Two years ago, my friend, director Michael Dougherty, invited me to join him as composer for his film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to the 2014 Legendary / Warner Bros. film, Godzilla. Instantly, an idea struck me: this film could give me an opportunity to produce a new version of my favorite Blue Öyster Cult song, “Godzilla.” Moreover, I could realize it with some of my favorite musicians from the rock and metal community, including Serj Tankian from System of a Down and the rhythm section of the metal band Dethklok. “I’m in,” I told Michael, setting in motion a creative journey that would change my life in more ways than I could guess. Now, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has opened globally, supported by not only by a sweeping orchestral score, but an end title sequence blasting the version of BÖC’s “Godzilla” that I imagined during that fateful phone call.
To chronicle this creative venture, I chatted with many of the musicians who brought it to life, including lead singer Serj Tankian, guitarist Brendon Small, bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Gene Hoglan, backing vocalist Brendan McKian, co-producer Jason LaRocca, as well as Buck Dharma, the Blue Öyster Cult rock legend who originally composed it.
THE CULT OF BLUE ÖYSTER CULT
My love of movies first led me to discover Blue Öyster Cult. The first song I heard was “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” from the film Heavy Metal, a psychedelic animated rock-fantasy that permeated my upbringing. It was Elmer Bernstein’s lush orchestral score that initially drew me to that film. Later, Danny Elfman’s score led me to watch Peter Jackson’s horror comedy The Frighteners, the credits of which featured a cover of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” that quickly led me to the original. From there, I started collecting BÖC albums, and fell in love with the band’s perfect blend of progressive riffs, operatic lyrics, and catchy melodies.
Guitarist and composer Brendon Small, creator of the animated series Metalocaylpse and its real-life band Dethklok, had a similar experience discovering the band.
BEAR: “How did you discover Blue Öyster Cult?”
BRENDON SMALL: “I grew up luckily with a friend, Renzo, who influenced me to take guitar very seriously. Renzo would just go and buy records for fifty cents when nobody was buying records in the early nineties, and no one cared about vinyl. He came back with a stack of Blue Öyster Cult records one day, and we went through everything. ‘(Don’t Fear) the Reaper’ was one of the coolest songs I’d ever heard in my life. Blue Öyster Cult stood out. I was like, ‘What is this band? There’s nobody like this!’ I always had a very strong fondness for them.”
BEAR: “What’s the difference between covering a song you love and writing a new one?”
BRENDON: “Look, I like to write music, I like to play music, but… I think I just want to be in a cover band, really.” (laughs)
BEAR: (laughs) “There’s something so liberating and fun about it, right?”
BRENDON: “I remember when you and I were covering Queen together (for the 2011 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert) and I was on stage between two guitars doing the three-part Flash Gordon harmonies, and I thought, ‘This is the best seat in the house.’ Something happens when you’re playing the music that you love. You learn it. You know it. You see the patterns that are happening in the music.”
BEAR: “In a weird way, it’s like communing with your heroes.”
BRENDON: “It’s about as close as we’re going to get to a lot of these guys.”
While I agree with that sentiment in theory, my experience covering “Godzilla” turned out to be quite different! A day after WaterTower Music released the single version of “Godzilla,” I received an unexpected and enthusiastic phone call from Buck Dharma, the legendary songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist behind the original recording I loved so much!
BIRTH OF THE MONSTER ANTHEM
I never anticipated that one day I would have the chance to speak with the musician who composed so many of my favorite rock songs, and certainly never imagined that opportunity would arise as the result of a cover that I produced.
BEAR: “So, how old were you when you first saw Godzilla?”
BUCK DHARMA: “Maybe ten. There was a show in New York called ‘Million Dollar Movie,’ and they played the same movie every night for a week, so you can see it, 7:30 PM. And the original Godzilla movie with Raymond Burr was a big favorite of mine. I loved it.”
BEAR: “How did you come up with this song?”
BUCK: “The story of the tune was, I just came up with the parallel fifths guitar riff in a hotel room in Dallas, Texas back in the day, probably about 1975. And it immediately made me think of Godzilla, like the plodding, you know, guy-in-a-suit monster. And I started writing the lyrics from what happened in the movie. Like, the high-tension wires are a big part of that movie.”
BEAR: “The imagery in the lyrics are one of the things that makes the song work so well.”
