My Mechanical Friend

Album: Frankenweenie (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • Nocturnals frontwoman Grace Potter wrote this song for the soundtrack of Tim Burton's 2012 animated remake of his short movie, Frankenweenie. The film tells the tale of a boy named Victor who loses his dog and uses the power of science to bring it back to life. Speaking with The Boot, Potter downplayed the difficulty of writing for somebody else's story. "I know it's strange, but I've always had a better time with other people's wild ideas. Coming up with my own is a deeply emotional and challenging thing to do," she said. "I saw the film before it was edited, in its entirety with the stuff behind the curtain. The writing of the movie and that overwhelming creepiness of a Tim Burton movie ... I wanted this song to be as creepy as the premise of the movie. So I started thinking about the mechanics of having a Frankenstein dog. The dog dies, and the kid wants to bring him back to life - that's something we all can relate to. You don't want something to go away, so you hold it up and try to make it work again."
  • Potter recorded her demo during an airplane flight, then upon landing, she received a text from her friend Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips. "He always sends me crazy photos - and he sent me a picture of a brain in a jar," she recalled to The Boot. "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I've gotta get this guy on the track! He's so on my wavelength right now!' So I sent the demo to him, and he and the Flaming Lips worked their magic on it."

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