Exclusive Interview – Dreamcatcher composer Alexander Taylor

What begins off as associates attending an underground music pageant, shortly turns right into a 48-hour whirlwind of violence and mayhem in Samuel Goldwyn Movies’ Dreamcatcher. Because the story unfolds, the large query turns into, who’s the killer? The thriller horror movie stars Niki Koss (Well-known in Love), Zachary Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Child), Travis Burns (The Christmas Itemizing), Blaine Kern III (Completely happy Demise Day), Olivia Sui (Smosh), Emrhys Cooper (Mamma Mia!), Elizabeth Posey (Euphoria), Nazanin Mandi (Twenties), Lou Ferrigno Jr. (S.W.A.T.) and Adrienne Wilkinson (Star Trek: Renegades). The movie was written and directed by Jacob Johnston, who is not any stranger to the horror style, he wrote episodes of CryptTV’s The Look-See and Sunny Household Cult. Additionally including to the bloody good time is the unique rating by Alexander Taylor. A few of Taylor’s different credit embody the hit documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Road, The Useless of Night time and Hunter’s Moon. Taylor explains that he bought to return to his “storage rock roots” for the Dreamcatcher rating and likewise bought inspiration from Joe Perry’s tone in Aerosmith’s Dream On. Within the beneath unique, Taylor goes in depth concerning the course of for crafting the right sound for Dreamcatcher.


You could have scored a number of horror movies. How would you say your rating is completely different for Dreamcatcher, than others you may have labored on?

I really exit of my method to rating horror. It’s my favourite style, and positively my space of experience. I actually attempt to make all of my scores sound completely different, ? When somebody listens to a monitor from Dreamcatcher, I would like them to right away acknowledge it’s from Dreamcatcher. Identical with Scream Queen, The Useless of Night time, Arkansas, Hunter’s Moon… Every rating has a very completely different sonic language or palette, and that’s by design. Like, if a chef solely makes use of the identical 5 elements in each meal, after some time, all of it begins to style the identical. I don’t need that.

For Dreamcatcher, I had a novel alternative the place electrical guitar could possibly be a principal ingredient within the cues. I bought to return to my “storage rock roots” and actually hone a guitar tone that’s type of changing into a signature sound. It’s enjoyable speaking about this as a result of I didn’t understand how a lot it developed from my preliminary concept. I initially wished to imitate Joe Perry’s tone in Aerosmith’s Dream On. That was actually no simple process, however after fiddling round, I am going shut sufficient. From there, I ended up drowning it in numerous guitar pedals till I discovered one thing I simply actually beloved. One thing distinctive to itself. Dreamy, darkish reverb, however nonetheless had chunk within the distortion.

I additionally bought to play with lots of synth parts. For Dreamcatcher, I purchased a Korg Minilogue XD, which I used to be capable of discover through the writing course of. An organization out of the UK really despatched me a pair synths to make use of on the rating as properly. Dubreq. They make a cool pocket synth referred to as the Stylophone. In addition they despatched me a extra substantial synth referred to as the S2. You’ll be able to hear lots of the S2 in Agent of Chaos and the Phantom cues.

Except for being in my synth/rock consolation zone, I nonetheless needed to do some homework. The whole movie takes place on the earth of digital dance music, so naturally the rating needed to replicate a few of that as properly. I had a crash course in EDM from my older sister Amanda, so I used to be in a position so as to add little EDM flavors right here and there. Jacob (director) gave me sufficient time and room to be indulgent with this rating, so I actually took benefit of that.

Are you able to discuss your collaboration with the Dreamcatcher director Jacob Johnston?

Oh yeah! Jacob is unbelievable. Truthfully type of mysterious, too. I keep in mind once we first began speaking about Dreamcatcher. He despatched me the screenplay in December, and as quickly as I learn it, I knew I needed to do it. Music was an integral a part of the flick, so I knew I’d have an excellent time IF I bought it.

