With Tragedy, Bee Gees become metal
The Bee Gees are that rare band whose music is timeless but simultaneously rooted firmly in its specific era. Can you imagine the brothers Gibb and company “Jive Talkin’” their way through the metal ’80s, for example? Well, you won’t have to imagine anymore, because New York City’s Tragedy, “The No. 1 Heavy Metal Bee Gees Tribute in the Tri-State Area,” have stumbled across a formula so ingenious it’s hard to believe no one has thought of it before. Metro took a peek behind the curtain with Tragedy singer/ guitarist Mo’Royce Peterson.
How did you get the idea to combine the Bee Gees with metal? It seems incongruous at first, but it totally works.
I was running one way with disco in my hands, and Brother Barry [Glibb, vocals, guitars] was running the other way with metal in his hands when we crashed into each other. “You got your disco in my metal!” “You got your metal in my disco!” And it tasted great. We were big fans of both genres and found that a lot of the Bee Gees’ songs really lend themselves to metal, with lyrics like “She’s juicy and she’s trouble, she gives it to me good” and “I get low and I get high and if I can’t get either, I really try.”
Is there a moment when you can see recognition spreading across the faces in an audience that may not be familiar with the band when they realize what songs you’re playing?
It is really funny to see that “sudden recognition” reaction when playing in front of an audience who doesn’t know who we are. Sometimes it blossoms into bliss, sometimes rage. Ideally, an evil blend of both.
On “You Should be Dancing,” you do a spooky spoken word part. Did you guys write that?
Actually, the producers of “Saturday Night Fever” made them cut that from the original. I guess virgin sacrifice and dead babies didn’t fit their “vision.”
666 percent. I believe, to my core, that life, death and laughter are all one in the same. The funniest stuff is inevitably profound. I have a hard time separating the humorous from the serious. The most honest answer I can give you is that we are having a lot of fun.
Do you think life was better in the ’70s?
Imagine disco and heavy metal being born in front of your eyes.
It seems like both metal and disco all of a sudden became cool again somehow a few years back. Now those are two of the biggest touchstones for new bands. How the hell did that happen?
There was a terrible backlash against the success of both disco and metal. It took a long time before people had enough distance to give both genres a fresh look and recognize how awesome that stuff is, musically and aesthetically.
Originally published in the Boston Metro.