BUCK: “Well, the moral of the story is that humans basically unleashed Godzilla, but that Godzilla, as destructive as he was, was also heroic.”
BEAR: “Absolutely. And, in the chorus, the way you set the words, ‘Go, Go Godzilla!’ I can’t even say it, Buck, without a smile on my face. It’s so wonderful!”
BUCK: “Well, it’s kind of goofy, but it’s heartfelt!”
BEAR: “And did the rest of the band have any questions about doing a song about a Japanese monster movie franchise? What was their reaction?”
BUCK: “No, they really liked it. We were all fans of movies of that type. We were very much into sci-fi movies and literature. So yeah, we were all about it.”
Even though the song’s lyrics directly describe Godzilla and his city-flattening rampage, I always felt it was in fact the song’s simple, pounding guitar riff that most strongly connected the music to the iconic monster. The guitar always evoked, for me, Godzilla’s massive footsteps. And though the song eventually grew to be one of Blue Öyster Cult’s most well-known songs, the famous guitar riff is often cited as having an even bigger footprint (so to speak) on popular culture.
Brendon Small commented, “That riff is such an influential riff that, I bet people sit and listen to what Nirvana did with ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and they go, ‘these are the same, you know, these minor thirds moving up, it’s kind of the same riff.’”
Drummer Gene Hoglan (renowned for his work with Testament, Strapping Young Lad, and Dethklok) was more blunt: “One thing I’ve always said is there would be no grunge, no Nirvana, no ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ without ‘Godzilla.’ Those riffs are identical.”
Bassist Bryan Beller (known best for his work with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and The Aristocrats) proclaimed “Everybody likes the song ‘Godzilla.’ That’s what I’ve come to learn about it!”
“‘Godzilla’ is just one of the coolest songs, the coolest guitar riffs of all time,” Brendon added. “It’s probably in the top 10 coolest guitar riffs for me.”
Undeniably, the influence of the BÖC song “Godzilla” reached far and wide in the four decades since Buck Dharma composed it. Ironically, the one home it never found was in an actual Godzilla film, in either the Japanese or American produced iterations. This was an oversight I was determined to fix!
CREATING THE DEMO
Despite the fact that creating a new cover of BÖC’s “Godzilla” was literally the first thing I thought of when I took on this project, I put it on the back-burner for over a year while I worked on the orchestral score for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. As I worked, several musical elements began to solidify in my imagination, most notably symphonic orchestra, choir, taiko drums, and kakegoe, the iconic shouts and calls used in traditional Japanese music.
As I neared the end of the compositional process, the deadline for ‘pencils down’ loomed only a few weeks away, when I would cease writing and board a flight to London to record the score with a massive ensemble. Though I tried to focus on finishing up the last of the bombastic action cues, I couldn’t suppress this nagging sensation that I had to return to my original idea and produce a cover of BÖC’s “Godzilla.” The film’s producers, director, and I had never discussed at length about what music would play over the end credits. I felt if I brought it up in conversation as a theoretical question, I would probably freak everybody out. But, I felt this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I couldn’t let it go. I simply had to do it, and create a demo of my idea.
There was only one singer I wanted to perform it, my friend Serj Tankian, best known for his twenty-five year career as the lead singer of the influential band System of a Down, as well as his prolific film and concert music career. I called Serj and we chatted for a few minutes. Serj said he was down to record the song, but he was leaving town in two days! I went home, arranged the song that very night, sent him the files the next morning, and anxiously awaited his reaction to my work.
SERJ TANKIAN: “I remember [my wife and I] were at a little water park with our son at a birthday party. You called me and you said, ‘Hey, I want to do this cover.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, fuck yeah, I love that song!’ And then you sent me this stuff with Japanese guys yelling, and big taiko drummers with heavy metal guitars and I was sold!”
BEAR: “So, what was your reaction to that approach to the song?”
SERJ: “I think the first MIDI stuff that you sent me had some taiko drums in it, and definitely strings and brass and percussion, some light rock elements, but the rock wasn’t as big a part of the picture. It was way more orchestral, if I’m not mistaken.”
BEAR: “My first concept was almost entirely taiko drums, with some guitars in the background.”
