In November 2015, Panzerballett launched a contest where fans could submit their cover of the song Typewriter II off their new album, Breaking Brain. Here is my entry for the competition:
If you’d like to know more about Jan Zehrfeld (the mad genius behind Panzerballett), you should check out our extensive 5-part interview.
Honestly, this was quite a bit of work and stretched my capabilities as a player and a person who makes videos on the internet. I’d never tried doing a split-screen effect before, which is tough in my humble little video studio. The sheet music Jan provided to contestants was difficult for me to read, so I had to put every note into a notation editor, then tab it all out so I could remember how to play it. I also improvised through my solos in an effort to retain Jan’s spirit of jazz and improvisation amidst a highly-composed piece.
For anyone wondering, that is a 6-string guitar with a banjo body called the Backwoods 6 Banjo , which I picked up used for about $170. The acoustic is my trusty Alvarez Yairi DY-40. And the keyboard is an Olivetti Lettera 32 lent to me by my good friend, Will Mejia , who also designed the MWM logo.
It took about 4 weeks to notate, learn, practice, record, and film the whole thing over many evenings from 9PM til about 1AM. All told, I’m guessing I spent about 60 hours on it all.
Download the mp3!
(NOTE: hitting the “play” button requires a hefty download of the entire audio file!).
Or, download an mp3 .
Here’s the official music video for the original recording of the song:
And here’s a promo video for the new album:
The initial offering for winning the competition was free tickets and aftershow passes to see the band perform and hang out with them on one of their European tour dates. Since I live in the USA, the idea of making my own cover of the song was appealing, but geographically limited and financially impossible.
A few months later, Jan announced there was a chance to win an Ibanez 8-string guitar. I saw that video and knew I had to cover the song in a unique way and make a fun video.
If you like what I’ve done, leave a comment and/or share the video. Thanks so much for checking this out! And thank you, Jan, for providing this opportunity to your fans. It was so much fun!