With any movie or TV show, we all remember significant moments or an iconic scene in part because of the song that adds to the storytelling of a scene. In the TV series Daisy Jones & The Six, there’s not a moment that isn’t touched by music. Both original songs played by the fictional band and the familiar songs that we know and love from the 70s — it all drives the plot of the show, taking the viewer on a journey while tonally creating the emotional highs and lows as the fictional band that skyrockets to fame.
Music supervisor Frankie Pine, whose talents graced projects like the Academy Award-winning movie Traffic, Ocean’s films, Magic Mike, The Flight Attendant series, and so much more, was embedded in the process early on with creator Scott Neustadter. Not only did I get to work with Blake Mills, my executive music producer, and Tony Berg, the music consultant — I was a part of every single aspect of the show,” she said. “From the instrument selection to guitar straps to [the scope of] the stage [and the placement of the band], to working with the band, teaching the actors how to play this music, making them feel like a band. Then obviously the aftermath of picking all of these really great songs that just immerse you into the world of the 70s.”
The amount of care and research Pine, Neustadter, and the rest of the music team took to craft the bombastic sound of the series shows was a personal highlight which made it a pleasure to binge-watch. Frankie Pine sat down with Awards Radar to discuss the selection of music on the show, being nominated for Outstanding Music Supervision, her approach to research, and those Fleetwood Mac comparisons.
Niki Cruz: I’ve always been so fascinated by music moments in television and how it plays such a strong role in storytelling.
Frankie Pine: I think that is probably the best way that it’s described. To be honest with you that is the feeling. I think all of us music supervisors get when we finally see something to picture, and you’re just like, “Oh my god, I knew it was going to do that to me.” And that’s the best part about the gig, honestly.
NC: You’ve been in the industry for a long time on so many different projects that all of us know and love, from film to TV. How did you get started in the industry?
FP: I always say I tripped and fell because I was working in New York and I worked for a record label, and I was the girl that you called if you wanted to use a song that was on my label. One of my clients had called and said, “Hey, do you want to move to LA?” And I went, “What would I be doing?” They said, “You can choose whatever you want,” and I said, “Sounds like a great job; I’ll take it.” [Laughs] That was how I came out here. I was working for PolyGram Films instead of PolyGram Records. I learned from the best of the best in music supervision.
NC: There doesn’t seem to be a direct path. I’m assuming if you asked 15 music supervisors, they all have a different story to tell of how they got into the business.
FP: I’m sure they all do, you know. Because I’ve been doing it for a long time –there was a time period where most people didn’t even really know it was a job. I had to convince my mom for a really long time that it was an actual thing you do get paid for it. I think everybody starts off a little different, but nowadays, kind of the key role is being an assistant to another music supervisor. So, that’s really how you learn the hands-on experience.
It’s one thing to have great musical tastes, but you kind of have to have the whole package. It’s not only what’s the newest latest hip and happening thing, but also just kind of knowing it ahead of time, right? Because when you’re working on a movie, you don’t you know. If you pick what’s being played on the radio now, it isn’t really going to have the impact as much as something brand new that people are going to buy and listen.
NC: Ultimately, you are all tastemakers.
FP: It’s true. Obviously, like a show like Daisy — anything that’s kind of got a period aspect, there’s still tastemaking in that as well. It’s bringing those songs back in those perfect pivotal moments where people are going to always remember that moment in that song.
NC: Each project has such a specific musical language. For Daisy Jones, what was it like to develop that language and really bring emotion out and drive tone through music, especially since the 70s was sonically revolutionary?
FP: That was what was so great about the 70s. It was all kinds of music, and I remember Scott Neustadter, and I had a really early conversation. We wanted to represent that time period. Every scene was a specific year, so we needed to make sure that we weren’t going beyond that year. It was a lot of like digging and finding those songs that not everybody knows, but also kind of sprinkling in the songs that everybody does know because we wanted our band music to fit within that world as if they were on the same charts as those other songs.
We did a lot of research for each of the characters. Each of the characters got a playlist. For instance, there are songs Billy would have listened to when he was growing up in Pittsburgh. It was all very regional. I really reached out to find artists that maybe weren’t on the top 40 but were number one in that specific region. It just so all of our actors can kind of get a little bit of a bearing of where they were from.
NC: The playlist thing is so interesting to me. When you were doing individualized playlists is there one that really spoke to you or one that you had the most fun compiling, or one that was challenging?
FP: I think Daisy’s was the easiest because she was California. It was very easy to come up with that. It was a Laurel Canyon, California, empowered women playlist, that was kind of her story, The band Billy, Graham, Warren, and Eddie, was unique because that was Midwest regional. So, I would look up and see what other people were from Pittsburgh or who toured during that time period, like at a local bar. It was a deep dive. That’s the fun part about the gig. The Six was probably the most fun.
NC: And then you do have those big songs. Can you tell me about the inclusion of Heart’s “Crazy On You”, especially in episode six, which felt like a huge episode because it was a big turning point.
FP: It was a really big turning point. It was one of those things where we wanted to sprinkle in those songs that everybody knew and then just obviously represent the era. That was a complete turning point moment. Just the drive of that song. It feels like you’re going somewhere. So, I think that was the big part of why that song was put there; it’s “We’re moving forward now.”
NC: Of course, you have huge parallels to Fleetwood Mac, too. I was wondering, did you feel like you needed to get that Fleetwood Mac moment, right, because of that? Gold Dust Woman is such a great choice.
FP: Well, let me tell you, we really went into this kind of thinking; we’re not going to use any Fleetwood Mac. We didn’t want the parallel of that. We didn’t want to seem like we were ripping off, but it was just too perfect of a moment. We treated the scene where it was in slow motion. And I remember seeing it cut to picture for the first time, and I looked over at Scott, and I go, “Are we really going to do this?” And Scott was like, “I don’t know. What do you think?” That kind of slowness that Gold Dust Woman has and the way that we slo-mo’d the scene — it was almost just too perfect not to use it. We couldn’t pass it up. We just couldn’t.
NC: And then you lock picture, and the audience has a whole different kind of relationship with the series, and there are those Fleetwood comparisons. It really took off online, especially TikTok.
FP: Of course! And with those moments for us, we thought we were taking a risk, and I’m so glad that the risk did pay off.
NC: To top it all off, you’re nominated for the show. How does that feel?
FP: It’s kind of crazy. It’s the most encompassing music gig. When you’re doing a project of setting up a band camp and setting up coaches and keeping the actors motivated… we showed videos of other bands from that time period just for inspiration, and I think at one point the cast was kind of bored with band camp. They said, “Just let us do our thing.” That’s when I knew that they were a band.
NC: I would love to see that band go on tour once the timing is right.
FP: Me too!
[This interview was edited for length and clarity.]