Drummer Charlie Benante of Anthrax has brought back his Stormtroopers of Death bandmates Scott Ian (guitarist, also in Anthrax) and Dan Lilker (bassist for Nuclear Assault) for another virtual cover. The trio recruited Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton for this latest outing, which saw the group take on “Speak Spanish or Die,” a reworked version of the title track from their 1985 debut album Speak English or Die.
“Speak English or Die” attracted some controversy upon its release, due to its title and lyrical content, which some have interpreted as anti-immigrant, although the band asserts that it was entirely tongue-in-cheek. The band has frequently addressed this issue, asserting that the song pokes fun at anti-immigrant sentiments.
“Well, not everybody, ’cause some people hated it. Some people thought we were racist, and those people are stupid. But a lot of people got the joke all over the planet and laughed along with us, and it was fucking awesome,” Ian told Blabbermouth back in 2015.
This latest version changes a few of the lyrics, so they’re a bit more tongue-in-cheek. The lines “speak Spanish or die” are the most notable lyrical change, with Patton even closing out the song with that line in Spanish, while the band retains their iconic crossover thrash sound for the project.
Benante, Ian and Lilker all teamed up for virtual instrumental covers of the Stormtroopers of Death songs “Chromatic Death” and the introduction of “March of the S.O.D,” earlier this year. Benante has worked nonstop on various at-home covers during the quarantine, many of which include Suicidal Tendencies bassist Ra Diaz who took on Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” and Rush’s “Red Barchetta,” “Freewill,” “YYZ” and “La Villa Strangiato.”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat