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Tyler Bates
Horror Interview by The Undertaker

Q: How did you become involved in The Devil's Rejects project?

I heard through a mutual friend, that Rob went to the "Dawn Of The Dead" premier, and really liked the music. So, I sent a copy of the score to him, and offered to help with the music for "The Devil's Rejects" in any way possible. It turned out that Rob had no intention of scoring the film, and asked that we get together to talk about the score.

Q: How does the process of scoring this film compare to some of the other horror projects you've done in the past?

Rob likes cutting to the actual score, as opposed to "temp" music. It's like the editing process of music videos, in that regard. His creative process is very much that of an artist on the fringe of madness. Rob's way of communicating is that of a movie director, not a rock star musician. He has a great deal of respect for the artistry and creative process of those he entrusts to the critical details of his films.

Q: Tell us about the other horror films you worked on; Our readers would probably be a little surprised at your impressive resume.

"Dawn Of the Dead" was my first real horror film. I am currently working with Gregory Dark on his film "Goodnight." I'll begin working on James Gunn's ("Dawn Of The Dead" writer) new film, "Slither," in the next couple weeks. I don't consider "The Devil's Rejects" to be a horror film though. I approached it as a psychotic thriller.

Q: What exactly is "The Black Sabbath Orchestra"?

"The Black Sabbath Orchestra," was just a nickname for the "Dawn Of the Dead" orchestral group. It was a way of suggesting to the orchestra that I wanted them to embrace the dissonance of the music, and have a good time!

Q: Tyler have you ever thought of opening a motel chain, Bates Motels?

Uh no. Not really.

Q: How did you get into doing scores for films as opposed to your other musical endeavors?

I don't score films as opposed to pursuing other creative endeavors. I've been fortunate enough to enjoy some success as a recording/touring musician. I know what it feels like to play to large audiences, and to see my mug on MTV. Personally, I enjoy the challenge of working with directors to help realize their artistic goals in film. Learning is a constant in the film-scoring business, which to me is appealing. There is always the opportunity to write and record music on a daily basis. And if you work with confident directors, they often times give you the chance to create something very unique, and unlike work you may have done in the past. Don't get me wrong, being in a band can be great fun, but the process of scoring movies is what I enjoy the most, at this point in my life.

Q: What are some of your personal favorite horror films? Why?

"The Omen," "Alien," "Last House On the Left," "Night Of The Living Dead," to name a few. The thing I like about these films is that they confront the depths of human nature, the will to survive, and they keep you uneasy from start to finish. I'm not a big fan of "slasher" films.

Q: What movie scores do you think stand out in the genre over the years?

"Alien" is great. I love the minimalism and effectiveness of John Carpenter's score for "Halloween." As far as contemporary horror scores go; I liked Christopher Young's score for "The Grudge," and Francois Eudes' score for "High Tension."

Q: How closely did Rob Zombie work with you on The Devil's Rejects score as far as what he wanted from you? Since you're both musicians, were there times when you butted heads over different ideas?

Rob pretty much left me to my own devices. He gave me the words "bleak" and "primal." That was about it. However I interpreted that was up to me. I was sure Rob expected me to create a sound specific to "The Devil's Rejects," - something unlike music he had heard in other films to that point. We never butted heads about anything. The whole process was cool!

Q: Are you excited about the film coming out and how do you think people will react to it?

Of course I'm excited about the film's release. I would venture to say that it's one of the heaviest films to receive such a wide theatrical release. It's the most abstract and aggressive score I've done to date. I certainly hope people see this film, and appreciate it. It's very compelling. Probably a bit too disturbing for your average date-night crowd, but I think the people who can handle this kind of film will love it. It delivers in every way!

Q: What's your favorite project you've done so far? Which score do you feel was your best thus far?

It would be difficult to say what my favorite project has been thus far. I have been very fortunate to work with many great directors, who happen to be very cool and interesting people. They all tend to challenge me to see what I'm capable of. Anytime you successfully complete a project, it becomes your favorite. I feel my work on "Get Carter," "BAADASSSSS!," "Night At The Golden Eagle," and "Dawn Of The Dead," are among my better scores.

Q: What project do you have lined up in the future? anything horror related?

As I mentioned, I'm going to work with James Gunn on "Slither." That film is insane! I will most likely begin working with Zack Snyder on his battle epic "300," towards the beginning of the year. There are a few things up in the air at the moment.

Q: Last ?, any last comments or info you'd like to relay on The Devil's Rejects or working on this movie?

No. I'm sure I said enough.

find information about Tyler Bates at imdb.com find horror stuff by Tyler Bates

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