By Patrick Flanary
The Dan Band, whose expletive-ridden sendups of wedding ballads found their way into movies like Old School and The Hangover, has settled down to make The Wedding Album, a covers collection for Comedy Central Records due out this December.
Already the wedding party includes some notable guests. Frontman Dan Finnerty tells Radio.com he recorded a version of Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” with former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger in April. Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt produced the duet, which also features Rihanna’s touring band.
Scherzinger will also sing on a Dan Band original, “Shake,” which Finnerty vows “will be a new wedding version of the ‘Macarena.’” For the music video, he’ll play a restroom attendant on urinal patrol, demanding men to “shake” before they “pay to pee.”
“It won’t get crazy inappropriate,” he said of the The Wedding Album, which will follow the progress of a wedding reception, beginning with a first-dance song, “I Hope We F**king Never Break Up.” He and Rob Thomas have discussed producing The Wedding Album once Matchbox 20 wraps its summer tour, Thomas’ management confirmed to Radio.com.
Also on Finnerty’s registry: holding out for Questlove of the Roots to produce and play on a cover of Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You.” Melissa Etheridge, also on the group’s radar, sang “Ave Maria” at Finnerty’s wedding to actress Kathy Najimy in 1998. Meanwhile, he has yet to connect with Bonnie Tyler about collaborating on “an epic remake” of the Dan Band’s best-known cover, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
The Dan Band evolved from Finnerty’s crack at karaoke, which in the late 1990s caught the attention of a booker in Los Angeles. Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Todd Phillips are big fans — both have given him memorable cameo roles. And those artists he has spoofed, including the Pussycat Dolls, Wilson Phillips and Toni Basil, once united to perform his versions at a party Najimy threw her husband. His crass-meets-class act embodies the theatrics of power ballads and his karokeography is often in the stylings of artists like Pink and Beyoncé.
“I think that’s a real innovative part of his show, is what those guys do and how they do it,” Basil said of the performances. “And I love the way he treats the covers.”
“It doesn’t seem fair, really, that at the end of the set I get a paycheck and I didn’t write any of it,” Finnerty said, adding, “I’m OK with it, though.”
The Wedding Album, the band’s third record, follows a live set and Ho: A Dan Band Christmas, a collection of holiday originals. Finnerty hopes his latest will finally divorce him from all those reception invitations he receives.
“That’s why I wanted to make this album,” he says, “because I always email back, ‘Just play the f**king song at midnight when your friends are all drunk. You’ll save yourself a ton of money, and you’ll have the same experience.’”