"Ulterior Motives" Singers Christopher Saint Booth and Philip Adrian Booth on Viral Fame and Giving Fans What They Want

A "lost song" was discovered last month, and now the veteran musicians and filmmakers behind it are preparing its first-ever official release.

Last month, an enduring internet mystery was solved when fans figured out the "lostwave" song known colloquially as "Everyone Knows That" was in fact a 1980s song called "Ulterior Motives" by British-Canadian filmmakers Christopher Saint Booth and Philip Adrian Booth. The duo wrote the song in 1986, and sold it to an adult film that same year. It was never commercially released outside of the context of the movie, and was a footnote in their career, which involved years in pop music followed by years making film and TV projects, largely in the horror genre. Then, on April 28, 2024, they discovered that a group of passionate fans had been obsessed with the song for a couple of years.

A 17-second clip from the song was posted to song identification website WatZatSong in 2021 by a user with the handle Carl92. Carl said he found the snippet mixed in with some old DVD backups, and that he had likely recorded it off the TV and used it to teach himself audio editing. Years later, he wanted to listen to the song in full, but had no idea where it came from.

"I saw on one of the [Instagram] posts for – we make motion pictures and TV shows, and do all the music – it was a weird post, and I thought it was maybe, possibly trolling," Christopher Saint Booth told ComicBook. "I didn't really get it – it didn't connect for me. And then somebody had sent me, 'Don't you know? Check out Reddit. Check out Rolling Stone.' And then I looked at it and I said, 'Okay.' And then I clicked on that pink boombox and I was like, 'Oh my God, that's our song.' That's how we figured it out. I'm still finding out things today that were posted many, many years ago that is blowing me away."

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(Photo: gettheseclothes/DePop)

The pink boombox in question is the NextPlay "Glitz and Glitter" boombox. Released in the mid-2000s, the sparkly, pink-and-white boombox has become closely associated with "Ulterior Motives," with a photo of one having been used as the thumbnail image in one of the most widely-viewed YouTube videos featuring the song clip. The boombox itself – and the video, which features the boombox sitting in a pink, fluffy environment – have nothing to do with the song or with the adult film in which it was featured. It was chosen just because the poster felt like it fit the "vibe" of the song.

"It's kind of like – wow! The universe shifted, and it's like, 'You guys have got to do some '80s music, boom," Booth added.

"This had been going on since 2021, and we had no idea," Philip Adrian Booth added. "On April 28th, they put names to the lost song, and then our phones and social media and the news and everyone started texting us, like, 'Did you know this is going on?' My daughter said, 'This is all over TikTok.' To hear it from your kids is pretty amazing. It's like, 'You're all over, we're so proud of you.'"

Christopher chimed in to add, "My son Gabriel, he's 16 so he's a big social media, Redditor, TikToker, and he went, 'Dad, you're God on the internet,' and I went 'What?' And then he showed me and he said he was really proud. You always want to impress your family, your children, and it made me very proud. But it's still very – it's numbing. It's a foggy thing. I don't think it's really sunk in still."

The song is catchy – so much so that it quickly became one of the most sought-after lost songs on the internet, and the search got its own subreddit – ironically called "Everyone Knows That." The irony? Per the Booth brothers and the original lyrics they unearthed, the lyrics actually say "everyone knows it," not "that." The most common way to refer to the song was the result of a misheard lyric.

"When it first happened and we started looking at the Reddit, and there were so many of those people – so many internet sleuths – and going on TikTok and seeing all of those people singing our song and miming our song…I can't describe how rewarding that is," Philip told us.

"It's like our version of going into an arena, and 40,000 people were singing your song," Christopher added."

"It's a positive, incredible experience," Philip added. "In today's world, things like that just don't happen, so our heads are still spinning from it all. We first thought, 'What's the next step?'"

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(Photo: Christopher Saint Booth/Instagram)

The pair have projects – musically and in the film and TV space – that are already in progress, but almost immediately after they learned of "Ulterior Motives" having viral success, they dedicated themselves to getting the song released. In fact, while digging through old files and master tapes, they have decided to put together an album of their unreleased 1980s pop material, hoping that fans will be excited by more than just the mystery behind one song.

"I sat in the studio, and I'm still going through old CDs and cassettes – the quality of a cassette now that's kept for 40 years is diminished – but I'm still going through stuff and finding tracks that we did then. I'm still searching for the vocals for 'Ulterior Motives,'" Christopher said. "We do have the rhythm track, and it sounds great, but we don't have the lead guitar, the synth hits, and we don't have the vocals. But since I'm the singer, I can copy most of it. So we're going to look for it, and if not, we're going to go in and re-record the parts. Part of it is going to be 100% original."

Christopher added that the MIDI guitar used on the original track is also one he still owns, so if they can't find the originals, he has the best gear possible to replicate the sound as closely as he can. While the pair have obviously grown as artists in the intervening decades, they don't want to put too much of a spin on the first commercial release for "Ulterior Motives." Instead, they would rather give the audience exactly what they're expecting – or as exactly as they possibly can.

"I think it's important to keep the same flavor," Philip said. "I think how to adapt that is, give the people what they want and keep it as original as you can, and then maybe do an EP version and slam a couple of remixes on it. That way they can get what they want, and what they don't want, they don't have to listen to."

Like nearly everyone who works in "genre" film and TV, Christopher and Philip Booth spend a fair amount of time at fan conventions. It's an interesting time, because in addition to the normal fans of their more recent work onscreen, Christopher has been posting photos from signing appearances where they have been posing with pink boomboxes.

"There's millions of views on TikTok videos, and I know that all of my social media sites have quadrupled with many new, younger fans," Christopher told us. "Music is our first love, and I've never quit music. Even when we do movies, I do all of the soundtracks, and I've invested a lot in my studio. Obviously, we have commitments, and we're going to finish those, but at the same time, there's absolutely no way we can walk away from this."

"This kind of thing doesn't just happen," Philip added. "It seems like a big injustice not to take advantage of the situation, all these people, it makes them so happy, and the high of seeing them sing it or whatever, there's no better feeling than that….We put many decades into music, and we've been doing it a long time. Chris and I go way back to a band, here's some trivia for you, a band called Sweeney Todd. And they were really big in Canada, and they had a hit song in the late '70s, early '80s, called Roxy Roller. And the lead singer was a guy named Nick Gilder, and he had 'Hot Child in the City,' and he sold and wrote songs to Scandal, they were very '80s. And then, Bryan Adams replaced him. And then, when Bryan Adams left the band, Chris replaced him as a singer, and I replaced as a guitar player. And we played with our brother who was the original member of Sweeney Todd. And that's kind of how all this got started in the early '80s We had some pretty big success back then in bands."

"I remember the day I turned 18, I was playing for 20,000 people in an arena," Christopher added.

The two recalled that, in the early days of their time living in the U.S., they opened for Motley Crue and played big venues like The Troubador and The Roxy, getting to know the likes of Vince Neil and U2.

"We have done a lot of things after that and musically, and even singing-wise, I got a lot better," Christopher told us, adding that since the tapes used for "Ulterior Motives" may have even been demos, the song itself is a little rough around the edges. "It's not perfect. There was no Auto-Tune, at all, so it is what it is. But, at the same time, I'm listening to all these people singing this song and loving it, and I'm finding I'm singing it, and it's our own song. Maybe back then we didn't even care for it, because you know how you are. But now we love it, so I'm really pumped to do a whole '80s album at this point."

After years of searching, digging through copyright filings, bugging members of other bands, and all the general dead ends of a lost media search, some fans were exasperated to discover "Ulterior Motives" on an adult film (1986's Angels of Passion). The Booths say they didn't write the song for the movie, but that some of their music ended up in adult films simply because it was a way to make some extra money off unused material.

"We've never really written for adult films," Christopher said. "We were musicians, and we needed money. A friend of ours was, at that time, was making what were very big budget adult films -- they were $250,000.00 a film. These guys were making them, and we didn't know anything about it, but it was like, 'Hey, do you want to make a couple extra hundred dollars today and help move equipment or do this?' and I went, 'Sure. It don't matter to me. We just need to pay the rent.' We just went and did our job and walked out, when they started doing their nastiness, we never really hung around. And then, they said, 'Hey, we need some music. Do you got any music?' so I said, 'Yeah, we've got some music,' because what we did is we took all that money and bought better equipment, old Fostex boards, and it kept going and going and going."

Philip said that it was a great experience for them – one that would pay off later in their film career – to see productions of that scope at work. Comparing the productions to Boogie Nights, Philip said that the movies were all shot on film at that point, and then mixed with "like 128 tracks" on huge sound stages.

"Actually, there was two tracks of music and 126 tracks of moaning and groaning, but they would mix these on these huge screens and sound stages," Christopher joked.

More seriously, he added, "We were never really bored. I would just go into studio and I would sit down and write music. And, of course, I was always a romantic, and my music was always kind of sexy, so they liked it. I don't know how you can write music to a hardcore sex scene, you know? Unless you're Nine Inch Nails, 'Closer,' which is very cool as well. A lot of people made fun of us, and they still do, and I get that. But, at the same time, when I became a businessman, I went ahead and registered all those songs with the BMI, and they turned all those films into erotic thrillers, and I got an incredible amount of royalties for the music over the next 10 years. So, I felt really good about being a musician, making money."

And the next step is getting back to that a little bit. The "businessman" side has had to step forward a bit since the song was found, especially since the pair are worried that all the copycats and unauthorized covers – and now, dubs from the movie – that are circulating online might make it harder for them to monetize any music videos and digital sales once the new album hits. They're reaching out to fans to ask that they pause on uploading that kind of thing while the record is finished and the original song can finally be released for the first time. In the meantime, it sounds like they won't have to go totally on their own for the project.

"We have been asked by record companies to do it on vinyl and back on cassette, because I know cassette is making a comeback," Christopher said. "I think that we'll do is, we'll go ahead and get all the tracks ready and we'll get 'Ulterior Motives' in a good place. And then, we'll have some of the other tracks, in case people want to hear more. Obviously, streaming is a tough business to make any monetary gain out of it, but it's instant gratification for people streaming. I love CDs still, and I love vinyl. I print everything I do on CDs. I haven't done a vinyl yet, but I definitely think that this music could be savvy for that."

Philip added, "I think if they love the hook of 'Ulterior Motives,' we've got quite a few songs that we were listening to, that are just as amazing. It opens up that door, because I can only imagine, if you love that song, how much you're going to love this other one. It's definitely busy, while we're making our films and doing that, I don't think we can walk away from this. I think we have to seriously look and say, 'We've got to make time for this,' because this doesn't happen every day. You don't get notoriety like that every day. I think it's important to give those people -- they made us feel like a million dollars when this happened -- and I think we need to return the favor and release this song, exactly how they liked it. And if they want more, we've got more."