Recording artist Billie Eilish and her brother/frequent collaborator Finneas are a team that revel in using their work to break from traditional sounds. However, that doesn’t mean that the duo doesn’t know how to honor something as mythic as the James Bond theme. When setting to work on the song for No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final 007 film, Billie Eilish certainly wanted to have something that sounded like it belonged in her catalog. But including a reference to the classic James Bond theme was something that even she couldn’t pass up.
Billie Eilish and Finneas were two of the many figures interviewed for this week’s episode of the official No Time To Die podcast. Titled “The Music of Bond,” the subject of this week’s deep dive was, of course, the scores and theme tunes that have made the James Bond legacy the mythic success that it is. Part of the conversation centered around whether or not there was any pressure on the Grammy winning musicians to link their song to the Bond canon in any special way. And as Billie Eilish revealed, the decision to include a classic Bond riff was all theirs:
Even No Time To Die composer Hans Zimmer was inspired by the classic scores of James Bond’s past, as well as the work of David Arnold at the beginning of the Daniel Craig era, when it came to writing the movie’s music. Feeling the 007 series had lost the usual guitar fueled twang that it included in the past, Zimmer was determined to enlist Inception collaborator and guitar legend Johnny Marr to correct that oversight. That decision was probably the most instrumental to No Time To Die’s theme getting the classic James Bond easter egg you can now hear in its second verse.
Judging by further remarks made by Finneas about his theme tune with Billie Eilish, it almost sounds like that reference wasn’t included at all. Which, on the surface, wouldn’t have been a total crime because No Time To Die’s theme tune is still pretty amazing. That being said, Finneas recalls hearing Johnny Marr’s work in the song, and having the following moment of clarity:
No Time To Die is a film that’s trying to close out the Daniel Craig era of 007 with a bold confidence, which includes doing some things differently. While Hans Zimmer, Billie Eilish, and Finneas were all aware they were contributing to a more modern musical landscape in No Time To Die, they certainly remembered to honor the classic swagger the music of James Bond has always held. It’s decisions like that which allow the James Bond franchise to continue as a venerated box office staple, while also giving the formula involved in the process some room to evolve.
The latest evolution of James Bond, and the final chapter in Daniel Craig’s tenure in the role, arrive with No Time To Die’s theatrical debut. September 30th marks the big day in the UK, while October 8th is the US drop date for the 25th Bond film to finally be unveiled.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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