They say dying is easy; comedy is hard. Well, last night’s episode—“The Devil You Know”—flipped that debate on its head. On one side of the coin, Jeremy Davies (Dickie Bennett) and Damon Herriman (Dewey Crowe) find comedy with ease while on-the-run after their recent prison escape. Alternatively, Boyd’s storyline navigates the dark depths of drama as he struggles with a traitor amongst his crew.
Well, when it comes to weaving a bit of comedic relief into a dramatic tale, Shakespeare does it best. But Justified Producer Taylor Elmore is a close second! If you’re not laughing when Dewey squirms with panic, trapped inside a black, coroner’s bag… check your pulse.
To find out more about writing for comedy, take a look at the newest blog video where I interview Taylor Elmore and get a behind-the-scenes look at his episode, “The Devil You Know”.
If you’ve watched Justified, you know the theme song. I’d even venture so far to guess that you’ve found yourself on a Tuesday night stompin’ that foot as the teaser rolls out and the bass kicks in.
Yes, you probably know the Justified theme song, but do you know the man behind the tune? Well, you should…
T.O.N.E.-z is a Bronx-based rapper born to make music. Some people just are. His collaboration with Gangstagrass led to the creation of “Long Hard Times to Come” (you guessed it… Justified’s theme song). When Graham Yost heard the song for the first time, he knew he had found his show’s theme. Sometimes it just fits.
Here at Justified we’ve got a lot of love for T.O.N.E-z. And we think you should show him a little love too. You can check out his music at www.tone-z.com and on his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TonezIsHipHop (Don’t forget to hit that “Like” button). If you dig what you’re hearing, increase the love—his album, “High Voltage”, is available on iTunes now. Also, keep an eye out for T.O.N.E-z as he makes a cameo in this week’s episode, “The Devil You Know”.
An Interview with T.O.N.E-z
ME: Hey T.O.N.E-z, tell us a little about yourself? How did you get into music?
T.O.N.E-z: I’m from and still live in the Bronx New York. Music is something that you are born with; it’s something that’s in your soul, your spirit. My evolution stems from life, the more I grow as a person and learn about life it automatically attaches to my passion & lyrical creativity.
ME: What other artists have influenced your music?
T.O.N.E-z: Michael Jackson, Freddy Mercury & Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, KRS1.
ME: All great musicians to draw from. So, what’s the story behind “Long Hard Times To Come”?
T.O.N.E-z: Well I received an email from Rench [of Gangstagrass] about FX wanting to use a song we did named “On The Run” for the commercials to “Justified”. Once they used it, it became an underground classic. Keep in mind those lyrics were from 2004 and the commercial was 2010.
Since it became such a hit FX contacted us to record the theme song. Rench sent me a raw drum loop with a baseline and I literally came up with the lyrics on the spot—no pen, no paper—and spit them out along with the chorus in 24 minutes! I was trying to catch an episode of Seinfeld, so I did the lyrics in one take. FX accepted it and the rest is history.
Working with Gangstagrass is great. Rench & some hired musicians do the music and I make the magic happen once my vocals are attached.
ME: When you first heard the JUSTIFIED theme song on-air, what was your reaction?
T.O.N.E-z: I was alone in my room and I literally jumped up screaming “Oh heeellll nah!!” I was and still am super excited every time I hear it.
ME: How did your fans react to “Long Hard Times to Come”?
T.O.N.E-z: They were and still are very proud and very impressed with my work as a lyricist.
ME: What are you working on now?
T.O.N.E-z: I have a new album out named “High Voltage” you can find it on iTunes, Amazon, etc. [I’m] getting a tour put together and hopefully doing more scenes on JUSTIFIED!
ME: So it’s not all music with you. This season you’ll be playing Barnes, one of Limehouse’s henchmen. What was that like?
T.O.N.E-z: First off I’d like to say thank you to Graham Yost, Greg Sill and the whole FX family! Barnes is one of Limehouse’s henchmen and all I can say is Mykelti Williamson, Timothy Olyphant, the whole crew were super cool, very down to earth, and just amazing. It’s an amazing team. On the set everyone showed me real love and were so kool, helpful, and also funny. Mykelti helped me with my lines; he’s a great guy.
ME: If Barnes had his own episode of JUSTIFIED, what would it be about?
T.O.N.E-z: I would without a doubt have Raylan be down with me and welcome him to the dark side. And Ava—OMG, I have the biggest crush on her— [would be] right by my side. Boyd would work at Chucky Cheese. So for 45 minutes on a Tuesday night at 10pm you would see me and Ava riding around doing hold ups—on some Bonnie & Clyde type shit—meeting up at the hotel room and Boyd delivering pizza to us so we can eat and count our money! As for the rest of the cast they’d be doing the complete opposite of their roles. In other words it would be a bizzaro/Twilight Zone episode!
Come on in and sit a spell! We best catch up a bit before the new season is at our door…
Well, while you were gone, Justified kept things rolling during the hiatus. The big news first: the ever-talented Margo Martindale, who played Mags Bennett in Season 2, took home a chunk of gold in the form of an Emmy after winning Best Supporting Actress. Our sincerest congratulations go out to Ms. Martindale!
And the awards keep a-coming… the Justified mantle now also includes the CableFax Program Award for “Best Show or Series – Drama”, a Television Critics Award and the #9 spot in New York Magazine’s Top 10 Television Shows of 2011. Oh, and I should mention: Time Magazine called Justified the #4 show of 2011, graciously including the Season 2 finale in this year’s Top 10 TV episodes. Yes, the year 2011 has been a plentiful one! And we owe a great portion of the show’s success to you—the Justified fans!
So, this year more than any other, we welcome you back! We usher your return to the world of Harlan with eager, knowing smiles because this season, we’ve got a lot to grin about. In Season 2, Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens squared off against criminal matriarch Mags Bennett . The season finale brought about the end of the Bennett family’s hold over Harlan County and the return of Raylan’s old nemesis/friend Boyd Crowder to the criminal life. Now with control of the Harlan underworld up for grabs, it just may surprise you to see who makes a play for power.
This season the show will raise the stakes and the Justified blog looks to follow suit! Check back throughout the season as we chronicle the making of Justified’s third season with cast interviews, scene breakdowns, behind-the-scenes footage and a whole slew of good watchin’.
And this year, we would like you to be a part of the blogging! Send your questions, comments and thoughts about all things Justified to JustablogOnFX@gmail.com and you might just see your response pop up on the blog.
The highly anticipated third season of Justified airs January, 17th at 10p on FX. Check local listings for channel information. In the meantime, below are a few Season 3 Teaser Promos that’ll get you in the mood. And, if that isn’t enough, Season 2 DVDs are available for purchase starting January 3rd. Pre-order your copy at the FX shop online now!