Vocalist and guitarist Ben Hutcherson (Khemmis, Glacial Tomb) has debuted his nearly unrecognizable cover of Santana's 1999 hit "Smooth" under the psuedonym Opus Santanas. Opus Santanas will be Hutcherson's project from here on out to heavy up classics from the 90s, and will be funded through Patreon.
Why the 90s, you ask? Hutcherson tells The Pit it's all thanks to a contest run by Glenn Fricker.
"The whole thing started with this guy Glenn Fricker, who runs Spectre Sound Studios," said Hutcherson. "He runs this annual contest — I didn't know about it until this year — where he offers up some parameters, and says, 'Pick a song from whatever, a genre or a decade, and turn it into a good metal song.'
"And this year, it's songs of the '90s. It can't already be a metal song, it needs to be a pop song or a non-metal song of some sort. I was born in '85, so I got a little bit of the '80s, but I came of age in the '90s, and I don't have nostalgia for that era at fucking all. Anyone who's nostalgic for their own adolescence has to do some fucking work on themselves. If you peaked at 13, you gotta get some help.
"So they announced the contest, and I put on Space Hog or the Wallflowers or something, and I thought, 'God, this shit is just NOT GOOD.' But my next thought was, 'But these songs were huge!' And that's not to say that all songs that are hugely successful have something good in them, but a lot of them do! A lot of them were written by incredible talented people, especially full-on pop songs.
"We hear this a lot of in metal — metal musicians say, 'Well, anyone can pick up a guitar and write a pop song!' No, you fucking can't, because if you could you'd be a millionaire. Now, some of these bands didn't have ghostwriters, they weren't classically-trained musicians, but they had something. Something's going on there."