I’d attain out once in a while, poking and prodding to see if he had anybody in thoughts. By summer time, they have been into manufacturing. From what I perceive, he had spoken with some fairly huge composers at that time, so I simply assumed I didn’t get the gig. Then in the future whereas they have been filming, he requested me to shoot his workforce a demo monitor. I booked it to the studio, hammered one out in about 7 hours, and shot it over to his workforce. Then… silence. I didn’t hear again for some time. As soon as once more, I assumed I didn’t get it.

A couple of week later, Jacob shoots me a textual content and tells me he really performed it for individuals on set. The actors, specifically, to get them in the best mindset for a very trippy scene. That’s after I safely assumed I landed it.

Working with Jacob was superior. He actually pushed me to do one thing completely different. Like I discussed earlier than, I don’t like utilizing the identical palette twice from movie to movie. Effectively, Jacob wished me to make use of a distinct palette from cue to cue, which at first was actually scary. It’s widespread for us to reuse the identical primary template for a number of cues in a rating; it saves lots of time, and may additional be sure that the whole rating is sonically constant. I assumed ranging from scratch at each cue would decelerate the method, nevertheless it was actually actually liberating. I by no means used the identical template twice in that rating, and ever since, I take a look at a clean cue session completely completely different now.

There’s some new stuff within the works, so fortunately, I’ll be working with Jacob increasingly more.


Jacob Johnston not solely directed Dreamcatcher however he additionally wrote it. When he was writing the movie, was he already envisioning what he wished the rating to sound like? Did he come to you with concepts once you first started?

Oh yeah. We chatted concerning the music lengthy earlier than I knew I bought the gig and signed any paperwork. He knew he wished one thing digital, contemplating the setting of Dreamcatcher. We wished to keep away from a “throwback” rating, which individuals have a tendency to think about once they head down the synth freeway as of late. He wished one thing clearly up to date, however with its personal distinctive angle.

Early on, he despatched me a playlist he was listening to whereas writing the screenplay. That actually helped me perceive the place he was eager to go along with it. Jacob knew what he wished, but in addition let me uncover and experiment alone to search out one thing really distinctive to Dreamcatcher.

Dreamcatcher is a slasher movie. With slasher movies, comes lots of leap scares. How did you method these sequences? Do you assume greater is best?

See, horror is exclusive in that approach as a result of it’s the one style the place you attempt to mislead or trick the viewers. The identical will be mentioned with character themes. You might need to throw suspicion onto somebody, so that you make their theme a bit of darker in a single scene. Then within the subsequent scene you need to shift suspicion onto another person, so that you increase their theme. It’s enjoyable, and I actually can’t consider one other style that encourages deception within the writing course of. As for leap scares, it’s at all times enjoyable to tweak the formulation.

There’s the inciting incident, normally dressed up with a musical stinger. Then the quiet, tense thriller of “the place did that noise come from?” For me, that’s the place the enjoyable occurs. You’ll be able to subtly ramp as much as trick individuals into considering it’s about to occur, after which deliver it again down actually fast. Like a curler coaster. Is the killer below the mattress? Let’s look. Is he within the closet? Let’s take a peek. The music has to comply with all of that. It’s really the subtleties earlier than the large drop that I discover probably the most enjoyable to write down.

Are you going to be releasing the Dreamcatcher rating?

Sure, we’re! I’m very excited to say that we partnered up with Matthew Chojnacki’s 1984 Publishing to launch the soundtrack for Dreamcatcher! The workforce over there’s completely unbelievable, and it’s so nice to work with them once more.

I used to be lucky sufficient to work with Matthew on our vinyl launch of Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Road. That was my first vinyl launch, and as a musician, 1984 made a dream come true. I can’t sing their praises extremely sufficient.

You scored the documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Road. What scene, musically, was your favourite in that movie? Why?

That’s actually a troublesome query. I actually beloved that complete movie, and it’s very near my coronary heart. But when I had to decide on, it may be a tie between the Mark’s Childhood block and the ultimate ten minutes.

The childhood part was my audition piece for the movie, so it’s very particular to me. The music itself could be very harmless, heat, and pretty playful at instances. Like, the world hasn’t crushed it down but. Not that Mark would ever let the world beat him down, however for a story sense, I actually wished that concept to shine by.

