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Steve Gunn does folky cover of the Misfits’ “Astro Zombies” (listen)

Steve Gunn

Steve Gunn‘s anticipated new album The Unseen Inbetween comes out next week (1/18) via Matador, and ahead of its release, he recorded a cover of the Misfits‘ “Astro Zombies” in a new Lagniappe session for Aquarium Drunkard. He keeps the melody of the original intact, but replaces the raw, driving punk with gently fingerpicked acoustic guitar, and the results are awesome. Here’s what Steve said about it:

Misfits were my first favorite band when I was a teenager. There’s a certain pop sensibility to their songs, and Glenn Dazing’s Elvis-like yodeling is actually quite melodic. For a punk band, I think he was one of the better singers. Their songs are also very catchy, which helped ingrain almost every lyric into my young mind. The ‘horror business’ aspect to their lyrics was a bit campy, which gave them some innocence to my little Catholic schoolboy ears, unlike some of the other punk and death metal coming through my little foam headphones. I decided to cover ‘Astro Zombies’ in a kind of ‘country blues’ style to make an attempt to lighten the lyrics a bit, but I think it did the opposite. It’s an apocalyptic anthem, with zombies coming to pillage the earth, etc. Focusing on the lyrics and singing the words slowly gave the song a new heaviness. Listening back to this slowed down version, I realized that it’s pretty damn relevant to our current times. It wasn’t really my intention in my homage to the Misfits, but after the fact, it makes sense.

In the same session, Steve recorded a cover of “Among the Trees” by folk legend Michael Chapman, who Steve has become a collaborator of (he produced Michael’s new album True North, which comes out the same day as The Unseen Inbetween). Here’s what Steve said about that one:

When I visited Michael at his home a few years back, I learned that he loves chainsaws and chopping wood. I think I remember Michael telling me he wrote this song at a young age, when he was at art school in Hull, and that during the summers he worked in the forest close by. There’s an innocent nostalgia to this song I really love; thoughts of simpler times, longing to see some old friends, while hanging in your favorite place. ‘Among the Trees’ is one of my favorite songs of Michael’s.

Listen to both covers HERE.

As mentioned, Steve Gunn is also touring, including a run with Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore that hits NYC’s Bowery Ballroom on 2/1 (tickets). All dates are listed below.

Steve Gunn — 2019 Tour Dates
1/30 – New Haven, CT – State House $
1/31 – Boston, MA – Great Scott ^
2/1 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom ^
2/2 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer ^
2/7 – Long Beach, CA – The Hangout (solo show)
2/8 – San Diego, CA – Casbah ^
2/9 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom ^
2/10 – Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley $
2/12 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater $
2/13 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern $
2/15 – Novato, CA – Honk Tavern #
2/16 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel #
3/12 – Amsterdam, NL – Bitterzoet *
3/13 – Den Haag, NL – Paard *
3/14 – Groningen, NL – Vera *
3/15 – Hamburg, DE – Nochtspeicher *
3/16 – Aarhus, DK – Radar *
3/18 – Stavanger, NO – Folken *
3/20 – Oslo, NO – Revolver *
3/21 – Gothenburg, SE – Pustervik *
3/22 – Copenhagen, DK – Loppen *
3/23 – Berlin, DE – Frannz Club *
3/24 – Prague, CZ – Archa Theatre *
3/25 – Leipzig, DE – UT Connewitz *
3/26 – Schorndorf, DE – Manufaktur *
3/27 – Vienna, AU – Arena *
3/30 – Luzern, CH – Südpol *
3/31 – Zurich, CH – Rotefabrik *
4/1 – Lyon, FR – Sonic *
4/2 – Paris, FR – Le Petit Bain *
4/3 – Kortrijk, BE – De Kreun *
4/4 – Brussels, BE – BRDCST Festival
4/5 – London, UK – Oslo *
4/6 – Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds *
4/7 – Leeds, UK – The Brudenell Social Club *
4/8 – Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute *
4/18 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club +
4/19 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall +
4/20 – Galien, MI – The Storehouse
4/21 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway +
4/22 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street +
4/23 – Dallas, TX – Double Wide +
4/24 – Austin, TX – Barracuda +
4/26 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn +
4/27 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club +
4/28 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl +
4/29 – Nashville, TN – The Basement +
4/30 – Asheville, NC – The Mothlight +
5/1 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle +
5/2 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre +
5/3 – Richmond, VA – Richmond Music Hall +
5/4 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd

^ w/ Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore
$ w/ Meg Baird
# w/ Sachiko Kanenobu
* w/ Papercuts
+ w/ Gun Outfit

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