Music is music.
Whether it comes from your favorite band or from movies and video games.
I honestly enjoy the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme and I know many people who know how to play the “Mario Brothers” theme on guitar. If music inspires you, then that’s what matters. Feel no shame just because someone wrote it for a movie or a video game.
So, what about music from fake bands?
I don’t mean Backstreet boys, although they fall under that literal definition. I mean bands like Spinal Tap, Blues Brothers, The Lone Rangers and The Wyld Stallyns. Some bands that have honestly inspired me or I just simply enjoyed within the medium. I am not even sure if Tenacious D belongs on this list because they do tour, so maybe the word “fake” is a little to blunt. Lets go with “Fictional.” Or maybe I planned the whole thing just to take a shot at stupid pop bands. I let you figure that one out. Anyway, here’s a list of my list of the best bands of fiction.
Sex Bob-Omb is the name of the band in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The name is a reference to the Bob-ombs from Super Mario Bros. All of the songs are written by Beck, which I find odd because I have yet to hear a song from him I like. They aren’t bad, just not my style. The song “Threshold” from the movie was my first exposure to the world of bass fuzz. I saw the movie and thought it was ok. I heard the bass fuzz and I was floored. It was like seeing the perfect women walking down the street, now I just have to find her in pedal form. Scott (Michael Cera) was using a Boss FZ-3, which I found to lack the balls I heard in the movie. But to be fair, I don’t own a Rickbass. This scene of the movie also doubles as a testament that real music will take shots, but will prevail over techno turntables in the end.
Mongolian Chop Squad
Yoshiyuki Taira is the bassist of the Japanese band/show/anime/manga Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. They do make a few mentions about the American indie rocker but the band was simply named after the weird frankendog. Just so we are on the same page, I always said I was a nerd. I am not sure how often I said it here, but I dabble in almost everything. Found everywhere on YouTube are bassist always covering the song “Spice of Life” because it is a sub-challenging song that will always catch the interest of bassist because it defies the stigma of riding root notes.
Crucial Taunt is the band in Wayne’s World fronted by Tia Carrere. This band is responsible for introducing me to Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” not to mention, Tia Carrere (shwing!) The movie is a classic and showcases the importance of the Stratocaster in a time that was coming to an end with the advent of the Floyd Rose.
Soggy Bottom Boys are the delta blues band played by George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson. They sang into a can for a few bucks and rocked the south in “O Brother, Where Art Thou.” Two allusions featured in this move. One is the guitarist Tommy Johnson is heavily implied to be a version of Robert Johnson unless there is another blues guitarist who went to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil for blues fame that I don’t know about. Also, this movie is loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey. And, the Odyssey has Sirens. In this movie, the sons of the sirens with their enchanting voices are some of the most hypnotic sounds that I’ve ever heard. That aside, the song “Man Of Constant Sorrow” has been one of my few go-to karaoke songs and remain as such.
Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem
Much more playful and child like, The Electric Mayhem has a place in every ones hearts. Dr.Teeth, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Janice and of course AN-I-MAL! As much as I can’t they inspired my playing style, I am sure they set in some kind of seed that finally set in roots years later. I still enjoy the Muppets, though. I share it with my kids and they love the short videos on YouTube like their Bohemian Rhapsody, The Swedish Chef’s take on the song “popcorn,” or the most memorable you can catch like the cold “Mahna Mahna”.
For the children of the 90’s, you may remember a show called Reboot. Two characters Megabyte & Bob launch into a rock-off during the kids birthday party. At this point I have already found my dads old AC/DC and Van Halen tapes, but I credit this one show, this one scene to be the root cause of my love of everything dark and heavy. Not that I knew it at the time, but there is a Spinal Tap reference of Megabyte’s Warlock turning to 11.
Old Gods of Asgard
Old Gods Of Asgard is the classic rock band from the video game Alan Wake. The two characters known as Odin and Tor Anderson are brothers of the band who came from Scandinavian roots. They legally changed their names to reflect as such after the success of their band named by the same inspiration. I now aspire to play the song “The Poet and his Muse” to perfection.
Detroit Metal City or DMC, is another anime out of Japan, and their answer to Metalocalypse. Soichi Negishi is a preppy, musical, introvert who loves and listens to Swedish pop. He has his own original material that is unpopular to the world simply because he is none the wiser about how perverse his lyrics sound. The bite of the series is that he has a Jekyll and Hyde complex, but with a touch of the Incredible Hulk. Negishi is often lost within his stage costume, because Krauser II is the other side of his mentality and once unlocked, chaos ensues. The fans are very fanatical and quite honestly, idiots. This is a comic that is not intended for the easily offended, but there are also just some absolutely silly. This is a steady reminder of how allot of people see rockers and metal heads as, but it is also inspiration to simply laugh at ourselves. It is also my understanding that Gene Simmons gives his non-financial blessing.
Lastly, the band I feel was the most obvious to be in the list, and one who grosses an income of a small country, Dethklok. Each of the band members are openly based on other big names, and without any lawsuits. On the contrary to popular belief, Nathan Explosion is not voiced by George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, but he is the inspiration. Skwisgaar Skwigelf was based on Alexi Laiho, but his personality must be inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen (ok, I stole that from wikipedia). Toki Wartooth was based on Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah fame, but lacks the two extra strings to play anything from the band. William Murderface has a background story Dexter Morgan can relate to, but his appearance however is modeled after one of my favorite bassist Geezer Butler. Pickles the drummer was influenced by Devin Townsend and his once famous skullet, made famous as a refusal to let male pattern baldness win. Rebellion against biology definitely has a place here. The many famous voices in this show is inspiring. Mark Hamill, Malcolm MacDowell, Angela Gossow, Michael Amott, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, King Diamond, Dane Cook, Ihsahn, Devin Townsend, Marty Friedman, and Brian Posehn who is a well known metal fan.
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About the Author: Started playing bass at 15. It was Danko Jones who inspired me to play at all, and in a small town I couldn't be picky on what I can get my hands on, so I bought a squire with pride. Obtained a B.C. Rich guitar months later. Moved to the city at 17. At 19 joined my first metal band as a bassist which ended at 20. Joined a bass heavy rock band, which I loved being in whole heartily. I now wait to venture into a new project. For the time being though, I am exploring my abilities as a writer.