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From The Mouth Of The Mouse

The Music of Phineas and Ferb with Danny Jacob

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by , 02-21-2012 at 06:12 AM
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Hello, and welcome to this week's [B]'From The Mouth Of The Mouse!'[/B]

Each week, we spotlight a different Cast Member story to give you more insight into some of your favorite attractions, resorts, and movies from all over the Walt Disney Company.

We FINALLY have a BRAND NEW episode of the podcast for you as well. That's right, a brand new interview for you to enjoy.

This week, we talk to Danny Jacob, composer for my favorite show currently on the Disney Channel, Phineas and Ferb!

Danny is quite an accomplished musician, with a career going back well before Phineas and Ferb. [/FONT][/SIZE][FONT=verdana]In this excerpt from a longer interview (which is available as a new podcast!), he talks to us about how he got started with Phineas and Ferb.

After reading the article below, listen to the podcast to hear more about Danny's [/FONT][FONT=verdana]past touring with music legends such as Cher, Bette Midler and George Michael. As well as learning about Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marshís ingenious song writing process for the show, the film Phineas And Ferb Across The 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Dimension, and much more!
[/FONT][/SIZE] [CENTER][SIZE=3][FONT=verdana][URL=""]Listen to the podcast on iTunes[/URL][/FONT][/SIZE]

[SIZE=3][SIZE=3] And now, here's Danny!

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JEFF: How did you get started with music to begin with?[/I][INDENT][B]
DANNY: [/B]I've been a professional guitar player my whole life, way before becoming a composer. I still do it now. Thatís the heart of everything about me, the guitar. I started when I was 13, and by 16, I started making a living doing it, and have been doing it my whole life. I've had a great, colorful career as a guitar player, and it's been great to sort of us that to launch me into composing.[/INDENT]

JEFF: Before Phineas and Ferb, you toured with many music legends such as Cher and Bette Midler. Do you use some of those influences in the music for the show?
DANNY:[/B] Absolutely. Everybody comes to being a composer from a different place. Mine was from being a guitar player. I always have a guitar in my hand. Up until the last half hour, before the interview, I was playing on a new Phineas song! But if I ever draw a blank on something Iím writing for the show, its great to just be able to grab the guitar and have it to draw inspiration from. It'll usually open up some doors for me

[I]JEFF: How did you get hooked up with the show to begin with?[/I][INDENT][B]
DANNY:[/B] I had been working as a song writer for Disney for quite a while before the show came along. Some of my first big things were the theme song to the [I]Lilo and Stitch[/I] TV show and [I]Emperor's New School[/I]. I was sort of the go to song writer and producer for them for awhile. I started to ghost as a composer for other composers because I wanted to do the whole gamut, and not just songs. I kept bugging my boss that I wanted to seriously get into composing and he kept saying he'd find the right one for me. Finally, when Dan and Swampy, the creators of the show, got the green light, my boss pitched me as the composer. What sealed the deal was that they write their own songs, and they gave me little demos of the Gitchee Gitchee Goo and Perry the Platypus songs. I did those two big numbers for them based on their demos, which are the ones used in the show now. That got me the gig. The scary part was, now that I got the job, I had to do the whole underscore for each episode too! So I really worked hard on the first episode and it was magical. Everything just worked.[/INDENT]

JEFF: So, the versions of those two songs we hear today were the first pieces you made for the show?[/I][INDENT][B]
DANNY:[/B] Yeah, they are pretty close to the original! Sometimes I get little subtle fixes, like try more guitar here, but we were basically on the same page from the get go. We had the same idea for everything. It was pretty magical.

