What's the song in the Defenders trailer?
If the trailer for The Defenders has you searching for your favorite flannel shirt, there's a reason for that.
The first look at the Netflix ensemble series is set to haunting strains of Nirvana's grunge classic "Come as You Are," and it's not the first time the hit from 1991's genre-defining Nevermind has been tied to the show about Marvel's street-level superheroes. The song was also prominently featured in the first teaser, released way back in July.
In the new trailer, we mostly hear scattered fragments of the song, including the distinct, distorted guitar line (which kicks in around the 1:00 mark) and Kurt Cobain's unmistakeable vocals, which are pulled to the forefront for a sort of a cappella rendition. It's intermixed with a new score, and it all sounds subtly different from the version that took over alternative radio in the '90s.
After the rampant, unexpected success of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana released "Come as You Are" as the follow-up in March 1992. It peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 18 weeks.
The main guitar riff is heavily inspired by the song "Eighties," released by British rock outfit Killing Joke in 1985. In the book Eyewitness Nirvana: The Day-By-Day Chronicle, Nirvana's former manager revealed that Cobain was nervous to release "Come as You Are" as a single because of its obvious similarities to "Eighties." Killing Joke did complain, but Nirvana drummer (and Foo Fighters frontman) Dave Grohl eventually paid the band back by laying down drum tracks for their self-titled 2003 album.
The music video for "Come as You Are," directed by Kevin Kerslake (who also directed the clips for "Lithium," "In Bloom," and "Sliver") is artsy and surreal, in stark contrast to the high-concept video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It also tied in elements of the album's iconic artwork, with images of a baby swimming underwater.
We have to admit that the song makes for an intriguing soundtrack to The Defenders. While some of the lyrics seem to be taken literally for the trailer (particularly the "known enemy" line), the track is largely about how people are expected to act. Since Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) don't often play by the rules of others, it seems especially fitting. Compare and contrast the trailer version of the song with the original below.
Meanwhile, The Defenders will hit Netflix on Aug. 18. Check out the untold truth of the team.