How an 18 Month Old “Of Monsters & Men” Song Used in a Movie Trailer Became a Surprise Breakout

Of Monsters & Men's song "Dirty Paws," is being used in a trailer for a movie that will be released in December.

(from Billboard.com, September 13, 2013) The band Of Monsters and Men has already been seeing affects from the Ben Stiller movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which doesn’t go into theaters until Christmas. When the first “Walter Mitty” trailer released in August, the band’s song “Dirty Paws,” a song from their Republic Record debut album “My head is an Animal,” significantly rose in sales. The song was released a year-and-a-half ago but wasn’t right for radio play. According to Nielson SoundScan the song sold 34,000 downloads in August. This is an average of 6,700 a week, when previous to the movie trailer it was selling only 1,000 units a week.

The new popularity of the song drove alternative station KROQ Los Angeles to give the song seventeen spins of airplay in the last week of august. The song is also on SoundCloud tagged for the “Walter Mitty” soundtrack. There are three official versions of the trailer on YouTube which have been viewed more than 2 million times since Labor Day.

Universal Music Group’s Republic plans on releasing the soundtrack around December 25th, the same time the movie opens in theaters.  The music used in the “Walter Mitty” trailer is definitely different than the music in other trailers for December releases. For example, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is the main song in the trailer for “Anchorman 2,” and George Clooney’s film about World War II, “The Monuments of Men,” uses the song “Kiss the Sky” by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra for its trailer.

It is very rare for a song to make the transition from a film to a trailer like “Dirty Paws” did.  Fox Music Executive VP Danielle Diego says, “It was borne out of the beauty of the movie.” Stiller, who stars and directs the movie, was given a collection of Icelandic bands for him to review, and he immediately fell in love with “Dirty Paws.”

Republic Executive VP Charlie Walks says, “Come November and December, that’s a big song helping set them up for their next album and soundtrack. The trailer is one of the great music videos.”