In the modern world the tribalism and genre politics that used to characterise musical scenes is becoming more and more redundant, so it’s no surprise that bands are seeking out wider influences than ever.
French melodic modern metal band Our Theory are a case in point. Eyebrows were raised when they released a frankly bonkers, yet brilliant, cover of Bitch Better Have My Money by pop megastar Rihanna. But, as guitarist and vocalist Mehdi Major tells us, it’s really nothing to be ashamed of.
“I know there is a thought process to look at these artists on the TV and radio and think, ‘This is just trash,’” he tells Hammer. “But actually those people are at the top of their game. I’m not ashamed to pull these kinds of songs apart and put them into a new framework. Whether you make it heavy or just play it on an acoustic guitar, a good song is a good song.”
There are plenty of good songs of Our Theory’s forthcoming EP Renaissance: a mix of shiny, radio-friendly style rock mixed with metallic riffs and roar that recalls the likes of Of Mice And Men and even Linkin Park. And with the band having shared the stage with Beartooth, Young Guns and Escape The Fate, it seems they’ve got designs on making a similar dent in the mainstream market.
“We’d love to be able to tour on a larger scale and become a global band,” says Mehdi. “With the likes of Betraying The Martyrs and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! we have a real scene in France now, and we definitely notice that the bigger bands from Europe and America are coming here and looking at us like equals.”
If they do cross over, Mehdi has no shame in pilfering from the pop charts again, to open more people up to the world of metal.
“You know we did a Justin Bieber cover too, man?!” he laughs, referring to Our Theory’s take on the notorious pop brat’s Beauty And A Beat. “The funny thing is that not only do we get Bieber fans checking us out and saying, ‘We’ve never heard anything like this music before! It’s so cool!’ but we also get fans of ours who had dismissed all chart music saying, ‘I never heard this song because I hate this artist, but it’s actually a very good song!’ I like it both ways! Music is to give you enjoyment, never forget that.”
Renaissance is out now via We Are Triumphant