Karen O’s Evolution From Indie To Soundtrack Song Writer
Have you been watching? Karen O has been quietly racking up soundtrack work — she may have more successful, high profile singles from that side than from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Obviously there was Wild Things — a great soundtrack. There was also a Led Zeppelin cover with Trent Reznor on Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. A jokey track on the Jackass 3D soundtrack. A Dylan song on I’m Not There. And now the track above, from Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.
Why the shift? Speculatively, because it’s lucrative and low-commitment. Imagine you’re in a band, oh and your two bandmates live in NYC while you live in LA. But you guys write and record an album. Then you’re committed for at least a year to do promo for it, make videos, go on tour. Going on tour sucks. It’s fun for the first few dates and in some cities but by and large it’s a slog. Doing press also sucks. People ask you the same questions over and over again, because every outlet needs the same sound bites. Now and then you have an interesting conversation but by and large, it’s tedious.
Writing a few songs for soundtracks though — high return money-wise because the synch licenses for movies are quite high and returns come every time it goes to a new format. I mean, you get paid thousands every time that movie is on TV. No touring. Press still if it’s a Wild Things situation, but not as much and you can opt out if you’re just contributing a track.
It’s a smart move for Karen. It’s neat that so many directors and studio music folks have embraced her for the medium, because she’s not an obvious choice.
Source: SoundCloud / weallwantsome1