Dress to impress
Halloween cover bands
Despite the deep and innovative ground tilled daily by your band and its music, on some longing-filled nights you may dream of belonging to another band. A band from a simpler time, with more complicated hair. A band that sang of the tyranny of Mondays and celebrated an imagined Egyptian strut.
On Oct. 30, these dreams are made manifest. The Holland Project will host a Halloween cover bands show at the Rainshadow Community Charter High School. The show will feature members of the band Wasteland Witch performing as Blondie, members of My Flag is on Fire and Missing Organs performing as Siouxsie and the Banshees and members of Short Hair and Swahili performing as The Bangles. Members of Zoinks! will appear as The Clash, members of Hopscotch Whisky will become the Violent Femmes, and members of The Juvinals will transform into Sam Cooke.
“It’s a lot of fun, that’s basically why we do it,” says Holland Project music director Clint Neuerburg.
Holland only recently started organizing the Halloween show.
“It kind of started out as a house show tradition,” says Neuerburg. “There were a couple years where there wasn’t any place to put it. So last year Holland took it over and did it in Studio on 4th.”
Last year featured incarnations of Pavement, The Stooges and two separate Black Flags.
My Flag is on Fire’s Ty Williams is participating in the show as part of the Siouxsie and the Banshees cover band.
“I listened to Siouxsie when I was a little kid,” Williams says. “[The bands covered at these shows] always end up being bands from the ’70s and the ’80s—stuff we all grew up listening to and sort of worship in that way.”
The Halloween show also allows for new people to enter the Reno music fold.
“It also gives some people a chance to play,” he says. “Our bass player has never played bass before, so he’s stoked about that.”
Swahili’s Troy Micheau will be among those imitating The Bangles. He sees the show as an opportunity to do something different and fun.
“It’s a chance to dress up stupidly and play songs with friends,” said Micheau last week. “You have a chance to play with people you wouldn’t normally play with. It’s not like in a regular band where you’re trying to be serious about writing songs. We played ‘Manic Monday’ for like an hour.”
Micheau says that The Bangles songs they’ve learned have thus far been easy. This was not the case a few years ago, when Micheau performed in a Joy Division cover band for a Halloween show.
“Those guys, they sound simple, but learning their songs took forever,” he said.
Micheau explained the preparation involved.
“Usually it’s just the basic thing if you were just trying to learn any song: Just listen to versions of it to figure out guitar parts,” Micheau said. “We’re not paying real close attention to detail, but we want to play the songs right.”
Also involved in preparing for the show is emulating the look of the band being covered.
“I think by next week we’ll be worrying more about what we’re going to wear,” he said. “We were thinking dresses at first, but we watched a couple videos today where they just look like ’80s rock star ladies, so there’ll be a lot of whitewashed, ripped jeans and blond wigs and stuff.”