Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats just released a full cover album of the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 record Siamese Dreams with the recording series Turntable Kitchen. While stuck at home in Los Angeles, Johnson plunged into his teenage years for the project.
“It was a not-obvious choice for me, but also something that was near-and-dear. It’s one that I’ve almost committed to that muscle memory that you get when you love an album when you’re a kid.”
When Siamese Dream initially popped into his head, Johnson decided to roll with it. Although somewhat daunted by the task, Johnson was determined to recreate something a bit more folksy and familiar.
By recreating Siamese Dreams as a “quarantine record”, Johnson says by stripping the songs down he felt closer to the “durable pop songs” at the album’s core, as approachable now as they were in the days of alternative radio.
Far from a transient, second-gig, Johnson also spoke of his recent work with the band Bonny Light Horseman, alongside Anais Mitchell and Josh Kaufman.
“They were working on this sort of hazy, folk music project and I caught wind of it and it just really sounded like exactly what I wanted to be doing. I gently wormed my way into the project.”
On creating as a team, Johnson notes “it’s been so natural and easy I can’t event really describe what the process has been like, we just get in there and do it. It feels really special.” Listen to the full conversation with Eric D. Johnson and his sweet, smoked-out version of “Today” live in this Home Studio Session.