With their weird, violent lyrics, rockers The Burning of Rome aren't the kind of band you'd normally expect to hear at a mainstream sporting event. But for months last season, their song "Cowboys & Cut Cigars" blasted through the speakers at Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The song would play every time the team scored a touchdown, reaching the ears of tens of thousands of football fans.
"Now they're asking us to actually rework [the song] so that it's more appropriately themed for the Cowboys," says Adam Traub, the band's singer and keyboardist, noting that the song's lyrics (example: "brain-dead and bearing arms") aren't exactly football-friendly.
The band got the deal through their label, Surfdog Records. Surfdog's owner, Dave Kaplan, is friends with the Cowboys' entertainment director, and the label sent the song over to him after the album came out late last year.
Scott Seine, Surfdog's executive vice president and general manager, says the Cowboys want to use the song next season. The band hasn't been paid for the deal—and may not be for this season, he adds.
"We're just trying to break the band," he says. "For us, it's just 'Get the music out there' at this stage of their growth."
Traub hasn't decided how to rewrite the lyrics yet. He offered to make them allude to the Cowboys' longstanding rivalry with the Washington Redskins—by making the song about a group of marauding cowboys who go to Washington, D.C., to destroy Congress—but that idea got nixed.
"I got a note back from their supervisor basically just saying, 'These lyrics are way too outlandish,'" he says. Among the things he was told: "You can't use the word 'kill.'"
However the new lyrics turn out, he hopes to make them just a little bit subversive.
"You gotta try to sneak something in there," he says. "You have to. It's going to be played for 70,000 people every Sunday."