World: The making of Billie Eilish's Bond theme

How James Bond author Ian Fleming created a movie icon

  How James Bond author Ian Fleming created a movie icon The world's most famous spy was born from an insider's knowledge of the British intelligence services and a fondness for women, alcohol, and gambling. With the war over, Fleming worked as foreign manager for The Sunday Times, overseeing the paper's foreign correspondents as he had once overseen British agents. Fleming finally began writing his spy novel at GoldenEye, the author's vacation home in Jamaica, early in 1952. He was encouraged to do so by the fact that his fiancée and longtime lover, Ann, was pregnant and Fleming knew he would need money to support his family.

"If Daniel Craig doesn't like it, you don't get the job."

Billie Eilish's Bond theme hit number one in February 2020 © BBC Billie Eilish's Bond theme hit number one in February 2020

It's February 2020, and Finneas O'Connell is recounting how he and his sister, Billie Eilish, ended up writing the latest James Bond theme song - No Time To Die.

"He has a big say in it," Eilish confirms. "I learned that. He's really involved."

Ensconced in the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, overlooking London's Tower Bridge, the duo are bright and chatty - if a little tired after back-to-back performances at the Oscars and the Grammys.

The following night, they'll debut their Bond song live at the Brit Awards with a 20-piece orchestra. A few weeks later, they're due back in London for the film's world premiere.

Daniel Craig hopes No Time To Die will boost ailing cinemas post-Covid

  Daniel Craig hopes No Time To Die will boost ailing cinemas post-Covid Daniel Craig, along with other stars of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, hopes that the Covid-delayed film can boost ailing cinemas amid the pandemic. Craig and Rami Malek play 007 and his latest nemesis in the spy drama - which is officially the longest James Bond film ever made with a runtime of 163 minutes - and the actors have both expressed hopes that the cinema business picks up again soon.Craig told PA: 'There's a great deal of expectation surrounding this film. I believe in cinema, it's the job I do and having this film come out right now and try and hopefully to give the industry some sort of boost.

"It's going to be crazy," says Eilish, as she anticipates seeing the title sequence for the first time. "Oh my God, I'm gonna pee myself."

  • Billie Eilish's Bond theme is dramatic and audacious
  • Could the next James Bond be a Scot?
  • Critics praise 'defiant' Billie Eilish album

Then fate intervenes. And by fate, I mean a massive raging pandemic. It puts an end to Eilish's first world tour, and keeps 007 out of cinemas for the next 18 months.

But with the film finally ready for release this week, there's No Time To Die Waiting. Here's a deep dive into the making of Eilish's Bond song - from writer's block and scrapped ideas, to Johnny Marr's iconic tremolo guitar.

How do you get to write a Bond theme? Do you just bombard Daniel Craig with texts until he relents?

Disney World opened 50 years ago; these workers never left

  Disney World opened 50 years ago; these workers never left ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Applying to be one of the first workers at Walt Disney World, high school graduate George Kalogridis made a split-second decision that set the course for his life: he picked a room where prospective hotel workers were being hired. Chuck Milam got a tip about a job opening from a transplanted Disney executive whose new house he was landscaping. Earliene Anderson jumped at the chance to take a job at the new Disney theme park in Florida, having fallen in love with the beauty of Disneyland in California during a trip two years earlier.

Billie: We'd always wanted to write a Bond song - even before it was an option.

Finneas: We'd been writing motifs and thinking of melodies for a couple years, just as far as like, 'Wouldn't it be cool if one day we got to do a Bond song?' And when we got wind that they were making the 25th, we immediately set out to meet with Barbara [Broccoli, producer] and plead our case.

Were you part of a group of people pitching for the job - like Radiohead and Sam Smith on Spectre?

Billie: I'm assuming we were, but we were never told, "You've got to compete with all these other people." It wasn't like that at all.

When you started writing, did you revisit any of those old ideas you'd stored up?

Billie: We started from scratch, fully. We had a meeting with Barbara in Ireland in the beginning of September [2019] and then she sent us the first scene of the script - the part before the opening credits.

Finneas: And that was all we had to reference, as far as the plot.

