Interview with Brian Tyler
8Dio Artist Spotlight. Answers by Brian Tyler / Questions by Troels Folmann. December 2012.
Tell us a little bit about your musical background- and influences?
My background in music came from me playing drums and piano as a young child. My grandmother was a pianist and I was influenced by her and my parents were playing rock records which influenced my drumming. I was a fan of film scores, rock, classical, jazz, and hip-hop in my early years and tried to learn as much about each of those genres as possible. I began writing music in a serious way in my teen years while I was playing in various bands and orchestras. Huge influences for me were John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, Rush, The Beatles, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Zimmer, James Horner, Vangelis, Thomas Dolby, Pink Floyd, Jerry Goldsmith, U2, John Barry, King Crimson, Radiohead, Public Enemy, Thomas Newman, Alex North, Arvo Part, John Adams, Steve Reich, Howard Shore, maybe I should stop! Haha.
You have done music for games, movies and TV now. Do you have a personal favorite? What would you like to do more of?
Movies are my main love but I really love composing regardless of the medium. I really count myself lucky to be doing what I do.
What changes do you foresee in the world of Movie/TV/Game Music within the next 10 years?
I think music in movies, tv, and games will continue to become more eclectic in style. There will be as many different genres of film music as there are in the rest of the music world. I don’t think there is a singular “film score” sound anymore. It is rather liberating.
Of all the projects you’ve worked on so far, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite is almost always my most recent project. I am very excited about Iron Man 3. I think the movie is amazing and Shane is an incredible director.
How do you normally go about scoring a film? Do you normally have a sketch pad of melody ideas or chord progressions that are readily available or is it generally on the fly writing?
I sketch out themes first after watching the film and letting it marinade for awhile. Then I usually develop a number of different themes for either characters or moods. At a certain point I will then jump right in to the movie and start tackling scenes specifically and utilize the themes I had written. So it is sort of a modified on-the-fly approach.
What is your DAW rig made of?
My rig consists of Protools, Logic, and Vienna Ensemble Pro. I have 5 computers running in tandem to give me some good horsepower and sampling memory.
What is the most memorable thing you have done in terms of getting source material (or finding the right session players) for your compositions?
I love working with the Hollywood Studio Symphony and finding amazing musicians and session players. Also it is great working with rock musicians. Having Slash play on my score for The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift” was amazing. Recently Serena McKinney destroyed the universe with a great violin solo on “Far Cry 3.”
What platform are you on (Mac/PC)?
Mac. I am a Mac nerd.
What are your most used 8DIO instruments and why?
I love Adagio Violins, the Taiko drums, and am just getting into using Requiem which seems amazing.
How did you integrate 8DIO samples into the work?
I record the samples into Protools, sometimes digitally and then manipulate and sometimes through an analog pathway. The 8DIO samples are extremely versatile in the way a standard instrument like a guitar can be. Truly musical through and through
What are you currently working on? What’s next for Brian Tyler? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I am currently working on Iron Man 3 and Black Sky. Standing Up comes out soon (from DJ Caruso) which is a completely different feel than the others. More of a warm tender score. Then I am scoring Invertigo for him next year. Also, Hawaii Five-0 and a number of games are on the dock as well.
It’s amazing to see how many instruments you play. When do you find the time to practice all the instruments you play?
I practice every day in some way on one of my instruments. The rest of the time I am playing the instruments in sessions of mine to keep my chops up. I love it!
What are your all time favorite video games?
Oooooh! Love games. Gran Turismo, Unreal Tournament GOTY (kicking it old skool), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Halo
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I love playing basketball. I go out and shoot on my half court and work on my handle! It is great to just get out and not be in the studio. And I enjoy doing some league play as well. Everyone needs balance and a life outside of their career, no matter how much one loves it.
Any last words of wisdom you would like to share with upcoming composers- and musicians?
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! No no. Keep on keeping on! You gotta love what you do and if you are a composer or a musician and really mean it, you are one for life regardless of how you make your money.
Brian Tyler uses the following 8Dio products:
Adagio String Series, Agitato String Series, Alien Drum, Ambient Guitar, Basstard, Bazantar, Epic Taiko Ensemble, Hybrid Rhythms, Hybrid Tools Series, Liberis, Plucked Grand Piano, Requiem Professional, Rhythmic Aura Vol.1, Solo Taiko Drums, V8P