The Oral History Of the First 'Twilight' Soundtrack, 10 Years Later


Back in 2008, bands like Paramore and Muse helped a teen vampire movie soundtrack sink its tooth into the charts.

November four, 2008: Barack Obama turns into the primary black President of the United States. And if you happen to’re a teenage woman, one thing else thrilling occurs: the primary Twilight soundtrack lastly hits shops.

It was an occasion that despatched lots of Twilight's younger, feminine followers -- the type of followers who can be first in line at midnight screenings and mall occasions -- working to the closest Hot Topic. But the soundtrack additionally reached Twihards of all ages -- and even these detached to the franchise -- regardless of the place they have been.

Thanks to contributions from the likes of Linkin Park, Muse, and the film's personal Robert Pattinson, the Twilight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 1, and it went on to spend 20 weeks within the Top 10. It additionally cemented Twilight as a tastemaking pressure, paving the way in which not only for 4 extra Twilights soundtracks loaded with authentic materials, but additionally future blockbuster sequence like The Hunger Games, which equally used acclaimed artists to widen its enchantment past the YA crowd.

A decade after the Cullen household performed baseball to Muse’s thundering “Supermassive Black Hole” and Bella and Edward danced to Iron & Wine's “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” Billboard seems again on the soundtrack -- and the artists' whose careers it modified -- with the assistance of those that made it occur.


Alexandra Patsavas, music supervisor and producer: At that point, I had carried out some options, however a whole lot of my work had been in tv. I keep in mind studying the script and getting employed for the venture after interviewing with [director] Catherine Hardwicke and Summit [Entertainment], then diving into the books. Not all of them have been revealed at that time, so I simply keep in mind going so far as I may.

Li Tortella, former govt vp/gm at Atlantic Records: Alex was speaking to us [at Atlantic], as a result of we have been companions in [her label] Chop Shop Records, letting me know, “I’m actually into these books, and I’m speaking to Summit.” And I’m like, “Oh my God, I really like these books, too!” Being an ex-goth, you recognize, to have the ability to do Twilight at 40? [Laughs] It was insane! You by no means lose sure issues in your life. I used to be like, “Okay, we gotta do that, we gotta do that.”

Nancy Kirkpatrick, former president of worldwide advertising and marketing, Summit Entertainment: I all the time have a look at all of the alternative ways you may contact the viewers. And if you end up speaking about younger females -- which was [whom] we needed to get labored right into a frenzy -- the music they take heed to was actually necessary. So, to me, the soundtrack needed to not simply be an extension of the film, but it surely additionally wanted to create an extension of the advertising and marketing and the viewers.

Tortella: Not solely did I do know a producer of the film [Gillian Bohrer], however I additionally knew the president of selling [Nancy] and the music supervisor [Alex] months prematurely! So what that does is it means that you can actually pinpoint what the suitable musical experiences may very well be. Everything was orchestrated by a bunch of girls who have been so keen about it and needed to get it proper.

Patsavas: It was actually attention-grabbing to delve into Stephenie’s characters, and the Pacific Northwest had such a lush really feel. Throughout all the sequence, that soundscape was so necessary: [It's] haunting and a bit of bit otherworldly, generally powerful, generally gentle. It was actually all in regards to the really feel of the music.

Kirkpatrick: For me, as a real fan, to get to be accountable for a whole lot of that stuff was tremendous enjoyable, as a result of, like, what would I would like?


Tortella: I believe it was crucial to Alex to characterize Stephenie’s imaginative and prescient of the music, so there was a whole lot of Muse, Radiohead, Linkin Park — every little thing that Stephenie Meyer beloved was there.

Patsavas: The clearing course of is extremely particular, so [artists are given] a scene description and an actual timing, and they're actually conscious once they give permission of precisely how that music goes for use. The best strategy to strategy the bands was organising an surroundings that was simply artist-to-artist. Catherine [the director] was in a position to communicate with these bands, and we have been in a position to ship footage and clarify how music was going for use as a personality. Muse was enormous, and it was such a get to have the ability to get that observe [“Supermassive Black Hole”] particularly for the baseball scene.

Kirkpatrick: Alex would ship us these listening tapes of, let’s say, 30 bands. She was making ready it for [Catherine], however I’d get to take heed to it in case there was one thing I felt actually strongly professional or in opposition to, like, “Oh, my God, I may minimize essentially the most wonderful trailer to this, please make this work within the film.” 

Patsavas: The Iron & Wine observe “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” was kind of an iconic second [in the movie].

Sam Ervin Beam, Iron & WineThe manner the music received picked up for the film was type of a fluke. The story that I’ve heard was that they have been blocking the promenade scene, and I don’t know whether or not the music they have been utilizing wasn’t working, however for some cause, Kristen Stewart was listening to that music, and she or he steered that they only play it over the loudspeakers so they may get a rhythm going. I suppose it was only a factor the place they heard it so many occasions in that scene, they couldn't think about it [being] one thing else. [Laughs]

Patsavas: Kristen knew what would greatest evoke the sensation of that scene [when Bella and Edward are at prom]. I believe she got here up with that presumably earlier than the film even shot. I'm not truly positive of that, however by the point we have been in put up, that music was already residing within the minimize.

Kirkpatrick“Flightless Bird” was my favourite Twilight music.

Beam: To today, individuals nonetheless name that music out in live shows. That’s the largest, widest handshake I’ve ever made with the general public, piggybacking on the again of this big film.


