Ghost Children/Friends & Enemies Feature: Death Rawk Boy

"Siamese Dream was a record people could connect with in such a huge way that it personally changed many lives
for a positive turn for about 13 years now. I didn't want to do a straight ahead cover of "Today" for many reasons
but one was to make the occasional Smashing Pumpkins listener to realize that in truth Billy Corgan's work can be
seperated in acoustic or electric based catagories; counting everything he's done. To take a heavy electric Alt. Rock
anthem like "Today" and put it in a context of layered acoustic surroundings can put a new light on the context of
song and therefore bring new light to it."

Before submitting tracks for Friends & Enemies, John was familiar with previous Act IV projects. "Well I was closely
monitoring the whole Act IV and Ghost Children happenings in the past few years. 2001 was a big turning point for
for the SP fan community, knowing full well that December of 2000 came as a bleak time to many of us Corgan
devotees. I really did enjoy the mish mash of Smashing Pumpkins melodies being made, as well as the neat
arrangements made by many", he says. When asked if he had any favorites, John responds, "I guess my favorite
tunes I've heard were layered acoustic arrangement versions of 'Eye' and 'To Sheila'." He could not recall the name
of the artist, but for the record it was Rob Paterson who performed at Act IV 2002. But John says he was waiting
for someone to play "an obscure song like 'Try to Try' or 'Razor'". Well, there were a couple played at Act IV ;):
"Moleasskiss" by Christophe Thibault in 2001 and "Daughter" by UnderWeb Effect in 2002.

Although he is a long-time Pumpkins fan, John has never managed to see the band live the first time around. "It's
been an oddity for me. I almost got to see Smashing Pumpkins on several occassions. Fate stepped in. Once was in
1994, when they came to Portland, Maine and my family didn't want me to see a live rock concert. [Another time]
included my family's car breaking down half-way to Portland once again for a band signing in a Bullmoose Music and
not being able to get into clubs because of my age. There were times that I couldn't scrape up the time or cash for
shows in Montreal and Lowell, MA, and my buddies went."

After many years of trying to see SP, Zwan, and Billy solo, John finally got the chance to see Corgan live on 7/17/
2005 while he was in Fairfield, CA. "The day completely clicked and I got a handshake, an autograph, a few good
words and stood front row center. At the end I was able to give him a copy of my latest album, Songs for the
Uneducated Mind
." His cover of "Today" was a result of these recording sessions. Although he notes that there are
numerous pictures online of Billy talking to the audience and holding the cd, John says, "Though I'll probably never
know what Corgan thinks about my work in progress, I feel very fulfilled that a couple of my lifelong goals have
been reached."

As for the impending SP revival, John has read all the criticisms that "the music won't be as great" or "Person X
won't be back-so what's the point?", but he's not entirely convinced: "the bottom line is that none or (a very small)
few have heard Corgan and Chamberlin's new music yet or whomever is playing bass or second guitar. I've heard
Auf Der Maur, Liesesang, Strawberry, and most recently, Jane's Addiction's Eric Avery-which I tells ya-ain't too
shabby. Regardless of the D'arcy and James issues, I'm sure the Pumpkins will be welcomed with open arms."
(Continued on Page 2) (Back to Mediaflash main page)

John Blanchette, who carries the stage moniker, Death Rawk
Boy, performs a cover of "Today" on the forthcoming, Ghost
Children/Friends & Enemies
Pumpkins tribute cd. Rather than a
standard, straightforward cover with blistering fuzz guitars,
the song takes a more contemplative, acoustic tone. The cover
is vaguely reminscent of later live versions of the song.

In a semi-recent interview, Fountains of Wayne and Ivy's Adam
Schelsinger commented that you always have to put your own
original spin on cover songs, otherwise you have never really
recorded 'your version' of the song. John agrees, "Schelsinger
is a smart man for saying this. I believe it 100% You can stick
to the original melody or beat without leaving the listener in
the dust with confusion. I'm also not one for direct covers.
Never have been. 'Today' was an experiment of sorts as in I
was trying to make a full overall expression from the song and
the connection to the Pumpkins' fan base. Its always been one
those songs people can connect with, whether you know the
true meaning behind the lyrics or not."

John (Death Rawk Boy) covers "Today" on the cd
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