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Exclusive Q&A with Gary Calamar about Soundtrack V.3 of True Blood

Exclusive Q&A with Gary Calamar about Soundtrack V.3 of True Blood

We’re all excited for the new CD of the True Blood Soundtrack Volume 3 to come out next Tuesday, September 6.  I have the past two CD’s from the show and just love the choices made by Gary Calamar, True Blood’s Music Supervisor.  I asked Gary if he would answer a few questions for us about Volume 3 and about the process of choosing the music for the show and he kindly agreed.


Below is my Q&A with Gary:


LYNNPD: Do you agree that there has been an evolution in the sound or style of music used on True Blood from season 1 to Season 4? If so, can you talk about it?

GARY CALAMAR: I think the basic sound of the show has been consistent throughout the 4 seasons. The patrons of Merlottes and Fangtasia are still hearing True Blood’s brand of bad ass country and goth, death metal. Of course as we run into different creatures and situations the music selections expand but it’s all part of the Bon Temps music palette.


LYNNPD: In the past, the soundtrack has represented songs mostly from one season. But the Volume 3 CD has only four songs are from Season 3 and the rest, excluding Bad Things, of course, are from Season 4. Why isn’t there a season Season 3 only soundtrack? What was part of the decision to make this change?

GARY CALAMAR: This season we decided to release the soundtrack to coincide with the season finale as opposed to volumes 1 and 2 which were released prior to the new season. As I was putting the track list together I wanted to pick the songs that represented the different styles and had strong impact in the show, as well as songs that I felt could work well together as an album. We’ve always titled the soundtracks by “volumes” as opposed to “seasons” so we wouldn’t be tied down to a particular season for the song choices.


LYNNPD: Thanks for choosing my favorite songs from Season 3 to be included in Volume 3, 9 Crimes and Paradise Circus. Were there songs from Season 3 that you would have liked to include and couldn’t? If so, what are they?

GARY CALAMAR: There were some hard decisions to be made when narrowing down songs for this soundtrack. There were many great songs from season 3 that were in the running. Songs by Wanda Jackson, Alejandro Escovedo, Those Darlins, Galactic, to name a few, were strong contenders but we’ve only got room for 14 songs. Hopefully some of these songs will appear on future volumes.


LYNNPD:  Season 3 included some original songs, Bob Dylan’s “Everything is Broken” or remakes of older songs like Jace Everett’s and CC Adcock’s “Evil.” Then in Season 4, there are two more “And When I Die” and “She’s Not There?” This seems to have started a trend. Can we expect more to come for Season 5? Will there be more original versions of songs done? Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in the recording end of the new renditions done this year for “And When I Die” and “She’s Not There?” Did you get the artists together, or did they seek you out?

GARY CALAMAR: Yes it does appear that there is a trend to cover some classic songs, but it is not something we had talked about. As you know all show titles are named after a song in the episode. “She’s Not There” and “And When I Die” came from the writers Alex Woo and Raelle Tucker and I thought it would be a great idea to record new “true blood” versions of these songs for the show and the soundtrack. In both of these cases I had reached out to these artists, Neko Case, Nick Cave, The Heavy, because I thought they would be appropriate for these songs and the show. The original versions are great but it makes things more interesting and fun for me to create new versions. Hopefully the fans feel the same way. We also have a sneak preview into next season with a great new song written for us by Jakob Dylan and Gary Louris (from the Jayhawks). It’s beautiful and one of my favorites on the album


LYNNPD: Many have expressed interest for more songs from the episodes to be released on a True Blood CD. Is it possible that we might at some time get a double CD or a compilation of all or most of the songs?

GARY CALAMAR: I would love to see more volumes of the soundtracks, double albums or even a box set some day. The record business is of course going through major changes these days so it doesn’t always make business sense for a record company to do these releases but I would love to see it happen. Either way I’m sure there will be Volume 4 ready for next season.


This soundtrack is available to be pre-ordered from the HBO Shop.

And also at Amazon  

Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at

7 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    September 01, 2011

    Gary’s musical choices for True Blood are really interesting, the song sets the mood for a scene and it can’t be an easy job to find the right music for each scene.

    I’ve come to enjoy various styles of music thanks to Gary, I also often listen to his weekly radio show on KCRW. Worth checking it out.


  2. Avatar
    September 02, 2011

    Really enjoyed this interview!! I am always looking forward to the music they will be using and the guessing games the fans go thru with the episode titles. I guess I read it right that the Titles come first then they find the right song with that title?


  3. Avatar
    September 02, 2011

    The music is perfect as it is…..leave it please


  4. Avatar
    September 02, 2011

    I’m an old gal who goes back to the 40’s and 50’s in my music interests and choices, with a few more modern offerings. Mr. Calamar has helped bring me up to speed with his amazing selections for True Blood. The music is part of the wonderful tapestry that is this very special show. I salute him and his associates for their creativity and dedication to True Blood.

    Thanks for providing this wondering interview, Lynn.


  5. Avatar
    September 02, 2011

    I’m a big fan of the True Blood soundtracks and have both Volumes 1 & 2. Looking forward to Volume 3 being available on iTunes! Thanks, Gary, for the interesting insights in to the music selections.


  6. Avatar
    September 02, 2011

    I think Gary must have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I’m always interested in hearing what songs he’s chosen & have come to love quite a few. Looking forward to the new release & will add it to the previous ones. Thanks Lynn :-)


  7. Avatar
    September 02, 2011

    I am a big fan of “Bill’s Entrance” in the first season. Very smooth and innocent. I also like “First Taste”. Classical for me.


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