Village Scores

19th August 2011
Seth Gordon, the director of Warner Bros’s Horrible Bosses knew he had a killer script. He also knew that in Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Jason Sudeikis and Kevin Spacey he had a killer cast to go with it.

But somehow the music – using a temporary traditional comedy score – was just not happening, except when band tracks were playing as the background to scenes set in bars.

That was the problem facing Christopher Lennertz when he was brought in to deliver the actual score used in the film. His first move was to ask Seth Gordon what music he loved. The list began with Beck, the Beastie Boys, Run DMC… all, as Lennertz identified, classic groove and funk played on real instruments. So Lennertz put a band together.

Some band. Money Mark from the Beastie Boys was on keyboards, Mick McCready from Pearl Jam and Dave Levita (Eminem) on guitars, Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band) on bass, Victor Indrizzo (Beck) on drums and DJ Cheapshot (Fort Minor, Linkin Park) on decks. Lennertz scored out the music – bass lines, riffs and chord sequences – gave it to the band, and let them have their collective head with it.

They – unlike the fictional employees whose nightmare existence they were accompanying – had the best conditions in which to work: five solid days at the Village Studios, jamming, interpreting and then tracking the score on the Neve 88R in Studio D (see stills from the sessions here). As Money Mark put it (see this film about the recording of the Horrible Bosses score), ‘This is really too much fun – and I get paid for doing this. That’s a dream.’