Behind The Tracks: Tzarina - Pretty Noose (Soundgarden Cover) (2022)

“Let me paint you a word picture:

I’m 7 years old, about to watch this week’s episode of SNL because Jim Carey is the host and god damn is he the funniest human alive.

As I sit through skit after skit of hilarity, the show breaks to their musical act, Soundgarden. If you only knew what seeing them perform did for me - I mean - immediately, I thought playing music was the coolest thing. It was like a switch flipped on. It wasn’t long after I start grabbing my dads old guitars from under the bed when he wasn’t around just to strum nonsense because I had no idea how or what to do.

Fast forward 25 years - I am revisiting the “Down On the Upside” album and the first track, Pretty Noose comes on. Another light switch. I want to cover it. I hate playing covers but this one was different. It’s always been a pinnacle of music for me and I want to turn it into something new but still pay tribute to the band.

I spend the next few months demoing and tracking ideas until finally I think the arrangement is ready. It was a no brainer asking my buddy Nick Bellmore (owner, engineer, producer at Dexters Lab Recording) to play drums on this one because he too has a very special place for SG in his heart.

What I wasn’t expecting was to be the person who would do the work of mixing and mastering the tune (that’s usually Nick’s job). I wasn’t sure if I could get it right but after a bit of back and forth, I’m glad I did. Sculpting the final master really cemented how personal this song is - and that maybe I might have some production chops. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Cut to today: I’m on tour with my band. The song came out at midnight and we performed it for the first time last night in Buffalo. It’s cathartic, to say the least.
Anyway, do the thing - give it a listen - share it, tell your friends. Thanks endlessly to Nick for the tips and trusting me to mix his drums.

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