Alien Ant Farm is back, with a new single. (You can hear it below.)
Big news! At least, to a certain segment of the population. One person I knew would be particularly excited is my dad, who is named Aragorn and has a massive sword collection.
He owns the Riverside outfit's 2001 album ANThology, which spawned their famous Michael Jackson cover, “Smooth Criminal.”
You can see that video below as well; I have to admit, it's pretty good. (From Wikipedia: “The song was featured in American Pie 2, during a scene wherein Jason Biggs' character, Jim, superglues his hand to his crotch.”)
We don't always agree on music (especially that time he got into dubstep), but we still love to talk about it. So I asked him why he likes Alien Ant Farm.
Artemis: When did you first get in to Alien Ant Farm?
Aragorn: I think I heard “Smooth Criminal” on the the radio…maybe MTV. Probably KROQ.
I think I enjoyed the cover a little more than the original. It's a little faster, the bass line is really fun. It just kind of makes me want to shimmy and bounce. I mean I love Michael Jackson, the first album I bought myself was Thriller. I'm a rocky guy. I like it heavier.
You're either metal or you're not. And if you're metal, you're metal for life.
Artemis: Why do you think their cover of “Smooth Criminal” was such a big hit?
Aragorn: The original song was so iconic and it created a great foundation. They kind of turned it into an energetic, rocky version of it. For the time, it probably hit the youth, but people could still reminisce about Michael Jackson. A lot of covers do that. Like when Orgy covered New Order, or when Frente! did “Bizarre Love Triangle.” Oh, or when Limp Bizkit did “Faith.” I mean that was what really brought them out, and it was a fun cover.
Artemis: Thank God Limp Bizkit made it big.
Aragorn: The right cover can define a band. Like Soft Cell, their big hit was “Tainted Love.” Although I have to say I prefer the Marilyn Manson version.
Artemis: Of course you do. What other Alien Ant Farm songs do you like?
Aragorn: Having listened to that album [ANThology] earlier today, I think “Movies” sticks out in my mind the most. I mean, the singer's voice gets a little grating after a while. I think both sing in a similar style, but I think Brandon Boyd does it better.
Artemis: Well, Brandon Boyd just does everything better.
Artemis: What do you think of singer Dryden Mitchell's haircut in the “Smooth Criminal” video?
Aragorn: It's like Dumb and Dumber…like, the gap in Jim Carrey's teeth, but as his hairline. I don't know what that's about, but more power to him.
Artemis: Do you think it's a fashion statement?
Aragorn: I think it's an anti-fashion statement.
Artemis: You mean, an Alien Anti-Farm fashion statement?
Artemis: What do you think of the new single, “Homage”?
Aragorn: On first couple listens I kind of like it. I think it's sincere. I'm mostly interested in listening to it more so I can decipher all the band names and all the songs they reference.
Artemis: What do you think about the line in “Homage” that says: “Stevie Wonder underneath my sheets”? Do you think that has anything to do with the singer's game with the ladies?
Aragorn: Maybe he puts on Stevie Wonder to get them in the mood? Although I'd rather listen to Barry White, myself.
Artemis: Alright… do you prefer the Alien Ant Farm version of “Smooth Criminal” or Weird Al's Michael Jackson covers?
Aragorn: [Contemplative sigh] Weird Al. There's no contest.
Artemis: Do you think millennials should give a shit about Alien Ant Farm?
Aragorn: I think people in general should just give a shit about the music they like and not be embarrassed about claiming they like it. I like Weird Al. Hey, I even like some One Direction. They've got some groves goin'.
Artemis: Oh no, Dad.
Aragorn: There's ABBA, too.
Artemis: Korn or One Direction?
Aragorn: Oh, Korn. Korn would kick One Direction's asses.