The closing block at all times offers me goosebumps. The part with Folks Like Me is the part I’m most proud. It not solely reveals Mark’s denouement, nevertheless it additionally serves as a name to motion. When he says “I’ll be god-damned if I let it occur to a different particular person”…. It at all times will get me. And musically talking, it’s only a very textured, layered, and emotional monitor. I really feel just like the monitor displays Mark’s journey the very best.


There are 30 tracks on the Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Road album, so it’s secure to say the movie could be very music heavy. How lengthy did it take you rating this movie?

That’s a joke, really. I began writing most likely a bit too early; lengthy earlier than Roman and Tyler (administrators) had a ultimate reduce. Scenes have been altering, transferring, or outright being reduce, so I scored tons of variations of the documentary, which is why I’ve a lot unused music from it mendacity round. To be completely clear, this was my fault. They at all times wished me to attend till they have been nearer to a ultimate reduce, however I used to be simply so pumped to be on that undertaking. Plus, I simply appreciated speaking with them, so it was my excuse to get their consideration. So the method began in late 2016 and went all the way in which till late 2019, so about 3 years or so?

It’s attention-grabbing listening again to this rating as a result of it type of serves as a time capsule or musical diary for me. A lot occurred in my life in these three years, and listening to the music brings me again to lots of these moments. Components of my life the place I had these melodies caught in my head simply rush again.

Did you at all times need to compose for movie or was it one thing you found after listening to a particular movie rating when rising up?

Rising up, I simply knew I wished to entertain. I wished to be an actor after I was a child, a rock star after I was in highschool, and a director after I was in school. Then I moved out to LA, and it confirmed me that I used to be meant to be a composer.

I majored in Movement Image Manufacturing at Wright State College. I used to be decided to be a director as a result of I beloved performing and dealing with actors a lot. On the time, budgets weren’t nice, so I ended up scoring most of my thesis work. Ultimately, different college students heard, and since I used to be the one one which had any musical background, I ended up scoring about 15 quick movies earlier than I even graduated. I by no means thought you possibly can make a profession out of it as a result of it was a lot enjoyable, and now it’s all I do.

Who’re your largest musical influences?

My first actual writing accomplice was a really shut good friend of mine named Griffin Ritze. We have been in a band for years, and later scored some quick movies. Truly, my first three scores have been written with him. He was very severe about the entire course of, and I believe that work ethic rubbed off on me. I caught the bug for movie scoring with him. These nights we might keep up, chugging espresso or wine, and simply write. It was my favourite a part of the filmmaking course of. We have been associates with a ton of musicians too, so we’d have them are available and lay down tacks. Like I discussed earlier than, it was a lot enjoyable that I couldn’t probably think about making a dwelling off of it. Griffin taught me a ton about music writing, scoring, mixing, recording, and actually formed my musical style. I’d prefer to work with him on one other undertaking sometime.

Different artists like Nick Cave and the Unhealthy Seeds, Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, Radiohead… They have been all very influential. I used to be at all times interested in distinctive or damaged voices. And one thing unpolished and uncooked concerning the music. As of late, it’s been lots of Cigarettes After Intercourse, Orville Peck, and Leonard Cohen’s newer stuff.

As for movie composers although, that checklist can also be nearly limitless. Jon Brion. John Carpenter. Philip Glass. Thomas Newman. Benjamin Wallfisch. Bernard Herrmann. Clint Mansell. Cliff Martinez. Shirley Walker. I may go on and on.

Does your artistic course of differ based mostly on the kind of movie you’re scoring?

Oh completely. Every movie finds its personal voice, and that’s the enjoyable a part of the artistic course of. Typically a brand new instrument will turn into the muse for a rating. Different instances, I attempt to discover a brand new musical style. As soon as I even constructed my very own instrument loosely based mostly off of Mark Korven’s Apprehension Engine. It was an enormous ugly factor, nevertheless it labored properly sufficient.

There’s limitless methods to write down music, and I’m wanting ahead to a life-long pursuit of discovering the following scary factor.

Dreamcatcher is being launched digitally March fifth.


Supply by way of www.flickeringmyth.com

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