Do you remember the first time you saw Night of the Living Dead? Why did you choose to compose a score for it in particular?
I think it would've been in High School. NotLD was suggested for us, it wasn't my idea, but i loved the idea immediately. To be honest, I enjoy being offered a project rather than having to propose one for once : )
I heard you tried to do a similar thing for Akira, but ran into issues with rights? That would have been incredible.
Yeah it wasn’t our fault either, the promoters hadn't properly cleared the rights before announcing, we had no idea. Luckily we had only just started moving to early rehearsals while still working on the arrangement. I had considered recording our reworking of the original music for a free recording but the pandemic has put any projects like that on pause.
Do you watch a lot of horror movies? If so, what’s your favourite?
I used to watch a lot of horror movies, nowadays I opt for Asian content, comedy and cartoons/anime the most. But when I was younger I watched an incredible number of B movies and horror, some of my favs includeCandyman, Hausu, Alien, Evil Dead series,They Live, Dawn of The Dead. For new films I enjoyed Get Out and Ready or Not as well as the tv series Kingdom.
Who are some of your favourite film composers? Do you have a favourite score in particular?
I've always loved Johann Johannson, Ennio Morricone, John Carpenterand the work of Joe Hisaishi.
How do you approach composing for film versus composing music for Yamantaka // Sonic Titan?
I don't worry as much when it's for film. It is painting a part of an image and can't be criticized by the public in the same terms that a pop recording can be. Lyrics usually don't matter either, and I never need to be able to perform it on tour with an ensemble. Arrangement wise, anything goes, as long as the Director and I agree on what the film needs. I can spend a year or two on an album, but a film is 6-8 weeks at most.
The POP Montreal family has decided that the screening of Night of the Living Dead with a score by members from Yamantaka // Sonic Titan will take place on Sunday June 7th, alongside a discussion about race that we hope will model the discussions families are having everywhere; we will discuss the anti-black violence in the film as it is related to ongoing anti-black violence in the US, Canada and Quebec. During this discussion we will consider the ways in which art can make transparent to the dynamics of white supremacy. We will also talk about POP's commitment to applying anti-racist principles in our actions as a cultural organization, as well as how we can continue to learn, grow and remain committed to racial justice as a cultural organization. We strive to create spaces for dialogues through which we learn and grow as we work to create cultural spaces rooted in social justice.