The two-minute trailer for David Fincher’s “The Social Network” features shots of alcohol-filled college parties, scantily clad teenage girls and Justin Timberlake — seemingly the perfect recipe for a light teen comedy. Yet as a cover of Radiohead‘s “Creep” plays in the background -performed by a women’s choir with minimal instrumentation – the preview takes on a haunting feeling that complements the drama’s profile of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.
The spooky cover has helped the trailer earn 1.1 million YouTube views since its July release, and its creators — 200-member Belgian girls’ choir Scala and its classically trained leaders the Kolacny Brothers — have been given an unexpected opportunity to find an American audience. On the eve of the Oct. 1 release of the Columbia Pictures film, the act has inked a U.S. deal with Rhino Entertainment imprint ATCO Records, Billboard can exclusively confirm.
As ATCO prepares for the fall release of “Circle,” the group’s latest batch of covers and original compositions, Rhino Entertainment president/CEO Kevin Gore believes the placement of “Creep” in “The Social Network” trailer will be the first of many for the act.
“Familiar songs always have good opportunities behind them,” Gore says, “and Scala & Kolacny Brothers have been able to give their covers that unique twist.”
Pianist Steven Kolacny and conductor Stijn Kolacny held their first rehearsal with the then-18-member Scala Choir in April 1996. After strictly working with classical music and winning a Belgian choir competition in 2000, Steven started arranging rock songs to fit the choral format in 2001.
“It was just boring to do what all the other choirs were doing,” he says. “We made the first rock arrangements not really knowing what the results would be. I wanted to use [the choir] as a sort of solo singer, but with multiple voices behind it.”
In 2002, after a friend gave him a bootleg of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke performing an acoustic version of “Creep,” Steven decided to cover the song with Scala Choir’s layered vocals and a driving piano line. Eight years and multiple Scala Choir albums later, the group was contacted by Mark Woollen, who was putting together a campaign for “The Social Network” and professed to being a longtime fan of the group’s arrangements.
Steven says that Woollen and director Fincher were looking for a “strange, creepy atmosphere” to match the trailer, and “Creep” best captured the mood out of nearly 70 arrangements the group had to offer. The movie trailer was followed by the Sept. 28 release of the film’s score by Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor.
Scala co-manager Glenn Stone says the group, which played its first North American concert last year, was “overwhelmed by interest” once the trailer debuted.
“I’ve never seen a reaction like it,” says Stone, who manages the group with Maurice Keizer. “Every blog that reviews film trailers started its review of this trailer by talking about the music. We’ve gotten barraged with synch offers.”
Released last May in Belgium, “Circle” features the choir riffing on rock hits like Kings of Leon‘s “Use Somebody,” Nirvana‘s “Lithium” and Metallica‘s “Nothing Else Matters.” A bonus disc includes Steven Kolacny’s original compositions, which Gore believes can earn film and TV placements as well. The Kolacny Brothers’ “Our Last Fight,” for example, will be featured in a November episode of FX show “Sons of Anarchy.”
The U.S. release of “Circle” will also include “Creep” as a bonus track. “It would be stupid not to when so many people are asking for it,” Steven says. Scala Choir & Kolacny Brothers are also planning to tour the States next spring, playing a mix of original material and choral covers.