Drunk Dial #2 - BILLY AUGUST & THE JULIE MONARCHY (7")
1. Icarus Lover
2. Small Town Saturday Night (Hal Ketchum)
Post-recording interview with Billy August
[DD] Drunk Dial prohibits writing or rehearsing the cover before going into the studio, but did you prepare for the day of recording in any other way?
[BA] I just drank a lot before going into the studio. We (my drummer Zac and I) got together to play a couple times beforehand to make sure we weren't going to just completely suck.
[DD] Did you have any specific fears going into the studio? What ended up being the most difficult part?
[BA] I was extremely apprehensive about going into a "real" studio setting and how the drinking would affect the atmosphere. The studio was really nice about it, but the juxtaposition of the technical aspects of recording with making sure we were drunk enough was tricky. They're trying to position a microphone and you're saying "Hang on, we need to drink more before we do this." It was a surreal feeling of frustration to feel like the drinking aspect might not be getting taken seriously enough, but it all worked out.
[DD] Why did you choose to cover Hal Ketchum’s 'Small Town Saturday Night?'
[BA] I knew it from when I was a kid and my girlfriend & I were listening to it a lot, so when we were drunk I would play a really maudlin acoustic version of it and she liked it. I thought it would be fun and different to do a country song.
[DD] Do you prefer playing music sober or buzzed?
[BA] That's a difficult question to answer. I've done plenty of both, and I just don't think there's a right or wrong answer. Playing buzzed is good because it takes the nerves away, it makes you feel cocky and more in control. But you can suck pretty terribly if you're not careful. Playing sober is the most nerve-wracking thing in the world, for me at least. It's terrifying, but you generally perform better and when it's over, you feel like you made it through something.
[DD] What is the best cover song of all time?
[BA] For me, it would be Johnny Cash doing Nick Lowe's "The Beast in Me". More of a personal choice. Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" probably takes the cake, even if that's a cliché pick. He translated the Cohen version and all of the other ones into this soaring, painful song that doesn't really make you feel better after listening to it, but it devastates you.
[DD] It's closing time at a bar full of your friends, there's only time to play one more song on the jukebox. What do you play?
[BA] "Beth" by Kiss