SOIL Covers HALSEY's 'Nightmare' For 'Play It Forward' Album

July 26, 2022

Chicago's hard-hitting rock quartet SOIL will release a new studio album, titled "Play It Forward", consisting of some of the songs that inspired the bandmembers throughout the years. They've already previewed two of the LP's songs, releasing their version of Neil Young's anthem "Rockin' In The Free World" as well as the FOO FIGHTERS cover "Monkey Wrench" in honor of drummer Taylor Hawkins. And much more is in store, including covers of WHITE ZOMBIE, RAMONES and LEADBELLY. Today, the band has shared an absolutely ripping version of Halsey's "Nightmare", accompanied by a suitably sick and twisted music video.

SOIL bassist Tim King states: "When we were approached by Cleopatra Records with the idea to record a covers album, it seemed both exciting and challenging. Outside of the song 'Black Betty', we have never really covered any songs before. This gave us a chance to explore some songs we enjoyed growing up on and also taking songs that were never intended to be hard rock or metal and put our own spin on them. It proved to be quite the challenge with our downtuning and figuring out all the different parts and effects in the original versions that you never quite notice during casual listens. The songs we thought were going to be super easy turned out to be the most challenging. In the end, we were very happy with the way it all came out and we feel it will give the SOIL fans something to enjoy and have fun with. That was our main goal. To do something fun in the wake of all the horrible things that have been going on in the world."

"Play It Forward" will be released on all formats starting August 26. Two album designs were created for the release: a "cassette" design that will be used for the CD packaging and a "skeleton" design that will be used for the first vinyl pressing. A second vinyl pressing featuring the "cassette" artwork will be released in September.

"Play It Forward" track listing:

01. Runnin' Down A Dream
02. Thunder Kiss '65
03. Nightmare
04. No Voices In The Sky
05. Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck
06. Monkey Wrench
07. What It's Like
08. I Wanna Be Sedated
09. Rockin' In The Free World
10. Unsung
11. Black Betty

Back in December 2020, SOIL vocalist Ryan McCombs confirmed that he and his bandmates were working on the long-awaited follow-up to 2013's "Whole" album. He said during a Headbangers Con live virtual panel: "We just started writing here recently with the SOIL guys. So that's been a breath of fresh air for me, 'cause I've been going a little nuts not having something to write for a long time.

"Not having something to write is like an artist not having use of their hands to draw or paint, or whatever their medium is. I've never been able to play an instrument for shit, so I've always been reliant on having a good music writer, instrumentation-wise, a music writer, and I've been blessed with C.J. Pierce [during my days with DROWNING POOL] and Adam Zadel. So not having one of those guys sending me musical ideas to bounce back and forth on, I feel like an artist with no hands. So having, all of a sudden, half a dozen songs in two weeks' time to write with, I feel like a mad scientist. I feel like my legs work again; I've got hands again. It's been awesome."

Ryan also talked about how SOIL might go about releasing new music and whether putting out full-length albums makes sense anymore.

"It's been about 137 years since the last album, so we've talked ad nauseam about what could be a way of working," he said. "I think one of the things that goes against us at times is Tim being in the music business on the other side of the fence. Tim's on the label side of things as well, with Pavement, so he sees the problems that the business is having. And so it's hard for him sometimes to separate the fact of the artist and the shirt-and-tie. And so that goes against us sometimes, because, as an artist, we're just going, 'Let's write a new record. Let's write some new songs. Let's get a new record out there.' And he's the same way, but then he's gotta [look at it from the point of view of], 'What are we gonna do?' Because, at the end of the day, nobody is selling anything. Records aren't selling anymore. Hard copies, CDs aren't selling anymore — not at the numbers that they need to to make them worthwhile for printing. So that puts us into bouncing ideas off each other, and that's usually where things end up screeching to a halt. I think, actually, my dumb ass made the comment, 'Well, to begin with, we need material. Until we have material, there's no reason to worry about how you're going to release it. So let's get writing.' And that's when Tim finally [said], 'You're absolutely right.' And that's when he started writing the stuff. And now Adam's on fire about it."

In October 2019, SOIL released a "theatrical interpretation" of its song "One Love". Conceptually, SOIL wanted to do something different and interesting with the song since "One Love" originally appeared on "Whole". Indie filmmakers David Gregory (director) and James Morgan (director of photography) were tapped for the job. Filming was shot in the U.K. during SOIL's tour supporting STATIC-X.

SOIL's latest release was "Scream: The Essentials", which arrived in September 2017 via Pavement Entertainment and AFM Records. The effort celebrated the band's 20-year career and featured early recordings as well as alternate versions and mixes.

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