Rich Harchol (left) and Jimmy Carslake co-wrote seven songs for the soundtrack of "The Identical."
Have you ever been mistaken for someone else?
I'll admit I’ve been accused of having my fair share of celebrity doppelgangers (Hurley from "Lost," Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith -- pretty much any husky guy with a beard), but I can honestly say I’ve never had anyone convinced I was actually someone else entirely.
"The Identical," a new film set to be released on Sept. 5, tackles that exact dilemma: Identical twins who were separated at birth cross paths unexpectedly through music. Ray Liotta, Seth Green and Ashley Judd provide some of the hefty star power on the silver screen, but the movie’s soundtrack might end up stealing the spotlight.
Rick Harchol, a local guitarist/songwriter, was tapped to pen music for the star-studded film. With the help of his musical partner and singer Jimmy Carslake, Harchol ended up writing seven songs for the soundtrack.
"The very first song we wrote, 'Mellow Down Easy,' is the opening song to the movie," Harchol said. "It’s the first thing you hear! Jimmy had a longtime connection with City of Peace, an independent record company in Nashville that decided to get into producing films, and 'The Identical' is their first film release. Some would say it was being in the right place at the right time.... I'd have to say it was a blessing from God!"
Divine intervention aside, the recently released theatrical trailer shows how the twins’ musical careers intersect -- mostly to the tune of Harchol and Carslake’s contributions, which seem to be influenced by all the corners of rock & roll.
"[The film] spans the music of the ‘50s through the rock of the ‘70s," Harchol said. "The music that I was involved in writing was from the ‘70s period of the film. I love and appreciate all kinds of music, though, because of my love for guitar, I primarily gravitate toward guitar-riff-based bluesy pop, rock and soul music like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix -- to current music that encompasses those elements."
Harchol, who currently plays guitar in the Ultimate Stones (a Rolling Stones tribute band), said there was no game plan when it came to writing for "The Identical."
"I can't say we wrote songs specifically for the movie -- rather, we just wrote the songs that came to us, and of the many we wrote during that time, seven fit the story of the movie," Harchol said. "One of the songs, called ‘Better Man,’ was co-written with the producer and his father, Jerry Marcilino (a famous producer/songwriter), specifically for the movie."
The music definitely has a theatrical feel (listen to clips here). "Better Man" is a slow, pensive ballad dealing with issues of personal redemption and acceptance. Carslake’s expressive, Don Henley-esque voice sounds at home among quiet, reflective pieces like "Everybody Knows It," and on the smoldering blues of "Mellow Down Easy" and the classic-rock thump of "Born for a Reason." It’s no surprise the film producers wanted them.
Harchol and Carslake didn’t hang up their shoes after landing on the soundtrack. They've started their own band, the Morph Kings, and after the movie comes out, they’re planning to release an album of the seven songs from "The Identical" that will feature five additional co-written songs.
With all the activity surrounding the film and the new band, what's in store for Harchol in the future?
"If the music that I was involved in takes off [perhaps from the released soundtrack, which is available on iTunes Sept. 2], I hope that I will be considered to play in the band that tours," Harchol said. "It's my hope that the success of ‘The Identical’ will lead to more writing and producing opportunities -- I'm hooked!"