The biographer of the catchiest song in The Lego Cine 2, Jon Lajoie, break bottomward how to address an earworm.
The Lego Cine 2: The Additional Allotment has a lot to alive up with in agreement of earworms. The aboriginal film’s “Everything Is Awesome” became a able standalone hit, which culminated in an Oscar nomination, so area the hell was there for the aftereffect to go? To top that once-in-a-lifetime success, the songwriters had to get alike weirder. That’s brought us “Catchy Song,” which is absolutely what it sounds like—a song advised to get ashore in your head. Spoiler: It does its job actual well.
When I looked up who wrote “Catchy Song,” I was afraid I knew the face. Abounding ability apperceive Jon Lajoie from his about-face on The League, but I anon accustomed him as the aerialist of “High as F#%k,” which my accompany listened to about 3,000 times in college. Clearly the guy knows how to address a memorable song. But “Catchy Song” is so catchy, so altogether pop, that I bare to acquisition out how it was made. How do you address the aspect of a pop song? How do you alternate that accomplished bandage amid addictive and annoying as hell?
GQ: Aback I saw The Lego Cine 2, I did absolutely get “Catchy Song” ashore in my head, and again listened to it like six times on the alms home.Jon Lajoie: Ooh, I’m so sorry.
How did you get complex alive on Lego Cine 2?I’m a musician, and a comedian, and an actor. But I capital to do this affectionate of assignment for a actual continued time. I affectionate of knew that from the assignment that I’ve done that I ability be able to do it, but I aloof capital the opportunity. So I absolved into my agency, and I aloof kept saying, “I don’t appetite any added assignment appropriate now abreast from autograph songs and movies, and hopefully, ancestors movies, animation.” I had mentioned Disney, Pixar. And so he alleged addition in, and he goes, “Oh, I anticipate the Lego bodies are attractive for bodies to abide demos. Let me abide your actuality and see if they’re interested.” And actuality we are a year afterwards and the movie’s advancing out. And I accept four of my songs in this thing, and it’s been a crazy, cool fun, creative, collaborative process. And I couldn’t be added beholden that I absolved into my … I mean, who knew? An abettor can be acceptable for something. This is the aboriginal time I absolved out going, “Holy shit. That was interesting.”
I could not accept landed with bodies with added agnate sensibilities, [Phil] Lord and [Christopher] Miller, and Mike Mitchell, and Trisha Gum. I mean, they alive in such a meta accompaniment that, for me, I was aloof so aflame to affectionate of dive in there with them.
Do you bethink any of the account that you beatific them? Were they anytime like, “This is funny, but we can’t use this?”So many. In their process, the story’s consistently changing, so you accept to abide adjustable the absolute time. And aloof so you know, this adaptation of “Catchy Song,” I was alive on addition adaptation of it in aboriginal December because we were all panicking. But in December, finally, the producer, Dillon Francis assuredly beatific us his demo, and anybody took a abysmal blow of abatement aback we heard aloof what concluded up actuality abutting to the final adaptation of “Catchy Song.” ‘Cause we all anon were like, “That’s it. There it is. That’s what we’ve been block for the accomplished year.”
But added ideas, one was a song that was declared to be by the bandage that wrote “Everything Is Awesome.” And it was their additional song, called, “It’s Adamantine to Follow Up a Hit Song.” And the accomplished song is aloof them saying, “All bodies appetite to apprehend is our aboriginal song. It alike got nominated for an Oscar. And so it’s absolutely adamantine to address additional song.” And so the absolute additional song was about that. And it was array of shouting out added one-hit admiration bands, like the “Macarena” people. Additionally it’s absolutely what we are doing. We’re aggravating to address a followup. It’s actual adamantine to assignment in the adumbration of “Everything Is Awesome.”
We were additionally acquainted of the “Everything Is Awesome” thing. And we were like, “We can’t aloof address addition addictive song that’s declared to affectionate of alter people. We accept to acquaint the audience, look, we apperceive ‘Everything Is Awesome’ is an angry song. And we’re not aggravating to exhausted it.” I had this added idea: “What if we aloof address a complete cheat of ‘Everything Is Awesome’ called, ‘All Is Amazing’?” And you affectionate of abuse all of the words and the melody aloof slightly. And it’s array of like the aforementioned song, but not really. And everyone’s singing about how everything’s amazing.
But in the end, the affair that I started agreeable in the battery of a year ago, “This song’s gonna get ashore central yo!” Nothing concluded up assault that.
Were you able to abstract the sonic elements or amazing qualities that accomplish a song catchy? Did you end up breaking that down?A lot of bodies accept actual austere theories about it. Personally, I anticipate it consistently comes bottomward to the melody, the accent of the melody over the ambit structure. I think: chords, melody, repeat, and hopefully you lock into a accent of a melody over assertive chords that are somehow memorable. If I knew absolutely how to do it, it’d be a lot easier. I wouldn’t accept about 100 versions of the “Catchy Song” demos on my computer, if I knew how to do that beforehand.
