Here is something for a change! We at Prog Sphere are definitely a big fans of DOOM franchise, and we had great expectations from this year’s take on the game. What’s even better about the new DOOM is the soundtrack composed by Mick Gordon.
Mick did great job with the combination of electronic and metal; he decided to implement extended range guitars in the sound and the outcome is quite epic: you get a game accompanied with a straight-to-the-face OST.
We talked with Mick about his work, working on projects, DOOM soundtrack, being involved in many different projects over the years, and more.
How did you get into composing for video games in the first place?
About 12 years ago I started making music on a basic computer setup and just started sending it around to different studios. After I while I was lucky enough to get some call backs and just started working from there.
Most people think that game and film soundtracks are basically the same when it comes to the structure. Do you agree with that?
Fairly well – obviously film is linear and games are interactive, but the approach is largely the same.
What is your creative process like once you have a new project before you? How do you get into the story for a certain game?
The developers usually send through concept art, story documents, etc. We chat a lot, talk about vibes and feelings and sounds, etc. Usually at this point there’s not really any game to play – it’s all on paper.
Let’s talk about the new DOOM game and the soundtrack you scored. Where did you look for the inspiration?
Just the DOOM universe itself. id Software has always had a strong legacy which is full of inspiration.
This soundtrack kinda makes me feel that it incorporates musical elements that are something you absolutely love to do: guitar sound and electonic music. Am I right?
Yeah totally man – I really love loud aggressive sounds that punch through the speakers. DOOM allowed a lot of that – it’s a lot of fun to do. It’s funny, because the music itself sounds loud and aggressive but making it is a really slow and calm process. You’ve really got to concentrate for long periods of time tweaking various frequencies and transients – it’s zen, really.
The DOOM OST is probably the “heaviest” soundtrack for a game that you worked on. How did you get into the world of extended range guitars?
We just wanted to bring a bigger, heavier and more modern sound to the game. Sure, we could do six string stuff, but that’s been done so many times before. Bringing into extended range guitars opened up new sounds.
For the purpose of getting the most evil, straight-to-the-face sound for the new DOOM, you picked a 9-string guitar. I am sure that many of the guitar players who are also fans of Doom franchise and the new soundtrack wonder about the guitar you used and its specs. So can you tell me more about it?
The 9 is just a stock Schecter Damien Platinum 9. It’s fairly basic – super light. I think I’ll swap out the pickups in the future – the stock EMGs tend to fall apart with the lower notes. I have a beautiful Mayones 8 string that I used a lot on the game – it’s featured in BFG Division. It was BKP Aftermaths in it and they hold up really well.
What’s the tuning on the 9-string you used?
It’s really stupid – ADADADGBE. Damn, right? Anyway, the point is that you have three octaves in a single fret. This frees your fingers up for other bits and you don’t have to hold weird shapes on the huge neck.
Did the guitar parts come before or after the effects? Provide some insight into the writing process for the Doom OST.
It was pretty basic – I’d set up a video of some early gameplay of the level and tap out a tempo that felt appropriate for the level of on-screen action. Once I had the tempo, I’d just set up a metronome and jam out riffs for an hour. Then, I’d take a break and come back and comb through it all looking for cool parts.
What kind of equipment, besides already mentioned guitar, did you use for scoring? Let us know about your signal chain.
Man, so much. Too much to mention. STACKS of gear. Synths (Korg MS20, Polivoks, Eurorack, etc); Pedals (Metasonix, Trogotronic, MuTron, Dwarfcraft, DeviEver, Copycat, and literally anything else I could find); Compressors (1176, Doublewide, LA3A, old massive broadcast limiters, etc). Just, heaps of gear, man. One cool trick I picked up from Sean Beavan was to record really distorted guitar parts at double speed up an octave to tape at 30ips. Then, play it back at 15ips. It’s such a cool sound – it’s really distorted but the note is still super clear.
What about the software and plugins?
Oh man, everything. Ha! My main DAWs are Ableton Live and FL Studio for designs and Pro Tools for mixing/arrangements. Plugins – all UAD, Waves, FabFilter, Slate, Softube, iZotope, etc. I like plugins for controlling things but I still prefer hardware. When I slam something into a hardware compressor it goes KAPUT! Plugins just don’t get there!
