Over the course of its five seasons, “True Blood” has consistently been one of the best shows on television not only for fans of vampires but for music fans as well. Each episode is named after a song title, and a number of artists have contributed new recordings to the show. Every Monday during season six, Radio.com will speak with “True Blood” Music Supervisor Gary Calamar, who has been nominated for GRAMMYs twice for his work on the show. To see our weekly recaps from season five, go here.
Season one’s premiere episode was titled “Who Are You, Really?” That was a question that Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) was asking of her former paramour Bill Compton (played by her real-life husband, Stephen Moyer, who also directed the episode). At the end of last season, Compton appeared to die, only to be immediately resurrected with even greater powers. In the season premiere, when Sookie comes face to face with Bill, she is skeptical that it is actually the vampire she used to love. So “Who Are You, Really?” by Mikky Ekko seems to be a fitting song for all this.
But as Gary Calamar tells Radio.com, there was originally different music planned for the season premiere, but a change of the episode’s title necessitated a change of plans. “This was an interesting situation,” he said. “The first script for season six was originally titled ‘Don’t Let me Be Misunderstood,’ and we went ahead and recorded a beautiful, ‘True Blood-y’ new version of the song with Eric Burdon (who of course sang the original Animals version) with Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, Postal Service). We were thrilled with the new version.”
But, as is often the case in TV production, things changed. “The producers decided to re-work the first episode and it was no longer titled ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,’” Calamar explained. However, the Burdon/Lewis duet version is available on the latest True Blood soundtrack, and Calamar reports that it will appear later in the season.
“Who Are You, Really?” was an early single by Mikky Ekko, who raised his profile by collaborating with Rihanna on her hit single “Stay” and performing the song with her at the GRAMMYS earlier this year. Of “Who Are You, Really?,” Calamar said, “I tried many other songs with similar themes, but this one hit the bullseye. It was a beautiful fit, and it is great to help spread the word on Mikky.”
Other episode titles for this season include “At Last,” “You’re No Good,” “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “F*** The Pain Away,” so take those as clues as to what other songs will be highlighted in future episodes.
True Blood airs every Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
– Brian Ives, Radio.com