Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jace Everett Talks about finale’s song ‘Evil’

Interview by Lynn Powell Dougherty featured at

The True Blood Season 3 Finale episode airs on September 12. I’m having trouble believing that Season 3 is almost over because it seems like yesterday when we were all waiting patiently for the season to start.
While a finale episode is always bitter sweet, I think this finale might be a bit sweeter than usual, because it includes as its title song, a collaboration of two great True Blood musicians.
Also, as a special treat, the Vault is running a contest where you can win a True Blood Season 2 soundtrack CD. See the contest rules below.
Inspired to remake a classic blues tune, True Blood’s music supervisor, Gary Calamar and CC Adcock came up with the idea to remake, for the finale’s title song, “Evil“.
Jace Everett, the writer and performer of the show’s title theme song, Bad Things, was asked to join in and work with CC to create a new version of the classic blues song by Willie Dixon, which was recorded and made famous by the great blues artist, Howlin’ Wolf. CC Adcock, the musician who wrote Bleed 2 Feed, which is on True Blood’s Season 1 soundtrack, and who has appeared with his band playing at Arlene and Rene’s wedding in Season 1, got together with Jace and fellow producer, Mike Napolitano to record this great new version.
ccadcock Jace Everett Talks about finales song Evil and win a Season 2 CDgaryc Jace Everett Talks about finales song Evil and win a Season 2 CD
C.C. Adcock and Gary Calamar

Below is the mini-documentary about this collaboration recording, presented by HBO, showing how the recording came to be.

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Jace Everett
Since the resulting recording of “Evil” by CC and Jace is the title song of Season 3′s finale episode, it seemed appropriate to find out more about it. Recently, I had a chance to speak to Jace Everett about the making of the song and that interview is below with a bit also thrown in by Gary Calamar.
Can you tell me how the song and the collaboration with CC Adcock came to be?
Gary Calamar (music supervisor) and CC Adcock were bouncing some ideas for a “classic”song to use this season for trailers. Much as they used Dylan’s song “Beyond Here Lies Nothing” for last season. Howlin’ Wolf was one of the blues greats they had in mind.
How did you and CC get together on it?
CC and Gary thought it would be cool to get me involved. They called me up and CC and I spent a couple of weeks bouncing ideas back and forth. The whole production style, while certainly a collaborative effort, was really the brain-child of CC and Mike Napolitano. Mike engineered the track and had some great ideas to augment where CC and I envisioned it heading.
Tell the fans a bit about the origin of the song?
This is a classic blues written by Willie Dixon. Willie wrote so many songs that are now considered standards. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and others all recorded his tunes. To say nothing of the fact that white boys like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and countless others have been aping Willie’s tunes ever since. Now I guess CC and I are getting in on the action!
Can you tell me about the experience of making the recording? When was it recorded and where?
I flew down to New Orleans and spent a couple of days with CC bouncing from studio to studio. The track is a really good mixture of raw and loose musicianship and some cool loops and sound design. I really like the mixture of technology and raw humanity we captured.
I understand that a mini-documentary is being aired along with the season finale. What was the filming of that like? When did you do it?
CC had the good sense to get a camera crew there for the weekend! We just documented the event. It’s all shot on location in New Orleans.
Tell me what you think of the song Evil and does it fit in any of those made up music categories?
It’s an amazing song. The Howlin’ Wolf version is simply untouchable. It can’t be improved. Hopefully, we showed our respect and merely put a 21st century spin on it.
It’s, as a song, as pure a Blues number as you can get. I think where we took it is maybe a little “post-modern”, if you will.
What do you think of when you hear the word “Evil”?
Besides Dick Cheney? I don’t know. There’s the cartoon version of evil; pitch forks, horns and the like. Then there’s the real-life evil; the crap we humans do to one another through selfishness, laziness, greed, and religious fervor.
I guess I prefer the pitchfork! Far more manageable! LOL!
What do you think of True Blood’s big success?
Well, having spent a little time with the creators, cast, and behind the scenes folks of the show, I couldn’t be happier for them. They are a good group of people. I think it’s a real hoot of a show. Funny, sexy, scary, addictive. Obviously, it’s been good for me, too. Here’s hoping for another 10 seasons and the 3D Imax movie in 2014!!
Do you and CC have any plans for future recordings together?
Nothing concrete at present, but it would certainly be something I’d like to do. We have a lot of similar taste in music, but still approach things a little differently. It’s a nice mix that I hope we’ll explore in the future.
Gary Calamar has already told me that his eight year old daughter, Zoe and two friends did backups for the song and it is their voices at the end saying “Evil”. He said that CC sent him a demo and that Zoe and her two friends recorded their part in LA and it was sent back to be added to the song. Is this the way it went? Do you have anything to add?
Yea, my bit was done by then, but I think that’s how it went down. you know, with modern technology, it’s truly astounding what can be done in the recording world. Napolitano deserves big kudos for wrangling it all together.
What do you think differentiates this version of the song from the original?
Well, it’s louder! CC had the conceit to make a record that a young hip-hop fan could dig. You know the blues of the ’50′s and ’60′s was, at the time, “race music”. It could be argued that hip-hop started that way. Now, of course, hip-hop is ubiquitous. From jazz, blues, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and now hip-hop, black Americans have really invented the bulk of popular music. Then us crackers water it down a bit and make it safe! CC and I love the classic blues music. However, a lot of young black kids aren’t even aware of it. It became gentrified and adopted by white boys. I think CC wanted to bring the two worlds together. A lot of my friends in the hip-hop world are big fans of the show [True Blood] and I’ve gotten some really good feedback on the track from that angle.
Gary also mentioned that the acoustic recording of Bad Things would be available on Itunes, is this true? Or will it be elsewhere too, other than your acoustic album, Old New Borrowed Blues?
Yes, the acoustic version of “Bad Things” is also on the Season 2 soundtrack available at ITunes.

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