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02 October 2021

Johnny Marr Discusses Working On The New Bond Soundtrack

Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr
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Johnny Marr has spoken about his experiences of working on the soundtrack to the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, with composer Hans Zimmer and working with Billie Eilish on the film’s theme song.The guitarist spoke to NME as the film finally saw release in cinemas worldwide after the release was postponed thanks to the global pandemic.

Marr spoke about the part he had to play in scoring the film, “I’m making a lot of nasty, nasty noises on it. I’ve had this thing with the last few films that I’ve worked on where I am determined to create an atmosphere with the sonics of the guitar that can’t be done by the most amazing synthesizer players in the world – nor the most amazing sound designers.”

He continued: “There are always people around Hans who are doing the most amazing things with cutting-edge technology, and I’m always so happy when my idea is the one that gets across the line. I just stand my ground in these meetings and say, ‘I can do that, I can make the most spooked-out, horrible, creepy, disturbing noise’ to these people that have been doing it for 25 years, and it becomes a point of pride that I’m doing it on the guitar. I’ve even done it on a few movies that people don’t even know I’m on. It’s all about the wires and electricity – you just can’t design it.”

On working with Eilish, Marr said: ““I knew Billie’s stuff quite well because we’d been listening to it on the tour bus and had done a couple of festivals with them [Elish and her brother/producer, Finneas]. The thing about working with Finneas and Billie was that I knew before I’d even heard the song that the strength of it was going to be in the intensity of the song.

“As you can imagine, there are versions of it that are just super-bombastic and that classic Bond thing. It was really smart of everyone involved that it was definitely a case of less is more. They know what they’re doing. They know that the power is in the intensity of the performance.”

He continued: “They’re so classy and know that if you want to do a Bond theme, it’s about doing something that’s your sound. I wanted to protect that, and in the end we just kept coming back to ‘reduce, reduce, reduce’. I think it’s a really powerful piece of music, considering it’s such a mainstream project.”

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