Just who are Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau? Well, as I have learned they are cohorts in Will Ferrell and Director Adam McKay's long awaited box office return of Ron Burgandy for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues". Before they got to this point however, John and Andrew had already worked with Ferrell and McKay on the Spanish western soap opera inspired lunacy, I mean comedy "Casa De Mi Padre" ("House of My Father") with Ferrell as the main protagonist Armando and the very alluring Genesis Rodriguez as his damsel in distress. Writing an inspired score, John and Andrew were no brainers to add their immense talents to Ferrell's legendary character now celebrating his tenth anniversary.
While they're reaping the success of their latest collaboration with Ferrell and McKay on the big screen, they're also enjoying success on the little screen together with IFC's ultra insane and hysterically funny mini-series "The Spoils Of Babylon" starring Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Michael Sheen, Jessica Alba, Haley Joel Osment and the voice of Carey Mulligan. Which blends dopey 70's styled sets, inspired visuals and seriously campy humor to the novel of the fictious Eric Jonrosh (actually Emmy award winning writer/director Matt Piedmont, who directed "Casa De Mi Padre" and depicted on screen by Ferrell himself in his uusal hilarious form). The music is fun, hip and just flat out joyfully goofy without taking itself or the series too seriously and their contributions have driven the series to be enjoyed on its' own merits.
For this interview, John and Andrew share with me candidly on working with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay on "Anchorman 2" and touch upon their pervious collaboration in "Casa De Mi Padre" as well as the soundtrack for "Anchorman 2". So sit back and enjoy!
Please tell the readers about what made you both become interested in music.
AF & JN: "We both have a massive love for music and for the freedom it brings-- on all levels"
Let’s talk about the highly anticipated sequel to the 2004 hit “Anchorman”, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”. Please tell us about how you guys got the project and how did you did you feel when you were hired?
AF & JN: "Adam McKay, the director, asked to come over for an in-person meeting. He loved what we did on Casa de Mi Padre; from there it was all love.”
Let’s talk about the music was it easy for you to find that great theme that would be the basis of the score right away or did you have to have to play around musically to find it?
AF & JN: "We played for sure, as we wanted it to be new and a true evolution of Ron's character and of the time 1979."
Did you pretty much get a sense of what Director Adam McKay wanted musically or did he did give you the freedom to explore themes?
AF & JN: "Both-- Adam knew what he wanted but he also gave us plenty of freedom to go nuts."
Please tell us about the recording sessions for the film and what they were like?
AF & JN: "All I know is one of the guys said ‘Hans never allows pies during his recordings.’ We just wanted the environment to be fun as hell"
All told, how much music did you record for the film?
AF & JN: "Maybe 40-50 minutes of score. We also co-wrote several of the songs, including ‘Doby’"
Do you have favorite characters that you guys created particular themes for that you really wanted to stand out?
AF & JN: "All of them-- no bullshit. We created a really special love theme for Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell characters love story out of ukulele, toy piano, celeste, and high strings"
What was it like working with Adam McKay and Will Ferrell?
AF & JN: "Like working with brothers"
Will there be an album released of your score?
AF & JN: "Awww yeah, on iTunes now"
You also worked with Ferrell on the audacious and inspired comedy “Casa De Mi Padre” (My Father’s House) as pseudo comedic Western. What got you interested in scoring the film?
AF & JN: “We love telling the story through music. We could be onscreen and no one would ever ‘see’ us.”
The music is a fun little throwback to Western scores of the past with a little Morricone influence to it. What was the inspiration behind this?
AF & JN: "Matt Piedmont’s multi-dimensional mind"
Did you guys enjoy writing this score?
AF & JN: "LOVED it"
Talk to us about the soundtrack album that was released by Lakeshore Records.
AF & JN: "You have to hear it. It was retro and beautiful and monophonic. Lakeshore totally got what we were going for with it.”
How was it put together and do you feel that it fairly represents the essence of the fun score you wrote?
AF & JN: “It was a collaboration between John, Matt Piedmont (director), Andrew Steele (screen writer) and me. Matt and Andrew are encyclopedias of music!”
You also scored the comedy “Bachlorette” which I thoroughly enjoyed starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher. What drew you to score this film?
AF & JN: “The subtext-- although the story may have appeared to be another bridesmaid type thing, it couldn’t be further from that. The characters had depth and were dealing were intricate complexities in their lives.”
Like “Anchorman 2”, was it hard for you to compete with source music in “Bachlorette”?
AF & JN: “No, we never try to outshine it. If that happens, then we are just doing our job.”
Does it bother you guys that your music takes a little bit of a back seat to songs that have pretty much been part of the film’s temp track?
AF & JN:"Never, our job is often to be felt, but not heard"
Which composer has influenced your work the most?
AF & JN: "I would have to say that really John and I influence each other the most"
What is your favorite film score that you wish you wrote?
AF & JN: “Too many to name. We wish we did all of them.”
Please tell the readers about upcoming projects that you may have.
AF & JN: "On the movie side we have BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY and A MANY SPLINTERED THING. We also have SPOILS OF BABYLON, the new mini-series on IFC. And a new artist we are producing named CROWN. check http://www.crownandthemob.com"
A very special thanks to both Andrew and John for their being gracious with their time for this interview and your music for "The Spoils Of Babylon" is flat out fun! Very special thanks to Beth Krakowker. You're so awesome and spoil me with these great composers to discover and interview!
The soundtrack to "Anchorman 2" is now available on Universal Republic Records at http://www.amazon.com/Anchorman-Legend-Continues-Motion-Picture/dp/B00GED6UCY
The Anchorman 2 Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack is now available for pre-order. Date of Release TBA. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/Anchorman-2-The-Legend-Continues-Blu-ray/ref=%26%2574%2561%3d%2562l%2575r%2561y%252d000%252d20?SubscriptionId=AKIAIY4YSQJMFDJATNBA&tag=bluray-000-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B0083XXWRE&ASIN=B0083XXWRE&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Please check out the official IFC website for the hit mini-series "The Spoils of Babylon" at http://www.ifc.com/the-spoils-of-babylon/ with stills, videos and other assorted goodies from the show.