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an interview with ‘Lodge 49′ music supervisor Tom Patterson

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AMC’s Lodge 49 is an unusual show, one that is more about atmosphere, character and vibe, than a plot driven story. There is a plot, though, involving “The Ancient and Benevolent Order of The Lynx,” whose long-dead founder may have discovered the secret to alchemy, plus real estate scams, mummies, and more. Really, though, it’s about the members of the Lynx lodge — including ex-surfer Dud (Wyatt Russell), his sister Liz (Sonya Cassidy) and plumbing supply salesman Ernie (Brent Jennings) — who all seem a little lost but find themselves drawn to The Lynx. The show was created by writer Jim Gavin, whose book of short stories, Middle Men, is very much in the same world. If you liked The Big Lebowski, Northern Exposure, Jesus’ Son, and You Me & Everyone We Know, then you’ll dig this charming, terrific hang of a series.

Lodge 49 airs Monday nights at 10 PM right after Better Call Saul, and is halfway through the 10-episode first season. You can binge the whole series on the AMC Premiere subscription service.

As mentioned before, it’s also got a wonderfully unusual soundtrack, filled with baroque psych, obscure surf rock, garage rock and funk, and cult acts like Broadcast, Felt, and The Soundcarriers who have songs in nearly episode of the show. The Soundcarriers were coaxed out of hibernation by Lodge 49‘s music supervisor, Tom Patterson (who is also an editor at UK music mag Shindig), and he got them to write a theme song for Lodge 49. That didn’t actually end up getting used, but you can take a listen — we’ve got a premiere in this post.

The Soundcarriers ended up turning their unused Lodge 49 theme into a full song, now called “Waves,” which will be released on a split 7″ with French band Gloria. Both bands are playing London’s The Victoria on November 23 for the quarterly The Shindig Revue party, and it will be the only place you can get the single (it won’t be available digitally).

I talked with Tom about Lodge 49, the musical vision for this wonderfully weird show, hiring private investigators to track down songwriters of tracks they wanted to use, The Soundcarriers, and more. Read that, which includes some mild spoilers for the series, below.

Tom will also be hosting a Lodge 49 themed special radio show on Soho Radio on Wednesday, September 12 from 1-3 PM Eastern (6-8 PM GMT). He was also a guest on Soho Radio last week, talking with musician Greg Foat (who has songs in Lodge 49) about the show, the late Burt Reynolds and more. You can listen to that below as well.

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BrooklynVegan: Lodge 49 is a very unusual show, from not just what you see on screen, but, from what I can tell, the way that it came about. This is your first ever time being a music supervisor. How did you come to be a part of it?

Tom Patterson: Well, I’ve known Jim Gavin, the creator of the show, for 20 years now. We met when we were college kids. So we’ve known each other for a long time, we used to write together. I was working out in LA at one point, and we were flatmates. He’s got a great musical sense himself. We used to swap mixtapes, that kind of stuff, when I was living in London, which is where I am now, again. We were living together in LA, trying to make it screenwriting, that kind of stuff. The writers strike happened. I was working for a British news agency, sending American stories back home. He got a place up at Stanford on their fellowship program, the Stegner Fellowship. So he left, and I was left in LA, and that took him in a whole new kind of realm. And he wrote a fantastic book of short stories called Middle Men, which I highly recommend checking out. It’s a kind of blueprint of what, eventually, Lodge 49 would become. It’s about men in their 30s sort of adrift in southern California. It’s beautifully written. And at that same time, I started getting more and more into music work. I moved back to London, that’s about six years ago. I worked in a lot of music documentaries over here, I was a music consultant, I did some stuff for Channel 4, I produced non-music stuff as well. I ended up being in a TV show called Trailblazers, which was a huge 20 part documentary series for Sky Arts.

You were a “talking head” on that?

I was supposed to just be the music consultant, because it was being put together by people who knew their way around a documentary on TV, but musically they weren’t that savvy. It’s kind of interesting how you manage to get a TV show sold without having a music expert on board. So I got hired, and I was very, honestly, I mean my tastes are very broad, my knowledge is very deep, but I’m really not the main expert on goth and funk, but I can give you pointers. And it was all good, and then about halfway through they sort of were running out of money slightly, and they went to me, “We can’t afford that many talking heads. Will you come and be in the show too?” And I was like, “Okay.” So of course the entire thing there’s talking heads of me talking about, I mean, every episode, talking about something I’m patently unqualified to be talking about. Like there’s a funk episode, and I know a lot about funk, but really, a middle class white guy from Chiswick isn’t the guy who should be telling you about the history of Funkadelic.

