Foo Fighters Bassist Turns To Film Scoring, Acting

Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel will make his first foray into film scoring next year, with the independent flick Our Burden Is Light, in which he also stars.

Mendel sticks to what he does best in the role, playing a bass player in a fictional punk band called Bleeder, while his girlfriend, Jessica Ballard, stars as the group's singer. The couple also wrote the music Bleeder play in the flick, a modern-day love story set and shot in Fort Collins, Colorado.

"I thought it was scary, 'cause I've really just played bass before and never really written too many songs on my own," Mendel told MTV Radio recently. "They asked me to do it, I said, 'Sure,' and I thought about it and was like, 'Well, I don't really know how to do that.' But I just figured it out along the way. It was really fun."

Mendel's score pleased the film's writer and director, Denise Coates. "It made me cry when I heard it," she said. "The film is very mood-oriented and very quiet, so Nate had the task of keeping the ambience subtle. He got a violin player, a cellist and a pianist and conducted them. He just created a feeling."

Though Coates had Mendel in mind for the score early on in the project, she wrote in his acting part at the 11th hour after the bassist expressed interest.

"I've known him a long time, and I just think he's one of the most brilliant musicians around today," she said. "He wanted to act as well, so I wrote him in in the last couple of months."

Coates is hoping for a March theatrical release for the film, which she describes as a "philosophical drama but very much about destiny." The story focuses on two strangers, a man and a woman, who meet at a bus stop.

The film's producers are in talks with several labels about releasing two CDs in conjunction with the movie. One would be a soundtrack, including previously released material from the Foo Fighters ("February Stars" from 1997's The Colour and the Shape), the Dave Matthews Band, David Gray, ALL, Rickie Lee Jones and Tom Waits. The other CD would feature Mendel's score.