The news of Tom Petty’s passing has affected us all, whether we realize it or not. Petty, as a singer/songwriter, musician, and producer, paved the way for solo artists within the classic rock space to craft remarkable careers. While the metal (and its offshoots) community hasn’t publicly embraced Petty in total, the Florida-born multi-instrumentalist has had a major cultural impact. His songs — notably ‘Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘Breakdown’, ‘Don’t Do Me Like That’, ‘Refugee’, ‘The Waiting’, ‘You Got Lucky’, ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’, ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’, ‘Free Fallin”, etc. — shaped the landscape of popular music throughout the mid-’70s and into the mid-’90s, becoming, in effect, part of our cultural fabric. So much so, that Portland, Oregon-based post-punk outfit Soft Kill, upon learning of Petty’s condition and subsequent death, felt strongly that while rehearsing for the follow-up to “Choke” (Profound Lore) they needed to cover a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song, namely ‘Insider’ from 1981’s “Hard Promises” full-length.
Said Soft Kill frontman/guitarist Tobias V.H.: “Tom Petty’s music was a mainstay throughout our childhoods and adult lives. Even when punk rock put up unnecessary walls blocking out things deemed uncool to embrace, his music with the Heartbreakers found its way through. Leading up to the making of this next album we talked a lot about him and his guitar tone and riffs, the brilliant minimalism rarely perfected in American rock & roll. He sang songs that picked you up from your reality and placed you in the story unfolding, three and a half minute breaks from life that could very well have been your own memories. Tom taught us to give just enough and to make sure it’s honest every time. Coincidentally we went into the rehearsal space with our new drummer Adam Bulgasem (Holy Sons, Dommengang) and played a new song live for the first time that unashamedly embraced everything about his sound. This rough cover felt right and was cathartic. His influence cannot be understated, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this time.”
Here’s Soft Kill’s ‘Insider’, originally by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Soft Kill has made “Insider” available for download on their Bandcamp page (HERE)
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