SERJ: “You added more rock arrangement elements to make it more rock as we went on, which made total sense, made it heavier, you know? But it still retained a lot of that taiko percussion as well as the choir vibe. And I loved that from day one! Over that weekend, we kept on working with a lot of musical ideas, going around those voices with my voice, where to do solo vocals, and experimenting with whether or not to go mellow at the end or just keep going strong. Japanese men’s voices were really important to both of us, apparently!”
BEAR: “Totally! I was throwing a lot of elements at the wall to see what would stick. And it was feedback from you and your vocal performance that really helped me shape it. But, with that first version I sent you, to be honest, I wasn’t even sure if it was going to work at all!”
SERJ: “Yeah, I remember you were like, ‘I have an idea. I’m not sure it’s going to work, but we should try it.’”
With Serj’s vocal atop my extremely rough sketch, I still had a ton of work left before I could pitch the concept to the filmmakers and studio. So, I reached out to my friend Brendon Small and my brother, Brendan McCreary (aka McKian), to provide electric guitars and backing vocals. I worked closely with the two of them for a few days, dialing in the sound of the track.
BEAR: “So, what did you think when I sent you that first rough demo?”
BRENDON SMALL: “First of all, I thought, ‘Fuck yes, of course! It’s sitting right in front of you. I can’t believe no one’s done this.’ ‘Godzilla’ must be in Godzilla! And that’s a brilliant move, do it, please!”
MCKIAN: “The sheer bending of the genre was just so shocking. Those chanting vocals, no one would see those coming from a hundred miles away. And I think ultimately that’s what makes the song super special, these wild chants.”
BEAR: “When you were layering in the backing vocals, did you do anything differently with your voice because the lead that you’re supporting was Serj Tankian?”
MCKIAN: “Ultimately I was trying to create background vocals, emphasis on the ‘background.’ Obviously Serj is the focus. If Serj was a less unique vocalist, I would’ve done things differently, but there’s nobody that sounds like this. He’s just one of the most unique vocalists in the history of rock and roll. So, the track needed space for him.”
BRENDON: “When I heard the demo I thought, ‘Oh, this is so cool’ because you got Serj who almost sounds like Neil Young on top of this, you know? He sounds like he’s doing this yodeling kind of thing.”
GENE HOGLAN: “The entire song has a different character than the original. So, why should the vocals not have a different character? Serj brought his vision to it.
One of the song’s most unique characteristics is its form, which is bizarre because it arguably contains only one verse, setting it apart from the vast majority of popular music. My new version retains this unusual structure, while taking other structural liberties. Most notably, I skipped over the instrumental bridge featuring a Japanese speaker on a megaphone (Buck revealed that this mysterious voice on the original recording was actually his bandmate, Eric Bloom, speaking words of warning that had been translated by a friend). I also chose to extend the song’s closing hook.
BUCK: “I like how you dwell on the ‘history shows again and again’ line. You sing it more times than we did.”
BEAR: “It’s just such a great hook, and it fundamentally underlines the narrative of the entire new movie. Godzilla: King of the Monsters really draws from that spirit. That lyric is integral to the film itself! I can’t think of a better line of text to conclude the movie with.”
PRESENTING THE SONG
After working with Serj, Brendon Small, and Brendan McKian, I felt that we had “Godzilla” dialed in to a great creative place. However, I had been working on it for so long that I’d lost perspective. It was by far the most audacious, outrageous piece of music I had ever imagined, and it was quite possible that a major film studio wouldn’t want it to conclude their tent-pole summer blockbuster. It was time to present “Godzilla” to the filmmakers and see if all this hard work had a home in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
With less than a week to go before I was to depart for London, the film’s creative team and I all gathered a dub stage on the Warner Bros lot for the final cue review presentation. After the last score cue was approved, I said, “Before you guys leave, I have one more thing to play you. Just a little idea I sketched for the end title.”
I said nothing more, nothing of Blue Öyster Cult, or the work I had done, nothing of Dethklok, or Serj Tankian. I simply wanted the song to speak for itself. I hit the spacebar on the Pro Tools rig and the playback bar started to move. There was a four-second silence at the top of the track, during which I bristled with anticipation and anxiety. At that moment, director Michael Dougherty looked at me with curious eye contact and said only three words… “Blue Öyster Cult?” I grinned, and literally a second later, the song began.
