Earlier today, post-hardcore band Our Last Night released their take on Kendrick Lamar’s hit HUMBLE. Even though their discography’s more than consistent (5 studio albums and 5 EPs released in twelve years), don’t get me wrong but most of us may have first heard of the band thanks to their YouTube covers such as “Radioactive” (peaking at 19M views), Shape Of You, Stressed Out and many more.
But, in opposite to what one could expect, when it comes to live shows, the band focuses on their own compositions (their Warped Tour setlist contained one cover only). As it seems obvious that covers always give a fun turn to a show, because everyone can sing the words at the top of their lungs and enjoy the songs even if they don’t know the band, it doesn’t allow bands to showcase the entirety of their talent and creativity.
Even worse, there’s still a chance that people will be reminding of your band as “the guys who covered [insert Top 40 singer name here]” and they will forget you as quickly as they’ve been knowing you.
But on the other hand, covers easily reach a wider audience than original songs : Chunk! No, Captain Chunk’s cover of Smash Mouth’s All Star is their most viewed video on YouTube, and the same observation is true for Betraying The Martyrs when they covered Let It Go. Punk Goes… compilations helped this concept spread, as many bands of the modern post-hardcore scene have been featured at least once, including big acts such as A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria, Mayday Parade, or Dance, Gavin Dance. Another point is that numerous new acts tag their videos “Punk Goes Pop” in order to get more views, and this seems to be working, as some videos almost reach 100k views based only on the original singer’s name, and some tags :
So, all of it can lead to this question : are covers one of the new best ways for a band to get famous, to play gigs and even get signed ?
Also, you can catch Our Last Night on tour in Europe this fall during the impressive Selective Hearing tour (which will be the perfect time to ask them about this particular topic), featuring Blessthefall, The Color Morale and New Volume :