I consistently affectionate of go aback to the Beatles. ‘Cause there’s a ambassador who’s alleged Max Martin, I anticipate he alleged it music math, area it’s a actual affecting approach about how you charge accumulate your melody simple, and consistently use the aforementioned bulk of syllables in every verse, and hit the aforementioned notes, and aloof bang it into your listener’s brain. The Beatles were abundant at that. And I anticipate a lot of bands that don’t get acclaim for it, alike a bandage like Radiohead, which we do acknowledgment in the movie. Some of their songs, they’re accomplishing the music math, abnormally in their beforehand stuff. But “Karma Police” is the absolute memorable affectionate of pop song.
You affectionate of apperceive it aback you apprehend it. With this song, it was a attenuate about-face in chords that absolutely fabricated this melody pop. ‘Cause we were all affronted by, “This song’s gonna get ashore central yo head.” That gets absolute annoying absolutely fast, and abnormally aback it’s my articulation on the demo. And so we realized, aboriginal of all, giving that allotment to T-Pain was great. We were no best audition Jon’s arrest voice. But again Dillon aloof confused the chords. I was arena it on the basis note. He’s on the fourth, the fifth. He’s basically accomplishing a Katy Perry ambit pattern.
I was gonna ask who you were attractive to for inspiration. Because obviously, T-Pain is actual acceptable at authoritative a addictive song, Katy Perry’s actual acceptable at authoritative a addictive song. I feel like there’s some phrases and breakdowns in this song that complete like some added fun pop actuality out there appropriate now. So what, did you accept a playlist of who you capital this to complete like?Oh yeah. I got absolute abysmal into it. I accept to what I accept to, but I additionally don’t adventure too far out of that. But absolutely alert to a lot of these pop songs for inspiration, I accomplished absolutely how difficult it was to put them calm and how able-bodied accomplished and produced they were. I mean, “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift, was one area she affectionate of, it’s affectionate of a absolute pop song. There was a time, I mean, a lot of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, I affectionate of went into a lot of K-pop groups.
I went bottomward that aerial aperture ’cause I was like, “Oh yeah. There’s article about this that’s absolutely absolute and affectionate of balloon adhering in a little awful way,” which was absolute tonally. And I knew Dillon through a acquaintance of ours, so I accomplished out to him and I talked to him for a while about it. We weren’t abiding what we wanted. In the end, through all of the versions and all of the conversations we had, we said it has to be a absolutely annoying, crazy, hypnotic, “This Is the Song That Doesn’t End” affectionate of thing. The boondocks is block them and we’re creeped out by the song. For the story, we bare it to be a fun, aloof cool absolute affair pop song that a adolescent babe would enjoy. So the catechism was “How do we accomplish this beneath annoying to accept to?” And it’s still appealing annoying. But it’s array of on the border.
I feel like I’m gonna accept to it, but again I could additionally use it to drive bodies crazy.Yeah, exactly. And that’s what it’s for. And aback That Babe Lay Lay, aback we heard her, anon we knew. It was my annoying articulation rapping over this song, and so we couldn’t absolutely apprehend the possibilities. And it absolutely is this little girl’s world. So we anticipation about adolescent rappers or singers we could accompany in. And our music supervisor, Kier Lehman, begin Lay Lay. I anticipate she had been on Ellen. And so acclaim to her. I wrote maybe a hundred altered verses for this thing. We threw them out and she freestyled. And so Lay Lay, in the end, wrote a big block of that song. I acquisition myself, added than anything, rapping her verses.
Do you accept any admonition for accepting a song out of your head?You apperceive the cine It Followed? Able-bodied okay, that’s a bad example. But you accept to accept to a song that’s about added annoyingly catchy. And so it’s this absolutely aloof continued alternation of actuality bent by it, one addictive song afterwards the abutting one. ‘Cause one is gonna be ashore in there. And so go and accept to “Shake It Off.” About-face on the radio ’cause there’s addition one aloof cat-and-mouse for you.
I’m aloof badly aggravating to get that abuse song out of my head. I listened to a few demos of it afore you alleged aloof to admonish myself of the continued and ambagious alley that was developing “Catchy Song.” And angelic shit, is it anytime stuck. It’s ashore central my head.
I’m so sorry!I accept to apologize about to parents everywhere. The way I declared it to my friend, it’s like this guy who shows up to his friend’s altogether party, and he gets the friend’s accouchement a loud boom set. It’s like I’m walking into everyone’s houses, and handing over this song, and going, “Happy Birthday,” and walking out the door. So I feel like a bit of an a-hole, but hey. I’ve had to accept to the abuse song added than anyone.
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