A triad of talent has aligned to create an epic cover of an iconic song, Hyper, Jack Trammel, and Sam Matlock (of Wargasm) have all joined forces to render something that does justice to the original while bringing a balance to all 3 of their styles under one production. Out via Position Music, this tune is an absolute banger all things considered and fits to many moods
On the one hand, the structure of the release fits with bass music culture, yet the vocal work fixates on a vibe that is much more hardcore rock / punk-rock. Yet, all of these genres are heavy, so it makes sense that they would have the natural synergy to gel, which is exactly what is happening on this release.
Hyper is certainly the guy who is bringing in the rock/punk-vibe onto this release. He’s been a huge fan of grunge and various rock/heavy rock genres growing up, being from Seattle himself (home of Nirvana.) He has collaborations with artists like The Crystal Method and Iggy Pop, huge, globally known names in all of music and especially in their respective scenes. Hyper injects this know-how in a sophisticated and brilliant way with this cover.
Jack Trammell is big in the video game and film trailer world and probably had a big role in designing the mood and direction of this release. It certainly has a cinematic feel to it, it being easy to imagine the type of song in something like a box office trailer.
Sam Matlock handles the structure on the guitar and vocal front and does so with grace and enthusiasm. The dude has an interesting background and career to say the least, he’s a member of the successful band Wargasm and also son of the bassist Glen Matlock – who was in The Sex Pistols – so a ton of cultural context with this guy and a great inclusion on a collaboration such as this.
An optimal meeting of the minds has occurred with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” – Hyper, Jack Trammel & Sam Matlock are a force to be reckoned with.
How did you get involved in the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ remix?
I was working on some new material with a Movie/Game Trailer composer I admire, Jack Trammell. (I love trailer music/sound design/score, and was keen to see how our styles would mesh to do something fresh). He’d done a legit cover of ‘Teen Spirit’ as a trailer based composition, and he asked whether I would be interested in remixing that. (-Sub Pop records circa ’90 (Mudhoney, L7, Tad) were one of the turning points/epiphanies of my musical life). The ‘Bleach’ album by Nirvana especially (along with Beastie Boys’ ‘Check Your Head’ from a different direction) was a huge moment for me. The following success of ’Teen Spirit’ and the ’Nevermind’ album I still feel was totally justified and that the band should never have felt they’d sold out by making it. I couldn’t say no as I’d always wanted to have a go at the track, but I had to do it properly, with respect yet while ensuring I added a fresh take to it. I asked Sam Matlock (from Wargasm) if he’d be interested in replaying the guitars for me and re vocalling the parts I needed… It was a tough track to rework for me personally, Sam and I didn’t want to copy Kurts delivery and so he worked on emphasizing key parts and I then went and twisted them up further. It is also 30 years since the release of the single, so I really wanted to make a celebration of it. That is what the feel of the second half of the rework is meant to be.
What’s your favorite period in rock music (using the name of that genre broadly)?
Punk. The energy was, and still is palpable even from documentaries and watching old performances (Dead Boys, Pistols, the Bad Brains, Black Flag especially). Its taken time for me to realise that Punk is still around but is no longer necessarily about music. Music and culture and life needed that injection of adrenalin in late 70’s England. It was a DiY thing, was organic (to a point), and is STILL the last seismic and enduring shift in music to this day. While Electronic Music has become a massive movement, I don’t believe its the same thing… Punk to me exists still within anyone pushing the boundaries and/or sticking to your guns despite what ‘genres’, ‘fashion’ or your supposed ‘peers’ continue to tell you what you should do or how you should sound. Going against the grain! Honesty is at the heart of it whether right or wrong and having the courage of your convictions.What type of vibe or messaging do you hope folks take away from the Hyper experience sonically?
That the music is honest, uncompromising (and I don’t just mean by being heavy in places) and that you don’t have to sit in a genre to provide an important musical experience for people. I get asked all the time what ‘genre’ I am, and my fave summary of my work, came from a comment on some social media platform or other. It went along the lines of ‘..i never know quite what I’m going to get from a new Hyper track, Strings, guitars, vocals, whatever… BUT, I do know that it WILL sound like a street fight!’! (Will also accept ‘What The Fuck Was That?’:-)
What advice would you give musicians just starting out today in the digital era of music that may be a point of encouragement?
Try to stick to you, what drives and influences you, and what YOU like and inspires you. Develop sounds and feels that excite YOU. You’ll always write your best music when you follow where the track needs to go naturally to you.
Never listen to one of those producer Twitter rants ‘you shouldn’t use those hi freq (or whatever) snares’ blah (judge/scorn etc), It’s YOUR snare and use the one you want! (usually frustrated producers btw:-)
TRY EVERYTHING. Get an idea, then try it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Have fun. (Express yourself, this is art remember:-).
Do not go into the music industry because you think you’ll become rich!