You've recently composed and recorded the theme song for the movie Party
Bus to Hell - so do talk about that song for a bit, its style,
instrumentation, influences, whatever else?
This was a really fun song to work on. I usually don't work on straight
up rock music (and I don't really sing either), so this was quite
different for me, but I knew between the name of the film and some of the
classic rock bands the producers mentioned, what it was that I needed to
do. Power chords, a kicking beat, some screaming vocals and the most
brain-melting solo I could manage (again, I'm not really a rock guy, but I
did my best haha). I also am the demon girl backing vocals too (with lots
How did you
get involved with the project in the first place? And since you've worked
with the team behing Party
Bus to Hell before, do talk about your previous collaborations!
producers of the film, Sonny & Michael Mahal are local here in Las
Vegas and we used to run into each other at film events all the time. They
knew I was doing music for film and we always talked about working
together. I first ended up working with them on the theme song to their
previous film Last Day Of School, which is more of a early
2000's pop-punk song (and the last time I worked in rock music haha). I'm
sure the next time I do a straight up rock track complete with vocals
it'll be with them again.
you at all know the film before you recorded your tune or at least know
what it was about? And some thoughts about the movie as such?
Bus to Hell
Bus Party to Hell
as it has been renamed for
release) pretty much told me all I needed to know. I hadn't seen any
footage until I did the final master of the song, and at that point
nothing much changed anyway. But
yeah, a party bus that ends up in hell... It needs the rock!
Bus to Hell is a horror movie, a genre you always seem to come
back to when composing for movies - so what's your explanation for this,
and is horror a genre you're at all fond of?
I'm not the biggest horror fan... I do love funny horror movies with a lot
of gore... the Evil Dead series are some of my favorite movies of all
time... but really it's less about the genre itself and more that when
composing music, I just tend to gravitate towards darker, creepy type of
music. I've had people ask me to do brighter, poppier stuff, and I try,
and it still comes out dark and scary.
Two more of
your songs are also featured in Party
Bus to Hell, right? So talk about those for a bit?
we were finishing up the theme song, the film's main composer Christopher
Farrell asked me if I had any other tracks to fill out some scenes in the
film. At that point I had seen the trailer so I knew a little bit more of
the feel of the film and knew that the tracks Burnout and
Scarecrow could potentially be a great fit. Christopher really
hooked those tracks up with two of the best scenes in the film!
$64 question of course, where can your songs be acquired from?
did you know my albums had generated a total of roughly $64 so far? Just
kidding, but my albums are available anywhere music is available really...
The track Burnout is from my 3rd album Head Like Fire, which is
available on iTunes/Amazon/CD Baby and pretty much everywhere else, and
Scarecrow is actually a free track on a special album of
B-sides & remixes called ...Like Ashes that's only available on my
Bandcamp profile at
future projects you'd like to share, no matter if movie- or just
happen to be in the process of releasing my 4th album right now called A
Different Kind Of Dream. It will be available on May 18th on
iTunes/Amazon/CD Baby/Bandcamp and everywhere else. This is actually the
first in a new strategy I'm implementing in which I'll be releasing new
music at a much faster pace... I'll be following up A Different Kind Of
Dream with a bunch of singles, EPs and compilations. No more one album
every 2-3 years. I'm just going to keep releasing more new music. I also
have a really awesome music video called Artificial coming out
later this year and my 3rd VR 360 music video called
Palindrone. So lots of cool stuff!
What got you into making music in the
first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
don't really have any formal training aside from a few piano/guitar
lessons here and there. Towards the end of high school me and some friends
were inspired by industrial groups like Nine Inch Nails and Front 242 to
get MIDI hardware and software and start messing around trying to make
music. I experimented with lots of different kinds of music, but
Industrial was the first thing I wanted to make. I kind of took the
journey through making rap beats to new age to film scores and finally to
industrial... But really I tend to just blend everything together into
something that sounds good to me regardless of genre.
did you get into scoring movies, and could you take us through a typical
studion session when scoring?
I've always loved film music
and as I started learning to make music, I would notice a lot of stuff I'd
make would kind of just work its way towards sounding like something that
would be in a film. So really it's a little by luck that I got started
when I scored my first short, but from then on it's been my main goal and
passion in this career. Every film is approached a little differently
depending on the needs of the film and various factors, but usually if I'm
actually scoring a film completely I watch it once straight through while
making little notes of what scenes are going to need music and which
aren't (deciding where to not have music can be just as important as the
music that you do make). Then it's kind of just like making a song for
me... I just start playing around with different instruments and figuring
out what works for the scene... once I get one scene really good things
start to fall into place from there... as long as the director is happy
haha, that's important too... and on 90% of the 40+ projects I've
scored, the director was always happy on that first sample already and
things went really smoothly all the way through.
So what can you tell us
about your filmwork prior to Party
Bus to Hell then?
I have scored a ton of short
films... My IMDb profile lists like 30 or so but that's not even all of
them. I've also had music in films that I didn't score completely (Party
Bus to Hell is actually one of them since I didn't do the entire score).
I've also had music in video-games, TV, commercials... I even did a rap
song in the voice of Dog for a barking dog alarm clock toy haha. I've had
a very varied career... As far as feature films are concerned, aside from
Bus Party to Hell
and Last Day Of School, I also did a lot of
the music for a feature called Better Criminal and the score for a found
footage scary doll film called Heidi (although since it was found footage
there's very little score). I love working on shorts but I'm definitely
hoping to continue adding more feature films to my filmography.
Do talk about your preferred
musical styles for a bit!
I was saying earlier, when I start to work on a piece of music, it usually
goes to the dark side pretty quickly, whether I'm working on film score,
or an electronic music track, or hip-hop, or something else, it always
tends to have a dark twist to it... The funny thing is I'm not necessarily
doing that on purpose, but it's definitely something I'm happy to have
since that's also what I prefer to listen to.
Musicians who inspire you?
three biggest inspirations are by far The Cure, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch
Nails. I also love a lot of film music composers, bands from every genre
of music, and honestly, I love Michael Jackson. Obviously Thriller is the
best "dark" song of all time haha.
since this is a movie site, your favourite movies?
tend to like dark comedies that make you think... Charlie Kaufman's films
like Adaptation, Synecdoche, NY and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
are some of my favorite movies of all time. I love the Coen Brothers.
Two of my favorite recent movies were Mother! and Good Time.
and of course, films you really deplore?
That's a tough one
as I'm usually open to giving anything a try... I know this is a horror
site but I kind of hate those same-old, same-old American but styled after
Japanese horror films where every one is the exact same thing (an old
house, a creepy kid, nothing much actually happens, every 15 minutes
there's a really loud sound that startles you, the spirit just wanted to
be heard... blah blah blah). Those are the worst. And I'm not really big
on straight action movies unless there's some twist to it like it's really
funny or there's a monster.
Facebook, BandCamp, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
main website where you can find out lots more about me and links to
everything else is
You can also find me on Twitter at @bydavidrosen, on Facebook at
on Bandcamp at http://davidrosen.bandcamp.com.
My albums are also available on iTunes/Amazon/CD Baby, and all the rest
of the big music sites.
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
last thing I wanted to mention aside from a thank you for this awesome
interview, is that I also recently got into podcasting with a movie
podcast called Piecing It Together. It's a show where me and a co-host
take a look at a new movie and try to figure out what other movies
inspired it. We're 10 episodes in so far and I'm really loving doing it.
You can find Piecing It Together on Apple Podcasts and most other
apps. You can also follow us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram @piecingpod and
we'll soon have a website up at http://www.piecingpod.com
for the interview!