‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’: Meet the real talent behind the soundtrack
In “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” opening Friday on demand, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) travel through time in search of the perfect song to unite and save the world.
So it was important to make sure that the music in the film was most excellent.
“We wanted to make sure that we didn’t make them out to be musical buffoons,” said Jonathan Leahy, music supervisor of the third installment in a trilogy that started with 1989’s “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
To establish the dimwitted dudes’ musical chops at the beginning of the movie, their band, Wyld Stallyns, party on playing a string of instruments — from the theremin and the steel drum to the congas and the bagpipes.
Leahy told The Post that Reeves and Winter were “super-dedicated” to not looking bogus.
“Both Keanu and Alex paid a lot of attention to detail to performing correctly on those instruments,” he said. “I had a lot of music teachers in and out of their dressing rooms. Keanu’s bagpipes teacher told me that he was the best student that he ever had. So they’re not messing around.”
“Bill & Ted” also got some music cred from Tosin Abasi, the guitarist from the progressive metal band Animals as Leaders, who does all the air shredding that you hear from the titular twosome.
“In ‘Bogus Journey,’ the second film, the air guitar parts were played by a guitar legend named Steve Vai, so I felt pressure to find another guitar legend,” said Leahy. “And Tosin immediately came to mind. He’s a virtuoso who has continued to … push the boundaries of what you can do on the instrument.”
Leahy also pushed to get professional drummer Patty Anne Miller in the mix. “I told the director [Dean Parisot] that it was absolutely essential that we cast a real professional drummer to play [Wyld Stallyns bandmate] Grom,” he said. “You can’t get away with faking the drums.”
And the man who is playing the trumpet that you hear coming out of Louis Armstrong’s horn in the movie is actually Grammy nominee Christian Scott. “I wanted to get someone great to play Louis Armstrong’s horn,” said Leahy. “And then the trumpet player you see on-screen is miming Christian’s part.”
Leahy also notes that the renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band backs the Louis Armstrong character on “When the Saints Go Marching In.” “Believe me,” he said, “the fact that we have Christian Scott, Tosin Abasi, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Patty Anne Miller in this movie is, like, amazing to me.”
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