Brian Ritzel stumbled upon music supervision with The Virgin Suicide in 1999, but went on to work with the French Dream-Pop band The wind On film scores, he helped us ring in the current era of film music, where well-known artists play a central role in creating soundtracks that sound like appropriate albums. Before Thom York Score Susperia And Kendrick Lamar Supervision Black Panther: Album, Reitzell was equally able to perform synergistic audiovisual feats. In 2003, he believed My Bloody Valentine Kevin Shields to record Engaged in translation, And he turned Explosion in the sky Score them in the mainstream Friday night light In 2004. Most recently, Ritzel wrote the favorite original song Debbie Harry When Sturge scored American Gods Series, and Netflix has created a unique interactive soundtrack for choosing your own adventures Black Mirror: Bandersnach. Since syncing music with visuals is one of the more profitable and creatively satisfying outlets for working musicians, we reached out to Ritzel for a chat.
Spotify for Artists: Describe what you do and give a short story of how you got there.
Brian Ritzel: I met Sophia Coppola when I was a traveling drummer in a band called the Red Cross. I’ve been a record geek all my life – the kind of guy who remembers where the record was recorded, what year, who was on the band – and when he was making The Virgin Suicide, he asked if I could help him track some old songs . He had already brought Air to score the movie, but when I met them, we had a lot in common and I ended up joining the band, so we scored together. Now when I work with something, I don’t just wear a hat as a music supervisor or composer. I’ll think about music when I’m watching something or reading a script, and if that music exists, I’ll pull it out of my record collection or digital library. If it doesn’t, I’ll sit down and write something. Of course, I can’t do or play everything, so it feels good to be able to draw what someone else is doing. Like Lost in Translation, I was going for this kind of contradictory, intoxicating, jet-lagged feeling that only my bloody Valentine could give you, so why not invite Kevin Shields to be a part of it?
Brian Ritzel on the set of Marie Antoinette
Were you an artist fan of growing up, the story you heard, or an artist with whom you crossed paths that encouraged you to pursue a career?
I didn’t know that being a music supervisor was actually what I was doing. At the time, only people like Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Martin Scorsese were using heavy musical supervision. But in the case of the composer, when I was younger, Stuart Copeland went on to become a drummer The police To score Rumble fish. Around the same time, Mark Isham, who called a band of my choice Group 87, Became a film composer. I think listening to those scores the same way I would listen to my rock or jazz record. I dreamed of becoming a drummer in a rock band – to travel and make records – but I did it and was tired of being a ringo. I was planning to leave, so Sophia saved me. I worked in cinema and learned what to do.
What are you looking for in the artist you want to work with?
It’s really all about the movie. I’ve worked with a variety of artists over the years – as long as the song is emotional and consistent with the movie, I can score the whole thing with just one or two songs. At first I started requesting instruments from the band, the way I was able to edit a bunch of tracks from one Spoon Albums, throw them Unfamiliar than fiction, Then bring inside Brit Daniel Play it and create a new version. Today, record companies also sometimes send stalks, which really gives me a chance to do something. After all, it doesn’t matter if you’re a famous rock star or not – I’ve put bands in movies that are rarely known – it’s good to have an instrumental version out there. Music supervisors spent ten hours researching on the floor of a record store.
Spoon photo by Jacqueline Michael
What is the biggest tool for an artist in 2019 from your perspective and why?
The biggest tool is the computer. If you are interested in working your music with the film, put your music in the film. Many of my scenes have been rescued by people who use their own music or favorite artists, then share online. I’m a pro tools guy, but I’m sure there are plenty of programs where you can work with videos you take a film of your choice and maybe play with, or any songs you already have and start touring them. Do a little of my work and start learning what works for you, and why it works, when you see how the music changes the furniture in the room, so to speak. It teaches you how powerful music is in a movie. It’s also a lot of fun.
What is the best advice for you at the beginning of any artist?
I think the most important thing is to do it. Whether it’s playing your instrument in a band or making music for a movie, you don’t have to wait to get paid – you can do it. There are tools, but the important thing is to always be inspired. I think the best way to stay emotional is to stop finding things that interest you. There is so much music that none of us can really find everything we love. So it is not possible to run out of fuel. And to get involved with the film, the field is wide. I started working with Air, who were already making soundtrack music, but you don’t need that kind of sound to be cinematic. You can be an acoustic guitar, or a sampler, or whatever. You can really be anything.
– Chris Martins