The Muppets Most Wanted soundtrack is super fun and very catchy! If you have watched the movie you know the songs are done in true Muppet fashion! I was so honored to be part of a group that got to interview Muppets Most Wanted songwriter Bret McKenzie.
I know a lot of my blogger friends love the song “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” or Miss Piggy’s “Something So Right.” but my favorite was the “Interrogation Song” sung by Ty Burrell and Sam Eagle. The “Muppets Most Wanted” soundtrack features 20 tracks—including 12 new recordings—plus five bonus tracks!
We got to sit down and interview Bret Mckenzie and here are some of the questions he answered about writing music for the film, etc.
So your song Man or Muppet won an Oscar, congratulations on that. While working on the music for this film did you have any pressure to try to meet that kind of standard again?
Yeah I was, obviously yeah there was a lot of pressure because of the Oscar and, um, but really what could I do? It was, there’s always gonna be downhill, so I just had to, you know, I mean I was appreciative but then I had to get on with the job and just, you know, forget about that. ‘Cause I didn’t, I didn’t work on the last muppet film to win awards, you know.
Your creative process, how do you put your songs together.
Well they send me a script with the idea of a song , but it’s usually quite a loose idea. And then for example the ballad, it was originally called “Love Ain’t Easy,” and it was a Piggy ballad. And first of all I was nervous because Piggy is a great character, a great comedic character, but not a great singer, and I was worried about her carrying, you know, an emotional ballad because there’s only so much of her voice that the audience, I think, wants to hear, you know.
Thirty seconds is great, you know, then a couple of minutes you’re really start being a bit painful. So I suggested we try and get a singer to help her and we were really excited when Celine Dion agreed. Anyway so then I would write the song and then adapt it for the characters and, and I’d go to James Bobin and play it to him, one of the stranger experiences on the job is I go to the Disney offices to play the songs to them.
And I sit at the piano and I, um, having done two Muppet films now I can do a fairly, not good but I can do an okay impression of a lot of the different characters so I would say, “This is Miss Piggy’s ballad,” and I’d sit down in this room with all these suits, these Hollywood suits, and I would go, so Miss Piggy, she turns to the camera and she starts doing like this, [IMPERSONATES MISS PIGGY IN HIGH-PITCHED SINGING VOICE] “How can something so right, be so…” literally a crazy job that, I mean, but kinda fun that I can do all those Muppet voices.
Then sometimes you get a someone like Tina Fey who got the role of prison guard and I always wanted to do this doo wop song in there and then I started working with her and I adjusted the song to suit her voice because, um, it was the wrong pitch and we kinda worked together on find out what her strengths are, where her voice sits. And that’s one of the benefits of being the songwriter and producer of the songs as well is I can, if it’s not working I can just change the song.
‘Cause I’m allowed to whereas if it was someone else who’d written it I’d have to call them, “Do you mind if we change the melody?” Uh, so that was, its kind of a fun part of it too. And Ricky Gervais, of course some of you might know he was a–– a sort of failed pop star in the ’80s, and his song, uh, his–– his little pop, yeah so he’s actually a really good singer. So it was handy.
When you have writer’s block what do you refer to for inspiration?
YouTube, it’s kinda fun writing songs in the studio we can, we can look through, there’s such a great history of recorded music now, you can look at, you know, at ’70s and ’80s songs, I mean and I’m a real sucker for power ballads. So yeah just looking at, looking at old clips. Or then for this film I would look back at a few old, they’re not on YouTube but like Irving Berlin songbooks, old kinda Broadway, uh, show tunes, uh, that kinda influenced, you know, the opening couple of songs.
The Muppets Most Wanted is in theaters NOW!
Like The Muppets on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Muppets
Follow The Muppets on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheMuppets
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Follow The Muppets on Instagram: @TheMuppets
Visit the Official Site: http://disney.com/muppets
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