How do you go about overcoming challenges of fusing different styles into tracks? Doom OST is full of metal elements wrapped up with plenty of different effects and beats.
There’s obviously many different solutions. I try to find a clean, blended approach where the synths/guitars/drums/FX/whatever are all working together to reinforce an overall groove. This makes things tight and musical. Otherwise you run the risk of “Mr Potatohead” music, where you’ve got something corny like synth arps over chug chug guitars over double kick drum and it sounds like 4 bands playing at once.
Did you listen to a lot of metal when working on the DOOM OST? I’m asking because many metal fans, especially those that follow the so-called djent scene, will connect the soundtrack with bands such Meshuggah, Sikth, Periphery, Monuments, Vildhjarta, etc.
Honestly, not a lot. I had the huge pleasure of working with Fredrik Thordendal on Wolfenstein – he’s honestly the most amazing person. He’s such a nice dude!
Will the DOOM soundtrack be available for purchase?
I hope so… sigh.
I have played many of the games that you worked on in the past, and I would always have an impression that your soundtracks extend the stories of the games in a way that they form a unique entity. What is your secret for maintaining this?
Man, that’s such an awesome thing to say – thanks so much. I really don’t know how to answer that one. I guess I try to uncover something deep and meaningful about the game/character/story/whatever and find ways of accentuating that with music. Honestly, there’s a lot of luck involved. I think sometimes the placement helps, too. If you have a single piece of music – a theme, for example – and you play that over certain special moments in the story, it becomes linked to that adventure.
Over the years you worked with some of the biggest studios such EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, to name but a few. How much did these experiences help you improve as a composer and a sound designer?
Every project is different and you learn so much throughout the process. Everyone works in different ways. There’s a lot of super talented people in the game industry – artists, designers, writers, programmers, etc – and these companies employ some of the best. It’s super inspiring being able to meet these people and work with them.
What’s your view on technology in music?
Music and technology have always been hand in hand – from carved wooden flutes to wooden/cat gut violins to industrial period saxophones to amplifiers and guitars to electronic engineers and synthesisers to programmers and plugins. You could say that music reflects technology almost perfectly.
You work as a freelance composer, so basically you are on your own. What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a freelancer?
The best part about the job is I wake up 10 metres from where I work. The worst part about the job is I wake up 10 metres from where I work.
Do you work on anything new at the moment? What is the future like?
Dude, so much awesome stuff! Got some announcements coming at E3, some non-game collaboration projects in the works, started working on an album, mixing some stuff, lots of trailers, etc. Lots of fun stuff, man!
I’m out of questions… Thanks for your time today, Mick. Is there anything you would love to add?
PROG SPHERE RULEZ!!!
Some photos in this post are from Mick Gordon’s archives. Visit Mick’s website for more info about his work.
The post Interview with MICK GORDON, Composer or DOOM 2016 Soundtrack appeared first on Prog Sphere.
Ayreon’s ‘The Theater Equation’ DVD/Blu-Ray package was recently announced for release on the 17th June 2016, and you can now view the first full clip from the production. Watch ‘Day Two: Isolation’ here:
‘The Theater Equation’ will be available as a deluxe artbook version including blu-ray, 2DVD’s & 2CD’s, as well as a special edition 2CD & DVD digipak, standalone blu-ray & digital audio download. You can now pre-order signed copies of the release here: http://smarturl.it/tteIOMshop
You can watch the full trailer for ‘The Theater Equation’ here:
In September 2015, over the course of four sold-out shows, Ayreon’s legendary progressive rock concept album ‘The Human Equation’ was brought to life as a full-blown musical production at the Nieuwe Luxor theater in Rotterdam.
This limited run of performances was witnessed by die-hard fans from across the world, but now Arjen Lucassen’s story can be witnessed by all, as a recording of the final night of those special evenings is being released as both a DVD & Blu-Ray package on the 17th June 2016. ‘The Theater Equation’ is subtitled in nine different languages and includes nearly one-and-a-half hours of bonus content.
