Dave Marcovecchio doesn’t care much for Avenged Sevenfold, and he’s not all that jazzed about As I Lay Dying, Slipknot, From First to Last or Bullet for My Valentine, for that matter.
But the band Marcovecchio loves to hate more than any other is Florida metalcore outfit Trivium. And it’s his Trivium odium that’s helped the 18-year-old Brit become a YouTube phenomenon.
When Marcovecchio isn’t in class studying music technology or working with his own band, Wargazm, the metalhead can usually be found at the nearest watering hole, rewriting the lyrics to songs by some of the bands he just can’t stomach. When he’s done, he turns to Windows Movie Maker and Photoshop to work on hilarious interpretive video creations that pair his made-up lyrics with images depicting them (like boats, coats and kids on bicycles).
“Me and my friend Ryan, we’d go down to the pub, get a bit wasted, and then come back and look up funny stuff on YouTube. There are lots of interpretations on there and we always found them funny,” Marcovecchio explained. “But there were lots of ones that sucked, and they’re all about emo songs. So we thought, ‘We’ll do one — a metal one — and show them how it’s done.’ ”
The first song to get the Marcovecchio treatment was melodic death-metal outfit Kalmah’s “Man of the King.” Marcovecchio is a Kalmah fan, so the video was an homage to the band more than anything else. But it dawned on Marcovecchio that frontman Pekka Kokko’s garbled growls were difficult to make out without a lyrics sheet. So Marcovecchio just wrote down what he heard.
“It was fun to do, and it got reasonably successful,” he recalled. “So I made the Trivium one, and I didn’t quite know what
Marcovecchio’s interpretation of Trivium’s “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” has been viewed nearly half a million times, and has become the third-most-watched Trivium video on all of YouTube. In fact, if you type the band’s name into the site’s search engine, the first result is “Interpretation of Trivium” — Marcovecchio’s clip. (Click here to watch Paranoidave’s Trivium spoof.)
But while some people are impressed and amused by his work, Marcovecchio has also received death threats. “It’s hilarious,” he said. “They usually fall into one of three categories: There’s the ‘I agree with Paranoidave, this is fantastic,’ or, ‘I’m a Trivium fan, but I like this anyway’ or ‘I’m a Trivium fan, and I’m going to f—ing kill you.’
“Allegedly, the band are big fans of it,” he continued. “There’s even a picture of all four of them holding signs that say ‘Boat,’ ‘Rudder,’ ‘Strange’ and ‘Mountain’ ” — the lyrics Marcovecchio created for the song. “I have no idea what some of these bands are saying. To this day, I have no clue what the lyrics for From First to Last’s ‘Ride the Wings of Pestilence’ are, and I don’t want to know.”
In his videos, Marcovecchio provides pointed commentary on various bands as well as his lyrical interpretations set to images. For example, the chorus from Trivium’s “Pull Harder” begins, “Pull, Harder, Strings, Martyr/ Stop you cry, that’s a lie/ Flush gasping, white reddening/ You smile and destroy it.” Marcovecchio’s version goes like this: “Boat, Rudder, Strange, Mountain/ Stomp Ukraine, this lime/ Flesh, gas pain, white, red-eye/ It’s mile, with the tires.”
Throughout the clip, Marcovecchio takes other shots at the band, implying frontman Matt Heafy’s vocals resemble those of Metallica’s James Hetfield and accusing the band of plagiarizing Slayer riffs. During the song’s dual-guitar solo, another message flashes across the screen: “Please leave dual guitar solos to Scandinavians and Iron Maiden … You are a disgrace to metal.” In his take on As I Lay Dying’s “94 Hours,” instead of the chorus, “No, I won’t let go,” Marcovecchio scrolls images of cows across the screen, changing the lyrics to “Now, I want a cow.”
“As soon as I know the real lyrics, I’ll start hearing those,” he said. “But still, [my friends] all agreed that these guys still sounded like they were screaming out my lyrics.”
Marcovecchio said he listens to each of his target songs about five times, line by line, and jots down the first words that come to his head after hearing each lyric — what he thought he may have heard. Once he’s rewritten those lyrics, he said it takes him about two to three hours to complete his video interpretations.
His latest, an attack on Avenged Sevenfold’s “Bat Country,” replaces the chorus “Can’t you help me as I’m startin’ to burn/ Too many doses and I’m starting to get an attraction” with “Pikachu help me, as I’m Sally Da Bum/ Two men, E doses, a nun starting to get in a tractor.”
Marcovecchio said he hasn’t been contacted by any record labels with requests that the video slams come down (“If you look at the YouTube rules, it’s [YouTube’s] problem, not mine — so YouTube will get sued if anyone does, not me … I hope”), and he never realized how much of an underground hit his videos would be. He plans to make more videos whenever he has spare time on his hands, and added that no band is beyond the reach of his venom, including the almighty Metallica.
“The first video was done just as a laugh, to amuse myself,” the black-metal diehard said. “I don’t think I’m changing anything with these videos. I hope I’m encouraging one or two people to maybe look into metal a bit more, so that they’ll see there’s more out there than Trivium and what’s on the cover of rock and metal magazines.”