The response to the demo was positive, even thunderous. Peter Afterman, of Inaudible Productions, set about clearing the rights to sync the song to the film, while I got the green light from the director and producers to move into full production. In that moment, I felt a sudden surge of relief and elation, realizing that my spin on one of my favorite songs would find a home in a massive film.
RECORDING THE BAND
On my last day before going to London to record the score, I assembled the rhythm section of Dethklok to lay down the band tracks for my version of “Godzilla.” The session was attended by a large flock of the film’s creative team, as well as Serj Tankian and Brendan McKian who had, by this time, already dialed in all the necessary vocal layers.
BRYAN BELLER: “We’re in this super, super A list studio and we’re in there, you know, a bunch of long hairs, going to do a cover of Blue Öyster Cult’s ‘Godzilla’ for this big movie! And, I mean, it’s not a difficult song to play. That’s not what it’s about. We just wanted to give it the right attitude, give it a little bit of fun, you know?”
BEAR: “So, Serj, What was your impression of the rhythm section?”
SERJ: “Dude. They were incredible. Every take would just sound so incredibly powerful, on time. And… the double kick! I mean, Gene’s double kicks were incredible. I was just enjoying watching and listening to them, to be honest. You know, I’m like ‘One more take? … yeeeaah!’”
BEAR: “Gene, what was your reaction to taking a drum groove that was so kind of loose and had a swing to it, and turning it into something that was more rigid and metal?”
GENE HOGLAN: “Well, that is the session musician in me, taking direction from the person in charge. I want your vision to be met, right to your perfect specifications. You know, I was ready to play the old loose rock in the original BÖC version. But you know, when the word came down ‘Hey, we’re going to try this approach with it,’ I was like, ‘Hey, great, I’m there for you, Bear.’ You know, I’m there for the song. And I love working with Brendon and Bryan, those guys are two complete aces. We all enjoy each other’s playing. So, there was zero stress on that session. It was super fun, just a nice light, light session. It was amazing.”
BEAR: (laughs) “I love your description of the session, ‘It’s nice and light,’ when the resulting music is so heavy!”
GENE: “Dark and heavy!”
BRYAN: “All I know is that when I’m playing with Brendon, I’m playing with a complete creative genius who created Dethklok and Metalocalypse, he created this incredible world out of nothing. And Gene knows things about rock music and metal history, he’s literally like a walking encyclopedia. He has spent so much more time studying and listening to music than I have.”
BRENDON SMALL: “The truth is that here you’ve got three guys, me, Beller, and Gene, who’ve logged a lot of hours together in the studio and on stage and we all enjoy each other’s company a lot, too. But, then to be directed by you and to be treated like an ensemble like that, you know, we’re like a sketch troupe or an acting troupe that has worked together and can kind of finish each other’s sentences.”
BEAR: “I felt like you guys communicated in nonverbal ways. Especially at the end when you suggested doing a take where we forgave ourselves, where we just had a little more fun with it. Pretend it’s live, essentially stop thinking about it so much. We ended up using almost all of that take!”
BRYAN: “I’ve always called that the ‘Fuck It’ take. This is the magic of it. Everybody spends a lot of time talking about the disadvantages of digital technology and music. But, the tradeoff is the incredible amount of flexibility you have in creativity in creating a recording. You just couldn’t do this in the past. In the old days, if you have tape, but you were trying to splice it all together you’d have to ask ‘Is this going to work? Is that the same tempo?’ So, I’m a big believer in the positives in digital technology.”
BEAR: “I learned a lot that day, working with you guys. Sure, I’ve played in rock bands, but in doing orchestral music I developed many habits about communicating with musicians. And the language of speaking with a rock trio is different than that of a string quartet. It’s just a different set of skills you use to communicate.”
BRENDAN MCKIAN: “The band forms a sort of hive mind. I always felt the demo had a lack of continuity between the first and second choruses, it felt really jumbled. And there we were with the whole band, and they got to that spot in the song, and then everyone felt the same way, they all honed in on the same exact moment, which I thought was interesting. Everyone in the band sensed this one moment and agreed that the solution was the same. Sometimes a song just needs what it needs and every single creative voice in the room understood ‘this is what we gotta do.’”
THE MUSICAL DNA
Fundamentally, I was striving to preserve the core of the song, its musical DNA. However, on a surface level, this new arrangement feels almost entirely different. Where my version fuses heavy metal, orchestral and Japanese musical styles, Buck Dharma describes the original as more loose, saying “I think BÖC played it kind of funky. It kind of swings and it lumbers, its got swagger to it.”
