It’s not often that we think about how important the music that was written for films is to our culture. As Mint 400 Records releases its second full compilation of songs written for movie soundtracks it will remind fans of the fascinating scope that movie soundtrack songs cover. This second full length follows up 2018’s compilation, which was a few years in the making and became one of the most popular Mint 400 Records compilations to ever be released. The compilation is scheduled for release on November 12th, 2021.
This new collection of songs shows off many new additions to the Mint 400 Records roster like Renee Maskin, Tom Barrett, Lowlight, Swiims, Vanderocker and a bunch more as well as some bands that have been with the label for years like Yawn Mower, The Brixton Riot, Fairmont, The Bitter Chills and many more. The massive 24 song compilation spans movies from the last 70 years and covers everything from Breakfast At Tiffany’s “Moon River” to 8 Mile’s “Lose Yourself”. Of course these are not typical covers as Mint 400’s roster re-imagines and interprets the songs in a way only their roster could from jazz to indie rock.
The first single is a cover of Blondie's "Call Me" (from the film American Gigolo) by Swiims. "We chose 'Call Me' in part because Blondie was a pioneer in the New Wave scene of the late 70's and early 80's and were a big influence on many bands that we love. 'Call Me' was the Billboard 100 top single of 1980 and Blondie's biggest selling single. We wanted to bring something different to this most recognizable hit and give it a dark SWiiMS spin."
Here’s what some of the other Mint 400 artists on the compilation said about their tracks:
"'Moon River' is one of those iconic songs that you probably shouldn't touch, but I gave it a shot. Covers are always difficult and I just went with a feel rather than following the correct chords or time signature.” -- Dennis King – Sonofdov (Moon River)
"As ultimate Ryan Gosling fans, it was our dream to cover a song from the Drive soundtrack. We sincerely wish Ryan would give us a Nightcall." - Jessica Baggia – This Bliss (Nightcall)
"I feel its a well written song that oddly lends itself to any genre/approach & took the liberty of executing it in the heard muzak form. The result worked surprisingly well to even my surprise." - Ryan Miera - Yellow Pills (The Neverending Story)
“Françoise Hardy’s 'L’Amour En Privé', written by Serge Gainsbourg and with music by Jean-Claude Vannier, evokes all the drama and heightened emotion you might expect from a film. Its role in François Leterrier’s Projection Privée exemplifies how a story can be captured in song. Music and imagery go hand in hand for me in my own art, and this song is among my absolute favorite songs written for a film." -- Valerie Geller – El Valerie (L’Amour En Privé)
“Ever since I saw Beetlejuice as a child, I’ve had Danny Elfman’s melody from that song stuck in my head. It has mutated in my mind over the years but I didn’t notice until I listened to the original recently and compared. I decided to just record the version my mind remembered in homage.” -- Ben Didsbury – Riverghxst (Main Theme- Beetlejuice)
"Lose Yourself' is a great, powerful track, and it's inseparable from the film itself. It's loaded with a lot of clever language, and I loved the challenge of making those lyrics work in a different style." -- Matt Cheplic – The Bitter Chills (Lose Yourself)
“It’s odd for me to think of myself covering Diana Ross but the song choice was presented by my collaborator Christian Kisala and I had heard the song before. The melody immediately struck me as something I could work with. Little did I know there were 7 key changes and the complexity of such a short song. It was definitely one of those songs you grow as a songwriter after covering it." -- Neil Sabatino – Fairmont (Do You Know Where You’re Going To?)
"'Pretty In Pink' was an obvious choice; we're all fans of the film, we love the song and we're all big Psychedelic Furs fans. We used the 1981 version of the song as the starting point for our cover and added the intro to put our own spin on it. It was also great getting to work with James Robbins again. He was able to take a song recorded in living rooms and basements and turn it into something special." -- Jerry Lardieri – The Brixton Riot (Pretty In Pink)
“The movie (The Breakfast Club) resonates with us each feeling a little like a misfit at times, ultimately becoming a close group in the end. It’s retro synthy hook with our indie vibe makes for an amazing collab!” -- Lisa LoVell – The Extensions (Don’t You (Forget About Me)). Becca Cristino added, “We have been noticing the influence of the bouncy fun and alternative weirdness of many 80s favorites creeping into our newer songs lately, so this song felt like a natural choice and solid fit.”
“The original recording (Chariots of Fire) by Vangelis stands out as a modern classic with one of the most recognizable melodies in history. So we decided to mess with that by changing the rhythmic framework surrounding the melody. Our version was recorded in a single take with no overdubs or edits and just the live mix running into a computer. We hope it offers a fresh take on the original.” -- Christian Kisala - commacommaspacespace (Chariots Of Fire)
“A few years back I embraced mindfulness as a way to live presently and monitor my thoughts. Some of the lyrics in 'Raindrops...' acknowledge the unnecessary mind bandwidth that worry takes up in our heads and the raindrops (in my opinion) symbolize that which we cannot control in our lives." -- Luis Flores – LC Flowers (Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head)
“Vision Quest is an iconic 1980’s movie with an amazing soundtrack, but in reality, the Madonna song, 'Crazy for You', reminded our bassist of his Old English Sheepdog whom he’s 'crazy' about. We also felt the song was a great vehicle to showcase the wonderful talents of Joie Giordano (vocals), whom we wanted to do a project with for some time." -- Mike Todd – The Funky JC’s (Crazy For You)
“‘Rocky Horror’ isn’t just a wonderfully weird cult film. Its soundtrack is one of the great ’70s glam albums. We played 'Science Fiction, Double Feature' during our very first show, at a Halloween party a decade ago. We wanted to cover it again, but we always like trying different sounds and ideas. So we took our favorite part of the movie -- Riff Raff singing creepily and wistfully while staring out the window during 'Over At The Frankenstein Place' - and fashioned a medley out of it.” -- Brent & Brian Johnson - The Clydes (Medley: Science Fiction Double Feature, Over at The Frankenstein Place)
“First of all, we love movies and particularly music for movies, so this was a really fun project for us. After considering other pieces of music (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly theme, for example) we arrived at Scarface (Main Theme) by Giorgio Moroder. It just made sense. Coming off of our record, Strange Light, this wasn't too big a leap for us musically. Strange Light put us in the right mindset to tackle a huge, dramatic, 80's monster like this. In some ways working on it felt like a continuation of the record.” -- - Colin Ryan - Lowlight (Theme From Scarface)
Mint 400 Records is an Indie Rock Record Label from Hawthorne, New Jersey. As you can see, the Mint 400 Records roster is one that has a wide array of influences not only from a musical stand point but from a cultural standpoint as evidenced by their selections.