Says Reznor, “We sat in here — I don’t think we even got up to pee once — we were spellbound by how he had taken this material and infused humanity, vulnerability and life into this, and it was breathtaking.” He adds, “We were in awe and felt like it doesn’t even need music.”
“Bones and All” stars Timothee Chalamet as Lee and Taylor Russell as Maren in a coming-of-age story about cannibal lovers as they road-trip across America.
The film marks the duo’s premiere collaboration with the filmmaker, and they’re already on board to work with him again on his next project, “Challengers.” Says Reznor, “Luca was on a shortlist of people we thought we’d love to meet and collaborate with.”
When the opportunity arose, they jumped at the chance. “We found an incredibly charming, thoughtful and articulate person that we immediately felt a bond with,” Reznor says recalling an early meeting long before filming had even begun. Their main question was about the role music would play in the film.
Guadagnino made it clear that he wanted the score to be a character. The film was a canvas for them to do just that. Despite the cannibalism storyline, the film is very much a love story. Reznor says Guadagnino emphasized that the music needed to feel lonely and about longing. “There was never a focus on the horror element. It’s in there and it serves a purpose,” Reznor says.
Says Ross, “We’d have long conversations with Luca about this element of inviting interpretation. But the real heart is the romance. Luca had mentioned the idea of an acoustic guitar. So, we worked around establishing what this longing would be.”
While they didn’t become immune to the cannibalism in the film, the only dark piece of the music, Ross points out, comes towards the end of the film, in the form of an original song they wrote titled “(You Make Me Feel Like) Home.”
While their signature electronic elements can be heard, Ross explains, “The score really leans into the acoustic world.”
Says Ross, “When the film opens, there’s the element of the love themes that the characters haven’t found themselves, but as the story progresses, it becomes more intense and intertwined.” He continues, “But within that journey, as their love progresses, we managed to figure out a way where the eating theme could work and intertwine in the same way the story does.”
Reznor and Ross could very well be competing against themselves in the best original score race; they’ve also composed music for the Sam Mendes film “Empire of Light.”
And “(You Make Me Feel Like) Home” will be vying for original song.
For now, they’re working on “Challengers,” which stars Zendaya. Would they like to write a song for her? “We’d be totally open to it. We both admire her completely. She’s incredible in this upcoming film, as you will see,” teases Reznor.
Listen to the score and “(You Make Me Feel Like) Home” below.