Like Godzilla, himself! Because of my appreciation for that iconic guitar riff, I left the song in its original key; in any other key it would have sounded too different.
BUCK DHARMA: “First of all, I appreciated that you use the original key. There’s something about the key of F# minor that’s got kind of its own vibe, you know? It’s relative to A Major, but it’s nice that you kept that element. Did you record to a click?”
BEAR: “I did, yeah. I pre-sequenced out some drums and stuff, so that’s why it was so steady.”
BUCK: “It’s just… it’s just brutally, brutally steady! Yeah, I mean, the drumming is great. I love the drums and the orchestration, and I love how the orchestration rubs against the guitar rhythm. And I also like how you retained some other things, like when the bass line does that melodic thing, you had the orchestra do that.”
BEAR: “Yes! Bryan, let’s talk about that bass line in the choruses, where we had those E major walk downs. I remember playing that bassline for you in the studio and we both started cracking up. It’s an unexpected bit of early rock and roll history there, right?”
BRYAN BELLER: “We’re in the middle of a heavy rock song like ‘Godzilla,’ then suddenly we had to go to this chord, and then the bass player basically does this Boogie-Woogie bass line, which is what it is. It’s the R&B thing, taking jazz theory and letting the bass player play inside the changes inside a straight backbeat. But, you don’t expect that in a song like ‘Godzilla,’ by Blue Öyster Cult, which is what makes it so absurd, but only if you zoom in on it to the extent that you and I both suddenly did. And we were just like, ‘what is this weird little thing?’ And, correct me if I’m wrong, you turned this into like, a gigantic unison instrumentation!”
BEAR: “Oh yeah! I added the entire orchestra in unison – basses, celli, viola, violins, trumpets, trombones, horns, flutes, choir – everybody hammering on it like the ‘Hallelujah Chorus!’”
BRYAN: “When I heard it for the first time, I was just like, ‘Oh my God!’” (laughs)
BEAR: “I felt as an arranger of the song, I would be leaving something vital about the song out if I didn’t find a way for you to play that bass line. It’s important to the song!”
While I focused on preserving the essential elements of the bass and guitar riffs from the original recording, there were other aspects to the song I deviated from.
BRENDON SMALL: “You slowed it down just a couple of clicks.”
BEAR: “Yeah. It’s amazing, the difference one or two beats per minute makes, between a song feeling heavy or feeling rushed or feeling perfect. And I just wanted this version to feel even heavier than the original somehow, to feel even more of Godzilla’s massive weight in each beat.”
BRENDON: “When you see your favorite bands play live, most of the time they crank up the tempo a little bit. It’s funny that you did the opposite with ‘Godzilla.’ A slow tempo is such a powerful thing.”
BEAR: “So, how did you feel the slower tempo translated to the studio experience?”
BRENDON: “So, that gets us into the studio with Gene Hoglan, who is a monster powerful drummer and his drums are even tuned low. There’s just like a heaviness to everything that he does, because in metal, a lot of people tune their drums kind of high and hot. But, he keeps his floor toms just big, and loose, and flappy, and demonic. And there’s a lot to be said for that.”
GENE HOGLAN: “I focused on the lower toms, just to help buffer the heaviness of the taiko drums and the bombast of them. The taiko drums are really the lead instruments in terms of percussion. You just want to buffer what the lead instrument is doing. You want to lend a good solid foundation, and draw out the performance of the taiko drums.”
With recording complete, I hopped on a plane to London for a week of recording orchestra, choirs and soloists for the score. I turned the “Godzilla” tracks over to mixer and co-producer Jason LaRocca, who went to work in his studio to piece together the massive barrage of musical layers.
Mixing is an often-ignored part of the music-making process, perhaps because it is the least glamorous. “Anytime you’re trying to get orchestra, rock band, and vocals into the same space, it’s just like ‘good luck,’” Bryan Beller explained, with a laugh. “You can barely get a rock band to sound good. Mixing is hard. Mixing is where music goes to die.” (laughs) “And I only say that for people out there who are unaware of this, because it’s very, very tedious work. And taiko drums really can be challenging because they take up low frequencies and soak up a lot of space. So, it’s really quite an accomplishment to have all that stuff in the same space, all playing nice with each other.”