Bond Girl Ana de Armas cuts a thigh-slit black gown at Bond premiere

  Bond Girl Ana de Armas cuts a thigh-slit black gown at Bond premiere Ana de Armas looked sensational she arrived on the red carpet of the hotly-anticipated No Time To Die premiere on Tuesday in London. The Bond girl demanded attention as she showcased her toned pins in a thigh-slit black gown, featuring a plunging neckline and silver straps.She elevated her height in a pair of onyx heels and wore her chocolate tresses in a sleek fringe. © Provided by Daily Mail ( She sensationally wore diamond jewellery from Chopard in the latest James Bond film and revealed in a sneak peek that her accessories reminded her to be extra careful during production.

Billie: I think that actually made it easier for us. We always write the quickest when we have a story or we're writing about something that's happened.

Wasn't one of the first songs you ever wrote, Fingers Crossed, based on The Walking Dead?

Billie: Eewwww! I mean, yes, but don't listen to that song. Please don't.

Finneas: Yeah, Listen to No Time To Die instead!

Billie and Finneas write and record all their material together, often recording at home or in hotel rooms © Reuters Billie and Finneas write and record all their material together, often recording at home or in hotel rooms

What was the first part you wrote for No Time To Die?

Billie: We had an intense amount of writer's block as soon as we were called to action.

Finneas: We rented out a studio to go and try to write it - and we didn't write anything good.

Billie: Oh my God, I forgot about that!

So what did you do?

Finneas: We ended up writing and recording the whole song in a tour bus in Texas.

Billie: Finneas came up with this piano motif and immediately we were like, 'Ohhhhhh', and we wrote the whole song.

Finneas: After that, it was a very mellow process. It took about three days.

Billie: Which is very quick for us.

Lyrically, the song's about a double-crossing lover - and there's a scene in one trailer where Bond confronts Madeleine Swann about her betrayal. So was that the inspiration?

Buccaneers' Richard Sherman: Arrest, counseling 'led to some really positive changes'

  Buccaneers' Richard Sherman: Arrest, counseling 'led to some really positive changes' Sherman faces five misdemeanor charges and is accused of, among other things, crashing a vehicle into a cement freeway barrier while intoxicated, attempting to force his way into the residence, and resisting arrest. According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Sherman told reporters Wednesday he's receiving counseling. "It led to some really positive changes -- some help, some therapies, some tools that I didn't have before -- to address some things that you kind of let stack up in your mind," Sherman explained about the situation. "You never have time to address them. It's not the right moment.

Finneas: I think that's a safe assumption to make, but I don't know if we're actually allowed to say that!

Billie: We're not allowed to say anything about it - but I mean, in the trailer, something happens, you know? Somebody is betrayed and somebody is betraying...

Finneas: The character arc of someone like Bond is a cycle of smoke and mirrors and betrayal.

Billie Eilish: That's his whole life.

Finneas: And that [idea] did tie in to what little amount of the script we had access to. But there's a universal theme, too. Everybody's believed something that turned out not to be true. So I think we wanted to touch on that as a theme.

At one point you sing, "Was it obvious to everybody else?" That's the sort of thing you ask your friends after a breakup... "Did you guys know all along?"

Billie: And a lot of the time, they all did! It's what everybody says: love is blind. You literally go blind. For real. Every red flag is gone, everything is gone, all your senses - gone.

So, I think Finneas is right about that. We didn't want to just make a song that only made sense with the movie. We wanted to make a song that made sense in the world and in people's lives. And the lyrics in that song have really struck a chord with me at certain points in my life since we wrote it. It's interesting how that happens.

Vettel is bond "Smart Come next"

 Vettel is bond Sebastian Vettel is allowed to drive the cultuty of James Bond. The star is at Sport1 as a large fan of the films and reveals which bond mobile is his favorite. © Provided by Vettel is Bond "Smart Combined" James Bond Rast again through the cinemas - and Sebastian Vettel (34) is in the middle! Because Aston Martin is the Bond Kultmarke par excellence, and Vettel since 2021 Aston-Martin pilot.

You hit a big note at the end, Billie. That's new territory for you.

Billie: Oh yeah, it's terrifying.

Finneas: She called me the night after she recorded it. She was like, "Take it out!"

Billie: I was really embarrassed.

But it's really good!

Billie: Thank you! But I've never done that before. Never even tried to. I've never even made that sound with my mouth.

