taking shit apart.
Brooke: Who, would you say, influenced you guys the most musically?
Dave: Arg! Tough one. My parents basically gave me their record collection, a record player, and a pair of headphones when I was around five-years-old. I was permanently attached to that thing. But they had the whole Beatles collection, Lou Reed, Led Zeppelin. All the good stuff from 1964.
Jon: I’d have to say John Lennon. I’ve been a fan since I was five-years-old.
Steve: My dad. Drums and pianos were always in the house. He was a Boston session drummer and keyboardist and he’s still in a band! (laughs) His own Dixieland band and they’re very good too!
Brooke: Was singing something you started to do as a child, naturally, Jon? And when did you decide that was what you wanted to do in life?
Jon: I guess I’ve always loved to sing as a kid. Then it stuck. By the time I was ten-years-old, I was screaming my head off on a daily basis. Yeah, I loved to make noise.
Steve: In the beginning, there were some moments that I thought Jon would not be able to sing due to a cold or whatever, but he can literally scream through it.
Brooke: What is your process when writing your music?
Jon: I write the songs. I demo them and work them together in the studio. Hashing out the last details and making them as good as possible. If it wasn’t for Steve and Dave, they wouldn’t have come out the same. Without Dave’s bass and production and Steve’s drumming, it wouldn’t have been anything like this.
I tend to start with poetry, then I choose lyrics and phrases in my head. I don’t tend to talk about the lyrics very much. But I will say that it’s my way of closing the doors on some painful things from my past. A release of sorts. It’s screaming out the angst and pain for three minutes plus.
Steve: One thing for sure, we all work very hard at our craft and we love performing.
Brooke: Okay, I have to know. How did you come up with the unusual name of the band and the title, Philosophies for the Modern Ant , for your debut album?
Dave: I can’t tell you that. It’s a secret. Jonny may tell you if you feed him a Guinness. (wink)
Steve: That would be my fault! (laughter) It’s an honest title. That is how I feel sometimes and I know the other guys do too. It’s such a weird, exposed world now. I think people, especially young people now, can easily feel like freaks and relate.
Jon: Yeah…we’re just a bunch of freaks, really, and a great name was needed.
Brooke: Dave, what would you say is the most challenging aspect of what you guys do?
Dave: Making things good enough for my own standards.
Brooke: Would you say you have high standards?
Dave: Always. But more for myself than anyone else. It’s a good driving force. I want to put one-hundred-percent into everything I do. The battle is always time.
Brooke: Did it change anything with the bands dynamic when you were signed by Pavement Entertainment?
Steve: Yes, we all went and got haircuts and pedi’s!
Jon: I thought we’d have to shop it around for a while but the deal came to us. The only thing I reckon it’s changed is our drive. We want to do more.
Steve: Like get perms!
Jon: We want to tour more. And yes, I have rollers in right now!
Steve: On a serious note, I believe we can evolve, if given the opportunity. I love giving it all away on stage. I just hope people latch on.
Dave: It’s a combination of three things. We are all deeply passionate about music, firstly. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true. Secondly, we have been through a lot together. That reflects in our music, I think. Even though we sounded like we’d been together for years the first time we jammed. But lastly, is finding people like you that understand what we are trying to do. We couldn’t do it on our own.
Brooke: If you guys could give any insight about what you have learned thus far, what would it be?
Dave: In this industry you must have enough passion for what you’re doing to be able to make the sacrifices you have to make. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s not an easy job. The only advice I can give is never, ever, ever, ever give up. Ever! Also, as Eddie Van Halen says, “No fucking around!” That’s my motto. (laughter)
Steve: That’s simple. Don’t burn bridges.
As I sit here, with my headphones on out of habit, literally listening to one of their songs, All In A Lie, I can now genuinely say, Freaks Like Me have produced an indisputably contemporary sound that, I believe, will only accelerate from this point on. Another thing I can tell you is that, after a hell of a lot of research, Jon, Dave, and Steve have legitimately raised the bar for me, personally. They have unapologetic-ally, (which is the only way to do anything worth while), forged their own path and the trail is still lit, with a dim glow from the flames left in their wake.
As Freaks Like Me continue to gain momentum into the next phase of their career, I can guarantee you that I for one, will be keeping track of this particular band and will be anxiously waiting to see what their sophomore album is all about.
To find more information on them yourself, check out their official Facebook page here or hit up iTunes, HMV, 7 Digital, as well as, Spotify, and YouTube. I also have to give them a huge shout out “Thank you Freaks Like Me!” for taking the time to conduct this interview with me. You guys are a stellar group and as we say in the south….I appreciate you!