Alien Ant Farm‘s 2001 album ANThology spawned two major songs for the band – their original track “Movies” and their biggest hit (by nearly 400 million streams on Spotify), a cover of Michael Jackson‘s “Smooth Criminal”. Though if Alien Ant Farm had their way, things would’ve been a little different.

According to Alien Ant Farm vocalist Dryden Mitchell in an interview with Nu Pod with Joshua Toomey & Ro Kohli, the band wanted the “Smooth Criminal” cover to come out later… but DreamWorks Records released it as a single anyway.

“Our intentions weren’t to have ‘Smooth Criminal’ even come out… at least not as soon as it did,” said Alien Ant Farm vocalist Dryden Mitchell, as transcribed by The PRP. “Again, we recorded it, so we knew what we were doing. We put it on the record. But, we’d seen bands that we all love, climb the ladder. It just felt like each record got stronger, better, and then became a better band. I felt like that was something we envisioned.

“So yeah, when Dreamworks kinda… ‘Movies’ was doing really good and [then Dreamworks] dropped ‘Smooth Criminal’, we were all a little bit surprised and taken aback by it. Again, we recorded it, so ya know… I think we were genuinely a little bit upset when it first happened.”

Mitchell said eventually he came around to loving the song, though at the time he and his Alien Ant Farm bandmates were afraid the cover would overshadow everything else they did.

“It’s weird to see something in real-time go like lighting a firework, and then be a little bit angry about it, ya know what I mean? So that was a trip. Now, the older I am, I think it was a good thing in hindsight. Again, I had those feelings of, ‘this is gonna eclipse a lot…’ ‘This is almost gonna eclipse the band.’

“Me in the blue jacket with the little thing [shaved hair part] and the monkey, was… just on TV all the time that I just felt like it was that whole song and stuff was more popular than Alien Ant Farm. And it really was for a minute, and maybe it always will be. But ultimately, it’s bitchin’.

“I’ve gone through my years of like ‘I don’t want to play that song’ but now I’m just like ‘why?’ Just do it dude, it’s cool.”

But yeah, Mitchell is cool with it now. And how could he not be? Alien Ant Farm‘s cover of “Smooth Criminal” is still played and talked about today, especially in the world of the nü-revival.

“It makes me happy now. It’s come full circle. I’ve had seasons of it. I remember we did a tour — this was way back — we did a tour where we didn’t like play the song, and that’s kinda lame. I don’t know what we’re trying to do. Again it all kinda stemmed from, ‘well they put it out unbeknownst to us, we’re just gonna not play it.’

“It’s weird to have those… I guess it’s human to have that, trying to retract or something. But I’m definitely not ashamed of it or anything. I just felt like when it came out so soon, it just felt like what we were trying to do was this, but this was what happened.”

Want More Metal? Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter

Enter your information below to get a daily update with all of our headlines and receive The Orchard Metal newsletter.


Source link