The loveable, fascinating, and Oscar winner Bret McKenzie stopped by to chat with us Mom Bloggers while at the press junket. Bret won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song for the song “Man or Muppet”. He continues his skills with the fantastic songs in Muppets Most Wanted. Don’t just take my word for it. Check him out:
My kids have me play this song over and over and I won’t lie….I want a unicorn and an ice cream cone.
QUESTION: You’re awesome. Um, so your song Man or Muppet won an Oscar, congratulations on that.
BRET MCKENZIE: Thank you.
QUESTION: While working on the music for this film did you have any pressure to try to meet that kind of standard again?
BRET MCKENZIE: Yeah I was, obviously yeah there was a lot of pressure because of the Oscar, but really what could I do? 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 work on the last muppet film to win awards, you know. Yeah.
QUESTION: Do you get any inspiration from Flight of the Conchords for your songs on the Muppets?
BRET MCKENZIE: Those guys are a big influence on me. I mean, in some ways it’s the same sort of thing, writing comedy songs, so I’ve done itI guess that’s where I learned how to write comedy songs. So I’m using the same techniques, yeah.
QUESTION: What’s your creative process, how you put your songs together.
BRETT MCKENZIE: Well they send me a script with the idea of a song , but it’s usually quite a loose idea. Then for example. the ballad, um, it was originally called “Love Ain’t Easy,” and it was a Piggy ballad. 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, um, and I’m actually hoping that there’s a, I’m hoping that these two divas, you know, um, I’m hoping to get like a Las Vegas Celine Dion/Piggy, uh, Diva Night. That’s–– that’s my dream. Yeah. 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 and I’d, one of the stranger experiences on the job is I go to the Disney offices to play the songs to them.
I sit at the piano and I, um, having done two Muppet films now I can do a fairly, uh, 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, and, uh, but kinda fun yeah so, I can do all those Muppet voices. Yeah. Uh, what else about the process?
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 it was the wrong pitch and we kinda worked together on find out what her strengths are, where her voice sits. 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.
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite song from this film that you wrote?
BRET MCKENZIE: Sometimes I write songs for these things and I don’t like the way they turn out in the final film because I don’t like the video or something changes in the edit, but I really think the music’s kinda, I think it’s, the film works really well, you know. I guess my favorite would be, I don’t know, I mean, the opening’s pretty fun. I think it really gets the movie off on a great note,but I do like “I’ll Get You What You Want” brackets Cockatoo and Malibu closed brackets, uh, which the bad frog trying to woo Miss Piggy.
BUY THE SOUNDTRACK
Go and buy the soundtrack today over at Amazon for only $11.88. If your like me anything besides let it go in my head is welcome. Muppets Most Wanted is in Theaters NOW so grab your tickets and go!