And that opened up a whole new world to me and I was doing a lot of consultancy, a lot of development work. And Jim, in the meantime, wrote Lodge 49, and he sold it, and it went through a very long development process, you know. It was four years ago now, maybe, I think he sold it. You know, I remember we went out for a drink and he told me about the night that it had finally been bought and it was, “Hooray! Drinks all around.” And there was talk, not at the beginning, but at some point, about would I be interested in doing some music supervision on it. The gig wasn’t mine, I had to put a tender out for it and say what my vision was. And there were a lot of big names that were bandied around, and I really never thought it was gonna happen but, for some reason, AMC believed in Jim, they believe in the work, they believe in the writing, which is incredible, ’cause this is his first TV show as well. And somehow they agreed to try me out. I was given a music clearance guru to work with, Linda Osher, who’s based in LA, and she knows everything and everyone. But beyond that, I was kind of left alone creatively. And AMC just put huge faith in me, and Jim, and Peter, our showrunner, Peter Ocko. He was just like, “Yeah, you know, let’s see how it works.”

I think the editors had certain ways of working and certain vision of how the sound would be, but I was very tunnel visioned in how I thought the show should sound. Once people got what I was going for, and what you hear on the screen, I think people suddenly started getting behind me. So it was an absolutely fantastic thing.

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I had heard about the show, seen commercials and posters for it, but really didn’t know anything about it, but I watch Better Call Saul and watched the premiere which aired right after. And the very first scene uses The Soundcarriers’ “There Only Once” — I love that album Celeste. That was such a surprise, and instantly I was even more interested. And then the episode ends with Broadcast’s “Come On Let’s Go.” I would’ve liked the show without the soundtrack, but it was definitely a “what will they use next week” appeal for me. 

Well, I’m really glad you feel that way. It was a really fun thing to work on. And The Soundcarriers and Broadcast came about sort of, just in the process of defining what the sound of the show would be. And I always had this vision of it being slightly psychedelic, but I didn’t want it to be too ’60s beholden. I didn’t want it to sound like a period piece. And Broadcast are one of Jim’s favorite bands. I mean, he’s loved them forever. So we always knew Broadcast would be part of the picture. Broadcast and Lilys, who are also in the show, are two of his absolute defining acts. He adores them. So I always figured we’ll get some of that in. But obviously around Broadcast, they’ve been very influential. And there’s that whole kind of Ghost Box scene in the UK, there are many kind of neo-psychedelic bands that sound like that. So I was bringing bands like that into the mix, a lot of whom haven’t made it into the show. But Soundcarriers just coming out. I don’t think Jim knew them that well beforehand, but I kind of brought them in. I was just like, “Yeah, check out the Soundcarriers. Here, they’re great.”

We kind of put out a tender for someone to write our theme tune, which is what I’ve given you. You know, we had a few people who wrote, some composers I knew, some composers that Peter knew. I wrote this kind of almost impossible to fulfill remit, which was like, “I want it to sound slightly psychedelic with Edda Dell’Orso vocals with a bit of Martin Denny, et cetera, et cetera.” And The Soundcarriers did a really, really nice job. But it was never going to work getting them to actually come and be full time composers on the show. The idea was that this theme tune would then lead on to that person doing our soundtrack. They’re based in Nottingham, I’m based in London, and AMC really wanted somebody who was gonna be in LA, who could come in for the spotting sessions every week. That’s what I’ve given you, their unused Lodge 49 theme.

So in the end we went with Andrew Carroll, who’s fantastic, and his score is absolutely bang on and I love what he’s done. But the Soundcarriers thing was still percolating around my head. I was like, wow, wouldn’t it have been good if we’d had a soundtrack from The Soundcarriers. They’re such a good band. And then I … we were kind of putting the show together, and figuring out where tracks should go, and I kept coming back to certain Soundcarriers tracks. And I said to Peter and Jim, “How about we get a Soundcarriers song in each episode? And that way we kind of have a Soundcarriers album. I mean, they’ve kind of dropped off the map a little bit.”

I was gonna ask if you had basically pulled them out of hibernation to do this theme song.

