NPR logo

Moldy Peaches Reunite on 'Juno' Soundtrack

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/18137357/18137316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Moldy Peaches Reunite on 'Juno' Soundtrack

Moldy Peaches Reunite on 'Juno' Soundtrack

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/18137357/18137316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

ALISON STEWART, host:

Kimya Dawson is a founding member of the band, Moldy Peaches. She's also in the band Antsy Pants. On her own, she put out five solo albums. And now, the sound of a popular movie can be attributed to her. Not only are almost half the songs in the "Juno" soundtrack the work of Dawson, the songs she's contributed helped the film's composer create the score.

Now, the film is about a smarty-pants teenager who gets knocked up by her best friend and then has this avalanche of emotion, which she experiences while all trying to play it pretty cool.

(Soundbite of movie, "Juno")

Ms. KIMYA DAWSON (Vocalist, The Moldy Peaches): (Singing) You're a part-time lover and full-time friend. The monkey on your back…

Mr. MICHAEL CERA (Actor): (As Paulie Bleeker) When this is all over, you know, we can always get back together.

Ms. ELLEN PAGE (Actor): (As Juno MacGuff) Were we together?

Mr. CERA: (As Paulie Bleeker) Yeah. We were once, you know.

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) …anyone else.

Mr. CERA: (As Paulie Bleeker) That time.

Ms. JENNIFER GARNER (Actress): (As Vanessa Loring) You think you're going to really do this, then?

Ms. PAGE: (As Juno MacGuff) If I could just have the thing and give it to you now, I totally would. But I'm guessing it looks probably like a sea monkey right now…

Ms. GARNER: (As Vanessa Loring) Oh.

Ms. PAGE: (As Juno MacGuff) …we should let it get a little cuter, right?

Ms. GARNER: (As Vanessa Loring) Great.

Mr. JASON BATEMAN (Actor): (As Mark Loring) Keep it in the oven.

STEWART: The "Juno" soundtrack has been out digitally for a month, and the hard copy hit stores this week.

Kimya Dawson joins us in the studio with her guitar, and with Moldy Peaches founder Adam Green.

Thanks for being with us.

Mr. ADAM GREEN (Founder, Moldy Peaches): Thank you.

Ms. DAWSON: Thanks.

STEWART: Just so we should be clear, Kimya, these songs aren't songs that you wrote for this movie, right? They all preexisted in some form, and somewhat are the reincarnations.

Ms. DAWSON: Yeah. Yeah. The Moldy Peaches song is - I mean, we wrote that song in, like, '99 or 2000. And then all of my songs were - are on previous albums of mine. And we did rerecord a couple of them as instrumentals - me and Jason Reitman and Mateo Messina were in the studio together.

STEWART: Tell people who Jason and Mateo are.

Ms. DAWSON: Jason is the director of the film, and Mateo is the composer.

STEWART: So how did you hook up with Jason and Mateo and this whole "Juno" project?

Ms. DAWSON: Well, Ellen Page - Jason asked her what she thought Juno would listen to, and she said the Moldy Peaches. And so Ellen and Jason sat at his computer, and she downloaded "Anyone Else But You" for him. He decided to make that song a big part of the movie. You know, they contacted me and Adam to get permission to do that, and we agreed. Sort of months later, Jason asked me to send him some stuff, and I was under the impression that the film was done, you know, because it's like…

STEWART: Yeah.

Ms. DAWSON: …I had been to some of the filming, and I'd been on the wrap party. So I was like, okay, the movie's done. I don't know how they - I didn't know that they edited film together and then put the soundtrack over it. So I just sent him stuff like as a friend, like, yeah, here's, like, kids song I've been working on. And here's this and that, this and that. Then he e-mailed me later and said he wanted to use more songs.

STEWART: The movie has some similarities with your own life.

Ms. DAWSON: Yeah.

STEWART: And I see one of the similarities. There she is. Who's that?

Ms. DAWSON: That's Panda.

