‘He created this ethereal sound without making it this big battle anthem,’ Swift says of ‘Hunger Games’ soundtrack producer T-Bone Burnett.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Sway Calloway
On Monday night (February 13), Taylor Swift released a cold, moody video for her Civil Wars-assisted “Hunger Games” soundtrack tune “Safe & Sound.” During her exclusive chat with MTV News following the premiere, she revealed how the eerie song came together in just one day.
“I wrote this song with the Civil Wars and [soundtrack producer] T-Bone Burnett, and we all happened to be in the same city on the same day, and I was working with T-Bone a lot on the soundtrack, just putting songs together,” she recalled to Sway during “MTV First: Taylor Swift.”
When Burnett suggested the Civil Wars stop by, Swift was enthusiastic about the potential collaboration. “I had this title that I had been working with called ‘Safe & Sound,’ and I just knew that I wanted it to deal with the empathy, sort of the more sensitive side, the bittersweet side of this story,” she said about the sullen track. “Never imagining that this would ever be picked or a single, ’cause it’s a lullaby. This song was such an amazing experience, because it’s like it just happened.”
The experience was particularly thrilling for Swift since she’s a big fan of the Grammy-winning Civil Wars. “I’ve been a Civil Wars fan for about a year, and I think they’re amazing, and I’ve always wanted to work with them. They have another song on the soundtrack [‘Kingdom Come’]. I have another song on the soundtrack [‘Eyes Wide Open’], and it just ended up so organically coming together, I can’t believe it, really.”
By the time Swift heard the finished product, she couldn’t believe the beauty of Burnett’s sparse production. “We wrote this song and recorded it one day. When we got the track back, I was so surprised by the restraint,” she said. “He created this ethereal sound without making it this big battle anthem.”
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Stick with MTV News as we roll out more from our exclusive interview with Taylor Swift about her “Hunger Games” soundtrack song!