Jaymz

The Beatles and Metallica; both are renowned rock bands that changed the scope of history. Both masterfully introduced a revolutionary style of sound. But musically both bands are on completely different ends of the rock spectrum.

So, if you somehow managed to scientifically isolate and combine the crunching metal style of Metallica, and just perfectly applying it to some of The Beatles’ most well beloved songs, you would have a band half as great as Beatallica.

Throughout the past decade, Beatallica have been capturing the attention of fans from both bands with their dominative smashups, that bear such titles as “The Thing That Should Not Let It Be” and “I Want To Choke Your Band”.

Their unique, comedic rock take on these classics throughout the Beatles’ catalogue lands Beatallica a lengthy step above all other Metallica cover bands out on the scene.

I recently sat down to talk to front man Jaymz Lennfield to talk about the history of the band, the story behind the Beatallica name, and the band’s new studio album ‘Abbey Load.’

 
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William Clark: What was the initial inspiration behind Beatallica?
 

Jaymz Lennfield: Simply a Spoof Fest festival in Milwaukee where bands emulate some other artists. We did Metallica on April Fool’s Day and made some MP3s of fun stuff for the show. Combine that with the internet setting it on fire and…voila! Happy accident. I wasn’t even playing rock and roll at the time.

William: How did you and the other band members first get together?
 

Jaymz: We’ve all known each other for 20 years or more individually so that part was easy. Just playing in the scene and realizing our admiration for both Beatles and Metallica. It’s a pre-requisite for this band, no doubt.

William: Tell me the story about how Beatallica got it’s name.

Jamyz: Dave Dixon, former webmaster, named the band for his Beatles radio show. The music had no name as it wasn’t really a band. The MP3s were anonymous so he took the initiative and found us later. I guess the name Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem was already taken.

William: When David Dixon approached you, was it a bit odd to discover you already had a massive following?
 

Jaymz: Well sure! Sort of like having a stalker who reveals themselves to you. Except this one had all its teeth.

William: (laughs) Well, soon after you went into the studio with Beatallica to create your renowned Gray Album. But you ran into some legal trouble with your smashups?
 
Jaymz: Happily enough, things were resolved. New things can be scary and perceived as aggressive.  We never meant, or mean, to do that. We have a good relationship with our publishers and we aim to keep that intact.
 
beatallica_abbey_loadWilliam: Moving forward, what made the band decide to give the classic ‘Abbey Road’ the “Beatallica” treatment?
 

Jaymz: The title was too easy!  We’d been kicking that idea around for about 5 years, truth be told. The permissions, however, needed to be had. Thankfully, most of them were. We’d love to put all our ideas on album but this never seems to happen due to logistics, denials, etc. So so so many things that didn’t make the album were not on our behalf but because of the agreement with various folks. We think Abbey is our best effort even with all the hurdles. The Beatle melody lines, lyrics, and structures are all there. It’s the Metallica groove and feel that spices up the album.

William: Well, I thought the new album is fantastic. How do you go about mashing Beatles and Metallica songs? Take me through your songwriting process.
 

Jaymz: Working with both bands is always a challenge because you are automatically put inside a small box that has to include all musicians, label folks, publishers, etc.  Everyone has to be satisfied with the effort and intent.  The songwriting concepts may be the easiest part.  But just because a vibe may seem to fit, it may not be permitted.  Always a lot of checking and double checking and we were held to a certain presentation standard with ‘Abbey Load.’

William: What was the chemistry like during the ‘Abbey Load’ sessions?
 

Jaymz: Probably the best drum sessions to date, per Ringo and Flemball (engineer)!  My vocal tracks went along quite well just due to the fact that I’m more seasoned at all this and we work well on the fly. Greg works best alone, actually.  He did his guitar parts at his recording studio.  Kliff’s sessions are usually a krupnik party so that may be a bit more uncontrolled.

William: If you had to say, what are some of your favorite tracks off the new record?
 

Jaymz: You have to go with the medleys, right? Or else why tackle this beast?! The band is always up for a challenge and this is another one conquered!

 

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William: I noticed that ‘Abbey Load’ features some elements of Metallica’s more recent work, was this a conscious effort?
 

Jaymz: You can’t deny parts of history. It’s a cultural thing and needs to be explored.  Beatallica is a learning tool, in some ways. We turn folks on to Beatles, Metallica, parts of each band’s catalog that others may not be familiar with. It can be a great learning tool and the band opens minds to other ways of thinking.

William: Any clue as to which Beatles album is next to be given the “Beatallica treatment?”
 

Jaymz: If we tell you, we’d have to ice you.

William: (laughs) Will fans be able to find you out on tour in support of Abbey Load?
 

Jaymz: A few areas are first on our list and we are having conversations with them as we’re doing this.  Could be Europe, could be east coast USA. Follow us on Facebook for the real answers on shows, what the album is all about, how and why it is the way it is. Many misconceptions out there, just like every band!

William: What exactly is a Beatallica show like?
 

Jaymz: Costuming, old school sweat, very interactive. We want to make folks part of the show and we usually drag unsuspecting victims up on stage, so don’t forget to brush!

William: Anything else fans can look forward to from Beatallica in the near future?
 
Jaymz: Well we are definitely not out of ideas, some think we are. Best thing to do is get onto our website at beatallica.org or the facebook.com/beatallica for all the correct info. Once we have show dates confirmed, we’ll post. Same goes for any other vital info. We are online all the time and we answer folks back. So don’t be a stranger!