Echo And The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch says ‘The Killing Moon’ is ‘the greatest song ever written’

The band discuss the 1984 hit in a new interview

Echo And The Bunnymen‘s Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant have spoken about the making of their 1984 hit ‘The Killing Moon’.

Speaking to The Guardian about the track, singer McCulloch described it as “the greatest song ever written”.

“I’m sure Paul Simon would be entitled say the same about ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, but for me ‘The Killing Moon’ is more than just a song,” McCulloch said. “It’s a psalm, almost hymnal. It’s about everything, from birth to death to eternity and God – whatever that is – and the eternal battle between fate and the human will. It contains the answer to the meaning of life. It’s my ‘To be or not to be…'”


McCulloch also revealed that David Bowie inspired the song’s formation initially: “I played David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ backwards, then started messing around with the chords. By the time I’d finished, it sounded nothing like ‘Space Oddity’.”

Guitarist Will Sergeant also discussed how the song made it onto the soundtrack of cult film ‘Donnie Darko’.

He said: “Years after it was a hit, we got an email saying this bloke wanted to use the song in a film, Donnie Darko, which we didn’t think would go anywhere, so accepted a one-off £3,000. Then when the director did the director’s cut he replaced ‘The Killing Moon’ with ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS. Aren’t some people knobheads?”

Echo And The Bunnymen released new album ‘Meteorites’ in May 2014. Read the NME review here.

Last year, McCulloch joined Arcade Fire onstage at London’s Earls Court. He performed 1983 Echo And The Bunnymen track ‘The Cutter’ with the Canadian band.


Speaking in a video interview with NME following the gig, the singer said that it was “a real thrill” to be asked to perform with the group when they headlined the first of two nights at the venue in June 2014.