“Big Mouth” writers Nick Kroll and Mark Rivers went behind the scenes of the puberty themed songs of the Netflix animated series.
From the onset Kroll knew there would be a musical element to the show, and he knew the right person for the job. “It turns out that there are various comedy writers that are available in Los Angeles. Truly there’s no one as funny and smart and good at songwriting as Mark is,” Kroll told Variety.
Kroll said the writers start with the idea for the songs and then turn it over to Rivers. He said, “We knew we wanted to do a song with a tampon singing a song called ‘Everybody Bleeds.’ We knew we wanted a song about women and girls and their bodies and female empowerment.”
“We’ve learned over time that it’s better to just let Mark write the lyrics than for us to try and write the lyrics,” said Kroll. “We’ll give him a paragraph description of what we want tonally, what the sounds should be, and some inspiration if it needs specific things.”
Rivers commented on that process, “It creates a better song if you have some flexibility with the lyrics.”
Advancing the story through song proved the most challenging aspect of songwriting for Rivers. As an example, Rivers described a Valentine’s Day song/montage: “Every character had a point of view and you had to speak to that character and get across in one line that one bit of information that we needed.”
Kroll concluded, “The show is about puberty and adolescence and the stakes feel incredibly high in adolescents. And sometimes the best way to express high emotional moments is through a song.”