Arjen comments: “Even today as I write this, I am amazed and touched by how hard everyone worked and how much love and care they generously gave to make it all happen. Sometimes the dream becomes reality!”
The stage show stars Dream Theater frontman James Labrie in his original roll as “Me” and features nearly the entire cast of vocalists from the original 2004 album. The main cast is supported by a specially put-together 19-strong Epic Rock Choir. This is a unique document of an undertaking that was surely once in a lifetime.
James LaBrie as ‘Me’
Devon Graves as ‘Agony’
Heather Findlay as ‘Love’
Eric Clayton as ‘Reason’
Magnus Ekwall as ‘Pride’,
Marcela Bovio as ‘Wife’
Irene Jansen as ‘Passion’
Anneke van Giersbergen as ‘Fear’,
Jermain van der Bogt (Wudstik) as ‘Best Friend’
Mike Mills as ‘Rage/Father’
Nienke Verboom as ‘Nurse’
Peter Moltmaker as ‘Doctor’
Anita van der Hoeven as ‘Mom’
Ed Warby: Drums
Jeroen Goossens: Flutes and woodwinds
Johan van Stratum: Bass
Maaike Peterse: Cello
Ben Mathot: Violin
Marcel Coenen: Guitars
Freek Gielen: Guitars
Erik van Ittersum: Keyboards/synths
Ruben Wijga: Keyboards/synths
Epic Rock Choir
THE HUMAN EQUATION STORY
After a mysterious single-car accident, the victim – a man in his late 30s – lies comatose in the hospital. Before the accident he was a powerful businessman, wildly successful by any measure but also known for his cutthroat business tactics. Now he finds himself trapped in a prison that took him a lifetime to build: the prison of his own mind.
Guarding the prison are his emotions, which have taken on vivid personas inside his mind. Some are friends, some are foes, and they all have their own agendas. Some aim to trick him or dominate him, others to comfort or inspire him. But the one objective they all share is to force him to face up to the demons of his past and the deep truths about who he is and how he’s lived his life, all of which he’s conveniently ignored until now. Fear, Rage, Agony, Love, Passion, Reason and Pride take turns engaging the man in this emotional warfare.
Two people hold vigil at the man’s bedside: his wife and his best friend. They are desperate to understand how the accident happened and to see even the tiniest sign that the man will regain consciousness. But the man’s recovery is not their only concern: is it possible that he somehow found out their secret, and that the “accident” wasn’t really an accident at all? Would he ever be able to forgive them?
Will the man have the strength to face the truth about himself and the ones he loves? The story unfolds over his twenty-day emotional struggle with Fear, Rage, Agony, Love, Passion, Reason and Pride, in which each day of coma is represented by a song.
In light of the upcoming release of their much anticipated 12th studio album, “Theories Of Flight” via InsideOutMusic on July 1st, 2016, U.S. Progressive Metal pioneers FATES WARNING are now launching an album sampler video, containing excerpts from all songs on the album.
Check the clip, which features footage entitled ‘Feeding The Gulls’ by Dennis Hlynsky, at the following location:
FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder checked in to comment about “Theories Of Flight” as follows:
“We began writing the music for “Theories” while we were still touring for “Darkness”…
I believe that the anticipation to write another record was due to the fact that we were once again touring and playing new material after nine years of playing the same songs.
It was exciting to be on stage again and we looked forward to getting back in the studio.
I also believe that our fans were happy to finally having something new to listen to..
I/we are very happy with the way that “Theories” turned out. Jim and I collaborated practically every day on the new album for over a year until we actually went into the studio.. There were many different versions of the songs until they were finally complete, and I believe it shows in the final product. I think that Jim did an excellent job producing the new album. The material is, I believe heavier than what people are used to from us, as well as my vocal style. We wanted something different than “Darkness” but something that still carried a lot of melody.”
“Theories Of Flight” comes packaged with artwork created by Michigan artist Graceann Warn / graceannwarn.com and the album’s tracklisting reads as follows:
FATES WARNING – Theories Of Flight
1. From The Rooftops
2. Seven Stars
4. The Light And Shade Of Things
5. White Flag
6. Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen
7. The Ghosts Of Home
8. Theories Of Flight
A limited 2CD version of the album (as well as its 2LP, also available on limited coloured vinyl editions) will include an acoustic bonus-disc with the following tracks:
2. Seven Stars
3. Another Perfect Day
4. Pray Your Gods (Toad The Wet Sprocket cover)
5. Adela (Joaquin Rodrigo)
6. Rain (Uriah Heep cover)
Pre-sales will be starting off soon…stay tuned for further info!
Performed by the core line-up that returned to form with 2013’s acclaimed “Darkness In A Different Light” release (Guitarist Jim Matheos, vocalist Ray Alder, bassist Joey Vera, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek), “Theories Of Flight” was produced by Jim Matheos and mixed/mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Symphony X, Haken, etc.).
More new on FATES WARNING and “Theories Of Flight” coming soon…
FATES WARNING Line-Up 2016:
(From left to right on photo by Stephanie Cabral)
Joey Vera – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Ray Alder – Vocals
Jim Matheos – Guitars
I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for edition 149 of Live From Progzilla Towers is now available.
In this edition we heard the following music:
- Sniff ‘n’ The Tears – Driver’s Seat
- Admirals Hard – Whip Jamboree / Let The Bulgine Run
- Yes – Tempus Fugit
- Peter Hammill – The Lie (Bernini’s Saint Theresa)
- Radiohead – Ful Stop
- Ukandanz – Tchuetén Bestsèmu
- Starcastle – Babylon
- Frost* – The Raging Against The Dying Of The Light Blues In 7/8
- British Theatre – Blue Horror
- Paul And Linda Mccartney – Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
- Pil & Bue – No Is The Answer
- Cosmograf – Arcade Machine
- Frumpy – How The Gypsy Was Born
- Big Big Train – London Plane
- Drifting Sun – Intruder
- Anderson/Stolt – Knowing
- Nick Mason & Rick Fenn – Lie For A Lie (Extended)
- Syndone – L’urlo Nelle Ossa
- Peter Gabriel – My Head Sounds Like That
iTunes/iPod users*: Just search for ‘Progzilla’ or subscribe to: http://podcasts.progzilla.com/cliff/podcast.xml
There is something great every time when seeing a kid playing guitar, and for 12 year old Vincent Brzezinski it seems like a lot of fun. But Vincent is also damn good at what he does.
Check his cover of Conquering Dystopia‘s “Ashes of Lesser Men” below. Keith Merrow himself was very appreciative of this kido, and how not to be.
Subscribe to Vincent’s YouTube channel here.
The post VIDEO: 12 Year Old Vincent Brzezinski Shreds CONQUERING DYSTOPIA’s “Ashes Of Lesser Men” appeared first on Prog Sphere.
Featuring guest contributions from Andy Burgess (Praying Mantis), actor Mark Benton (Northern Lights, Waterloo Road, Scoop, Dr. Who, etc.), Mike Freeland (More, ex-Praying Mantis) and Antoine Sazio (The New Year Project), it takes listeners on a trek through three millennia of history, juxtaposes classic comic book stories with a failing relationship, looks at the events and people who influence us consciously or otherwise, searches for the perfect woman, and takes minor detours via 80s hair rock and gin.
An album to be released in five parts, Still Sitting in Danny’s Car recounts a narrative that touches upon issues of friendship, nostalgia, loss, lust, lessons we might learn from ancient history, alcoholism, and the dilemmas that come with great power. It is both a quirky study of grief and a celebration of what it means to be alive. With Parts 1 & 2 already available, SSIDC 3: Rubicon continues this journey of everyday rockers, pubs, time travel and a job swap with Death.
- Timeo Danaos Et Dona Ferentes
- Whatever Happened to Mary Jane?§
- Gwen in Stasis
- Madame Geneva
- We Had The Rock‡/Lost Boys
The Mighty Handful
Ralph Blackbourn – Keyboards, vocals
Tom Halley – Bass, vocals Christopher James Harrison – Lead guitar, vocals Matt Howes – Lead vocals, guitars
Gary Mackenzie – Drums, vocals
*Andy Burgess – Lead Guitar §
Antoine Sazio – Saxophone
‡Mike Freeland – Lead Vocals
∞Mark Benton – Narration