It was so funny, because we had this one idea for a belt [a technique where a singer reaches higher pitches using their chest voice] in a different part of the song, and then that got taken out because we needed to make the song shorter.

Finneas: The first thing we wrote was five minutes long and we brought it down to about 3'40".

Billie: But we still wanted to have a big moment because it's a Bond song. And as much as I'm known for singing quietly, I guess, I was just like, "I'm gonna prove I can do this other stuff too."

Finneas: I think it's part of a list of prerequisites for a Bond song. You need the Bond chord, you need some orchestra, and you need some sort of big note.

Billie: We stood up to record it. I have it on film somewhere - both of us standing in his living room and shouting in the mic, "Wagagagghgh!"

It's very much a Billie Eilish song that happens to have Bond motifs woven into it. You weren't trying to do Goldfinger.

Finneas: We were careful about that, especially in the production side of it, to keep it very restrained. We definitely weren't trying to make, like, a surf guitar line that went dang-dagga-dang-dang-dang.

Johnny Marr: Everyone involved in it was very keen not to trample all over Billie's style, and to keep the integrity of the song - because it's a very intense, minimalist thing. The easiest thing in the world would have been to start off with a load of trumpets and just get bigger and bigger and more bombastic.

Daniel Craig on bidding Bond goodbye in 'No Time to Die'

  Daniel Craig on bidding Bond goodbye in 'No Time to Die' NEW YORK (AP) — When Daniel Craig first got the gig, he felt like something had gone amiss. “You’ve got the wrong guy,” he told the producers. But Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson insisted. No, he was the one. He was James Bond. Craig, then a rising performer but far from the expected choice, never had any ambitions to play James Bond. He had assumed he was being strung along as part of a massive casting machine, one of dozens of actors screen tested. © Provided by Associated Press This image released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures shows Daniel Craig, left, Ana de Armas in a scene from "No Time To Die.

Finneas: The movies have a certain class about them, and we wanted to capture that. Like we didn't put a bass wobble in the song. We wanted a production that felt as timeless as the movies.

And it ends on the iconic Bond chord. Whose idea was that?

Billie: We can't take any credit for that. That was all Johnny Marr.

Johnny Marr: E minor 9 - it's a classic Bond motif, isn't it? It can only really be done on the guitar, so it's me doffing the cap to John Barry. A bit of tradition.

No Time To Die marks Daniel Craig's swansong as James Bond © Universal No Time To Die marks Daniel Craig's swansong as James Bond

You're known for putting disconcerting samples or quirky sounds into your songs. Is there anything like that here?

Finneas: There's a sort of microtonal slide at the beginning of the song. I wanted it to sound like a train leaving the station - and it returns throughout the song as these big glides. That became the cornerstone of the song.

Billie: It's my favourite part.

How did you feel when you'd finished it?

Billie: Beforehand, I was anxious. I was like, "This isn't Bond enough." And once we wrote it, I was super-happy with it.

Johnny Marr: Before I'd even heard the song, when I heard that Billie was going to do it, I thought she was a very intriguing choice. And when I heard the song, I was like, "Oh, this is fantastic." Even the demo sounded very intense to me.

I know you've made a video, but the song will also be used in the film's opening titles.

Billie: Oh yes!

Do you get any say over how that looks?

Billie: Zero.

In the past they've been quite sexualised - which is something you've been critical of elsewhere.

Billie: Yeah, but it's Bond, though. Bond wouldn't be Bond without the sex. That's who he is.

Finneas: To my recollection, Daniel Craig's also quite shirtless in many of the films. I think it's equal on both sides.

The speedo scene stands out for a lot of people.

Finneas: He's pretty ripped.

Billie: [sighs] I love Daniel Craig.

Biilie and Finneas spoke to BBC Music Correspondent Mark Savage and BBC Breakfast's Louise Minchin.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected].

To die can wait: 3 good reasons to go see the new James Bond .
die can wait, the 25th movie centered on James Bond, goes out (finally) at the cinema, this Wednesday, October 6, 2021! Fans have been waiting for it for a while, the release date has been postponed several times because of the pandemic. This is the 5th film with Daniel Craig years the role of the agent 007 but also the last. Here are 3 good reasons to go see the movie! 1.

See also