October 23, 2006It's not a bad job sometimes, this whole Bond thing.
This, not entirely original, thought comes to me as I am sitting in the middle of a converted church in Hampstead, North London, with the Bond theme swelling all around me. You don't often get a chance to sit in the middle of one of the world's premiere orchestras and it's astonishing how powerful their sound is when you are in its centre.
This is AIR Studios, the recording facility set up by the Beatles' producer, George Martin, where our composer David Arnold is putting the finishing touches to the score. David is an old hand now having been, in effect, composer in residence since TOMORROW NEVER DIES but what's novel about this project for him is having a James Bond who has a real interest in the music. Right from the beginning, Daniel had expressed an interest in who would perform the main song so David is relieved he likes Chris Cornell though that's perhaps not so surprising as Chris was chosen, says David, because of Daniel's performance in the film.
"Watching Daniel Craig in the role, the thing that struck me about it was this notion of masculinity in music".
So David was looking for the right voice that would fit Daniel's rugged performance and when someone suggested Chris, he knew it was the right choice and kicked himself for not thinking of it.
"I was quite ashamed. Because I have been a fan of his for years. I just thought that's the only idea that makes any sense to me because when I see Daniel Craig in that role, I am thinking what do I want to hear and when you hear Chris sing, especially on this song, you know there's no mistaking what the whole thing is about."
And now we have our first male vocalist since our Norwegian chums on THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. Chris is a vastly experienced musician not just with Soundgarden and Audioslave but with his own solo work. Yet working with such a large orchestra is a novelty for him.
"It's a kind of disconcerting in a way. It's actually fairly new for me and of course it really lends itself to the feel of the song and the fact that it's a Bond theme song and so I am excited to see what it will sound like when it's all finished".
From where I'm sitting, in the middle of that orchestra, I think his excitement is not misplaced.
Until next time,