interview with Stones n’Roses – fusing G’n’R’s, the Stones & Stone Roses exciting US coverband ‘Cover Me Badd’ release new single as they begin UK tour
Taking the whole cover band concept to an all new and rather thrilling level LTW introduce you to the ‘Stone N’Roses’ from San Diego, a cover group like you’ve never heard, seen nor probably imagined before as they bring together and merge the very sound, style and songs of 3 of the greatest rock’n’roll bands to ever do it. The Rolling Stones, Gun’s & Roses and The Stone Roses…some group hey! and what’s more they’ve just released their newest offering with the single ‘Gimmie O’Spreads’ as the group kick off a series of UK dates this July.
So as they prepair to unleash their rousing 3 in 1 classic and unique r’n’r line up performance on us all (check out the tour shows below) I caught up with frontman Adam Gimbel for the back story on how the cover band ‘Cover Me Badd’ first came together, then bringing to life whats got to be already one of the greatest cover bands, ever. Check out the new single from Stones n’Roses with ‘Gimmie O’Spreads’. With some quite amazing playing covering the Roses anthem ‘Love Spreads’…it saves the best til last as it coolly glides between the Stones (Gimmie Shelter) and G’nR’s (Sweet Child of Mine) for its climatic outro.
“The best thing I’ve seen in ten years…..maybe ever.”
Kelly Davis, San Diego City Beat Weekly
“The Stone Roses meet Guns ‘N Roses meet the Rolling Stones. This may
well be just what the world is waiting for.”
Slicing Up Eyeballs
Stone Roses producer John Leckie
Hi Adam and thanks for chatting to LTW – straight off Ive got to say what an amazing concept, bringing together Stone Roses, Gun’s & Roses and the Stones for something so original and which you instantly get…and not to mention down right entertaining
Adam Gimbel – Thanks! As a lifelong Anglophile, it’s a blast to see what folks across the pond think. It’s great to see all of the various reactions of shock, horror and love.
What’s the story behind the band, how did Cover Me Badd first come together?
Cover Me Badd originally started when my roommates and I decided to play a covers set at the first house party we had after moving from San Diego to the Bay Area. One was a huge Roses fan and the other had a James flower tattoo. We played “Laid” that night, so even at the beginning, there was a bit of Manchester involved. I moved back to San Diego years later and started my own original band but brought back the Cover Me Badd name and used it as an umbrella for silly coverbands with ever-changing bandmates.
So how/where did the idea for the ‘Stones n Roses’ coverband come about?
It started a few years ago when Sean Martin, an incredible guitarist friend of mine, saw a flyer for a local Britpop club with the Stone Roses on it and asked on Facebook if anyone knew if it was a coverband or a danceclub. It’d never occurred to me to go there but I knew he was good enough to play John Squire’s parts. I dropped him a note and we decided that we HAD to do it. I recruited bassist Tim Peacock and drummer Brad Smith from a new-wave/metal mashup band we did for years called Blasphemous Guitars and we did a show as a four-piece with me playing guitar on a few tunes.
Sean moved away after just one show but two years later, we decided to revive the band with longtime Roses fan Michael Ortiz and young convert Josh Smith, who I knew through my work with the San Diego School of Rock. At 23, he wasn’t even born when the first record came out. He’d never heard the Roses but was a quick convert after the whole band went to see Shane Meadows’ Made of Stone film on the big screen.
But its not just those groups which you’ve covered is it. Oasis, The Smiths, Beatles, Depeche Mode are others which you’ve covered too. But bringing the stones, roses and GnR’s under one roof is a great idea, I take it your all big Stone Roses fans then?
The first Stone Roses record is my favourite album of all-time. Once we decided to learn their songs, I realised that meant that I’d have to dress and dance like Ian Brown and just did not feel cool enough to do so. Doing something ridiculous instead is the Cover Me Badd way, so I came up with the idea of dressing GnR. The name was all too perfect. Sean was too much of a purist to go there, which was funnier to me because it just looked like he didn’t get the memo. He was wary when I told him I’d started thinking of ways to work in bits of songs by the Stones and the Gunners but they worked so well, he couldn’t resist.
got the sound, style and definitely the look – ‘Cover Me Badd’ as Stones N’Roses
How about the reactions to the bands latest mix of Stones/Roses and G’n’R with the new single ‘Gimmie O’Spreads’, which not only blows your mind hearing those classic tunes forged so tightly together but also features one hell of a cover of ‘Love Spreads’, amazing.
The reactions are fascinating to watch. Some people love it immediately. Some people hate it on principle. Some can’t decide if it’s genius of blasphemous. It’s both! For those that aren’t sure about us, we’ve been in touch with a crew of British doctors and proctologists who will be available at our shows to help with unfolding arms and removing purists’ clipboards from uncomfortable places.
Would you say its already put CMB out there to a bigger audience, especially on line with the track ‘Mersey Paradise City/ Water & Fall’ released a few months ago which also caught a good bit of attention on line?
For a band that had only played a few shows, it was quite a coup to have popular website Slicing Up Eyeballs share the “Mersey Paradise City” video. After immediately getting an email from someone wanting us to play Manchester and thinking Glastonbury would surely be next, the haters started commenting. It was quite a reality check. Our elderly act Geezer was asked by Weezer to be in a Kia commercial with them and it was watched ten million times on Youtube, so nothing could ever match that. But this is the most attention a CMB act has ever had overseas by far and it’s been incredible seeing people already excited for it.
