The profile of The Civil Wars has been raised considerably over the course of the last year. In fact, it was one year ago when the band was named our You Oughta Know artist and performed an intimate set here in our lobby on the 20th floor of VH1 headquarters here in New York City. Since that fateful day, the band has exploded in popularity, taking home two Grammys and recording not one but TWO songs for the wildly popular soundtrack to The Hunger Games. Their full VH1 Unplugged set (brought to you by State Farm) will premiere here on VH1 Tuner tomorrow, but until then, we have this sneak peak of their song from said soundtrack, “Kingdom Come,” for you above.
When we attended the taping, we asked them about the refrain of the song, which goes “Don’t you fret, my dear / It’ll all be over soon / I’ll be waiting here for you.” Clearly, this line can be read a couple of different ways, from the very optimistic to the, well, sorta haunting. What was it that inspired this particular line?
“The first thing that came to mind was this overwhelming sense of ‘survival mode,'” John Paul White explained to us. “We knew that we wanted that to be the overlying theme of what we did. We didn’t want to be completely specific as to who we’re singing about, or who is singing to whom. And that’s the way we went about it.” (Video of this moment below.)
We also asked them about the song “Safe & Sound,” which saw them partnered up with none other than Taylor Swift. “It all came about in a really organic, fun way,” Joy Williams told us. “We had finished ‘Kingdom Come,’ and had already worked with [Hunger Games soundtrack producer] T-Bone Burnett. So when Taylor and T-Bone got together, before they sat down to create, they thought about ‘What if we brought in some other people?’ So we were contacted by Taylor, and just happened to be in L.A. that day ’cause we had a show later that night. So we went over to T-Bone’s studio, and had it recorded —vocal, guitar, harmonies, all of thatק within four hours.”
You’ll be able to watch VH1 Unplugged: The Civil Wars right here on VH1 Tuner on Tuesday, May 1. The show will make its on-air premiere on VH1 on Wednesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. ET/PT, and will premiere on Palladia on Saturday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
[Photo: Colin Gray/VH1]