Yeah, I had. It’s not that they had broken up or anything like that, but for various reasons they weren’t doing much. Paul, the … one of the … they all live in different parts of the UK, and Paul, who is essentially the lead songwriter, along with Adam, Paul has a son who’s not very well. He’s quite young. And because of that, he had to step back to take care of his son. So that meant they couldn’t really tour, and because they’re living in different places it’s hard for them to get together. And then they’d had a bit of management trouble as well, so it’s not that they’d broken up, they just weren’t being very committed about doing anything. So I got them back together. The demo that I’d sent in is actually only Paul and Adam. His name’s Paul Isherwood, but people call him Pish. So it’s Pish and Adam, and they’re the only two people playing on it. And then that’s the track that has spurred them on to writing more stuff, which they gave us. They gave us, basically, an entire album’s worth of demos. I think we re-energized them, and we’ve recharged them. And they are gonna have to exist in a different way to what they had existed before, just because they’re spread apart, but they are active again, and yeah, I think Lodge 49 is really kind of behind that.

Well that’s, if nothing else, that’s good news. And their theme song is what got turned into an actual song that you’re putting out as a 7″ single, is that right?

That is right. I am a contributing editor for Shindig Magazine, which is a magazine out of the UK, vaguely psychedelic, there’s a lot of ’60s stuff, but we do a lot of new stuff. But we do a regular club night, in Dalston, at a club called The Victoria. It’s every three months. And we have got a show coming up on November 23, and because The Soundcarriers are kind of working together, I asked them would they like to play. And they were a little bit reluctant. Pish is like, “We’re a little bit rusty, we haven’t played for six years, I don’t want us to do a big comeback, and get everyone excited about us doing a comeback, when it’s really just a kind of small show.” And I said, “Well, look. Don’t worry about that. Just come and play, you know. We’ll just do a small thing.” But as is the way of the world, things have gotten a bit bigger, and they’re playing with a band called Gloria, from France, who I adore. And I tried to get one of their tracks into Lodge 49. It never quite fit, but hopefully we’ll get one in series two, if and when we get a series two.

And just talking to them, I was just like, “Look, you’ve done all this great music,” and they don’t know when they’re gonna put it out themselves. So I said, “Look, can we put a single out? We’ll do a split single, it’ll be you on one side, Gloria on the other.” Gloria were completely up for it, because they loved The Soundcarriers, and who doesn’t. And they were going, “What song should we do, what song should we do?” And I was like, “Well, you’ve taken that theme song.” They’d already turned it into a full song. They’d taken this theme song and turned it into a track called “Waves.” And I was like, “It’s brilliant. Let’s just do that.” So they have given me that, and that will be the first track from their new album, which who knows when that will be available. But they are now working towards that.

And you can only get the 7″ at that show?

Yeah, so that show is gonna be on November the 23rd, in London, and the only place you’ll be able to get that single is on the night. It’s not gonna be put out digitally or anything like that.

Wow, all right. So book your plane tickets now.

I think it holds like 200 people max, and that will be people absolutely crammed in like sardines. But it should be a good show.

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Cool. Well, very exciting. Back to more about Lodge 49. You said that Broadcast is one of Jim’s favorite bands. How much, at least with the pilot episode, did he already have songs in his mind that he wanted to use, and how much of it was from you and elsewhere?

In the pilot, there weren’t any specific songs planned. There were certain songs written into the script. So, episode two opens with “The Lonely Surfer” by Jack Nitzsche. That was always in the script. There’s a karaoke sequence where they sing Loverboy and Creedence Clearwater Revival, they were in the script, and a couple of other tunes in there. Certainly The Squires, “Going all the Way,” which is the song that closes the season finale. In the script.

Broadcast’s “Come on Let’s Go” fits so perfect, I really would’ve thought that was one where that was there from the beginning.

No, that wasn’t in there at all. In fact, there was one edit of the show that ended with “Psychedelic Shack” by The Temptations.

Oh interesting.

And it was a completely different feeling. It was more about the lodge, and it worked quite well, but I think, in our heart of hearts, it was Broadcast that was always gonna be there, and Jim was just like, “No, we need to have Broadcast in there.” We didn’t open with The Soundcarriers, either, in the first edit. We opened with a track that was much, much slower, and more seductive. But Peter, the showrunner, was just like, “I love it, but we’ve got to grab the audiences immediately after Better Call Saul, and this is quite a slow, soporific song. And the last thing I want is people kind of being gently hypnotized into sleep by the show.” So that’s when we pulled The Soundcarriers. It was like, “This is much more faster, it’s dynamic, it works really well.”

