Check out our interview with the OTH
music supervisor! Read as she answers your burning questions about the process
in choosing the songs you hear and the performers you see!
Tree Hill Music:
How did you get involved with working on One Tree
I used to
be a coordinator for 2 music supervisors (Jennifer Pyken & Madonna Wade-Reed)
who worked on Smallville with Tollin/Robbins Production, the same
production company that makes One Tree Hill. So when OTH came along, they
hired us. And now the three of us have all started our own companies, but since
I had worked really closely with OTH in particular, now I do the show by myself.
Do you work with music supervising on any other shows or movies?
I am working on a half hour comedy for midseason called Crumbs, and a
documentary called "Swing State Ohio." I hope to do more shows and films, but
this is my first year with my own company, so it's just a matter of time.
A lot of people think it's simple to get music for a television show, but on
the real side, what kind of process do you go through to get songs played?
supervision includes much more than just picking songs that you like. Here are
the essential steps:
1. The song has to work in a
scene this is the most important part.
2. The producer has to like the
song he gets final say over what makes it in.
3. I have to get permission from
record labels and publishers for each song and agree on a fee that the label and
songwriter will get paid if the song is used. Often I have to get permission
within a very short time period, so that makes the job even trickier.
4. I have to keep each episode within
a certain budget, so we cannot use all popular and expensive music. We balance
our budget by using smaller, independent artists who don't cost as much and need
the exposure. It is often most rewarding using an indie artist b/c we get to
introduce our audience to a new talent that they probably haven t heard before
and don t get to hear on the radio.
long does it take to gather music for one episode?
process for one episode is about 3 weeks long: I send music to the editors based
on the script for them to put in the episode; then the producer comes in and
revises the episode and music as he sees fit; then we have a meeting with me,
the composer, the music editor and Mark Schwahn and decide what songs we will
use and can afford and what scenes we will score. After that, I have about a
week to clear the songs with labels and publishers before we mix the episode.
Does it add pressure in picking songs because of the growing popularity of
the music on the show?
start, it's always been about finding the songs that work best for each scene.
So the only pressure is to remain true to the sound of the show. And the
popularity of the show's taste in music only encourages us to take risks and do
what other shows aren't doing, which hopefully, only improves the episodes.
We know that Mark Schwahn has input on what gets played -- but, do any of the
cast members ever bring you ideas for new music to use?
in awhile, a cast member will recommend an artist or album to Mark. But whether
that artist gets used is just a matter of if we find a song on that album that
fits in a scene.
What is some of your favorite music that has aired so far?
that's a tough one! But everyone has their favorites, and I admit that I have
mine. I'll go through each season and name a few.
Season 1: "so glad to be alive" by Low Flying Owls when
Peyton almost gets hit running a red light in ep. 104; "maybe tomorrow" by
when Peyton and Lucas make out; "run" by Snow Patrol as the first
season finale coda song.
Season 2: "lie in the sound" by Trespassers William over
Haley and Nathan's vows; "she has no time" by Keane when Haley left for
the tour (it took me forever to find the perfect song for this one, but I looked
at the Keane CD and saw the title and was knew it was going to be perfect!);
"so here we are" by Bloc Party opening the two-hour finale and "lavinia"
by The Veils closing it perfectly. I also loved having Jimmy Eat World on
camera they are one of my favorite bands!
Season 3 (so far): "more of the shame" by Buddy in Peyton's
room in ep. 304; "this is for keeps" by The Spill Canvas and "always
love" by Nada Surf in ep. 303; and "please please please" by Shout Out
Louds in ep. 306.
Where do you find all the awesome 'underground' music featured on the show?
I get a lot
of packages... More than I can handle! Some of the underground music comes from
smaller labels who have a particular sound that I will turn to for certain
scenes. And then some of the indie artists come from managers and companies that
pitch indie bands. The "finding" comes from actually listening to the albums and
finding the gems on it. And that just takes effort.
do you know which is the perfect song to end each episode with? What do you look
for to make it fit?
end montage, or Coda as we call it, ties together the emotions of several
plotlines, so I try to find a song that mirrors that. Songs that have ups and
downs that start out quiet, then get bigger for the chorus, but come down
again or songs that build momentum are usually the best ones for the Coda. And
if I can find lyrics that match what's happening, even better!
We've heard a lot of talk about a new soundtrack for this season -- are there
any certain artist or type of music we can expect to hear, and do you know when
it will be released?
working on a soundtrack that we hope to release in February 2006. It's tied in
with a plotline and is going to be a really cool project. Some of the songs
you've heard so far this season and maybe a few from last season will probably
be included, but you'll find out soon enough! And of course, we'll throw in some
Do you know if we'll hear any new material from Bethany Joy Lenz?
Yes, we are
planning on it, and Joy has recorded an album with Epic, so you can get
your fill when it is released next year.
So many great artist have performed on the show, from Sheryl Crow to Jimmy
Eat World ... and more recently, Fall Out Boy! Who decides which artist they
want to perform and can we expect to see and hear anymore rock-stars popping up
in Tree Hill?
Davola and I decide who will perform on camera. We are all music lovers, so it's
a treat to watch our favorite bands be integrated into our favorite show! Yes,
you can expect to see more performances soon.
Before we end this interview, how can
independent bands/artist submit their music for the show?
mentioned before, the submission process is overwhelming for me. So I'd prefer
if they submitted music through companies that already pitch to me. Check out