JASON LAROCCA: “It was a practical discussion of how it was actually going to get put together. The flood gates had opened and it was just a matter of getting every single idea that could possibly be used to support the anthemic quality into this song. I think we were at 150 or 200 tracks of orchestra.”
BEAR: “What was the total track count on the song approximately?”
JASON: “At one point I think it was over 500, and then I had to bounce some things down.”
BEAR: “So, we broke Pro Tools?” (laughs)
JASON: “Basically, yes!”
SERJ: “I think this mix is a great balance. You have all the elements that you’re listening for, the rock elements, the orchestral elements, and you also have the taiko drums, choirs, and the vocals. You stamped a creative sound on the film with those elements.”
A month before Godzilla: King of the Monsters was set to debut, WaterTower Music released my cover of “Godzilla” as an advance single, along with “Old Rivals,” a score excerpt. After working on the song for more than a year, it was an overwhelming experience for me to suddenly have the song go viral across social media, spurring a variety of reactions from fans around the world.
It warms my heart to see such an outpouring of love from fans who understand what this song means to me, and who appreciate what all of us strove to accomplish in creating it. There is one person, however, whose opinion matters to me more than any other – Buck Dharma.
BUCK DHARMA: “The first time I heard it, I really liked it. I’ll tell you why. My criteria for a good cover song is first, do no harm to a song in your version, and second, bring something new to the party. And you filled both of those criteria. And everybody did a great job. Serj Tankian did a great job. And, the rhythm guys have a unique style, it doesn’t sound like anybody else. You really retained the flavor of the original while you took the song where it needed to go for your purpose.”
BEAR: “Well, I really appreciate that sentiment.”
BUCK: “I’m not tired of listening to it yet. My grandson is two years old and my son plays my music for him all the time, and he is a big Godzilla fan, but now my grandson prefers your version to mine.”
BEAR: (laughs) “Oh no!”
BUCK: “He says he wants to hear ‘Godzilla.’ ‘Which Godzilla?’ ‘The blue one!’”
BEAR: “Wait, he means ‘blue’ like the image in our YouTube video? Isn’t it funny, Buck, that when he says ‘The Blue One,’ he means my version, not the “Blue” Öyster Cult version?”
BUCK: “It is. Right. That’s irony within irony.”
BEAR: “After you wrote this song, it would have made perfect sense for it to eventually end up in a Godzilla film. And yet that didn’t happen for a long time. Was there a point at which you thought it might not happen?”
BUCK: “Yeah, I wasn’t holding my breath. Let’s put it that way. I had never dreamed that it would be a credit rolls song. But, it just annoyed me that we kept getting dissed by the Hollywood versions of Godzilla.”
BEAR: “So what are your feelings now that it has happened?”
BUCK: “I’m feeling pretty good about life, you know? As far as BÖC rippling out into the larger culture, I think [this version of ‘Godzilla’] is another touchstone, another great thing that’s happened. You know, it’s good to be Buck Dharma. It’s good to be influential.”
BEAR: “How does the rest of the band feel about it?”
BUCK: “You know, the band is disappointed that it’s not our version, but I’m philosophical about it. You know, you did a great version.”
BEAR: “Thanks. Though I completely understand where they’re coming from. I hope that this song being in a movie of this size ultimately benefits the band. That would make me happy.”
At long last, after forty years, Blue Öyster Cult’s “Godzilla” will finally be heard in a Godzilla feature film. While I don’t understand why it took so long, I’m honestly grateful that it did. In the interim, a kid from Bellingham, Washington had time to grow up, become a film composer and fledgling record producer, and create this new version for Godzilla: King of the Monsters!
My version of this classic song seems to be resonating with fans everywhere, and this week is currently being heard by mainstream audiences as the end title song in the #1 theatrical film in the world! My hope is that fans of the song will be excited to hear the anthem in a new voice, and thrilled to finally hear it in a Godzilla film. But, equally important is my hope that audiences who have never heard the original song will have no way of suspecting it is forty years old. I want them to feel like they’re hearing a modern rock anthem, perfectly at home in a contemporary blockbuster film. I hope younger audiences might hear this, discover the source material, and dive deep into the Blue Öyster Cult catalog, just as I did as a kid.
(This is the first of two blog entries about Godzilla: King of the Monsters. For the full story, check out Part 2.)