Billie Eilish says No Time to Die song is finished

Billie Eilish, ahead of winning a number of Grammy Awards on Sunday night, said the title song for No Time to Die is finished.

“It’s done,” Eilish said in an interview on the E! cable channel.

She didn’t provide additional details. (Does done mean it’s recorded? Or just written and recording still has to take place?). Eilish did talk about doing a Bond song in general.

“Writing a Bond theme song is like one of, I feel like,  the biggest goals in life” for a musician and songwriter, she said.

Eilish is performing the No Time to Die song and co-wrote it with her brother Finneas O’Connell.

The interview is below. The Bond portion begins at the 1:19 mark.

NTTD title song took a year to sell, co-writer says

Finneas O’Connell, older brother and writing collaborator of Billie Eilish

It took about a year to sell Eon Productions on the idea of a James Bond title song performed by Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell, who co-wrote the No Time to Die song with his sister, said in an interview with Billboard.

“We fought it out for a year,” O’Connell said in the interview. “We’ve always wanted to write a James Bond theme song. And you know, it’s a legendary franchise, so we had to convince a lot of people that we were the right choice.”

The interview was about O’Connell’s career with in general. But there were details about No Time to Die. O’Connor described the selection process.

“And then we had to write a song that everybody liked,” he said. “So it was a hard-won process. But everybody that we worked with on it, Barbara Broccoli, the producer of the Bond franchise (alongside Michael G. Wilson), we got to work with Hans Zimmer… it was a real joy.”

O’Connell reflected on the publicity about last week’s announcement concerning the No Time to Die title song.

“But uh, yeah, it’s so funny, ’cause some of the headlines have been like, ‘Billie Eilish and Finneas are writing the James Bond theme.’ And I’m so glad we’re no longer writing it — I’m so glad we wrote it a couple months ago, because, oh my god, if it was like, announced that we were doing it and we still had to write it, I would have such writer’s anxiety, you know?”

O’Connell described the ups and downs involved.

“It’s, in my experience, in my limited experience, as a songwriter and producer, it’s the hardest playing field I’ve never been on. … There were so many points where I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe we don’t have this!’ (Laughs.) Like, it’s just like such a big deal. And you know … the whole pairing is very authentic to my and Billie’s relationship with those movies.”

Billie Eislish talks briefly about No Time to Die

Billie Eilish talked briefly about No Time to Die in a video interview, indicating she has worked on the movie’s title song for “a couple of months.”

Eilish told ALT 98.7 FM she was contacted about the Bond song “a while ago…It was a crazy call and a crazy last couple of months.”

The singer also said she was excited to have the gig. “Bond is so dope, it really is,” she said. “It’s like the coolest movie franchise in the world.”

Eilish said she’s “working on it with Hans” Zimmer but didn’t go into detail. Eilish is co-writing the song with her brother Finneas O’Connell.

Separately, The Guardian, a sister publication of The Observer, ran a feature story on Eilish.

The story includes  this quote from Popjustice founder Peter Robinson: “She’s not Shirley Bassey. There’s a real power in the understatement of her music. When one of her songs comes on the radio, it sounds like some alien transmission has taken over Capital or Radio 1.”

The video interview is embedded below. The No Time to Die discussion starts around the 1:50 mark.

NTTD roundup: Add to music team, running time questions

Daniel Craig/James Bond character poster

Here’s a quick roundup of No Time to Die developments:

Music team adds a recruit: Musician Johnny Marr will work with Hans Zimmer on the No Time to Die score, NME reported, citing comments from Marr.

“Part of the legacy of the Bond films is iconic music, so I’m very happy to be bringing my guitar to No Time to Die,” Marr told NME.

Marr has worked with Zimmer on previous films, including Inception, where Marr was a guitarist and Amazing Spider-Man 2, where Marr contributed to the score along with Zimmer.

A three-hour Bond? The MI6 James Bond website examined recent developments that may (or may not) point to the 25th James Bond film having a running time of almost three hours.

@ImAFilmEditor tweeted back on Dec. 4 that No Time to Die may end up being the longest Bond film but there weren’t any details beyond that. He reminded people of that in a Jan. 16 tweet.

This week, @antovolk did some more detective work. He provided caveats that the movie is still in post production and that a final running time isn’t locked down.

Bond films during the Daniel Craig era have tended toward longer running times, except for 2008’s Quantum of Solace, which had a 106-minute running time. SPECTRE’s running time was 148 minutes, the longest so far for the film series.

Ages of Bond title song performers

Sheena Easton performing the title song of For Your Eyes Only

This week’s news that Billie Eilish will perform the title song of No Time to Die got a lot of attention.

Part of the reason was at 18  Eilish becomes the youngest singer for a Bond title song. With a birth date of Dec. 18, 2001, she’s the first Bond song performer to be born in the 21st century.

Out of curiosity, the blog checked out the ages of other Bond title song performers. What follows is a sampling. Ages listed are when their respective movies came out. In some cases, the movie was released after they had wrapped up work on the film

Singers in their 20s

–Sheena Easton, For Your Eyes Only, 22 (DOB: April 27, 1959)

–Sam Smith, Writing’s On The Wall (SPECTRE), 23 (DOB: May 19, 1992)

–Adele, Skyfall, 24 (DOB: May 5, 1988)

–Tom Jones, Thunderball, 25 (DOB: June 7, 1940)

–Lulu, The Man With the Golden Gun, 26 (DOB: Nov. 3, 1948)

–Shirley Bassey, Goldfinger, 27 (DOB: Jan. 8, 1937). Also recorded Diamonds Are Forever in 1971 and Moonraker in 1979.

–Alicia Keys, Another Way to Die (Quantum of Solace), 27, (DOB: Jan. 25, 1981). Song performed with Jack White, 33, at the time of the film’s release.

— Nancy Sinatra, You Only Live Twice, 27 (DOB: June 8, 1940)

Singers in their 30s

-Paul McCartney, 31, Live And Let Die (DOB: June 18, 1942). The group Wings also participated.

–Carly Simon, “Nobody Does It Better,” The Spy Who Loved Me, 32 (DOB: June 25, 1945)

–Matt Munro, From Russia With Love, 32 (DOB: Dec. 1, 1930). Song used in end titles, instrumental used in main titles.

–Sheryl Crow, Tomorrow Never Dies, 35 (DOB: Feb. 11, 1962)

–Rita Coolidge, “All Time High,” Octopussy, 38 (DOB: May 1, 1945)

Singers in their 40s

–Chris Cornell, “You Know My Name,” Casino Royale, 42 (DOB: July 20, 1964)

–Madonna, Die Another Day, 44 (DOB: Aug. 16, 1958)

–Gladys Knight, Licence to Kill, 45 (DOB: May 28, 1944)

Singers in their 50s

–Tina Turner, GoldenEye, 55 (DOB: Nov. 26, 1939)

Billie Eilish will perform, co-write NTTD’s title song

Billie Eilish photo that was included in Eon announcement

Billie Eilish will perform and co-write the title song for No Time to Die, Eon Productions said on its official Twitter account.

The song’s other co-writer is her brother, Finneas O’Connell, who performs under the name Finneas, according to the announcement.

Eilish’s Twitter account also had an announcement but it didn’t mention her brother’s participation in writing the song. Finneas O’Conell had his own comment on Instagram.

Prior to the announcement, Eilish had earlier posted images of Bond actresses on the story portion of her Instagram account.  The MI6 James Bond website reported Jan. 12 that Eilish, 18, would perform the song, becoming the youngest singer of a Bond title song.

Earlier in the morning, Variety ran a story concerning whether Eilish would be retained as title song performer. It included this analysis of how Eilish compares with previous Bond song performers.

If true, the choice of Eilish would be a dramatic change of direction for the legendary franchise’s long history of theme-song performers, which have progressed from Shirley Bassey to Paul McCartney and Duran Duran over the decades. More recent films have featured younger artists like Adele — who sang the smash hit “Skyfall” — and Sam Smith, both of whom, while contemporary artists in their 20s, are both British and create more adult-leaning music than Eilish: Her music is innovative and enormously popular, but her audience skews much younger than those artists’.

Eon yesterday announced that Hans Zimmer will do the score for the 25th James Bond film.

No Time to Die will continue a pattern where the title song is done separately from the score. A Bond film composer hasn’t been involved with a Bond title song since 2006’s Casino Royale, when David Arnold collaborated with Chris Cornell.

Eon confirms Zimmer scoring NTTD

Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is scoring No Time to Die, Eon Productions said in a statement on its official James Bond webite.

Variety reported Jan. 6 that Zimmer was now working on the score of the 25th James Bond film. Zimmer replaces the original composer on the project, Dan Romer.

Romer wasn’t referenced in today’s press release. He was listed as composer in an August press release saying the movie would be titled No Time to Die.

It remains to be seen whether Zimmer is tackling the Bond film by himself or is getting help from composers affiliated with his Remote Control Productions company.

A number of Zimmer-scored films, such as Man of Steel, had other composers getting “additional music” credits.

The statement didn’t have information about a title song performer for No Time to Die.

Today’s press release also confirms that No Time to Die’s U.S. release has been pushed back two days to April 10. Previous releases by Eon and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (including the August release revealing the film’s title) listed the date as April 8. However, IMDB.com and other sources have been listing it as April 10.