Not many can tie their adult pursuits to a beloved childhood toy. Much less on the big screen.
But Villa Park native George Castady can.
“I was really into the LEGO knight and castle sets as a kid,” Castady said. “My friend and I would always play with his city sets with cops, surfers, ambulances and all that.”
Flash forward to today, when the “LEGO Ninjago” movie opens nationwide featuring “The Weekend Whip,” a song written and performed by Castady, his brother Daniel and The Fold bandmate Matt Pittman.
The Fold — the power pop-rock trio behind four albums as well as singles for the Cubs and several NFL teams — started writing for the “LEGO Ninjago” TV series in 2011.
The connection was made a year earlier through a friend from the Chicago music scene, Mike Kramer, who reached out to Dan after landing a gig composing for a new LEGO series.
“I obviously thought it sounded like a cool opportunity,” Dan said. “And once I started singing, I had a really good feeling about it. Boy, was I right!”
In its first seven seasons, the animated series has featured 25 songs from The Fold.
“It’s been amazing to be able to write for the ‘Ninjago’ audience,” George said. “One of the best parts is we are able to pass along music in the spirit of what we grew up with and are able to share a message we truly believe in.”
“And while it’s nice to have a blank canvas, as we’ve always had with The Fold,” Dan added, “it’s also nice to write around a theme. Especially one as uplifting and positive as this show has always been.”
As part of the talent for the movie, the Castady brothers were invited to attend the premiere last weekend at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles to walk the red (ahem, green) carpet.
“It was a blast and absolutely everything we hoped it would be,” Dan said. “It wasn’t so much about meeting ‘famous people’ for us, but more an opportunity to meet the team of dedicated, talented people we had been working with for the past seven years but never had a chance to meet face to face.”
But star sightings never hurt.
“While we weren’t actively seeking out celebrities,” George said, “it was really cool to see Jackie Chan, Dave Franco and Fred Armisen from the movie just walking around. Along with some unexpected celebrities like Joel McHale and Terry Crews, who were there because their kids are big fans of the show. To think that all those people have listened to The Fold was a really cool feeling.”
And do your characters make an appearance on the big screen?
“Not featured in the movie,” Dan said, “but the song is featured in a really cool way. You’ll have to go check out the premiere tonight and see how!”