It’s good to have nice neighbors. It’s even better when your neighbor is a composer who asks you to write a song for a movie with him.
So discovered Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, who has written “A Job To Do,” the end-title song to John Wick: Chapter 2 with Tyler Bates, who also scored the film. Billboard exclusively premieres the song below.
“I moved houses a few years ago and ended up meeting my new neighbor, Tyler,” Cantrell tells Billboard. “He did the first [John Wick] movie and a song with Marilyn Manson, [‘Killing Strangers’] that I thought really fit the film. He mentioned there was going to be a sequel and maybe we could work it out.”
Cantrell and Bates wrote the music together for the heavy, mid-tempo track and then Cantrell, who is also working on a new Alice In Chains’ album, tackled the lyrics from the perspective of Keanu Reeves’ title character, a hit man who reluctantly comes out of retirement in order to battle an international assassins group. The song opens with an acoustic guitar and drums before steadily building to a dense explosion of sound. “I see you, just another job to do, trying not to give myself away,” Cantrell sings.
Writing specifically for a movie “was kind of fun,” Cantrell says. “It almost felt like an assignment that I gave to myself. It’s not unlike how I normally write from a personal point of view, whether mine or someone else’s.”
Cantrell didn’t see the Chad Stahelski-directed movie before writing the song, but was familiar enough with the character from the first film to get inside his head for the sequel. Cantrell had previously written “Leave Me Alone” for 1996’s The Cable Guy, as well as collaborated with Damageplan for “Ashes To Ashes” from 2004’s Punisher.
“A Job To Do” is featured on the film’s soundtrack, which comes out Friday (Feb. 10) on Varese Sarabande digitally, the same day the movie opens in theaters. A physical version will be released March 3.