When one hears “Bad Things,” the theme song to HBO’s “True Blood,” it sticks with you. Not only does it frame the series well, but the deep, haunting voice is hard to put out of your head. Jace Everett is the man who owns that voice.
And when the show approached him, his country music career was ready for the jolt. He had previously been signed with Sony and after releasing an album with them in 2005, the label dropped him the next year.
“So really what was going on with me before [‘True Blood’] was not a whole damn lot,” Everett tells Zap2it. “I was working really hard and making very little money.”
Now, Everett is getting a bit more bloody love. His track with CC Adcock, “Evil (Is Going On),” will play twice during the “True Blood” Season 3 finale episode (which is also named after the song) – once during what we hear will be a memorable scene and then again during the end credits. It’s a remake of a classic Howlin’ Wolf song.
“It was just a great song,” he says. “It’s just a blues song but it’s got this menace to it that really has a heavy vibe. So, we just tried to emulate that and hopefully amplify that and bring it to the 21st century and hopefully Wolf wouldn’t be to mad at us.”
But, it all started with “Bad Things,” a song in which the lyrics could be open to interpretation. For the singer, the song started meaning one thing and then ended up meaning another.
“Well, it’s about f*****g,” Everett says. “That’s what it’s about, I was sitting there in my apartment back in Nashville back in 2002 when I wrote the song … and the first five minutes I was singing the song it was more about wanting to do bad things to somebody, because there was a guy that owed me some money and I wasn’t very happy about it. But it only took a few minutes of singing ‘I want to do bad things to you’ for me to realize, ‘wow it kind sounds like a serial rapist.’ So, I changed it to ‘Do bad things with you.’ So it may have some menace, but its consensual menace.”
Part of what makes the song so memorable are the images that flash across the scene while it plays. Everett, of course, recorded the song before seeing the visuals, but they made a believer out of him.
“Well, the folks at HBO sent it over to me because I needed to edit the song to make it fit to a minute and thirty,” he says. “So, I got the original visuals and I was just blown away. I was like, man if the show is half as good as this intro, I’m going to have to get HBO.”
And get HBO, he eventually did. “Second season we finally decided we can splurge and get HBO, so we watch [‘True Blood’],” he says. “It’s kind of like trash TV with a brain and heart and I love it. I think it’s funny and sexy and spooky and it’s just really cool to be associated with people who are firing on all cylinders.”
“Evil (Is Going On)” is one of the tracks on the “True Blood” Volume 2 soundtrack, which includes some big name talents like Beck, Lucinda Williams, and Elvis Costello. Everett, though, is most excited by one name in particular.
“Well it’s kind of amazing to be on a record with Bob Dylan,” Everett says. “I mean love him or hate him, and I happen to be in the ‘love him camp,’ the guy is as legendary as they come. It’s kind of the equivalent of being on a record with a Beatle.”
Watch a behind-the-scenes featurette of Everett and Adcock recording “Evil (Is Going On)”:
For more on Everett and his most recent album, Red Revelations, visit JaceEverett.com.
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Photo credit: JaceEverett.com
Video credit: HBO