Metallica's James Hetfield recently stated that the band was in the final process…
- Posted on Aug 13th 2009 3:30PM by Drew Berner
Covers can serve as a tribute and can also virtually create a career -- think Sinead O'Connor's version of Prince's 'Nothing Compares 2 U' and Marilyn Manson's take on Eurythmics' 'Sweet Dreams.' When an established musician takes the time to rework one of their favourite songs, the tune can take on a life of its own.
Such is the case for Amy Millan's reimagining of Death Cab for Cutie's 'I Will Follow You Into the Dark,' a song appearing on the Stars singer's upcoming sophomore solo album, 'Masters of the Burial.' While the original is a sparse pairing of acoustic guitar and lead singer Ben Gibbard's vocals, Millan added pedal steel and banjo, changed a couple of chords and wound up with an entirely different song.
"I was like, 'I've gotta play this song in Calgary!'" Millan tells Spinner, admitting she first included the song in her live set because of its lyrical reference to Alberta's biggest city. "I had been on tour with Death Cab and I would get weepy every night when Ben [Gibbard] played it. It's one of my favourite songs. I wish I'd written it."
But for Millan, the idea of covering songs goes beyond playing to the hometown crowd -- it's about taking someone else's song and making it your own, an ability she ascribes to her musical hero.
"My biggest influence in my life to this day in making music is the American recordings of Johnny Cash. I absolutely love those records," she reveals. "The way he owns so many of the songs he covers -- they're him. It's never like he's covering them, it's like him living an experience that makes him sing that song."