STEWART: How old is Panda?

Ms. DAWSON: She's almost 18 months.

STEWART: So were you actually pregnant when you were working on the film, or had you already had your child?

Ms. DAWSON: No. She was like 5 or 6 months old when they first contacted me.

STEWART: So it's interesting. You said that you didn't realize they had edited together the movie and then they put the music in later. So what was it like for you when you saw the movie and then heard your music attached to it and woven in and out of it?

Ms. DAWSON: It's cool. Like, they had sent me a rough copy at the beginning of the summer and asked if maybe I could write an original song for the movie. And I couldn't pull it together.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. DAWSON: I travel a lot, and we were about to go to Europe for the summer. And just being a mom, I was, like, ugh. But I watched it, like, five times. I totally loved it. But it wasn't completely put together, and the songs weren't all where they were going to end up. And I don't even pay that much attention to my music. You know, it's just the way music is in any movie, but sometimes I was like, whoa, that's me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. DAWSON: Like at the world premiere in Toronto, I was like that's me singing, and that's Ben Affleck, like, three seats away. Like, he's listening. That's weird.

STEWART: It's the song "Anyone but You" featured prominently in the movie. It was already a hit in its own right.

Mr. GREEN: No. No. It wasn't.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Well, a little bit, you know?

Mr. GREEN: No, it wasn't.

STEWART: It was known. How about that? Can we say that?

Ms. DAWSON: Some kids have covered it on YouTube.

STEWART: Yeah. Some people - people knew about the song before it was in the movie. Let's say it - let's put it that way.

Mr. GREEN: Yeah. Yeah.

STEWART: Why do you think that song lent itself for this particular film, "Juno?"

Ms. DAWSON: Those kids are so cool and weird and sweet, you know? It's like they're nice, little freaks. And I felt like they were not too far off from the kids that we were when we wrote that song.

STEWART: How old were you when you wrote that song?

Mr. GREEN: I think…

Ms. DAWSON: Let's see…

Mr. GREEN: …I was 18, right?

Ms. DAWSON: Yeah. So I'm almost had been like…

Mr. GREEN: 26.

Ms. DAWSON: …27, 26.

Mr. GREEN: Hey, age 18, 27.

STEWART: So at 18 years old, what did that song mean to you?

Mr. GREEN: It was just about how me and Kimya, like, we were both looking for love, but just absolutely not for each other, you know?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. DAWSON: We used to say that we were - it was like we were standing back to back, like both looking out like into the world for that imaginary perfect person.

STEWART: Well, can you guys play "Anyone Else"…

Ms. DAWSON: Yeah.

STEWART: …for us? This is "Anyone Else But You." Adam Green and Kimya Dawson.

(Soundbite of song, "Anyone Else But You")

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) You're a part-time lover and a full-time friend. The monkey on your back is the latest trend. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Mr. GREEN: (Singing) I'll kiss you on the brain in the shadow of the train. I'll kiss you all starry eyed, my body swinging from side to side. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) Here is the church and here is the steeple. We sure are cute for two ugly people. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Mr. GREEN: (Singing) Pebbles forgive me, the trees forgive me. So why can't you forgive me? I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) I will find my niche in your car with my MP3, DVD, rumble-pack guitar. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Up up down down left right left right B A start. Just because we use cheats doesn't mean we're not smart. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Mr. GREEN: (Singing) You are always trying to keep it real. I'm in love with how you feel. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) We both have shiny happy fits of rage. You want more fans, I want more stage. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Mr. GREEN: (Singing) Don Quixote was a steel-driving man. My name is Adam, I'm your biggest fan. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) Squinched up your face and did a dance, then you shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants. I don't see what anyone could see in anyone else but you.

Ms. DAWSON and Mr. GREEN: (Singing) But you.

STEWART: That was Kimya Dawson and Adam Green, founding members of the Moldy Peaches. Now, you've had a little bit of a taste of having your songs be part of a movie - and kind of a great movie - has it made you interested in pursuing this any further?

