“It’s a huge part of history and it’s still as good a comedy as anything out there,” MxPx lead singer Mike Herrera says of Animal House. Herrera understands the importance of the film, which starred John Belushi. Released in 1978 – four years before Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and two decades before American Pie – Animal House is arguably the movie that launched the teen comedy genre.
So for Herrera and his MxPx band mates, it was a huge honor when they were invited to re-record the movie’s theme song and the Isley Brothers’ classic “Shout,” a staple of the film, for the soon-to-be-released twenty-fifth anniversary edition DVD, Animal House.
For the SoCal pop/punkers, recording an R&B classic stretched their limits in the best way. “It was a lot of fun recording [“Shout”] because it was so different from anything I’d ever done,” Herrera says. “Obviously I’m not Christina Aguilera or Mariah Carey – I can’t go crazy with it. But I think for what I can do, I thought it turned out really cool.”
Their rendition of “Shout” will be immortalized on the DVD in the form of a video they recently shot for the song at Universal Studios Hollywood. “The whole idea behind the video is we’re this band supposedly recording this song and then we go and we have a gig that night,” Herrera says. “So we go to this party, and it’s the Animal House fraternity house. All these toga people are outside partying, we walk up, go in and play.”
MxPx have one more Animal House obligation to fulfill. The band will do a four- to six-song set at a huge launch party for the DVD in Los Angeles on August 21st. Many members of the cast are expected to attend, but it’s one member that won’t be there that Herrera would have loved to have met. “Obviously John Belushi [who died in 1982] won’t be there,” he says. “To this day, whenever somebody says something stupid, my friends and I will say, ‘I’m gonna Belushi a guitar over someone’s head.'”