Even John Leckie, ( legendary Stone Roses debut album producer) was blown away by what he heard (& seen) with the comment ‘Gobsmacked’.
I started a fansite for John when the internet was in its early days. Eventually he got in touch and we spent an afternoon together cruising the Reading Festival. Absolutely surreal. To the delight of the band and our producer, he shared some production techniques so we could get “Waterfall” right. His shock at the result is hilariously all too common. Still, beyond flattering, for sure!
Thats quite amazing and pretty cool that you managed to hook up with him and get some Stone Roses studio techniques down as well. What would you say is the biggest compliment the band have had so far?
My favourite compliment is still our first. After our first set to a fairly small crowd, two musician friends approached me with their jaws agape. As a local weekly arts writer and veterans of a shoegazy band that had opened for Radiohead and the Verve, they should’ve been too jaded to say it was the best thing they’d seen in 10 years, maybe ever. I couldn’t stop thinking about that complement for two years and it eventually inspired me to put the band back together to try to play the UK.
…and now as you’ve just released the new track ‘Gimmie O’Spreads’ would you say maybe its the bands best ‘Stone N’ Roses’ tune yet?
I’m not sure I could pick a favorite but “Love Spreads” definitely lends itself to the two guitar Guns n Roses style. It’s not too hard to imagine them playing it. We chose to record “Waterfall” because the moment that the “Paradise City” guitar opening went into the Roses, people actually cheered. That was the moment we knew it would work.
But even greater news is that CMB are getting ready to come over to the UK for a line of dates this summer which includes this years Manchester Fringe Festival, a show to catch this summer with out a doubt. But for a band thats never played outside of your home town of sunny San Diego what does it mean to you and the rest of the guys to be coming over and playing some shows in the UK?
It’s truly a lifelong dream for me to play in England. I just can’t believe that I’m doing it dressed as Axl Rose. The closest I ever got was singing Bluh(sic) and Supergrass karaoke at Reading Festival, which hardly counts. Two years ago, some amazing friends, the Schizophonics, asked me to play bass with them in Spain and Italy. Suddenly playing Europe didn’t seem so untouchable. They went back to England last year to tour with Little Barrie from Primal Scream. Mani came to their Manchester show and absolutely loved them. I saw their drummer this morning and showed her a tweet where he proclaimed them the best band around that she had missed. She didn’t recognize his real name because to her, he was just a hilarious moustached man and a stellar Charles Bronson impersonator.
So tell us Adam what a CMB show is really like, dressed as G’n’R members while rocking out to the Stone’s and the Roses is something thats just got to be seen, and heard. Though I imagine it must also be some job to actually not only play as, but portray a mix of these three stand out classic R’n’R groups and their different members?
The guys in the band do a fantastic job playing all three groups. It really transcends what any tribute bands do. Playing spot-the-reference is a ton of fun. You never know what we’re going to throw in next. It’s hilariously schizophrenic for me. I get so lost in getting to sing these songs that I sometimes forget that I’m supposed to be alternately doing Mick, Ian and Axl. I’ll crack myself and the audience up suddenly doing the snake dance. So ridiculous. The funny parts are fun but I’m proud to say that the band is incredible. Watching Roses fans gush to them about how right they get it is pure joy for me. I can’t wait to show them off.
Looking ahead, any ideas for new Stones n’Roses tracks?
I have a list of songs by all three bands that I’d like to work into the set. In rehearsal the other night we realized that we were hanging on two chords at the end of a song and our guitarist asked if I had any ideas to sing something else over it. We still hadn’t done “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” so in it went! Sometimes it s that easy. We’re trying to keep the UK set rocking but there’s an “Elizabeth My Dear”/”Patience”/”Wild Horses” medley that’s just BEGGING to be done.
First gig is in Liverpool, I can see the UK crowds loving these Stones n’Roses shows very much.
If the shows go well, I’ll be plotting to come right back. We learned the hard way how far in advance festivals get booked, so I’m thrilled we have such a great schedule in July. I’ve had more than one agent refuse to believe that I booked it myself. We keep getting asked why we’re not playing any big festivals. Ready when you are!
Lastly Adam, if you could spend one day as either the Stones, The Stone Roses or G’n’R’s…which one would it be, and why?
Without question, Rose from the Golden Girls. She’s the coolest.
follow Stones N’Roses on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/StonesNRoses/
on Twitter – https://twitter.com/stonesnrosesusa
and check them out on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5KvJMScXTTAU3iIp8PgLvw
Thu July 13 Liverpool, Zanzabar
Fri July 14 Manchester, Stone Roses Disco at Zombie Shack
Sat July 15 Manchester Fringe Festival, King’s Arms
Sun July 16 Nottingham, The Diamond
Tue July 18 Glasgow, Nice n Sleazy
Thu July 20 London, Dublin Castle
Fri July 21 Wembley Stadium, Yer Mate’s Birthday Party (unless we get a
*shows with special guests all-midget Smiths tribute band, Morrissette
written/interviewed by Carl Stanley (Twitter) – https://twitter.com/Grimupnorth74