INTERVIEW: Shaken & Stirred: James Bond composer David Arnold

If you’ve watched any recent James Bond film you’ll have heard his striking scores. If you regularly tune into Top Gear, you’ll have enjoyed his dramatic car chase music. Having also worked on productions with Shirley Bassey, Björk, Massive Attack and many more, it’s very likely that knowingly or not, you have heard music by one of the most talented film composers of his generation: David Arnold.

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Now known mainly for his work on the last five Bond films, Grammy award winner David is globally recognised for his ability to produce both catchy contemporary electronic tunes and searing orchestral arrangements. His first big break came in the early 1990s when he scored the science fiction hit Stargate, which led to him scoring a major blockbuster in the 1996 epic, Independence Day.

Having around this time also produced Shaken & Stirred, an album of cover versions of Bond film themes done with the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop and Pulp, David came to the attention of Bond producers wanting to take the Bond sound in a new direction for the 1997 film, Tomorrow Never Dies.

Since then, David’s Bond films have grossed over two billion dollars, elevating his reputation to super-composer in the process.

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A seldom seen face publicly, we recently asked David if he would be willing to speak to SkiddMark about his work on Bond, how film music is created, how emotive music links to cars plus about David Arnold the man himself. Happily, he agreed to this and we can now share with you his exclusive thoughts on working with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, how he adapted when Bond switched from BMWs to Aston Martins and how he would score a commercial for Ferrari.

So beneath are David’s articulate and bold opinions in uncensored and unedited form, straight from Air Studios in London. Make sure you have your speakers on too as we’ve embedded examples of his work to help you experience his catalogue of work as closely as possible.

Entering the hot seat [ please click to open]

Projecting the Bond sound [ please click to open]

Creating the music [ please click to open]

Music and cars [ please click to open]

Staying creative and innovative [ please click to open]

The Future [ please click to open]

Follow David

You can view David’s complete career workings here and follow his humorous tweets @DavidGArnold. If you want to share your thoughts on this interview or discuss your favourite Bond films or songs, tweet us@DriversRepublic or comment beneath.

Finally, it would be remiss of us if we didn’t include the following as our final 30 second sample:

  • [audio:|titles=David_Arnold_JB_Theme]

    David Arnold (Casino Royale) – The Name’s Bond … James Bond (00:29)