Slash and Wolfgang Van Halen bring a rock edge to the soundtrack for the upcoming Barbie movie, guesting on I'm Just Ken, an '80s-style power ballad sung by Ryan Gosling, who co-stars in the film as Ken.
The Guns N' Roses guitarist's feature on the track was revealed by the soundtrack’s executive producer Mark Ronson in conversation with Variety at the movie's Los Angeles premiere on July 9.
On how the collaboration came about, Ronson explains: “I was, what, seventh grade when Appetite For Destruction came out. He’s my all-time hero. I had pictures of Slash all over my walls. So when we were getting near this song being done, I was like, ‘It never hurts to ask.’ It seems like such a long shot.
“I sent him the song and he was like, ‘This is a good song.’ I [didn’t] know Slash that well before this, and he was like, ‘Cool, I'll play on it.’ And he was so cool. He killed it. He plays the solo at the end and the rhythm parts. It’s wonderful.”
Wolfgang Van Halen announced his own involvement on the track via his Twitter account, declaring: "My buddy Mark Ronson hit me up earlier this year needing my ‘mammoth guitar sound’ and I happily obliged. Honoured for the opportunity to contribute some guitar playing throughout this hilarious/surreal/heartfelt movie.”
He continues: “(If anyone is curious about specifics, I have a lot of textural stuff throughout the film with two major spots where I do some soloing. One in particular is pretty cool because it’s the big song that Ryan Gosling sings and Slash plays on it as well!)
“(There’s a specific moment in this song that’s only in the movie where l’ve got this fun solo with some tapping and stuff lol. Such a cool opportunity. Honoured to be a part of it)”.
Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, is set to hit cinemas on July 21.
Listen to I'm Just Ken below:
So here’s some news! I attended the @barbiethemovie premiere last night with my lady because I’m on the score/soundtrack! #BarbieTheMovie pic.twitter.com/W2S3HXL3RsJuly 10, 2023