30 Sep Billboard Details Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” Sync in New Matrix Film
‘White Rabbit’ Enters ‘The Matrix’: From Vague Pitch to ‘Stunning’ Result and ‘Significant’ Payday – Billboard
Six months ago, somebody from Warner Bros. Pictures called Jeff Jampol, manager of Jefferson Airplane, and asked if a mysterious, unnamed big-budget film could license “White Rabbit” for a synch. “They wouldn’t tell us a lot of details,” he recalls. “They told us it was a high-budget film, and ‘were we OK with cutting up the song and adding orchestration?'”
Yes, responded the classic ’60s band, whose surviving members are Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, as long as they could approve the final cut — which turned out to be the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, posted Sept. 9.
The song plays throughout the entire trailer, as green hieroglyphics descend in vertical lines, juxtaposed with film snippets of explosions and Keanu Reeves (Neo) fighting and snuggling with Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity).
“I was really surprised how much I liked it and I had absolutely nothing to complain about,” says the Airplane’s Jack Casady, on a FaceTime video call in which he plays the song’s opening notes on an acoustic bass in his Los Angeles home. “That song has always had an atmosphere. They give you a visual to that atmosphere. It works out great.”
Jampol won’t divulge the price for a “White Rabbit” synch of this magnitude but calls it “very significant.” By rough comparison, when Slick authorized the use of Starship‘s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for a 2017 Chick-fil-A commercial — then donated the money to LGBTQ charities to protest the fast-food chain — the cost was $150,000, according to Jampol.