Got You Covered takes a look at the nominees in the Best Cover Band category of the Beijinger's 2015 Reader Bar & Club Awards (vote here through May 17). This time around we talk to Rich Akers, singer for 90s alt-rock devotees Bye Bye Kitty.
Bye Bye Kitty
The current lineup
Rich Akers (Australia) - Vocalist
Jeff Deutsch (USA) - Guitarist
Cian Rance (UK) - Bassist
Jon Ellis (USA) - Drummer
“By the Way,” Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Dammit,” Blink 182
“In the End,” Linkin Park
“The Middle,” Jimmy Eat World
When you can see them next
TBD. Visit their Facebook page for gig updates.
You’re known for your 90’s covers. Are you good at sounding like Anthony Kiedis?
Actually, my Anthony Kiedis is surprisingly on point. And I take my shirt off nearly as much.
What would Kurt Cobain think of your Nirvana covers?
Pffft, he’d f*cking hate them! (laughs). The media has created a cult of personality around Kurt. We idolize him as a music icon. And we as a band specifically idolize, in a very literal way, his music and what his music stood for. I think he'd hate that. That was his underlying contradiction, what drove to him to his ultimate end: he couldn't handle what he meant to us. Kurt Cobain, Patron Saint of the Unwilling.
What’s the secret to being a good cover band?
We’re not there to pull off the perfect rendition of a song, or to execute a perfect guitar solo. We’re there to engage the audience, and be a fun band. So we’ll jump up on speakers, or our guitarist will take an audience member's bottle of Tsingdao and using it as a guitar slide. I once jumped on a someone’s back and sang an entire chorus. Our drummer has even been known to pour lighter fluid on his cymbals and light them on fire.
What’s the most challenging song you have ever tried to cover?
Some of the songs we play have a lot of contrast dynamically— really slow parts, and then really fast parts. It can be a bit tricky sometimes holding yourself back during those slow parts, and then having to dive in to the fast parts. But most challenges in a song can just be solved by practicing harder.
What venues do you like to play?
4Corners, Parlor, Temple, Home Plate. Each venue has its own benefits. Temple, for example, has a killer setup in terms of equipment. Parlour has little to no stage, but that just means that you’ll be up in front of everyone and can engage them more. Whatever venue you play, you need to play to its strengths.
Follow along with all of our 2015 Reader Bar & Club Awards coverage here.
Photos courtesy of Sanna Kallioniemi
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