Saturday, October 18, 2014

Single Again: Interviews Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm – ‘Smooth Criminal’

In this  edition of 'Single Again', Dan Weiss of spoke to Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm. Dryden discusses their new album and the 2001 #1 rock cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” that was accompanied by a popular, fun video with multiple Jackson references.

Pre-order the band’s first album of brand new material in 5 years! Always & Forever

Do you consider “Smooth Criminal” to be a blessing or a curse?
Uh…I don’t know. I wouldn’t call it either, really. I mean, it gave us a platform to show our band and allowed us to buy homes, I wouldn’t call that a curse.

What was the worst thing about your biggest hit being a cover?
These are all kind of negative questions…what’s the worst part of it? I don’t know what you want me to say. The worst part of it was…I don’t know, these questions I guess.

Here, I’ll give you a positive one—
I’m not trying to be a dick, it just sounds like those first two questions were like, curse, worst part…is the third question going to be like, “Do you stick sequined fingers up your ass?”

I apologize. What I wanted to know was like, what sort of unique issues come with breaking on a cover?
I mean, like we immediately thought like, “Do you want to blow up on a cover?” I mean, not really. So that’s the first thing that comes into their head, and then you think, we’re the ones that recorded it, you know. So we had to step up and deal with it. That it got as big as it did, you just have to kind of embrace it, you know?

Of course. And the song sounds—and the video looks—like it was insanely fun to make.
We’ve all never been a fan of bands that were cool, and I mean [“Smooth Criminal”’s] music’s cool, but the whole image thing, maybe we’re not really a metal band but growing up, being like, “the cool band” didn’t really appeal to us. So the more fun we could inject into videos or imagery…I see kids coming to our shows and I have to admit they look like they come from fun. videos or something like that.

Did you ever hear personally from Michael Jackson’s camp about it?
Just via his people or via email, never with him. We got invited to do a show of his. He was kind of bummed when we sent the video over first, because the little kid is wearing the mask. He said he really liked the video and the song but he didn’t like that the kid was wearing the mask. So we re-shot the video without the mask, and then he came back and said he liked it with the mask .....

Read the full interview and more about the new album  Here

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