High Fidelity, Almost Famous, and The Royal Tenenbaums – these are three films that I will always love. I love them not just for the fantastic screenplay but for the brilliant musical scores:High Fidelity introduced me Bob Dylan, Almost Famous introduced me to The Who and The Royal Tenenbaums introduced me to Elliott Smith.
The forthcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has introduced me to three, not one, three acts that I love – Sex-Bob-Omb, Crash and the Boys and The Clash at Demonhead. Yes, I do know they are all technically fictional bands but an 8-bit, video-game inspired soundtrack that was compiled by Edgar Wright and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich that includes collaborations from Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric (as the bands listed above) is definitely as inspirational as any ‘real’ record.
I caught up with Edgar Wright and Michael Cera for five minutes to speak about the importance of a great soundtrack and how the movie came together – we all agreed to “talk quickly!”
(Look out for our interview with Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley tomorrow!)
TLOBF: So first of all I loved the film – the crazy action scenes and hilarious one-liners were great but obviously a really important focus for you guys was the music. How did you get the soundtrack and film score together?
Edgar Wright: Well it was a collaboration between myself, O’Malley and Nigel – who has been a friend of mine for the last 10 years. We decided we wanted to make the music real so the artists essentially took on roles in the film and it became a case of not treating their songs as their own. For example, for Beck it was less like ‘these songs are new Beck songs’ and more like ‘these are Sex-bob-Omb songs.’
Michael, how much of a musician were you before filming started?
Michael Cera: I played guitar a bit as a hobby. But there was always a guitar on set, Jason [Schwartzman] is a great musician and Chris Murphy from Sloan was hanging around so we would play music in between takes sometimes.
How was the chemistry performing as Sex-Bob-Omb with Alison Pill and Mark Webber?
MC: Amazing. It was so much fun to get to play with them. They both really impressed me with how quickly they learnt their instruments because neither of them had played before.
Would you guys like to see a Sex-Bob-Omb, Crash and the Boys, The Clash at Demonhead Tour?
EW: Haha, nobody has ever asked that before!
MC: I would love it.
EW: It would be good but I mean Crash and The Boys are sadly now defunct after the film. Although they would be good to see live. I think Crash and The Boys would have to go first seeing as they kind of have the shortest time in the film. In terms of ranking in the film The Clash at Demonhead would have to be top of the bill.
MC: That’s true, although they only have that one song. Sex-Bob-Omb have six.
EW: Haha, that is true.
From the outset the film incorporates 8 bit Nintendo inspired music, so do either of you have a favourite video game soundtrack?
EW: This will only mean something to ZX Spectrum users but the music from ‘Knight Lore’ goes around in my head quite frequently.
What about favourite video game hero/villain combinations?
EW: Oh wow, umm. I’m trying to think of a non-obvious answer but you might have stumped me. It is 5 O’clock and I am stumped.
MC: Favourite hero/villain. I think Super Mario 3 has to be up there. Super Mario is a fantastic hero.
EW: Who is the lizard guy, the villain?
EW: Dennis Hopper?!
MC: Was he in the movie? Oh man!
What about you Michael, how did it feel playing the “hero” alongside “villains” that include the future Captain America (Chris Evans) and most recent big-screen incarnation of Superman (Brandon Routh)?
MC: It was an honour … It was terrifying actually but they are both wonderful guys and it was great to have killed them both. Though in my life I’m not the hero, I’m the underdog.
Scott is only really a hero in his own head though isn’t he?
MC: Yeah that is how the movie feels to me, like it is all kind of Scott’s warped perception of reality.
And that was my time up, so as Edgar and Michael were whisked off to another room, I headed for the lift wondering ‘Will the world ever learn Wright’s favourite video game hero or villain?!’