Covering a song by a huge rock or metal artist can be a pretty daunting task, because there’s often big shoes to fill. Papa Roach once covered Aerosmith‘s “Sweet Emotion” for an MTV event, and Jacoby Shaddix recalled the band’s reaction to it.
The topic of cover songs came up during a conversation with Baltimore’s 98 Rock station (as seen below), where Shaddix touched on Falling in Reverse‘s moody cover of “Last Resort” and some other notable renditions of songs. The vocalist then brought up that MTV asked Papa Roach to participate in the 2002 installment of their Icon series, which was honoring Aerosmith — and how the band reacted to their cover.
“So, MTV, back in the day, asked us to come do this thing to honor Aerosmith. What was the song — “Sweet Emotion” — they were like, ‘We want you guys to do ‘Sweet Emotion’.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s go,'” Shaddix remembered. “We just hacked our way. It was bad. It was not good.”
“I could tell that they were just kind of like, ‘Hm, that was loud,'” Shaddix noted of Aerosmith’s reaction to the cover. “We were young numbskulls playing like, I mean, nu-metal. We weren’t like, classic rocker vibe, and so we did our best but it just wasn’t good enough. It just wasn’t good.”
See the full interview below, and Papa Roach’s Performance of “Sweet Emotion” from the MTV Icon event underneath. During the clip, you’ll notice that Steven Tyler seemed to be enjoying the cover, even if his bandmates were unsure how to feel about it.
In addition to Papa Roach, Sum 41, Kid Rock, Pink and Train were among the performers during the 2002 MTV Icon show, which was held at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Aerosmith topped off the event with “Movin’ Out”, “Toys in the Attic”, “Cryin'”, “Girls of Summer”, and “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”
“We’ve had people cover our stuff for years,” Tyler told The Associated Press at the time [via Idobi]. “You can go into a lot of bars and hear it. That’s an honor in itself. But then when you hear Kid Rock or Run-DMC or somebody else perform your songs, it brings it to a whole new level.”
It was likely intentional that artists of varying genres were chosen to perform at the event. MTV Programming President said of Aerosmith, “They were one of the first to play in other genres. They embraced the infusion of rap and rock and they have continued to work with other artists… They really have become generational icons.”
Jacoby Shaddix Recalls Aerosmith’s Reaction to Papa Roach’s Cover of ‘Sweet Emotion’
Papa Roach, ‘Sweet Emotion’ (2002 MTV Icon)
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We can either thank them, or blame them.