Exclusive: Miles Nielsen and Roger Clyne Update the Refreshments’ ‘Blue Collar Suicide’
Whether you realize it or not, you definitely know Roger Clyne. If you turned on a radio between 1996 and 1998, you surely heard his band the Refreshments and their upbeat, ubiquitous single, "Banditos." But, even you somehow missed that, Clyne also turned one of the songs the Refreshments used to play during sound check into the country-fried theme song of the animated series King of the Hill.
Although the Refreshments disbanded in 1998, Clyne and other original members quickly reassembled as Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers and have been steadily churning out new albums ever since.
Meanwhile, veteran musician Miles Nielsen (son of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen) has been evolving his own rootsy songcraft. He and the Rusted Hearts just released their third full-length, Heavy Metal, an album that evokes semblances of Clyne's sun-baked sound.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Refreshments' 1996 debut, Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, Nielsen has teamed up with Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers for a new rendition of the album's first track, "Blue Collar Suicide." Nielsen told us the pairing with Clyne seemed only natural. "I'm someone who loves to disguise dark subject matter inside of sunshiny hooks," he said. "And when I dove into the lyrics on 'Blue Collar Suicide,' I just knew that we would be good friends."
Clyne told us he's definitely a fan of the direction Nielsen took the song. "This version is original, haunting and uniquely Miles. To my ears, his version reframes the whole emotional context of the song. I’m crazy about the new hue!"
Check out the song below. Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers will also commemorate the occasion with a 20th anniversary tribute to the Refreshments featuring covers and singles by Alice Cooper, the Smithereens, Cracker, Lydia Loveless and more.