With COVID-19 continuing to affect the entire world, Dallas, Texas electro/industrial act SPANKTHENUN took to addressing the crisis with a cover of the KMFDM classic “Virus,” not only performing a faithful rendition, but also incorporating updated lyrics specifically aimed at the current pandemic. Following the video for the original cover, the band has now unveiled a music video for the COVID-19 version of “Virus” in this special ReGen Magazine Premiere. With lyrics like “Keep six feet away or you’ll die,” “You ignored the truth and made it stronger,” “Don’t go to church, better start praying,” and “Stop hoarding now to sell it later,” front man Eric Hanes offers his own sharpened social commentary that strikes at the heart of both the political and public response to the situation in a manner that sticks to the knitting of the Ultra Heavy Beat. Furthermore, Hanes emphasizes that with this version of the track being “more about the commentary on the current pandemic situation,” the band wanted “to relate to the actual lyrics more,” focusing on the “evolution of the virus to a point where it is infecting or affecting everyone at some level.”
A video for the original cover version of “Virus” was released on April 25, with Hanes commenting that “we had been in lockdown for about four weeks at the time and were looking around the house and studio to see what we could do for a video. So, we dressed my daughter up all goth and recorded her dancing to the track. It was a lot of fun.” With the new COVID-19 version of the track, he further elaborates, “What was once a fashion statement for many of us in the clubs, wearing masks and our gear has been normalized and become an everyday thing for survival. What was once niche is the new status quo.” Hanes goes on to reflect on live music and club culture, saying that “It will be a long time before clubs are packed again like they were, but it will also be different” as DJs and even bands are tapping into wider, more global audiences online; “I see a future where clubs are hybrid live and streaming and they have guest DJs streaming in from across the world… or bands performing streaming sets between two live bands.”
The “Virus” single was released on April 15 and is available via Bandcamp; it follows SPANKTHENUN’s Initial Decay Control album, released in January. Along with the cover and the COVID-19 version, the single features an instrumental version and a remix titled the 90s Hip Hop Beat version, with digital purchases including a bonus track not available for streaming.