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An Interview with David Rosen, Composer and Performer of Party Bus to Hell's Title Track

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2018

Films scored by David Rosen on (re)Search my Trash


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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 of effects)!


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!


The 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.


Did 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?


The title Party Bus to Hell (or 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!


Party 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?


Funny enough 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?


As 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!


The $64 question of course, where can your songs be acquired from?


How 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


Any future projects you'd like to share, no matter if movie- or just music-related?


I 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?


I 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.


How 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 the Mahals' 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!


Like 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?


My 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.


And since this is a movie site, your favourite movies?


I 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.


Your website, Facebook, BandCamp, whatever else?


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My 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 and on Bandcamp at 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?


The 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 podcast apps. You can also follow us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram @piecingpod and we'll soon have a website up at


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD