Annmarie Montade Interview
Here is the interview with Annmarie Montade. I contacted (e-mail) her quite by chance, and was lucky! She wrote most of the songs from season 1 and 2, and is in a band. Here are some questions I asked her about So Weird.
1) What all did you do on So Weird?
i was in charge of writing 9 songs for SO WEIRD. i was also in charge of
producing most of the songs that i wrote for the show. I hired most of the
musicians, booked the recording studio, made sure the key of the song was
ok for Mackenzie and worked under production deadlines.
jon cooksey (the lyricist) would present me with the lyrics for the songs
and would suggest what kind of vibe he had in mind for the music. i did my
best to bring his vision to fruition.
2) How did you get that job?
i met one of the producers of the show (lee gaither) by chance. he was
aware that i had my own band (annmariemontade.com) because colleagues of his
had seen me perform and liked my work. lee asked me for a cd and liked
what he heard. i was hired within a week of our meeting. IN THE DARKNESS
was the first song that i wrote for the show. i felt very lucky to be part
of the project.
3) What was it like working with Jon Cooksey?
working with jon cooksey was a very pleasurable experience. he's very
calm and sweet and was very helpful and articulate about his vision for the
music. i only met him once in person. most of our work was done via
fax/phone and e-mail (for the lyrics etc). when i had a song idea i'd send
him a rough camcorder video of me playing it on guitar or i'd roughly tape
the song on my little home studio. i'd love to work with jon again if the
right project presented itself. he's a lot of fun.
4) Why did you stop doing the songs on So Weird?
i stopped when my contract expired after the second season because i got
my own publishing (songwriting) deal with Warner-Chappell which is a
division of Warner Bros.
5) Do you have any recordings or sheet music of the songs you did on So Weird?
i do have most of the recordings that i did for the show. the only sheet
music i have is of the guitar chords i used.
6) Why did "In the Darkness" "change" starting in the episode "Destiny?" (ie.- transitions from the verses to the refrains had more guitar, more bass, etc.)
i actually had nothing to do with that. however, i really like the
guitar additions that they made. i think it makes the sound more full.
7) How did you work with Mackenzie Phillips?
i've actually only met Mackenzie once because the show is filmed in
Canada and i live in Los Angeles. she is really sweet and cool. we spoke a
lot on the phone to make sure that the music i was writing for her was in
the right key for her voice. i'd send her rough tapes and videos of the
songs and she'd let me know if the key was ok for her. it was a real thrill
for me to hear her sing my songs.
8) How did you come up with the opening theme(versus the full version of the song)?
myself and jon (the lyricist) discussed what section of the song would be
suitable for the opening theme. we decided that we'd like to use the very
uplifting last chorus of the song because of its triumphant vibe. we needed
to make sure the theme was no longer than 40 seconds so we actually changed
the tempo and made it faster than the original version.
9) Why didn't you work on some songs?(Origami, More Like a River, etc.)
i came on board after MORE LIKE A RIVER was written. i actually did
write a version of ORIGAMI but the producers of the show wanted something
more dancey than i had written. the other songs were written after i left.
the songs that i did write for the show are LOVE IS BROKEN, REBECCA, IN
THE DARKNESS, LAST NIGHT BLUES, NEW MATH, SHE SELLS, QUESTIONS (which is my personal favorite), THE ROCK (the irish song) and ANOTHER WORLD
(another favorite of mine.)
10) If there is a So Weird movie, will you come back for it(if theres new songs, etc.)?
if there is a SO WEIRD movie i would love to come back if i'm invited.
11) Did you meet Terry Frewer(composer for the show)? If so, how did he work with you?
i did not have the pleasure of meeting Terry but i love the work he did
for the show.