Chris Cornell talks about his theme song `You Know My Name`
US rock star Chris Cornell came to public attention with Soundgarden, one of the key bands to emerge from the 1990s Seattle grunge scene. Best known as the frontman of Audioslave, he wrote and performed the Bond theme tune to Casino Royale, You Know My Name - reports the BBC
When they first approached you about the Bond theme, did they give you a clear idea about what they wanted?
They were pretty clear about what they didn't want - which was a song that had already been sitting around that I would just cleverly adapt to the new film, which happens quite a lot apparently.
They also didn't want to echo any recent Bond theme songs.
Why do you think they chose you?
Their attitude was that they wanted somebody who vocally would be unapologetically masculine. David Arnold's quote was that they didn't want the 'bird with the broken wing' type of singing.
Obviously 1987 was the last time a male artist sang a song - but I didn't read too much into that. I assumed that meant that they just wanted me to do what I do.
You've worked on a number of film soundtracks, do you watch the films before composing?
This is the first time that I actually sat and watched an early edit of the film, as well as having a script and a book all to go by - that's more than you almost ever get.
A James Bond film and theme song are integral to each other in a way that doesn't exist in any other film franchise.
Did you draw any inspiration from the new Bond star, Daniel Craig?
Daniel Craig's Bond is where it all comes from. It's the reason why I wanted to do it, it's where the lyrics were inspired from. It is partially inspired by the story, as acted by him, and partially from personal feelings and experience.
What's it like following in the footsteps of artists like Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Paul McCartney and Madonna?
There are the moments when you pat yourself on the back and bask in the glow of achievement - and alternately break out in a cold sweat worrying about whether you're going to be good enough.
Did you have any involvement in the title sequence?
The title sequence was described to me before I wrote the song, but it hadn't been done. But I wasn't involved at all in the content. In fact I haven't even seen it, because I didn't want to see the song in the film until the premiere.
It's the first time a Bond theme hasn't taken the title of the movie since 1983's Octopussy - why?
As soon as I heard Casino Royale was the title of the movie, I definitely knew I wasn't going to have those two words in the song. And no-one told me that I should.
I couldn't imagine it fitting into a song lyric that would come out of my mouth.
Why is the song not part of the Casino Royale soundtrack?
The song is going to be released as a single in the UK at some point. But it's also going to be on my next album, which is out in February.
It was a decision of mine not to have it on the film soundtrack. I wanted it to be mine.
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