Lulu & The Lampshades on Being Popular Cover Song Fodder

Posted October 24

We’ve already heard from O Music Awards nominee for “Best Fan Cover” Anna Burden about her viral success. So we decided to reach out to Lulu and the Lampshades, the artists behind the original song, for their take on Burden’s ode as well as the concept of the cover song.

The Lampshades‘ tune, “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” went viral before Anna’s tribute due to their use of cups as percussion. The popularity of song has only grown as more and more YouTubers saw fit to cover it.

We caught up with the band’s Luisa Gerstein to find out more about the song and its viral-ity.

Why did you decide to accompany this song with cups?

I’d known the cup rhythm for years and always harbored a desire to someday put words to it, so that came first as opposed to the song. The chorus is taken from an old folk song and I made up the verses. The first time we performed it I was leaving to cycle to Berlin the following day; it was kind of meant as a song to persuade friends to come with me, hence ‘the long way round etc …’ There were plenty of mountains and rivers and woods and pretty views.

This video went viral initially – how did that feel? What was it like?

It didn’t really happen over night, it was up for a few months before it suddenly went viral … It was strange and incredible. I love the way people have responded to it and I like watching people do their own versions. It feels like chinese whispers; I completely don’t feel like it’s mine anymore and that’s a wonderful thing. In some ways that’s what music should be about, something shared and passed around — all about participation.

What do you think of Anna Burden’s cover?

I think it’s great; I like all the covers to be honest — I just like the idea of people in kitchens all around the world trying to master the rhythm and then the singing at the same time. It’s fun, the response has been incredible.

Did you as a band get more attention when her cover went viral?

I’m not sure really, it’s hard to tell. What we do as a band is quite different now to what we did one morning in my parents’ kitchen. To start with, there are four of us, and our sound is very different, so I think of the two things as being very separate. ‘Cups’ pretty much has a life of its own now and that’s where its value lies, but if it brings people to our music as well that’s a bonus.

What are your thoughts on YouTube and its effect on musicians?

Well, I guess it makes everything so accessible, which is incredible. YouTube and the Internet in general opens your potential audience up so much wider than ever before. It’s completely non-exclusive as well, which is great — anyone can put up some music and share it with the world.

By Brenna Ehrlich