Billie Eilish and her brother/producer Finneas were overjoyed when they were asked to record the theme song to the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die. But after finishing the track, they had to get several people’s approval before the song could be confirmed for the movie. Namely, Daniel Craig had to be on board.
Since No Time To Die is Craig’s last time playing the role of James Bond, the actor wanted everything to be perfect — including the theme song. According to producer Stephen Lipson, Craig at first wasn’t sure the song was a good fit for the film.
“Most important was getting Daniel’s approval. I finished the mix and everybody was happy but we still had to get Daniel on board. From the start, quite understandably, he wasn’t all that sure that the song delivered the right emotional climax for his final Bond outing, so satisfying him was key. I delivered the mix and Barbara [Broccoli], who was more than happy, called me to say that Daniel was coming to London and we needed to play it to him. I suggested that he come to my studio as I knew that, compared to any other location, it was without doubt the best sonic environment in which to hear it. It was agreed that he’d come to the studio on the following Sunday, so on the designated day I got in a few hours before Barbara and Daniel were due to arrive just to make sure it sounded as good as it could. Listening to it as if I was Daniel, I realised that the climax needed to be enormous so I spent some time massaging the mix so that, without any perceivable change, it was very much louder at that point.”
Eventually, Lipson’s tweaks made a compelling argument for the inclusion of Eilish’s song. “I then set the volume of the song so that it was pretty muscular, knowing that the climax would be earth-shattering,” Lipson said. “They arrived, I sat Daniel in the chair between the speakers, hit play and waited for his response. When the song finished he didn’t look up but asked to hear it once more. Barbara and I had no idea how he felt until the end of his second listening, when he looked up at me and said something like ,‘That’s f*cking amazing.'”
Read Lipson’s full interview with Music Week here.