‘Big Mouth’ Composer on His Emmy-Nominated Queen Homage, ‘Totally Gay,’ and His ‘Favorite Song Ever’ Coming in Season 2

IndieWire | 8/8/2018 | Staff
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For composer Mark Rivers, there were three keys to cracking the tricky “Big Mouth” Season 1 song “Totally Gay”: the hopeful lyrics, the Queen-inspired melody, and finding a singer who could really sound like Freddie Mercury.

“If he couldn’t do a good Freddie Mercury, the whole thing would’ve just been kind of subpar,” Rivers said in an interview with IndieWire, while in production on Season 2 of the Netflix original series. “When I very fortunately found the singer, Brendan McCreary, he actually did a better high, rockin’ Freddie so he actually pushed the range level higher to where his Freddie sweet spot was.”

Productions - Rivers - Lyrics - Music - Composition

Unlike other productions, Rivers wasn’t given lyrics or music, so he settled on the composition’s tone largely on his own, right from the start.

“Obviously the genre was ‘It’s a Queen Song,’ but we didn’t really discuss what variety of Queen songs — whether it was a rocker like ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ or something [else]. I wound up defaulting to a ‘Somebody to Love’ feel, just because that’s what came out when I started thinking about Freddie melodies.”

Demo - Cappella - Writers - Something - Song

After submitting the demo, he added the opening a cappella because the writers “wanted something more spectacular to launch into the song.” Luckily, “Somebody To Love” also starts with a similar vocal exclamation point, so all Rivers had to do was come up with the lyrics — you know, the words to a song about a kid who thinks he’s gay thanks to the encouraging words of famous, openly gay ghosts like Freddie Mercury.

“Big Mouth”

Undertaking - Task - Songwriters - Rivers - Background

While such a delicate undertaking may have been a daunting task for other songwriters, Rivers also has a background in comedy writing. After playing in various rock bands during high school and college, he made sure to always have his “foot in the comedy world” after moving to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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