‘Cobra Kai’ Theme Song Is All in Johnny Lawrence’s Head, Says Composer Leo Birenberg

Cobra Kai explored no matter occurred to Karate Child bully Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Johnny remains to be a bit caught in the ‘80s. He still loves hair metal bands, and reminisces about his days as Cobra Kai’s star pupil. The present’s composer, Leo Birenberg, mentioned even the present’s theme tune is simply a part of Johnny’s fantasy. 

William Zabka | Netflix

Birenberg was on Cobra Kai star Martin Kove’s podcast, Kicking It with the Koves on Feb. 17. He shared this distinctive perception into the affect on the Cobra Kai theme tune. Cobra Kai Season 5 premieres Sept. 9 on Netflix.

That is the ‘Cobra Kai’ scene that bought Leo Birenberg the job 

When creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald had been launching Cobra Kai on YouTube, Birenberg and Zach Robinson bought tough cuts to pitch their rating. They took the sequence premiere scene when Johnny fights the children who’re bullying Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) as their audition.

“For us, the first scene that was really important, and it was the first thing that we showed Jon, Josh, and Hayden was when Johnny beats up the kids in the parking lot,” Birenberg mentioned on Kicking It with the Koves. “For us, the tone of the whole show musically was going to get encompassed by that fight.”

Birenberg and Robinson started by setting the Cobra Kai battle to pre-existing music. 

“Zach and I love and hate to play this game where we’re like let’s imagine some other composer having scored that scene,” Birenberg mentioned. “I think the temp was like The Bourne Identity. It was too serious for the moment because it’s a serious moment but what that type of score didn’t do was provide Johnny’s lens to it.”

Johnny Lawrence’s concept of triumphant music turned the ‘Cobra Kai’ theme tune 

Birenberg and Robinson composed a rating that embodied Johnny’s self-image. That tune now performs in each episode of Cobra Kai.

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“The thing that we’re always thinking about in every scene is whose lens are we looking through here because that’s how you can inform the audience what emotion they should be picking up on,” Birenberg mentioned. “That scene was the first shot for us to be like this is the music that Johnny hears in his head when he thinks he’s being a badass. This is the biggest example of that. It’s also going to kick off the entire story. So we wrote this piece, it’s called ‘Strike First.’ Now it gets used as the end credits in the show so I’m sure everyone is super familiar with it.”

After ‘Strike First,’ the composers had been heading in the right direction

Birenberg remembers sweating after they despatched “Strike First” to the Cobra Kai creators. As soon as they bought their approval, it was off to the races. 

“That was kind of our thesis statement,” Birenberg mentioned. “We wrote that, sent it off, and held our breath. They loved it so from there we go pretty hard because we think we can get away with it.”

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