Billie Eilish and Finneas have spoken on multiple occasions about how they’re more comfortable writing songs at home than they are in a professional studio environment. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that their new James Bond theme, “No Time To Die,” was written on their tour bus.
Finneas spoke about the track’s origins in a new interview with British GQ, saying that they based it on the first 20 pages of the film’s script:
“We wrote ‘No Time To Die’ on a tour bus. Specifically, in the bunks of our tour bus. We were given the first 20 pages of the script. I guess that’s up to the point when the song comes in during the movie, right? That’s how all the Bond films open up. So we were able to read the first 20 pages, which was obviously incredible. It gave us such a good steer and such insight into where the song would fall, and the tone. It makes it easier than having to write the whole song based on the entire movie; or in fact none of the movie. So Billie and I wrote the song, recorded the demo, sent it to them and then we finished it in London with Hans Zimmer doing the orchestral arrangements and also Johnny Marr from The Smiths. I mean, James Bond? Hans Zimmer? Johnny Marr? Mind blowing.”
He also spoke about how they got the gig in the first place, saying that the process of getting their song approved for the film added “pressure”: “Well, it’s not like [No Time To Die producer Barbara Broccoli] calls you up and you are asked to write a James Bond song. You write the song, and then they tell you whether it’s going to work. It’s not yours until it’s approved for the movie, in some ways. I get it; and it adds to a certain amount of, let’s say, excitement. And pressure. I would be the same: I would never, as a director, say to an artist that they can write whatever they like for my $100 million movie. It’s more, ‘Well, if you write the perfect song, it’s yours.’ Luckily, she liked our ideas.”
— British GQ (@BritishGQ) February 17, 2020
He also touched on how far he and Eilish are into making her next album, suggesting that things are in the early stages: “Put it this way: We have broken ground. We have the shovel. We have hit soil. And we’ve started digging. But it’s only a very shallow grave at the moment.”
Read the full interview here.