"A few months ago, I had the idea of creating a compilation with some of my friends from the Pacific Northwest," writes Matt Drenik, who records and performs rock and roll under the moniker Battleme. "I was trying to find a way into the subconscious of our group that highlighted their personal taste as artists."
So he started inviting these "great songwriters, ones whom I admired, and ones who had a vision of what their sound should be" to his NE Portland studio, Get Loud House, to cover a single song each. "I wanted them to have the freedom to do whatever they wanted, however they wanted, and above all else, have fun doing it," he explains.
The result is a nine-track cover series—Cover Me, Volume 1—featuring The Jackalope Saints, Miracle Falls (Paul Dillon of Mercury Rev and Sparklehorse), Phantom Ships (featuring Bunk Bar's Matt Brown and Steve Turner of Mudhoney) and more paying tribute to The Rolling Stones, Elliott Smith, Tina Turner, Townes Van Zandt, The Cars and Neil Young.
Produced and mixed by Drenik and engineered with James Eliot Jones (of The Needs), Get Loud also serves as the imprint upon which the album will be released on July 15. Through the project, Drenik discovered that "what truly turns us on is a great song, regardless of genre."
For Nathan Andrews Fasold, aka Natron Andrews (and also the owner of Black Book Guitars), his contribution to the comp is "Open Up Your Door" by Richard and the Young Lions, which he chose "because the lyrics are very playful and primal," Fasold says. "Basically, it's about a boy begging more from a girl. I think of someone in particular every time I sing it."
"This cover series gives a taste of what Portland bands sound like in 2016," Fasold continues. "It's a great thing for Portland artists. I wish there were more compilations put out like this. I also like the fact that all the recordings were done at the same place—it's a good feeling."
And for Drenik, it feels just right. "It sounds like a group; our group, a universal group of musical freaks and geeks, acknowledging that we’re all in this together," he says. "I hope this series continues, with other artists, ones that we might not know, ones that we might come to admire."