A lot of people have heard me talking about this, and I’ve made the announcement on Facebook, but I’m putting it here to make it all official-ish.
From this point forward, Nuclear Bubble Wrap will no longer be doing song parodies. That means our next album, and all albums afterwards, will be made entirely of original songs, composed by us. You won’t see another thing like “Food Belongs in Me” or “Avada Kedavra.”
This was a decision I’d been thinking about for quite some time now, and eventually I came to the conclusion that it’d be best for us to go in this new direction. We started out doing parodies because I was a Weird Al wannabe and I just liked writing them. They were fun. But as we progressed as musicians, it became apparent that our true abilities lied in creating original songs, and we began having more fun doing those. Even so, I kept writing parodies, and as time went on it seemed like I was writing them not because I actually wanted to, but because I was feeling obligated to. Eventually it started to become a chore. I just wasn’t enjoying it very much. And after writing original songs that we’re legitimately proud of like “Burning Ambitions” and “Sharktopus” I realized that’s the direction I want to see this band going. And I don’t want to be Weird Al anymore.
Doing parodies did help us, though. Honestly, I attribute a lot of our current musical ability to the parodies, because we had (or tried, anyway) to match the instrumentation and production of the original songs. The Beatles parodies we did were especially challenging. Song parodies are a tough art to perfect, and to all my friends who do song parodies: you certainly have my respect. I just feel like it’s not my thing anymore. And we need to move on.
On a side note, one reason I’m happy with this decision is that it’s become apparent to us that in order to make it as a band, we really just can’t do parodies. How many people hear a song parody on YouTube and immediately think, “This was good! What else has this person made? Where I can check out the rest of his/her stuff?” You probably do if you’re a fan of comedy music, but the casual music listener isn’t going to. Most people see a song parody, laugh, and move on. As funny musicians like Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, Lemon Demon, and MC Lars have proved, it’s certainly possible to make it as an independent artist selling funny music on the internet. But what do these people all have in common? They don’t do parodies. And even though their music is funny and quirky and weird, people still recognize them as legitimate musicians. It’s a sad fact, but the reality is that most everybody looks down on song parodies. People even call Weird Al a no-talent hack, despite the fact that he does parodies and original songs (like we were doing). Meanwhile, everybody praises comedy bands like The Lonely Island and Flight of the Conchords for their musical abilities (and rightfully so– they’re fantastic musicians, but so is Weird Al.) It’s not unrealistic to think about how being in a band that does parodies just might be weighing us down.
Looking back, some of these feelings might be apparent when you look at our latest release, Exploding Head Syndrome. Before, our CDs were split fairly evenly on parodies vs. originals. But our new album has fifteen tracks on it, and only four of them are parodies. We were caught up in having so much fun with the originals that making parodies just wasn’t a priority. And now, aside from Avada Kedavra, we don’t even play any parodies live. It’s time to let them go and head into a new direction. It’s going to be exciting for me to be able to hold up our next album and say that we wrote every bit of it ourselves.
I’m also a bit sad to say that this means our planned album consisting of entirely Beatles parodied, Beatle Juice, isn’t going to happen. My heart just isn’t into trying to finish it, and if I tried now, it probably wouldn’t be that good. The songs that we did make for it (Act Pottery, Creepy Internet Guy, and Bare Facts) will still be available for download on our website. And Pac-Man will be exclusive to the Weird Al tribute album.
So that’s that. The decision’s final, and it wasn’t one that I made lightly. I’m excited to see the direction this band takes. Don’t leave, because in five years we’re going to decide our true calling is making lo-fi atonal noise rock!