Brandon Ellis, guitarist for The Black Dahlia Murder and Arsis, covered “Eruption” by Van Halen during October’s Slay At Home live stream in tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen died on October 6 after a long battle with stage four lung cancer, devastating all the fans and guitar players inspired by his work.
Many artists have reacted and paid tribute to the legendary guitarist since his passing. Tom Morello dedicated his song “Secretariat” to Van Halen and said it was inspired by “Eruption.” Robb Flynn of Machine Head likewise performed “Eruption.” Mr. Bungle also paid tribute with a “Loss of Control” cover.
Ellis’ “Eruption” cover is pure imitation of Eddie Van Halen’s original guitar work, but fans of the song will know that’s still an impressive feat. It’s a fast-paced solo guitar song that popularized the two hand style of fingerpicking.
Slay At Home is a virtual concert series streamed for free on YouTube that aims to fundraise for different charities. It started in May to support musicians during the lockdown through the Recording Academy’s charity MusiCares. Since September, it has become a monthly series and supported the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Cancer Research Institute and the Animal Welfare Institute so far.
The series spawned a lot of other covers since it kicked off. Pustulus Maximus of GWAR covered Cannibal Corpse’s “Pick Axe Murders” (with Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder) and Motorhead’s “Built for Speed.” Khemmis covered Misfits’ “Skulls.” During day one of the May stream, Two Minutes to Late Night and members of War on Women and High on Fire actually performed as a Van Halen cover band called PanaMama. Slay at Home also presented an EP of new material from members of Allegaeon, Gorguts, Stone Sour and The Dillinger Escape Plan that raised money for Black Lives Matter.
The Black Dahlia Murder put out their latest album Verminous in April on Metal Blade. Members of the band have appeared on recent covers of Scandal’s “The Warrior” and Faith No More’s “Everything’s Ruined,” as well as performed a full band cover of Megadeth’s “Go to Hell.” On December 18, they’ll be playing a festive show called “Yule ‘Em All: A Holiday Variety Extravaganza“.
Photo credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva