How Will Banister Got to Sing on Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’

Clint Eastwood’s latest flick called Cry Macho opened in theaters and debuted on HBO Max on September 17th, and with Dwight Yoakam cast as one of the central characters in the film, interest from the country music community has been strong. But Yoakam’s involvement is not the only country music tie-in.

The opening song from the movie’s soundtrack called “Find a New Home” was specifically written by Grammy-winning film composer Mark Mancina to set the mood by foreshadowing elements of the film. Though they had a great song, they also needed the right singer to perform it. And instead of getting some big name to perform “Find a New Home,” through a crazy set of circumstances, the opportunity landed in the lap of independent country singer and songwriter Will Banister from Portales, New Mexico, near the Texas border.

Since Cry Macho is set in Texas and Mexico, they wanted somebody from the region. So film composer Marlon Espino got in contact with an old college roommate down in Texas to see if they had any suggestions of someone who might fit the role of an authentic country voice, and Will Banister’s name was floated. So Banister was sent the track to what at the time he thought was just some sort of indie film project, and he recorded the vocal take at home in what he thought was just an audition, with a studio take to be done in California if they liked what they heard.

Apparently, Clint Eastwood liked what he heard so much, he decided to keep the vocal track as-is, and it’s now the first thing you hear as the film opens. “That guy’s voice is from the top of those speakers down to your feet,” Clint Eastwood said about Will Banister’s contribution. Even though they kept the original take, they flew Banister out to California anyway to meet Clint Eastwood and perform at his private golf course in Carmel.

I am a super fan of Mr. Eastwood’s,” says Will Banister. “I watched a lot of his movies growing up and he was the kind of guy you wanted to be as a kid. Getting the chance to meet him and perform for him was quite an honor. He is as down to earth as I thought he would be. To hear my voice at the opening of ‘Cry Macho’ was such an honor!”

Cry Macho follows Mike Milo (played by Clint Eastwood), who is a washed up rodeo star who was severely inured, which lead to issues with drugs and alcohol. After being let go from his position as a horse trainer, he’s hired by his former boss (played by Dwight Yoakam) to go down to Mexico and retrieve his son, Rafo from the boy’s unstable mother. While traveling through rural Mexico, the two encounter challenges and become close.

Will Banister has been an independent country artist since 2010 when he released his debut album Turned Her Onto Country. He’s known through performances of both cover songs and originals, and of course, for his voice that was custom made for traditional country. Bannister released his latest album Everything Burns in 2020, and will be releasing a new single called “Out of Her Mind” co-written with Wyatt McCubbin and Roger Springer on September 24th.

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