Mark Morton of the Examiner has snagged an interview with Nathan Barr who is certainly gaining importance amidst the music and film industry. He certainly deserves such a reputation since his haunting compositions do so much to augment the moving images for which he composes.
Having only been in the film music composition scene for barely a decade, Nathan Barr has certainly racked up a mass of credits. With film work including Cabin Fever, the two Hostel movies, and 2001 Maniacs, he is easily among the breakout talent for the new breed of horror. Barr is also known for constantly challenging himself creatively, so between horror outings, he has frequently been seen scoring outlandish comedies for the Broken Lizard team (Club Dread, Beerfest, The Slammin’ Salmon).
But all of that is merely prologue, as Barr is best known for his dramatic and fiercely innovative scores for the hit HBO television series True Blood. In each episode, he effortlessly raises the bar for television music with unique instrumentation, genre blending, and a surgical attentiveness to character.
So, as we are on the eve of Halloween, be a little bit naughty, and sink your teeth into our conversation with Nathan Barr!
In your bio, it states that you were briefly under the wing of Hans Zimmer. What did he teach you that resonates through what you do these days?
I was under his wing for only eight months, and then I flew the nest. It was such an amazing experience. It was like being thrown into the deep end of the pool and learning to swim. I didn’t even understand what MIDI stood for when I began working for Hans. I had no knowledge of the technology behind film scoring; I had no knowledge about the creative process behind writing music-to-picture. So he was very gracious in the sense that he would let me sit behind him while he wrote and actually watch him write-to-picture, and that’s really where I learned that. And more than anything, he taught me the importance of technology. So when I walked in there, I knew next to nothing about any of that stuff, and when I left eight months later, I had a very strong foundation to work from.
By some bizarre twist of fate, you have become known primarily as a horror film composer, but you are also the go-to guy for the Broken Lizard movies. How did that dichotomy come together?
That’s a really good question, actually. It was just one of those random things. They say that, as a composer, you either start out in horror or porn, and I started in horror. I worked on a couple of horror films and then my agent randomly set me up on a meeting with Paul Soter, who is one of the Broken Lizard guys. And it ended up being for the film Club Dread, which was half horror, half comedy. It turned out to be a great collaboration, so it turned into opportunities to work on straight comedies with them, as well as Dukes of Hazzard, and they took me along for the ride. So yeah, it was a half horror, half comedy film that got the ball rolling.
To read the rest of this interview, go here.
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