Nathan Williams, the mastermind behind lo-fi act Wavves, will compose songs and write the score for MTV's new scripted series "I Just Want My Pants Back." In turn, MTV will virally promote the San Diego surf-punk band.
The pilot of the show will premiere Sunday night after MTV's Video Music Awards telecast and will include the new Wavves song "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl," which MTV will offer as a free download on its soundtrack blog. The full series will begin airing in 2012.
Taking the title of "guest composer," Williams says he quickly had 20 songs together in two days after seeing the pilot, some brand new and others from unused demos. He agreed to do the show after hearing the title and "understanding it as a work of fiction, not necessarily characters I could relate to."
"I Just Want My Pants Back," which follows a group of post-grads living in Brooklyn, will have about 20 original compositions from Williams as well as songs from Wavves' upcoming EP, "Life Sux." The band will release the EP, which includes "Grohl," on their Ghost Ramp label Sept. 20.
Wavves was referenced in an early script of the pilot and a deal to bring Williams into the fold was sealed just as the show was going into production, says Joe Cuello, MTV's senior VP of Creative Music Integration.
"This type of collaboration is new for us," Cuello tells Billboard.com. "It speaks to the quality of the show -- it's an attempt to tell the story of the coolest crowd, and you really want an affirmation from the people who provide the soundtrack."
Based David J. Rosen's novel -- "saturated with hipster music and how it relates to these people," says Cuello -- the series focuses on the characters Jason Strider (Peter Vack), Tina (Kim Shaw), Eric (Jordan Carlos) and Stacey (Elisabeth Hower). Doug Liman ("Swingers," "Bourne Identity") is the producer and Nic Harcourt is the music supervisor; Rosen wrote the pilot.
While Cuello says "we're respectful of the way he works," Williams' task is to come up with score and songs based on "what he feels makes sense for the show."
"Having Nathan puts us in a position to introduce our audience to new bands and put (their music) in context," Cuello says, adding that beyond Matt & Kim, the playlists will be kept secret until they are posted on the soundtrack blog each week. "We're committed to giving away music on the soundtrack blog and doing real-time tweeting to push out links to get downloads while the show airs."
As for Grohl, Williams has never met him and he is quick to point out that the song is a piece of fiction involving two people. He's interested in meeting him: "I do like the bands he's been in."