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Kliff McBurtney – Bass and backing vocals for Beatallica

Date: 07/07
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. So tell us about this band Beatallica and how you came up with the name?

KLIFF: Sure. It started in 2001 as an internet band really when in Milwaukie there is this event called the Spoof Fest where a bunch of bands come together and spoof national bands just for fun and comradory. So James our lead singer, and our former guitarist were doing Buttallica and just for an April Fools gag change it up and do some Beatles songs in the style of Metallica. Change up the lyrics and have fun with it, ya know. So they recorded these fourteen Mp3’s and gave them out as party favors and it so happened to get in the hands of a local internet promoter and he put those up on his website. From there word got around amongst his friends and it kind of snow balled and nine months later he called up some gigs, he called up James and said we got to talk about this band Beatallica. Fan mail started to come in from around the world and he said you guys got to start doing more of this because its taking off.

And then that lead to our record contract with Oglio Records to release our debut album “Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band”.

2. Are you guys more Metallica or Beatles fans?

KLIFF: Well it differs from each member but speaking for myself I am 50/50 right down the middle. Growing up I was really young hearing the Beatles when that whole thing ended and influenced by them at an early age. And then at an early age there is nothing better than thrash metal and Metallica’s music.

3. Now when it comes to Beatallica’s music, is it cover songs, originals in the style of Metallica meets the Beatles, or like a hybrid of both bands?

KLIFF: These are called bashups where we bash em together. People get the wrong idea they were are a cover or tribute band but we are not. Its really a hybrid of the two bands. Its not meant to be satirical or anything.

4. Well what I noticed was it’s the energy of Metallica with the harmonies of the Beatles.

KLIFF: Well really it’s the music of the Beatles with the thrash and energy of Metallica.

5. Do you have any songs that are the reverse with the arrangements of Metallica?

KLIFF: No we haven’t done it the other way around.

6. Now have the members of Metallica or The Beatles ever commented on Beatallica’s work?

KLIFF: O yeah they have. Metallica have done many interviews and said they think we are funny and think we should keep going with this concept. And Lars has contacted us and was very much influencial in getting us to this point clearing all the rights and everything. As far as the Beatles we have never heard anything from them personally. But we have talked to their camp and everything is ok on their end.

7. Have any of the members of Metallica or The Beatles ever seen the band perform?

KLIFF: No not that I know of but they have an open invitation for any of those guys to come on stage and jam with us, as long as they wear our Sgt. Hetfield jackets (laughs).

8. How far have you been able to take this thing on the road?

KLIFF: The U.S. a lot where we are traveling through right now. We just got done on the east coast. Europe we’ve been to three times, Germany, Netherlands, France, England the whole European Union over there.

9. Are you doing any of the big European metal festivals this summer?

KLIFF: Yeah we are actually going to do the Earthshaker fest to play the party for that after the show. And then we are doing a couple more like one in South Korea.

10. What happens after the summer then?

KLIFF: We are just taking it day by day man our primary thing is the album which just came out. We would like to play in the north west of the States because they are in need of Beatallica, Texas and the southern regions.

11. Is the album out around the world?

KLIFF: Yeah its available everywhere.

12. What are some of the titles of these bashups found on “Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band”.

KLIFF: Well lets see we have the title track, there’s “Leper Madonna”, “Revol-Ooh-Tion”, “Ktulu (He's So Heavy)”, stuff like that. We like to have fun with what we are trying to do and not take it too seriously. I mean don’t get me wrong we are serious about the music and our playing but having fun with the concept.

13. Do you guys intend on following this format for future albums?

KLIFF: Yeah we do. We don’t want to release our next record and have it be very Manowarish or something like King Diamond.

14. How long have the members of the band been musicians?

KLIFF: I have been playing for like twenty three years and I know everybody has been playing since they were teenagers.

15. Any plans to release a promo video or something for DVD?

KLIFF: Well they is some stuff on our label’s site www.oglio.com and there is amateur stuff you can find on Youtube which is fun. Our website www.beatallica.com has an electronic press kit which fans can check out also. As far as a promo video there are no plans yet but we would love to.

16. Is anybody in the band involved with any projects outside of Beatallica?

KLIFF: Yeah. James is involved with a couple bands like an Irish rock band. I’m in a punk metal band. Our lead guitarist Grg is in a progressive rock band so we are busy with other things. But right now we are all trying to focus on Beatallica.

17. What about new music. What do the members of Beatallica like to listen to?

KLIFF: Well I really like Wolfmother they remind me a lot of the older Black Sabbath stuff, sludge rock ya know. I mean there are so many great players out there now like the guys in Dragonforce those guys are just excellent. But I am also into the progressive bands like Yes, Rush, all the classics.

18. Anything you want to tell the fans?

KLIFF: Well “Sgt Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band” is out now and available everywhere. If they want to get Beatallica updates they should sing up on our mailing list found at our website www.beatallica.org or check out our Myspace www.myspace.com/beatallica

19. I meant to ask does Beatallica have any stage gimmicks or schtick?

KLIFF: Yeah man we are all about the schtick (laughs). I think we all try to dress and embody each member we are supposed to be. We have some props also that we like to bring on stage so yeah we have fun with it like I said. We are serious about our playing but have fun with the idea.

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