Watch Members Of Vio-Lence, Converge, Volumes, & More Play Metal Cover Of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”
You would think that it might have gotten old by now. You would be wrong. Every week since the pandemic began, the comedian Jordan Olds has gotten together a group of punk and metal all-stars to cover a classic song — sometimes a metal song, sometimes not — for the video series Two Minutes To Late Night. In recent weeks, the series has paid tribute to the Replacements, Type O Negative, and Rage Against The Machine. Today, Billy Idol gets the salute he deserves.
Billy Idol released his single “Rebel Yell” in 1983. At the time, Idol, the former singer for the UK punk band Generation X, was in the process of reinventing himself as a sort of new-wave hard rocker, which probably wasn’t a terribly easy thing to do. It worked out. Idol was one of the key figures of MTV’s early years, and for whatever reason, a reissued version of “Rebel Yell” became a US hit two years after its initial release. It’s one of those songs that’s never left rock-radio rotation, and most of us are never sorry to encounter it.
There aren’t any huge stars on the Two Minutes To Late Night cover of “Rebel Yell,” but the riffed-up version of the song is still supremely fun. The biggest name on this one is guitarist Phil Demmel, guitarist for ’80s Bay Area thrash legends Vio-lence. (Vio-lence recently reunited, so Demmel is back in that band after a long tenure in Machine Head.) Demmel doesn’t even show up on the song until the guitar solo, which he plays while sitting in a kids’ play tent.
The drummer on the cover is Ben Koller, from Converge and Mutoid Man and All Pigs Must Die. Myke Terry, singer of the Boston metalcore band Volumes, belts the song out in his living room, with his pug sometimes walking into the frame. Lee Jowono, of Australian doom trio Potion, and Brandon Bruce, of Denver thrashers Havok, also play on the song, and so does Jordan Olds, in character as Gwarsenio Hall. Watch the cover below.
One day, all these covers might make for a truly kickass compilation. In the meantime, check out the Two Minutes To Late Night Patreon here.