Ms. DAWSON: It has to be a film that I feel is positively and strongly about as I did this one.

Mr. GREEN: And we had talked about doing a soundtrack to "Weekend at Bernie's 3," but I don't know…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GREEN: …if it's going to really happen.

Ms. DAWSON: Because I am sort of having the idea that it could be with babies, like Panda and her friend Elias, like, for example, would be these babies that want to live independently. And so they find, like, this dead guy and they, like, prop him up to like push their stroller down the street and stuff. Hey, you know what? It sounds kind of like "Baby Geniuses" plus "Weekend at Bernie's."

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: "Baby Genius Weekend at Bernie's."

Ms. DAWSON: Yeah.

STEWART: All right. I have to - I do this to a lot of artists who come in. I read it on Wikipedia, so it must be true…

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: …she said sarcastically. There's a listing in there that says you guys are going to be on "The View" this month.

Ms. DAWSON: Yes, on the 21st.

STEWART: You're going to be on "The View."

Mr. GREEN: Yeah.

Ms. DAWSON: I want to meet Whoopi so bad.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. DAWSON: Like - honestly, like I used to, like, sit under my bed with a cassette player listening to her "Live on Broadway" tape, like crying, just like - I love her so much.

STEWART: So you have a mad crush. Adam, how do you feel it about being on that super mainstream, ladies at home during the day…

Mr. GREEN: You know, I don't feel as strong about it as Kimya, you know?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Just thought I'd ask.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. DAWSON: I feel like some of those ladies at home just watching "The View," they need our music the most.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: That is the most open, heartfelt thing I've heard.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GREEN: Yeah. How heartfelt. They need us.

Ms. DAWSON: Seriously. Think about it. Like, some people are like at home - they don't want to be there. Like, they want to be out having adventures, and they're like trapped in this life that they've been told that they're supposed to be living, you know, like women whose husbands are like, you better have my dinner on the table. If they don't want to do it, they should go out and rock.

MARTIN: We're talking to Kimya Dawson and Adam Green about the "Juno" soundtrack, among other things.

The song "Tire Swing," where was that originally?

Ms. DAWSON: That's on my most recent solo album, called "Remember That I Love You."

STEWART: It almost sounds like you wrote it for this title character.

Ms. DAWSON: Yeah, it's weird. Because when I wrote it, it was kind of just for some of my friends, and I didn't feel like it was one of - like when Jason said he wanted use that for the film, I was like, oh, weird. Like, I don't think that's one of my, you know, most interesting songs, you know? And then when I saw it in the movie, and I was like, oh, right. Like, it makes perfect sense.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Well, let's listen to "Tire Swing."

(Soundbite of song, "Tire Swing")

Ms. DAWSON: (Singing) I took the Polaroid down in my room. I'm pretty sure you have a new girlfriend. It's not as if I don't like you. It just makes me sad whenever I see it. 'Cause I like to be gone most of the time, and you like to be home most of the time. If I stay in one place, I lose my mind. I'm a pretty impossible lady to be with.

Joey never met a bike that he didn't want to ride, and I never met a Toby that I didn't like. Scotty liked all of the books that I recommended. Even if he didn't, I wouldn't be offended. I had a dream that I had to drive to Madison to deliver a painting for some silly reason. I took a wrong turn and ended up in Michigan. Paul Baribeau took me to the giant tire swing, gave me a push and he started singing. I sang along while I was swinging.

STEWART: A little music and a little chat with Adam Green and Kimya Dawson of Moldy Peaches about their contributions to the "Juno" soundtrack, their appearance on "The View," and they did tell me that they're officially on hiatus until further notice. So Moldy Peaches band - they're not getting back together anytime soon, just so you know.

MARTIN: Yeah.

Well, that does it, we're done. I can't believe it. Thanks for listening to this hour THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT. You can find us always online at npr.org/bryantpark.

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.