Matt FX (Interview)
Words by Clover Hope.
When Broad City’s wild exhibitionist co-lead Ilana Glazer has a chance to hook up with Blake Griffin in season 3, instead of sleeping together, they spend the entire night dancing, sipping tea and playing naked piggyback. It all happens under the backdrop of an obscure Baltimore club track. The show’s music supervisor, Matt FX makes those adventurous scenes pop, as part of a what he describes as “a very left-brain, right-brain type job.”
“The Blake Griffin scene is pure joy and silliness,” Matt explains. “Once it was established that intercourse was not gonna be possible, they were just like, alright, well, fuck it, we’ll do anything else. That’s the most hilarious thing ever and that’s why the club tune made sense to me.”
Fortunately, Broad City has liberty to steer in silly or serious directions. Creators Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson give Matt near carte blanche to score magic. With sex scenes, his goal is to bring out, rather than overshadow, a scene’s emotions. “There are plenty of love songs, plenty of sexy songs, but that isn’t necessarily what the scene needs,” he says. “Speaking to where the protagonist is going and coming from is where the song is going to resonate most authentically.”
Here, we posed three possible Broad City romantic scenarios to Matt and challenged him to find a song that best captures the moment.
Scenario No. 1: Ilana attends a seven-year high school reunion and hooks up with a former crush who’s gone from dumb jock to head of a Silicon Valley tech company. They hook up in the gym or on the stairway.
Matt FX: If it’s the first time they’ve ever hooked up, it would be really funny to use a song from that period. This is a pretty hypothetical situation, so I feel like we can have a hypothetical budget as well. I just Googled charting songs of 2009 and “Love Lockdown” is a funny idea for that. You’d have to imagine that the music is playing out of the gym speakers. It’s not even full-on montage. It’s almost like background music, you know. I would imagine there’s joke dialogue throughout the scene.
Scenario No. 2: Abbi vacations in San Diego and meets a long-haired surfer dude who carries his surfboard everywhere. She thinks he’s a doofus but she’s always wanted to screw a surfer.They spend the episode running into problems while trying to rent a hotel room before finally having a one-night-er.
There’s this label called Multi Culti from Montreal and I recently got into them. I was away for a weekend at this baby Burning Man experience. This music got played all night long in one of the tents and I gotta say, by the end of the night I was pretty convinced. There’s a song that has some ridiculous singing on it. The label is about to launch this huge compilation called Moon Faze Sun Gaze. I would go with the last two minutes of a song called “Glass Walk” by Manfredas. This is very hippie dippie dance music that I imagine a surfer dude who’s insufferably obnoxious, but still somewhat charming, would like. Like, the last couple minutes once the sitar comes in. The bassline, as well, is very silly and sassy and you could do a funny scene, sort of like a more awkward version of the Ilana and Blake Griffin scene, to a song like this with Abbi talking.
Scenario No. 3: Lincoln and Ilana reunite after bumping into each other at the beach and decide they want reunion sex. They wait at the beach all day until people leave so they can bone on the sand.
That’s an interesting one. It’s nighttime, right? There’s a good chance that the comedy isn’t really in the music because if they’re finally reuniting, it’s been funny all day while they’ve been waiting. This might be a real moment. There’s a song that came out a few months ago called “Cherry Juice.” It’s by Nick Monaco and David Marston. It’s a little bit more indie serious than I think most of the music would be on Broad City. But I imagine that by the time [Ilana and Lincoln] get to the nighttime when they’re about to have sex, you don’t really see much of it. There’s a few lines of seriousness and then the last line or two are comic relief and then it cuts to commercial. A song like this would work really well under those serious lines and give you that sort of real energy.