Sturgill Simpson has a very simple life lesson he wants to impart on the title track to director Jim Jarmusch's new zombie film, The Dead Don't Die: "Oh, the dead don't die/ Anymore than you or I/ They're just ghosts inside a dream/ Of a life that we don't own." That's what Simpson drawls on the classic country track that was released on Thursday (June 13) in advance of Friday's (June 14) big screen debut of the indie darling's all-star undead film.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on his Apple Beats 1 radio show, Simpson said he got the call from Jarmusch asking if he'd be interested in writing a song for his movie. "I think I said yes before he even got the question out," Simpson, an avowed Jarmusch superfan, said. "I've always love his work, probably since I was too young to even understand or be watching."
Knowing that the song had to carry the title of the film made writing it a bit easier, but after reading the script Simpson was challenged by writing a track that was not from his personal perspective. "This was fun. It was a lot of fun," he said. "I just saw the film a couple nights ago for the first time, and one of the more surreal experiences since this ride all kind of started, so I don't want to give anything away for people that haven't seen the movie, but I read this script about this end of the world apocalypse and just thought it would be interesting to make this really sweet sort of melancholy countrypolitan song, you know, to juxtapose all that. Like something really sweet and beautiful."