Chase Engel and the Nightshift are ready for liftoff today with the debut of their music video for the Elton John classic “Rocket Man.” When you’re doing your take on probably one of the top 20 most celebrated and well-known songs in rock n’ roll history, it’s a tall task, and it’s necessary to tread lightly. You have to stay faithful enough to the original while still putting your spin on it, so to speak.
Well, Engel and his bandmates have come through big time with a version that preserves all of the distinction of the original while also rocking things up, most notably through the song’s iconic chorus. There’s a certain glam rock factor to the quintet’s rendition, reminiscent of an ’80s hard rock act.
Explaining the background behind the decision to record “Rocket Man,” Engel says:
“We never had any intention of recording this song. It was only a song we planned on playing live for literally one show. The song went over so well that night that our manager Brian who was in attendance that night said ‘we have to record that song!’ I’ve always loved this song and I’m thrilled with the way our cover, along with the music video we shot for it turned out. We try and put a different twist on things, both musically and visually, and I think we really did a killer job doing that with this one.”
When considering everything, this is pretty fantastic stuff offered by a band that only recently formed. The band hails from the small city of Saginaw, Michigan, characterizing themselves as more of a traditional, no-nonsense rock n’ roll unit. It didn’t take long for them to catch a break, as they quickly formed a relationship with Brian Wheat of the classic rock band Tesla after meeting him when the latter band was playing a gig in Saginaw. After chatting backstage, they remained in touch with Wheat and a few months later found themselves recording in his Sacramento, California studio. Wheat agreed to act as the band’s producer and really helped them navigate through the process of writing and recording more polished, professional-sounding tracks.
Now, Wheat has assumed the role of the band’s manager, helping them sign a recording deal with J Street Entertainment. That experienced industry guidance, along with the group’s strong work ethic, is powering them forward into being a well-recognized mainstream modern rock act. They released their EP Hyde last year, and since then have been writing and recording consistently, with recording sessions planned for this month in New York City with the also highly regarded Joel Hamilton, a seven-time Grammy nominee. Really, you couldn’t ask for a better start for a band, and Engel and his bandmates are intent on coming through for those who have put their faith in them as artists.