Chris Cornell spoke on British radio recently about
his work on Casino Royale and the process of writing
"You Know My Name"...
Chris Cornell On Casino Royale
21st December 2006
Chris Cornell gave an interview to British radio
recently to discuss his work on Casino Royale. He began by explaining
how he first got involved with Casino Royale: "I just got a phone
call from Lia Vollack who is the head of Sony Music
had talked to her
before, over the years, and had my songs put in films. The question
put to me was: "how do you feel about doing a song for the
next James Bond film?" There was some immediate panic where
I thought "it sounds exciting", but also "this
could be a disaster". I had images of Duran Duran climbing
the Eiffel Tower, and thinking that I didn't want comparisons,
even though I live in Paris half the time!"
"So, I wasn't sure. I can't remember if I heard
that Daniel Craig was the new James Bond before or after I was
asked to do
song, but I'm actually a fan. I was a fan of the movie "Layer
Cake", and his performance in "The Jacket" is
unbelievable. He had dark hair in that and he doesn't look as
good with dark
hair, he looks much better blonde. I bet you they sat and tried
that and realised that. As I was a fan of his already, I thought
that [casting Craig] could be a genius move. And I think it was."
Single CD (Amazon USA)
Single CD (Amazon UK)
"Every so often in pop culture someone
has a brilliant idea and they kinda have to have the guts
to stake everything
on it, and they do it - and it's the right move. I had
to see a rough edit of the movie to know for sure, and
they let me do that. They flew myself and my wife to
Prague to see a rough edit of the film from beginning to
what they had shot at the time, and it was even beyond
my best expectations. At that point it changed for me
from having trepidations to curiosity to true excitement
anxiety about wanting to do a great job."
Cornell was then asked if he enjoyed full
creative freedom during the process: "In
my case they hired me and I did what I wanted to do. That's
Also, I think in this case that the producers of the Bond
franchise had been doing it forever and they're good at
it and they know what they want."
"I didn't realise until I'd seen the first seven minutes of
the film that actually I was the right choice for this. Then
I could breathe a sigh of relief because I didn't have to go
and reinvent me, I just did what I did, and it was the right
choice for the movie."
Cornell explained the inspiration he
used for the song: "I think the first line of the
song is the first several minutes of the film, and that's
where the rest of the song lyrics stem from."
"This is not the James Bond we all know
and the character is not established. They sort of re-introduce
him at the
start of every film, but for this one, he's being introduced
to himself. He doesn't know who he is yet. He's killing
another human being for the first time and going through
emotions that one can only image. And Daniel Craig as a
can actually act it from his imagination. That's what
made it really easy for me to sink my teeth in to the lyrics
where it came from."
"If you take a life, do you know
what you'll give?"
"Obviously, I didn't want to write lyrical content that includes
the third act because you're hearing the song a few minutes into
the film. But it doesn't take much in term of getting a kernel
to write a three minute song. Also, I thought that the title "Casino
Royale" would make for an extremely boring rock lyric, and
the first question I asked was "what's the title of the
movie" because I was telling my wife, literally, "I'll
write this in five minutes if the movie title is as good as I
hope it will be". And it wasn't. It was "Casino Royale".
"I've always looked not so much
at who are my peers around me but who are the best ever. So,
Bond series goes
I was thinking Sir Paul McCartney for who wrote the best Bond
song ever. Not wanting to repeat that, but I didn't want to write
something that was adequate and disposable. I wanted to write
something that people would remember and was a quality song with
or without the film, which I think "Live And Let Die" is.
If the film had never existed and he had just written that in
a vacuum it would still be a classic song."
Royale Official Soundtrack Preview
Arnold On Scoring 007
Cover art courtesy Amazon Associates.