And indeed, that first episode, the rough cut was much longer than the 42 minutes, or however many minutes a show needs to be. It had lots of scenes on that aren’t in there anymore, lots of scenes have been shorn down, there was a flashback with Ernie that’s gone. He had a whole speech about being in the Navy at the beginning which is now gone from that edit. And our very first go-around, we didn’t have Andrew, the composer. There was one point where we were just trying to see if we could do the entire series with needle drops. And we just said, “Let’s just try episode one, see how it sounds.”  And we stuffed that episode full of music. There was Nick Drake in there, there was Young-Holt Unlimited, I mean it was fantastic. I absolutely loved it. There was a fabulous version of “Miserlou,” a non-surf version, which is wonderful. Dozens of songs. And then we just costed it up and it was like, “Right. Well, that’s our music budget gone for the season.”

I can imagine the licensing bill would rack up doing that. 

Yeah. So we just had to figure out what went where and how things would fit. And then we brought Andrew, and once Andrew was in it was like, I don’t even know why we thought we were gonna do this without him. We would give him places where we thought things needed to go, and we figured out what tracks we could have. Ultimately, this is Jim’s baby. I’m working in service of him. I brought in a lot of stuff that he hadn’t heard before, that he didn’t know of, but ultimately it’s me working in service of what Jim likes.

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Whose idea was it to use Felt’s “Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow” in episode 2?

We both love Felt, and you know, I’ve seen Lawrence a lot in London, I’ve seen Denim. But Jim was the one who said, “I’ve been thinking about that line, ‘you’re reading from the book of the dead,’ from the Felt track. It would be great if we tried it in episode two.” And he was absolutely right.

There can’t be many shows, or movies even, that have used a Felt song. If any.

I looked it up. Apparently there might be an episode of The Carrie Diaries that used Felt, but I’m kind of amazed by that myself. [There is indeed – Ed] But you don’t want to use music just ’cause it’s cool. Everything has to work in service of the show. But hopefully we’ve managed to get stuff that’s unusual, or that people might not have heard, or that sounds good, but also really works to enhance the scenes.

Can you give another example of how songs changed as the show came together?

I started, obviously, pulling tracks before I’d even seen a cut of the show. You know, you read the scripts, and I go, “Right, that sounds like that would be good there, that would be good there,” was making lots of shifts along those lines. But when you get the final edit back, often it doesn’t match what’s in your head in any way, shape or form. For example, in episode three they find the mummy. And in my head, reading it, it was much more comic than in the show, where it’s much more serious. So I was like, “Oh, we could play, you know, ‘I’m a Mummy’ by The Fall here. That would be amazing.” But then you see the show and you’re like, “Right. No. It needs something that’s much more mysterious, and strange, and enticing.”

It’s maybe a little too on the nose, too.

Very true, very true. I mean, there was … that’s something I am guilty of, is bringing songs that can be a bit on the nose. And then pulling it back at last minute and going, “That really is far too on the nose.” And I’ll tell you another thing that was great about Peter, the showrunner. Jim and I are both big music nerds. But Peter, he’s got great taste too, but he is in no way, shape or form a music nerd. His joke always was, “Oh, get that out. We’ll get Coldplay.” I mean, he would always judge something on its atmosphere and its sound, rather than whether it was kind of cool, or whether this was a nice find.

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Just by watching the show and trying to Shazam stuff I wasn’t familiar with, there’s a bunch of un-Shazamable songs in the show, and some really cool, obscure ’60s stuff. What was the hardest, or most interesting, song to actually track down and get?

There were three, in the end, that really proved to be tricky, and one of them was The Squires, “Going all the Way,” which was written into the show. And I was desperate to get that, just because it was in the script. Also, I knew it was gonna sound amazing. It’s a brilliant song. Also, it’s by a band called The Squires. Our main character, Dud, is a squire. It kind of just thematically works. As an aside, I don’t want to draw attention to it too much, but a lot of the tracks in the show are about gold and alchemy and sunlight, and things of an alchemical nature, plus a few of the bands are medieval sounding. So we’ve got The Shields, The Baron Four, The Squires, and that was just me being kind of, slightly puckish, playing around with stuff that we could get in. Part of me was kind of going, “Oh, maybe we could squeeze in this track by King Tuff, ’cause it’s got King in it,” Which is just nonsense. But, you know, it’s quite a fun thing to do.

I hadn’t noticed that at all, that’s cool.

We had The Squires. I really wanted to clear that, and it’s a track that originally came out on ATCO in the ’60s, seven inch, which is Warner Bros. They’d lost the paperwork a long time ago. They were like, “We can’t license it to you. We don’t have any paperwork.” The Squires had been on the Nuggets box set, so I don’t know how Rhino okayed it for that. But maybe they chanced it and gone, “Yeah, we’ll just put it out there, I’ll be fine.” Because it didn’t appear on any subsequent reissues of Nuggets, it’s only on that initial box set. So I had to track down Michael Bouyea, the guy who wrote the track. And it wasn’t too hard, but it was something that I was surprised nobody had done before. He was like, “Yeah, this song has been used in commercials and all manner of stuff, and no one’s ever tried to track me down. I’ve never been able to get money from anyone who’s used it illegally, and I have the paperwork for it all under my bed. I recorded it myself.” So we struck a deal with him.

Amazing.

And that was one of the lovely things about doing this music, is sometimes we had to track down the original musicians and actually give them money for something they’d written 50 years ago that they’d been owed money for for a long time, and it felt like we were karmically doing something good for the show. So we tracked down him, and it’s brilliant. I love how that sounds in episode 10.

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And then we have a track called “Time Marches On” that opens up episode seven, I believe, which is where they’re playing softball. And it’s a great kind of garage-y, dance-y number, which I knew about because it’d become a bit of a club hit amongst Northern Soul dancers in the late ’90s. God knows who found it back then. But it’s never been digitized, it’s seven inch only. It’s by a band called The Peels. They’re a complete novelty act, a studio band, headed up by a guy called Tash Howard.

Well, Tash Howard, unfortunately, died in the ’70s, I believe. I still thought it might be quite an easy one to clear, because BMI had the song listed, but Linda couldn’t find any sign of Tash Howard’s company. So I was like, “Well, we might as well go see, I’ll see what I can find.” And we discovered that company had been taken over by a guy called Ronald Dinnerstein. No idea who he was, some guy from the Bronx. And Ron Dinnerstein died in the ’80s too. And so I spoke to clearance people, and they were like, “Well, you have to find out whether Ron Dinnerstein’s got any heirs, someone who owns this song.” And so I hired a private detective to find out whether Ronald Dinnerstein actually had any heirs, and he did not. But even so it was still a bit murky and no one wanted to clear it.

At the same time, I tracked down the master rights to the song, ’cause when you clear something you have to get the publishing and the master side. So I tracked down the master to a company based out of some weird town in Nevada that was owned by a couple who were getting divorced. And neither wanted to talk to each other. And they had some guy in San Francisco looking after their affairs who I managed to find, and this guy was like, “Wow, yeah, I think we own this track. Yeah, I’ll check it out. Yeah, it’s ours, but I can’t give it to you unless you find the guy who wrote it, that owns the rights.” So this is what set me on this path.

And then I looked at my seven inch copy of the song, and I noticed it had another songwriter which I hadn’t noticed before, a guy called Charles Fox. Actually it was C. Fox, it was written down. And I did research into who this C. Fox was, and I discovered it could only be Charles Fox, who is the guy who wrote “Killing Me Softly” and the “Happy Days” theme tune.

The “Sunday, Monday, Happy Days” one?

Yeah, that one. That guy. That song. So I found him. I got in touch with him, and I was like, “Mr. Fox, my name’s Thomas Patterson. I’m music supervisor for this new show, Lodge 49. I’ve got this song, it is written by Tash Howard, I think you co-wrote it, and we’re trying to figure out how to license it.” And he just wrote back going, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you found this song. Yes, I co-wrote it. Tash Howard would love it to be heard again. Here’s what I’ll do.” And he’s quite big in ASCAP and BMI song publishing, and he’s a big advocate for artist’s rights. So he just said, “Look, I’ll take full control of the song. It’s been, certain age, I’m allowed to do that. And I will put aside money in case anyone on Tash Howard’s side comes forward to collect it.” It was amazing.

And there was still a kind of nervousness amongst AMC’s legal bods, ’cause it’s not how things are normally done. Everyone wants something watertight. And here’s me, this novice, just blinding running around going, “Yeah, we’ll have that. Oh, this guy says he’ll clear it.” But they eventually went for it, Charles Fox has maintained taking control of it, and we have the song. And it’s, again, I love how it sounds. And my big hope is that we get a soundtrack album. We won’t know until we get season two if we get a soundtrack album, but I’d like some of these tracks that have not been previously digitized, officially, to go on there, ’cause I think that would be a lovely thing for the artists.

