On the Grammy red carpet Sunday, M83's Morgan Kirby summed up the feeling of many first-timers. "This whole experience is surreal. We've never done anything like this before," she told Rolling Stone.
That serves as a nice metaphor for the French group's upcoming year, which will likely see them back on a red carpet in April for the premiere of Tom Cruise's new movie, Oblivion. With the upcoming release, M83 enter the world of Hollywood and soundtracks. For the group's Anthony Gonzalez, the gig fulfills a longstanding fantasy.
"I always dreamed about making soundtracks. It's the first one, and I hope it's not going to be the last one," he said.
Working with director Joseph Kosinski, they are following in solid footsteps – the director had Daft Punk score his Tron: Legacy film. Gonzalez laughed about the similarities. "French electronic artists," he said.
"I worked with Joseph a lot, and he's very particular about the music in his movies, so we spent a lot of time talking about music and working the arrangements together," Gonzalez told us.
Most of the rest of the year will be devoted to writing a follow-up to 2011's breakout Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, which featured the smash "Midnight City." Though the group will play one big show at Los Angeles's Hollywood Bowl in September, other than that, it's all about the new material.
Many artists have spoken about how writing soundtracks can influence their own music, since scoring a film brings in a different kind of discipline – namely, writing to fit someone else's vision. Gonzalez says that was part of how he composed the music for Oblivion.
"I started to write the soundtrack just reading the script, and then when you get the picture in, it's different, and you kind of switch to another vibe and change stuff and start experimenting a lot with the music," he said. While it was a totally new experience for him, he is satisfied with the results. "It's going to be a good one," he said of the completed work.