Back in 2001, Alien Ant Farm released its second album, ANThology. You probably remember it most, for spawning that shitty cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," and the deeply irritating, chimp-based video that went with it. If you do indeed recall the song, then news of Alien Ant Farm's comeback is probably not music to your ears -- it's probably more like vomit in your throat. But coming back the band is, with a track called "Let Em Know."
Before we get into this thudding, shuddering, utterly boring throwback of a single, we'd like to share a tale of delusional lunacy. A tale of ego-mania. A tale of Dryden Mitchell: Alien Ant Farm singer.
In 2001, I was working for a major rock magazine in London and had been tasked with reviewing an Alien Ant Farm show at Brixton Academy -- which is a venue twice the size of The Warfield. The band might've only been a one-hit wonder in their homeland, but people in Europe rather liked them.
As part of my review, my editor had asked me to get a "quick quote" from Mitchell about how the show was for him, for a side panel. Usually you just pop your head into the dressing room, get a 30 second soundbite, and you're done. In this case, I was told to go to the after-party upstairs in the venue and wait for Mitchell. After an hour (who needs to be at an Alien Ant Farm after-party for that long?), he showed up and was immediately pointed in my direction by his PR person. He nodded and wandered away.
Another hour later (two
hours at an Alien Ant Farm afterparty!), Mitchell storms over to my table. I thank him for taking the time out to talk to me and he says: "Well, I've had like a million people telling me I have to talk to you, so what choice do I have?" I say: "This will only take a minute, honestly." He sighs audibly and slumps down into a chair, pouting.
I say: "So how was the show for you?" Then something happens that, 12 years later, still blows my mind. He grimaces, pauses, and then says, "I'll answer that if you can tell me lyrics from two Alien Ant Farm songs that aren't the singles, aren't the cover, and aren't a chorus."
The solid irony here is that I actually knew Alien Ant Farm lyrics. ANThology
was on in the magazine office on a daily basis at the time. But I'm stunned and confused by the request and need to make sure I didn't misunderstand. "Wait. You actually want me to recite your lyrics? To you? As proof that I like you?" He nods, still pouting. I throw my head down on the table and start laughing. When I look up again, Dryden Mitchell is storming away, already half way across the room, like I'd just slapped him on the vagina.
Thirty minutes later, the bassist steps in, is gracious in a sorry-our-singer's-a-dick sort of way, and gives me a quote instead. He pulls really annoying faces when he's playing, but was actually very courteous and professional. I felt nothing but sympathy for him having to deal with such a brat of a vocalist on a daily basis.
The following summer, at an awards ceremony held by the same magazine, Dryden Mitchell apparently got punched in the face while perusing the buffet table. At the time, the general consensus from the room full of other famous people in bands was: "Still a humorless dick, then!"
So let's take a moment to wonder what kind of financial dire straights the other three members of Alien Ant Farm are in right now. They have to be in trouble, right? Why else would they subject themselves to this man again? And why would they subject us
to this man again?
The world needs an Alien Ant Farm reunion like it needs another Fred Durst sex tape. (Did we mention Fred Durst has a cameo at the end of the "Let Em Know" video? Yet another reason to skip it.) But, if you do want to subject yourself to this decidedly mediocre single, due to another website having exclusive rights to it right now (really?!), you'll have to go here
to watch the video. We wish you the best of luck getting through it without smashing up your computer.