Johnny Jewel Talks Scoring Logan's Run and the Alternate Indie-Electro Soundtrack for Drive
Electro musician (and Italians Do It Better label owner) Johnny Jewel elaborated on the Drive score he was commissioned to compose by director Nicolas Winding Refn. "Nic flew to Montreal and we rented a movie theater and he and I watched the movie twice in a row, back-to-back. We talked about every single scene and all the music. So then from there, I had a month to finish the score." Although Refn opted to use Cliff Martinez's score for the final film, fans will get another Refn-Jewel collaboration when Jewel scores another upcoming Refn film: Logan's Run.
"Nic talked to me a little bit about Logan's Run," Jewel told Movies.com. "He mentioned it and was just trying to feel out if I was interested, and I was telling him about how on my 30th birthday, I had a party and I had a blinking stone in my hand, because I was super into that movie and obsessed with the idea of turning 30 or whatever. So that's something I've been doing. So in 2013, they're doing a script for it. They're working on a screenplay next year, after they do Only God Forgives."
Meanwhile, over at Box Office Magazine, Jewel discussed the unused Drive score that he plans on releasing as part of his Symmetry Project.
I had a great time working on it. And for a movie that's not even an hour and a half, I have 14 minutes of music, which is awesome. But I recorded three hours of music.
What is happening with that music that you recorded?I collaborated with Matt Walker who plays drums for the Chromatics and Desire, and we're going to end up releasing some of that stuff on Italians Do It Better [Jewel's record label] under like an imaginary film project called Symmetry. It was already in motion and we were working on kind of wallpaper, not like forgettable music, but sort of abstract mood music. You can only put so much abstraction on a pop record before it like tips the scales and feels imbalanced or possibly indulgent for what a fan of a rock or pop record wants, so for the last three years I've basically been piling up stuff that's gone into the Symmetry pile, and we're going to release different volumes of it, and my score for Drive is about half of the first one. So it's really cool, and the music will be heard--I'm sure because it's film-based, the score will probably end up in a ton of other movies. Because it's perfect for film: it's abstract enough, and it's not locked into a pop structure, which is really good visually because I know editors have trouble with really strictly structured music.
Movieline previously dug up Drive-inspired sketches that Jewel and his Chromatics collaborator Adam Miller had drawn to go with the film tracks; Jewel explained that the sketches came from his highly-involved preparatory process, which began with studying the James Sallis novel on which the film is based:
I have a lot of weird rituals. One of the first things I did was I took the book and I highlighted all of the phrases, things like "last day," "sanctuary," all of these different phrases from the movie that stimulated my brain, and I'd print those words really big and put them on the wall. Or while I'm writing--this was sort of like a mantra -- we were drawing pictures while watching the movie every day. Because everything I do is like going into this camp mode where we would cut ourselves off. I was watching the movie while taking a bath, I was watching the movie while eating, like every day. Because there was only so much time and I wanted to know the movie inside and out, and I can't be watching the movie while I'm actually writing. While I was actually trying to figure out melodies and things like that, I had to watch the movie as much as possible. We drew almost like every scene -- there's like 150 of them -- so we drew so much, and then I forgot about them and then stumbled across them a couple of weeks ago.