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And what was the third one?

Well, I won’t go into the full thing, ’cause it was mental, the third was “Alchemy is Good for You” by Round House, which is in episode nine. And it’s a brilliant kind of proggy, jazz funk song that sounds a bit like a German Blood, Sweat & Tears. And we really wanted it, and it was on Harvest Records, but it only ever came out in Germany. And all the paperwork for Harvest is long lost. I spoke to Harvest, I spoke to EMI, I spoke to everyone. It was like, “Don’t know. No idea. The only way you’re gonna clear that is if you can find the guy who wrote the song.” And I found the guy, he’s called Bernd Heil. He’s a German musician, he hasn’t had a record out since 1972, and somehow I found him. It was a case of talking to this person, then to this person, and this person, going around the houses, using Google Translate to write emails in German. Eventually I got him, and I found him. It was like, “Oh my God. How did you find me,” et cetera. And, thankfully, he spoke English.

And, again, the paperwork was lost in the sands of time. But we worked out a kind of thing where he would assume rights to the song, ’cause he paid for the sessions, I believe, and it was just a basic licensing deal with Harvest at the time. But AMC would only sign off on it if every single other member of the band signed off on it too, plus the producer. There was, like, nine of them. So I had to find every member, though, luckily, he was in touch with quite a lot, and because of the passing of time, a few of them weren’t around. But still, work was cut out. But we did it, we got it, we got it cleared, and in the end… we used 19 seconds of the song. Hooray! So it was a lot of work for what ended up being 19 seconds worth of music. But I’m glad we did it.

Well, now the world knows.

Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going like that. And then again, we had some really obscure stuff that I was like, “We’ll never clear this,” having been through that kind of process, and I just put it out there and I was thinking, I don’t even know why I’m putting this track in front of everyone. It’s gonna be a nightmare for me and Linda to clear this thing. And then Linda would go, “Oh, no, it’s there.” Two minutes later, email back, “Yeah, please have this song.” So you just never know.

Without getting spoilery, anything especially of note in episode 6 which airs this week? 

Yes. There is an a cappella version of “Nature Boy” [made famous by Nat King Cole] that is actually my wife singing it.

Oh really? How did that come about? 

Yeah. ‘Cause I had this vision. I really wanted … We open with a doo-wop version of “Nature Boy,” and I had this vision of “Nature Boy” playing with the character Larry. It’s a very well played, well used song, and I wanted to use it, but use it in an interesting way. And I had this version, I had in my head just this idea, this a cappella version of that track playing, and I couldn’t get one. And I got the Soundcarriers to record me a version, but it was a bit too much. They really embellished it. And then Andrew, and Juliana Giraffe, who does all the vocals for our show, they did a version and it didn’t work either. And then Susy just did her own. She suggested to me, “Why don’t I try?” She’s a beautiful singer. [Thomas’ wife, by the way, is actress Susy Kane.] And she just recorded it on the tape recorder in the living room. And it was phenomenal. And I sent it to Jim and Peter, I said, “What do you think of this?” And they were like, “Oh my God, yes, that’s it.” And there was talk about her going into a studio to rerecord it, but I just spoke to the music mixers, sound editors, and they were like, “No, it’s good enough. We can just use that.” So what you hear was recorded in our living room.

Wow.

In one take, by my wife.

That’s awesome.

Yeah. Oh, this is another interesting thing as well, about the show. Part of my vision for the show was that the lodge would have its own kind of voice. You know, that Edda Dell’Orso female vocal. There’s a French jazz musician Raphael who uses a similar sound, you know, it’s quite a well worn effect. And we really wanted that kind of sound, and I put that into the brief that I gave to the composers. And they all tried various versions of it, and then we really got it. We then wanted to run it through the rest of the show, and also use it in the opening credits, but that opened up a whole can of worms as well. Because essentially, we had to get that singer SAG clearance. So Juliana is treated as an actress. You don’t hear, and I’d never really thought about it too often, but you don’t really hear television theme tunes recorded with vocals. And it’s because that person is essentially an actress. So we had to go … so AMC had to jump through all these hoops, to allow us to have a vocalist on all our music, through the show. Which I think makes it also stand out as well. You don’t think about it, hopefully you don’t notice it, but we have vocals. We’ve managed to get around it somehow.

Want to read more interviews with music supervisors? We talked with Maggie Phillips (Fargo, Legion, Moonlight) and Zach Cowie (Master of None).

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