Ever since they released their debut album Half-Life as part of RPM Challenge 2011, Georgie & JoMo have been taking the local music scene by storm. They have delivered amazing live performances downtown and have recorded their second RPM album, entitled Mixtape, this past February. Georgie & JoMo have also been busy recording a little collection of covers of some their favorite songs, which they have been posting online for our listening pleasure. Their most recent cover is a version of Radiohead’s “Where I End and You Begin” from my personal favorite Radiohead album Hail to the Theif (2003). Yesterday I asked George Newman a few questions about his and JoMo’s recent cover projects.
Radiohead has so many incredible songs, what made you and Jo decide to cover “Where I End and You Begin”?
We knew it had to be something from Hail to the Thief. The album was released during the summer of 2003, the first summer Joanne and I spent together as a “couple”. We were flipping back and forth between “Myxomatosis” and “Where I End and You Begin”. Both had elements that we could see translating well to our little project. We polled a few folks on our Facebook and Tumblr page for a couple days in early May to help pick. We were leaning towards the chosen track ourselves though we felt a democratic process could help make the clear and objective decision.
You two did a great job with staying true to the original but still giving it your own distinct flavour. How did you go about arranging and recording the track?
Aside from the programmed drums and synth basslines, everything else is true to the original. The same tempo, the same key… The main backing synth lines are as close to the original as I could perform and sequence, though I chose different patches for a more, dare I say, EDM feel. I used the same fuzzed out guitar, played with eBow and Whammy pedal, guitar for the main synth parts that I use for a bunch our own stuff. Joanne delivered the vocal melody in the same register as the Radiohead version, though we layered multiple takes of Joanne’s vocal for ambiance and space.
Georgie & JoMo have also done a Portishead cover medley of “Glory Box” and “Wandering Star” and a version of Nine Inch Nails’ “The Line Begin’s to Blur”. How do you set about deciding what artists and songs you’re going to cover? Are there any criteria other than just liking the song?
Essentially, if a song has been a soundtrack for some profound shared experience, we will consider covering it.
You’ve already recorded four covers. Are there any plans to do more and maybe release them as an online EP or album?
We haven’t really considered that yet. We do perform them live to help the listener understand where we are coming from sonically. If there is a demand for them, we would consider releasing EP. For now, the covers serve more to hone our craft and help us make better originals.
Any more live shows lined up for the near future?
We are playing June 15th at The Rose & Thistle with Black Bags and Colleen Power. We are also playing June 24th at The Levee for the last night of DECK FEST!