Inspired by the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G Bissinger, the 2004 highly acclaimed sports film Friday Night Lights told the story of the 1988 Permian High School football team from Odessa, Texas. After almost twenty years, Friday Night Lights is still said to be one of the greatest sports films of all time. The book and film also led to NBC’s Friday Night Lights, which ran from 2006-2011 respectively. Although it was all incredible, some people have pointed out the music that was featured in the 2004 film. That music was created by instrumental rock band, Explosions in the Sky.
Who is Explosions in the Sky?
Forming in 1999, Chris Hrasky, Michael James, Munaf Rayani, and Mark Smith got their band name from a reference to noise or sight of fireworks on the night they recorded their first track. The quartette went on to release their debut studio album How Strange, Innocense in 2000, receiving favorable reviews from most critics and fans. They would go on to gain a reputation amongst other instrumental rock bands and media attention based on controversial work from their second album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever. However, their third studio album, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, would be the album that changes their lives forever.
Not long after the release of their third album, they were contacted by producer Brian Reitzell, who asked if the band would like to do music for the future film. All of the members were familiar with the book and from Texas, which was what convinced them to join in. Sticking to their songwriting style, the band received praise from the music industry. After the success of the 2004 soundtrack, the band went on to take part in three more film soundtracks over a two-year span. Due to the television show adaption, nine of their songs off of the film’s soundtrack were featured in the hit television show.
What Was the Inspiration Behind their Friday Night Lights Tracks?
The group was already excited to contribute to the film soundtrack due to some of the members being in Texas at the same time these events were happening. Although they kept to their original style, they were given the option to work with rare music equipment. Instead, they went into creation by sticking to their personalities and staying true to their Texas roots. In a way, they took their own memories of their life in Texas and used those memories to write and record the music. From storms to sunsets, the band was able to find it easy when writing for the film due to how those thoughts of theirs had always been there with them.
Another interesting part about their inspiration is how they went into isolation mode while creating their tracks. It was reported that Reitzell kept them isolated from studio executives for Explosions to do their own thing without any distractions. In a way, this could be considered as a factor in staying true to the band’s musical style. Even though the band has never let other people influence the way they make their music, this was their first film soundtrack. That, along with their connection to Texas, may have been a bit nerve-racking. The good news? Their inspiration and isolation worked out for the better!
What Are Explosions in the Sky Doing Now?
Although they have not released an albuEven though they were not receiving chances to compose film scores, the band produced and participated in three more film soundtracks; those films are Prince Avalanche, Lone Survivor, and Manglehorn. Although they have not released an album since 2016, the band is still active on social media! One notable post from Nov. 2020 was their third studio album’s anniversary, including their breakout hits. “Your Hand in Mine” has continued to be in films and commercials. Last year, the song was featured in the film The King of Staten Island, starring Pete Davidson. With new music yet to be released, their future music will likely continue to be unique and narrative. Until that day comes, feel free to enjoy the rest of their Friday Night Lights soundtrack here.
Seems kind of weird to be posting this today, but this record came out 17 years ago today. Thanks for caring. pic.twitter.com/OwHAjbAiKL
— ExplosionsInTheSky (@EITS) November 4, 2020