Hannibal finale song: Music supervisor Brian Reitzell on working with Siouxsie Sioux
Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller originally wanted the NBC pilot to end with a pop song playing in the background — that is, until music supervisor Brian Reitzell nixed the idea. Ever since, the gory drama’s been known for its seemingly ever-present score, all crafted by Reitzell himself. But for the finale, he wanted to give the fans something new: He wanted to give them a song with lyrics, with a melody. So he partnered with Siouxsie Sioux, and what resulted was the track, titled “Love Crime,” that ended up playing during the series’ final moments.
Reitzell called up EW to talk about how he managed to get Sioux back in the studio after years away, and why he decided to make the show’s final musical moment one so different from the rest.
As told by: Brian Retzell
I met Siouxsie when I did a movie called Marie Antoinetteback in 2006 and we’ve remained in contact every once in a while. It turns out that she was a big fan of the show, and she hasn’t done anything — like, she hasn’t been in a studio — in seven or eight years. But I thought, if she was a fan of the show, it’d be really great to do a song with her. As it happens, she was interested. In November of last year, the show was behind, schedule-wise, because they had to do a lot of shooting in Europe. So since they were behind, I found myself with a little extra time and I decided to write a song for her to sing, so I recorded some stuff, and then I had to put it down because then I had to score. [Laughs]
Siouxsie asked [Fuller] for something. What she said is, “What is this season about? If you could put it into a sentence, what is this season about?” And he said that it was a love story. [Laughs] She wrote those lyrics without seeing any picture, just because she was a fan of the show. Luckily, it worked absolutely perfectly. Like, it was crazy how well. I did deconstruct it, so what you hear is really a fragment of the song. There’s quite a bit more to it. But I didn’t cut the music. I didn’t edit its rhythm, its tempo, anything like that. It was so magical and that I was jumping up and down when I put it in.
I think it fits the tone of the show. Once you get a beat and a voice and you get something that has a chorus and a verse, that is something that I haven’t done, but I’ll tell you that, the very first episode of this show, the pilot of Hannibal, originally ended with a pop song. And I took it out because I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was the sound of the show. The song was distracting to me. It felt like Grey’s Anatomy or any other TV show, and I was really trying to do something unique with this show.
But for the finale and where we are, I really, honestly, did this for the Fannibals of this show because I’ve never in my life — even all the bands I’ve played with and stuff — I’ve never witnessed this kind of intense fandom. They’re so loyal, and it’s quite emotional. Or it will be quite emotional, for the fans, and I wanted them to have a souvenir. I wanted them to have a song. I wanted them to have a melody, because I’ve not been able to really do that with this show. But since we’re leaving — or at least taking some time away from the show, whatever the future is — I felt like I needed to give them something, and it felt right.
Siouxsie hasn’t even stepped foot in a studio for eight years, and she said that this piece was the first thing that she heard that inspired her to do anything. And the good news is that I’m going to do a few more tracks with her. I’ve written a few more, and we’re not sure how we’re going to release the track, and that’s kind of unfortunate, but it will be out. We’ll get it out there somehow, soon.
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