[I]JEFF: Youíve written over 300 songs for the show at this point. How do you make sure every song stays fresh, and, for the lack of a better word, that every song is good? I donít think Ive ever heard a song on the show that I disliked, so you do a pretty amazing job of it![/I][INDENT]
[B]DANNY:[/B] I want to stress that a lot of the songs are written by Dan and Swampy. I produce, arrange, and conceptualize the whole sound of the show, including the songs. I basically play all the instruments, and decide what the tempo should be. But it seems so effortless sometimes. I mean, it is a lot of hard work, we do work really hard, but itís amazing because a lot of stuff just happens and falls into place naturally, and there is just this unspoken communication we have when they write a song, I know where they want to go with it. Combine that with their music ability. They have strong musical ideas. Dan and Swampy know what they want usually, and if they donít, they listen to my ideas and we just run with it.[/INDENT]

JEFF: The music is an integral part of the show. Itís not a throwaway like on some shows. The show is very song driven, and the musical segments are always a highlight of the episodes. Do they write the songs for the episodes after the fact or the other way around?[/I][INDENT][B]
DANNY: [/B]There is a rhyme to that, and that is the songs are always written produced and arranged first. So, on a song level, itís almost like a music video. Theyíll animate to the song after the fact, and write the episodes around them. But thatís just featured songs. The orchestral underscore is, of course, written and recorded after the fact, when the episode is completed.[/INDENT]
I donít think anyone realized that there was going to be a song per episode until Gitchee Gitchee Goo and Perry the Platypus really took off. But it was a formula that really worked.

[I]JEFF: Do you have any songs that are a favorite of yours?[/I][INDENT]
[B]DANNY:[/B] Yes, there is one song called Come Home Perry that I co-wrote, and itís a very sweet song. That means a lot to me. Another is one that Candace sings, called Me, Myself and I. There are so many songs, itís hard to choose! If I had a list in front of me, the interview would go on forever!

[I]JEFF: As for the orchestral scores, are there any characters that you enjoy writing for the best?[/I][INDENT][B]
DANNY:[/B] Well, Dr. Doofenshmirtz is great. All the characters I take really seriously, even though they are funny. Dr. Doofenmirtz I like because I treat his music as sort of a Hans Zimmer, eastern European, scary sound, almost. But he'll always do something dumb! Instead of playing the whole thing silly, I do it serious, but then I'll stop for the joke or the inevitable self destruct button he puts into his latest invention. So I make it serious, like he really will take over the tri-state areaÖuntil he fails! I love him. I also love Candace, because she is so extreme and neurotic. I kind of have a Wicked Witch kind of thing going for her music, and I love being able to play up to that. Especially when I play up to her sweetness, because she really is a sweet person.

JEFF: Aside from the composing, you do a lot of singing on the show, too! My Nemesis is quite possibly my favorite P&F song![/I][INDENT]
[B]DANNY:[/B] Oh yes, I do a lot of singing. And I love that song too, you got one that I forgot about. Iím the singing voice of Ferb, too. Heís a man of few words, but I make them count.[/INDENT]

Thank you, Danny , for sharing with us!

To learn more about Danny, visit his website at [URL][/URL][/FONT][FONT=verdana]

If you enjoyed the interview, we'd love to hear from you below. Are you P&F fans?

Be sure to [URL=""]listen to the podcast[/URL] to hear more of Danny's great stories![/FONT][/SIZE] [SIZE=3][FONT=verdana]And don't forget to come back each week to hear more of the magic directly [B]From the Mouth of the Mouse[/B].

Be sure to LIKE the brand new [URL=""][B]'From the Mouth of The Mouse' [/B]Facebook page[/URL] for more information on the meet up! [URL=""]

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If you are, or know, a Cast Member who would like to share some of their stories and possibly be featured right here on MiceChat, please email me at [EMAIL="[email protected]"][email protected][/EMAIL]. I'd love to hear from you!

Jeff also writes a MiceChat column titled [URL=""][B]The 626[/B][/URL]. We invite you to check it out!

Jeff also co-hosts the VidCast [URL=""]Communicore Weekly[/URL] on [URL=""]MiceTube[/URL].




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Updated 02-21-2012 at 10:10 PM by Dustysage



  1. NetteNutt's Avatar
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    I so love Phineas and Ferb! I truely think it is the best show on Disney Channel right now.
  2. sir clinksalot's Avatar
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    Great Interview. Agreed, so Love Phineas and Ferb!!!
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    The brilliance of this show is that it works as well for adults as it does for its intended kid audience.

    It's the humor and great original music that really set this show apart. The animation may be simple, but the rest is well rounded. Great show!
  4. disneygirl's Avatar
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    I love the show! I watch it without my kids sometimes. I have some of the music on my ipod. It's such a great show.