There are records you just don’t attempt to cover or rework because their vibe is so specific and thick that it’s impossible to match it, and all such attempts fail. Portishead’s Dummy is definitely one of them. When we received the link to the cover of Roads from Swiss-American trio Lapcat, we were definitely intrigued, but also hella skeptical. And you know what?! They fucking smashed it! Their version is dark as fuck, with jagged splashing synths and vocals that go deeper than dark matter. We caught up with the band for a quick chat.
It’s hard to believe that anyone would actually attempt to cover Portishead, but you guys only penned a new version, but killed it while you were at it. Who’s idea was this, or how did this come about?
Jonas: Haha, first of all we never dreamt of actually covering Portishead. Truth is: It just happened. Me and Hans were working together on music back in early summer 2015 and this track was one of the first beats that we liked from this session, that aggressive distorted synth, a slightly industrial and mechanical feel. It had something. So later that day we showed Cate and all she could hear was the haunting nostalgic vocal melody from Portisheads “Roads”. It was addicting and seductive, and really fun for Cate to sing. We all had our own memories and admiration for the song.
Hans: We were missing one chord of the original track but the vocal melody just fit on there like a glove and it felt really really good. Although still a little hesitant if we should try to nail it or if we should erase the idea from our heads and work on something original. We decided it was too persuasive so right then and there we recorded the vocals. We made it for our own pleasure, a homage to such an epic song. 1st take, was final take. It was one of these magical moments, you know.
Did you contact the band to show them what you did to their tune?
H: We tried to make the cover “official” and licensed through their publisher. They blocked us. So we obtained the mechanical licenses required from an online service and did it that way. We really hope the band gets to hear the cover one of these days.
I’d be curious to know what they think..
Cate: Us too.
In a few weeks you’ll be dropping your new record – is it anything like this track?
C: Well it is us.. so yes, but no. The album as a whole is a little bit more bright some mellower tracks, some upbeat, some after hours dreamscapes yumminess.. Hans thinks it popier (is that a word?) haha.. IDK you tell us?
What else could we expect?
J: Expect our best album so far.
H: It is our best so far, and there’s even some booty shakers on it..