I interviewed John Carter Cash – Johnny’s son – a few years ago (for my book‘s chapter on “Hurt”). He told me how, as a huge metal fan growing up in the 1980s, he dragged his dad with him to Metallica and Iron Maiden concerts. It’s not clear that created a deep and abiding appreciation of heavier sounds in the Man in Black – lord knows it proved hard enough for Rick Rubin to convince him to cover Nine Inch Nails – but maybe this new metal “Ghost Riders in the Sky” cover would convince him.
It comes from California metal band DevilDriver, who take on all sorts of outlaw-country classics on the upcoming album Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1. And for their cover of Cash’s cover of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” (the song was first recorded by its writer, Stan Jones), they recruited a ringer to bridge the gap: John Carter Cash himself.
“I wanted to combine two genres that have never been combined well,” DevilDriver singer Dez Fafara told Billboard about the album. “Having these two genres combined is something that really needed to be done. If you go to a metal gig and walk around the tailgates you hear Willie Nelson into Slayer into Pantera into Johnny Cash, and no one is looking sideways at anyone. They just keep on partying.”
Check out more Johnny Cash covers here.