Kirkpatrick: Every band was so unbelievably cool. I used to be cooler than my youngsters for a couple of years due to Alex Patsavas making me take heed to this unimaginable music. Alex was very truthful to the tone of every little thing having to do with Twilight. It was a tremendous collaboration, proper all the way down to the selection of the primary single, which was Paramore’s “Decode.”

Patsavas: I keep in mind early conversations with [Hayley Williams] earlier than she noticed the movie.

Tortella: Paramore was constructing on the time. Atlantic was beginning to break [them], and I used to be chatting with Hayley when she got here by the workplace at one level. I had stacks of the books, as a result of I used to be principally giving them to everyone who walked into my workplace like a loopy particular person. I used to be like, “Hayley, you've gotta learn this.” And she began studying it that day and began tweeting about it instantly.

Patsavas: Hayley got here into the slicing room. We screened the film for her and the band, and she or he went away and wrote these songs [“Decode” and “I Caught Myself”]. That first expertise fashioned how we dealt with ensuring that artists have been actually writing for a scene or to the spirit of the movie itself. Over the course of the remainder of the flicks, we had many, many artists within the slicing room.

Tortella: Paramore was chosen as a result of it was the epicenter -- the important thing demographic that may be drawn to the film. Paramore was virtually like a voice to the reader of this e book as effectively, as a result of we noticed a right away response. They have been on the brink. They weren’t damaged by any technique. That music, that film -- all of that simply catapulted them.

Kirkpatrick: Hayley [first] got here into my workplace together with her mom. She was a woman with a guitar. And by the point the film got here out, you recognize, she was Paramore.


Tortella: I stated, “You know, I wish to do completely different covers [for the album] -- Bella, Edward -- and actually deal with a picture.” Everybody was like, “Huh, what? You wish to do a bodily piece? And you wish to do three variations of it?” I stated, “This goes to be a collectable merch merchandise, and I promise you, individuals will accumulate it.” I needed individuals to really feel like a part of the entire [phenomenon] once they have been going into Hot Topic, which was a very key associate for Twilight . 

Kirkpatrick: The Hot Topic partnership was simply excellent. It spoke so effectively to this property. They did these mall occasions -- I believe we had bands play in a few the mall occasions. At the primary mall occasion in a suburb of San Francisco, they needed to shut the mall as a result of there have been so many individuals there.

Patsavas: You may really feel the presence of the film earlier than it was launched. I attended the [fan events] in L.A. It was palpable, the thrill for the film.

Kirkpatrick: The subsequent [fan event] was in Dallas, and I referred to as the Dallas area rep and stated, “This is uncontrolled -- we have to speak about this together with your safety individuals and the native police.” So I get on the cellphone with the native police man, and he’s going, “No, no, we do mall occasions on a regular basis,” and I’m like, “You do not know what I’m speaking about.” And that they had, like, 70,000 individuals present up. It was simply madness.

Tortella: The Twilight soundtrack entered at No. 1 [on the Billboard 200], and lots of people have been similar to, “Holy shit!” And this was earlier than the film got here out. The books have been highly regarded, and I all the time knew that if we received it proper and made the music in sync, [it would] open up the sequence. I knew it will do effectively.

Kirkpatrick: We didn’t know it will be No. 1, however we knew we had a very good soundtrack. I imply, these songs are good! You know, even when it hadn't had something to do with Twilight, if it had been a compilation for one thing, it will’ve nonetheless carried out very well.

Tortella: [The first compilation] laid the groundwork for Alex to place unique materials on every of the soundtracks. So from that time onward, once I was speaking to Lykke Li for the second, there was already a observe report. Alex set the stage for volumes two, three and 4 to be all-exclusive materials.

PatsavasI keep in mind Bruno Mars watching the [first] movie. I keep in mind getting a affirmation that Thom Yorke was going to contribute [to New Moon]. I keep in mind listening to the Bon Iver and St. Vincent duet [for New Moon] -- and that was their thought, to do a duet. That’s actually what I keep in mind, watching the director put these songs so artfully in sure spots of the film to spotlight the drama.

Beam: Later, Bill Condon, the Breaking Dawn director, requested me to re-do [“Flightless Bird”], so we completely recorded a complete new model of it with the string part -- that was tremendous enjoyable. It’s a kind of issues the place, as an artist, you place your work into the world, and generally it finds nooks and crannies that you'd by no means think about it will discover. [Twilight] was only a big prepare that was unstoppable.


Tortella: Ten years makes me really feel like I’m outdated. It’s simply a kind of issues the place I really feel prefer it was yesterday -- it had such a huge effect.

Patsavas: It was an exquisite time. It was a bit of bit uncommon -- there was a TV strike, and Twilight was my life. It was such an exquisite trip, it's arduous to imagine [it’s been 10 years]. It feels prefer it simply occurred.

Kirkpatrick: I used to be within the leisure trade for a very long time, however [the Twilight soundtrack] is by far essentially the most enjoyable factor I’ve ever started working on. This was so particular, as a result of it was actually a franchise pushed by ladies, and it proved big franchise may very well be pushed by ladies. That was simply thrilling.

Tortella: It simply launched a complete [phenomenon with] younger grownup tradition. It began a complete pattern, which can be fairly thrilling. The marriage between music and younger adults is such a robust connection. When I used to be studying the e book, I knew what it felt wish to be that age once more. Just studying the e book -- and I believe pop music does this so effectively too -- it simply places you in that place of what it's wish to be this younger particular person experiencing all of these things for the primary time and experiencing it simply as intensely. That’s what I believe is so lovely about it.