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- Posted on Aug 13th 2010 3:00PM by Steve Baltin
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"It was an embarrassment of riches to have so many people that I'm huge fans of," Wright tells Spinner of getting people like Beck, Metric, Cornelius, Dan the Automator, Broken Social Scene, Kid Koala and more to lend their songs to 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.' "I covered so many bases with 'Scott Pilgrim.'"
Among the films' biggest coups was landing Beck to write and record the original music for Pilgrim's band, Sex Bob-Omb. That came about in large part because of Wright's longtime friend, acclaimed music producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck), who did the score for the film. And, as Wright explains, Beck and Godrich had very distinct ideas for what the fledgling fictional band should sound like.
"The way Beck did the Sex Bob-Omb songs and having discussed it with Nigel, their idea was to kind of record on eight track, make it like a demo and not really kind of produce it that much," Wright says, noting it worked very much to everybody's satisfaction. "If you hear the title track, which is on the opening credits, 'We Are Sex Bob-Omb,' you can hear the drum rhythm changing constantly because they were just kind of riffing and experimenting. Basically, once me and Nigel heard it, we didn't really have any further notes. It was like, 'This is perfect. It sounds so real.'"
Another of the film's musical high points comes courtesy of electronic artist Cornelius, who provides the music for the Katayanagi twins during a musical battle of the bands. That Cornelius did the score that scene was very fitting, as it was he who actually inspired it.
"One of my favorite live artists is Cornelius. 1999 was the first time I saw him and he always does this dazzling A/V experience," Wright says. "So not only does he have a great live band, but it feels like when you go to one of his concerts it's just a complete sensory overload. The idea of taking that a little further is that the Katayanagi twins' music is so astonishing that it can conjure dragons."
One thing that all of the participants wanted was to create an air of authenticity when the film's musical acts played onscreen, something they viewed as essential for a movie with a bunch of bands. "Sometimes it feels like it was written by a composer rather than a band," Wright says.. "A film I actually love, 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,' has a girl band called Carrie Nations and the songs are great and I love the film, but you never at any point believe those actresses are playing their instruments. That's what happens in a lot of films, especially like music biopics."
For movie band's that have real musical cred, Beck and Godrich told the L.A. Times looked to Spinal Tap. Wright concurs that Tap are a role model for fictional bands. "Spinal Tap is definitely a fantastic one because all of those guys are musicians," he says. "Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean all play and sing, so they did fully formed songs. That was completely believable and the songs, as silly as they were, were actually really catchy."
Sex Bob-Omb are almost there for Wright, but they haven't reached Spinal Tap level yet. "One of the first live acts I ever saw -- in 1992 when I was like 16 -- was Spinal Tap. I would put Spinal Tap number one, Sex Bob-Omb two," he says.
Now the band has something to shoot for if there's ever a sequel.