The Rembrandts: 'Friends' Theme 'Killed Our Cool Vibe'

11 March 2023 | 11:13 am | Staff Writer

"The song became an albatross round our necks and broke up the band for a few years."

(Source: Twitter)

The Rembrandts' Danny Wilde participated in a feature published by The Guardian on musicians’ revelations after their songs were used in wildly popular television series, from The Sopranos to Ally McBeal to The OC.

Of course, we all know which song and show The Rembrandts are known for: I’ll Be There For You on the sit-com monolith, Friends.

Wilde recalls how fast things happened; executive producer Kevin Bright approached the duo about a song that could match the tempo of R.E.M.’s Shiny Happy People.

“Within a week, Friends was on air. It didn’t have our name on the credits. We were a pretty hip band, so stipulated that we didn’t want anyone to know we’d sold out,” Wilde said. But the song and Friends snowballed in popularity. 

“The record company rushed us into the studio to cut a full version. We shot a video on the SNL set, with the cast goofing around on our instruments. Courteney Cox really could play drums but it was mostly improvised mayhem,” he continued. 

Once their fans found out that they’d recorded the Friends tune, “it killed our cool vibe. 

"We went from doing cool clubs to matinee shows where parents would bring their kids. The song became an albatross round our necks and broke up the band for a few years. My bandmate Phil Solem had pretty much had it, so we took a two-year vacation from each other. But we got back together and we’re still making albums and playing gigs, so it’s all good.”

The two acknowledge that without the massive popularity of Friends and I’ll Be There For You, The Rembrandts “might be living on the streets if it wasn’t for that song.”

Any time Friends plays - and in some cases, it would play on a loop for 24 hours - the band receive a royalty. It’s all added up and gotten Wilde’s kids through university.

The Rembrandts' most recent album, Via Sattelite, was released in 2019.