The Newton Brothers Talk Revisiting the Original Series and Making Eight Versions of the ‘X-Men ’97’ Theme on Variety’s Behind the Song

As part of Variety‘s “Behind the Song,” the Newton Brothers Andy Gursh and Taylor Stewart broke down how they crafted the superhero soundtrack for Marvel’s new animated series “X-Men ’97.”

Having both been fans of X-Men from a young age, Grush and Stewart were both “very, very excited” when first approached about the project. While revisiting the original cartoon to prepare, one element that jumped out at Stewart was the power of the theme song.

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“As a kid on Saturday mornings, I would hear the theme song and I would always get super-duper pumped up. We went through the original series and it was like a time capsule,” Stewart said. “It was great from a fan perspective and also as [we got] involved in the composition side.”

“It was real dense too, which is fun,” Grush added. “There’s a lot going on with the story, but then a lot going on musically. And that’s very satisfying as a musician because there’s lots to grab onto and a lot of interesting sounds.”

When revitalizing the original X-Men theme, Grush and Stewart made “seven or eight versions” all in different musical styles. Although only two of the versions would make the final cut, “All of the iterations informed what ended up being the final iteration, including some of the specifics,” said Grush.

Grush continued, “We explored all of it. We were like, ‘Let’s use real synthesizers playing it, let’s use digital synthesizers. Let’s have a guitar player just rip the theme as well.'” And I think it sparked a nice conversation which ended in using mostly keyboard guitar with the real guitar peeking through at specific times, which makes it super effective.”

“It also brings it back to the nostalgic feeling when you first heard it,” Stewart added. “So I think that if it would’ve been too modern, it wouldn’t have hit the viewers when they watched. I know for us we were like, ‘Oh, the sounds of that era when they sort of sparkle in, it makes you feel something.'”

Although Grush and Stewart are both competent musicians, Grush needed someone who “just murders the instrument” for their guitar backing tracks.

“We reached out to [Nili Brosh] and she was into it. She was in the middle of something and threw us some tracks back. And it was pretty exciting to get them back because once we threw those into [the show], it was the last thing in,” Grush explained. “It was just like, ‘This is really wonderful.’ And I think we will do a lot with that in the upcoming seasons, hopefully.”

Watch the entire conversation above.

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