I never got the eyeliner, the whacked-out Aqua Net-friendly hair, or the lipstick. That said, I never really cared, because when you're Robert Smith and you make music The Cure has made, it honestly doesn't matter what you look like. Nat and Rob Rufus get it and so do their band Blacklist Royals who followed up their Die Young With Me album with a Cure covers EP Dead Time Vol. 1: Songs of The Cure.. The Nashville-based punk rock twins have made the EP available as a free download.
Before we get to The Cure logic, here's a few things about Blacklist Royals: the pair have played since they were 13, and continued to until Rob was 17 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After nearly three years in the hospital, the band would eventually come together and their Semper Liberi album came out of that. They also hit the road with bands like Less Than Jake, and played a variety of festivals including the Warped Tour and SXSW.
OK, now let's jump back. Dead Time Vol. 1 includes "Plainsong," "A Forest," and "Pictures of You" - all presented in a very Blacklist Royals kind of way. As far as Cure covers go, these re-imaginings are toward the very top. Anyway, the boys sat down at Primary Wave in New York City to play a few songs including original track "Out in the Dark," and chat about The Cure and their core.
To watch an exclusive performance of "Out in the Dark" and an A-Sides chat with the band, click here .
We move from Robert Smith covers to deeply felt originals by West Virginian Haley Slagle. Listen to a few of her songs, and you won't be surprised to learn that she started playing guitar and writing music before she reached her 13th birthday. As she grew, her love and talent did as well. She was a recording engineer in her native state, and kept an active music career going by playing in various bands and sharing the stage with everyone from Jason Isbell to Dick Dale. She also started finding her own voice. In 2013, she released a self-titled debut EP, and just dropped Liar's Best Friend, an intimate work that carries a lot of emotion and beauty with it. At the Music Conservatory of Westchester, the singer/songwriter played her track "Whiskey" and sat down for a chat. Watch the song below and the interview here.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Jon Chattman's music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds and Bastille.