By Vanessa Martinez
November 7, 2017
On October 2 the world of rock shook when the news of Tom Petty’s untimely death surfaced. Charlotte’s indie rock outfit Ancient Cities, known for their well-crafted lyrics and hint of psychedelia, was in the midst of recording their third album when news broke.
To pay tribute to the late legendary rock artist, Ancient Cities put their album on pause and focused their attention on a cover of “Don’t Come Around Here No More.” In the process of recording, they asked Louisiana rock band Seratones to join them in the studio to complete the track.
The song is available today on all platforms with proceeds benefiting Levine Children’s Hospital. The Neighborhood Theatre will also host a Tom Petty Tribute concert on Friday, December 8 with proceeds benefiting Levine Children’s Hospital.
AC’s bass player, Justin Fedor, has organized the Tribute To Benefit Levine Children’s Hospital concert series since 2013. “When I approached the guys about recording a song to help launch the concert announcement, they were all for it as they’ve always been big supporters of this work,” said Fedor.
The bi-annual event has raised nearly $50,000 for the Queen City-based facility. “Being able to record this song to benefit LCH and get excited for the show is important to us. Petty had the unique ability to breakdown human emotion into the simplest terms that we all can relate to,” said Fedor. “He truly was one of the greatest and this song in particular gave us an opportunity to enjoy ourselves. It’s definitely one of Petty’s darker and weirder tunes due to Dave Stewart’s influence, but it’s right on the money in my book.”
The cover features a mystifying banjo, sitar, moog synthesizer, and big booming drums. “We like the juxtaposition of this gritty rock’n’roll sound with this beautiful voice cutting through the mix,” said AC front man Stephen Warwick, “and everyone in Seratones exudes such positive energy that’s both captivating and genuine.”
The indie band is currently recording their third album from their home studio in Charlotte. “We love being able to record in our underwear as necessary, and it sometimes is that hot in our studio” explained AC keyboardist Justin Faircloth. “But our space is there when we need it, and writing and recording all the time is important to us. You can hear all sorts of ideas in our records that might not have been born any other way.”
Listen to Ancient Cities’ version of “Don’t Come Around Here No More” featuring Seratones and check out The Tom Petty Tribute To Benefit Levine Children’s Hospital on December 8 at Neighborhood Theatre. A full concert lineup will be announced at a special event held at Birdsong Brewing Company in NoDa on November 18.