For Nate Lieby, the lead vocalist and ukulele player for Coffee Zombie Collective, being in a cover band is a nice change of pace for him, creatively. “I’d been writing original material for bands for about 15 years, so I’m enjoying having a different kind of challenge,” Lieby says. “You have to exercise a different kind of mind muscle when you’re rewriting existing tunes.
And while it might not be note for note, at least we’re recreating the soul of the song and how we have interpreted it.” The band covers songs by everyone from Madonna to LMFAO, The Cranberries to Nine Inch Nails, but not in the traditional way one might expect. “We’re a string band playing re-imagined covers of peoples’ favorite songs from the ’80s, ’90s, all the way up to today,” explains Lieby. “The songs are all pretty upbeat and some are tongue-in-cheek. You know the songs, but not the way we play them.” The band’s dynamic debut album, Streetlight People, was released in March and features an eclectic variety of tracks, including a rollicking version of Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel” and a groovy take on Prince’s “Kiss.” On “Creep,” Coffee Zombie Collective turns Radiohead’s morose track into a humorous romp with the band vocally imitating the crunchy guitar riffs. Fans can expect to hear all of the aforementioned songs and plenty of others on July 25 at Don Quixote’s—just don’t ask the band to play “Freebird.” “Someone in the audience screams ‘Freebird!’ at every show,” Lieby laughs. “My response has always been to play the first three chords, whip out that line, ‘If I leave here tomorrow,’ and then the band says, ‘No!’ and we stop on the same note. So we do the first five seconds of ‘Freebird’ and that’s all anybody will ever hear from us!” | BRIAN PALMER
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.