It was the “One” heard ’round the world, or at least by a reasonably large number of people on the internet. A little more than a year ago, the Belarus band Stary Olsa, who perform medieval music on era-appropriate instruments, decided to have a little fun, and covered the epic Metallica track from its 1988 …And Justice For All album. Since random shit like that is what powers the world wide web, it did extremely well, racking up more than a million hits on the band’s YouTube page. After recording a few more of these contemporary rock songs in the medieval style, the group decided it’d screwed around long enough, and wanted to record a proper album of these songs. So it has gone the time-honored route of broke people since 2009: It turned to Kickstarter, and launched a campaign to raise the funds to make this record.
Stary Olsa seems intent on doing this in the most respectable manner possible (none of that “taking your Kickstarter money and disappearing for years” strategy here), outlining exactly where the money will go and setting as low a bar as possible (only $7,000) to get it all done financially. The group is offering the usual array of goodies to those who contribute, including volunteering to recording personal songs of your choice to those who pledge $1,000 or more, and even offering to take the highest bidders on guided tours of Belarus, home accommodations included. (“Belarus: We’ve got that band who plays Metallica on medieval instruments” is presumably the country’s new tourism motto.) Stary Olsa is already more than halfway to its goal, meaning you can soon own an album containing medieval versions of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da,” and even Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication”—that last one almost assuredly being a vast improvement on the original.