Metal is full of great collaborations: Anthrax and Public Enemy’s Bring The Noise, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton’s Irony Is A Dead Scene EP, pretty much the whole of Dave Grohl’s Probot album.
But there are some absolute stinkers too, and Ash Tubb - singer and guitarist with Bristol boundary-pushers Sugar Horse – is a connoisseur of the Terrible Metal Collaboration. “Sometimes collaborations are glorious displays of music’s ability to transcend the notion of genre, but sometimes they’re a hellscape of ideas that should never have been allowed to escape the minds of the people involved,” says Ash.
Ash has offered to shine a spotlight on some of the most wrong-headed team-ups metal bands have been involved in – which is ironic, given Sugar Horse’s upcoming Waterloo Teeth EP (opens in new tab) sees them collaborating with members of Conjurer, Heriot, IDLES and Biffy Clyro. “I’m pretty sure it’s not as bad as this lot,” he says. “Although I’ll leave you to make up your own mind there.”
Coal Chamber ft. Ozzy Osbourne – Shock The Monkey (1999)
Ash: “Now, I adore Ozzy Osbourne. His voice has adorned some of the greatest metal tunes ever recorded. We all know the good stuff. This collapsing abattoir of a song, in which he guests on Coal Chamber’s abysmal cover of an old Peter Gabriel song, is an entire galaxy away from that. Yeah, a collaboration and a cover version. Double the pain.”
Puff Daddy ft Jimmy Page – Come With Me (1998)
Ash: “Not just a collaboration, but a soundtrack collaboration. Taken from Roland Emmerich’s 1998 reimagining of Godzilla, no less. What‘s wrong with it? Only Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs’ maddeningly tuneless singing, the completely unnecessary six-minute runtime and the fact it doesn’t really feature Jimmy Page despite his name being attached. Well, it does, but only in the sense that it’s just a loop of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. I’m not saying Jimmy Page didn’t turn up for a studio day with Sean Combs, but if he did I’m pretty sure he just listened to a record he made a couple decades earlier, had a cup of tea, then left.”
Damnocracy – Take It Back (2005)
Ash: “This cheese-metal abomination is taken from a frighteningly awkward VH1 TV show called Supergroup, in which the producers took five disparate (or maybe desperate) musicians in the shape of Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Biohazard’s Evan Seinfeld, Sebastian Bach, Jason ‘Son Of John’ Bonham and Ted Nugent, held a gun to their heads and told them to write a bunch of songs. This was the result. That title says it all.”
Linkin Park/Jay Z – Big Pimpin’/Papercut (2004)
Ash: “Taken from 2004’s patchy and over-rated Collision Course EP, Big Pimpin’/Papercut is utterly perplexing. Who thought of putting Papercut – a song that appears to be about depression and its effects on the human psyche – over a Latin-tinged party beat? It is cognitive dissonance incarnate. Seemingly created purely to force the listener to stand aghast with furrowed brows for its two and a half minute run time. At least it’s over quickly.”
Metallica/Swizz Beats/Ja Rule - We Did It Again
Ash: “Last and most certainly least, we have the collaboration absolutely no one asked for but got anyway: Metallica, hip hop producer Swizz Beats and rapper Ja Rule’s We Did It Again. This unholy trinity came together to create a song so terrible it had to be hidden within the DVD extras of Some Kind Of Monster, which pretty much says it all. Not only the worst collaboration ever released to the public, but up there with one of the worst songs ever released full-stop.”
Sugar Horse’s new Waterloo Teeth EP (opens in new tab) is released on October 28