It is not that simple to answer the question, Jared. Jon and I were hired to write both songs and score for the movie as a team. The songs had to come first as they had to be performed on camera for the film. Actually we were hired even before casting had begun on the movie. Obviously Jon and I bring different strengths to the table - I am an experienced and trained film composer and Jon is a very successful and seasoned songwriter and performer. I am capable of scoring without any help, just as Jon needs no help from me to write a song. In practice, however, we worked together as a team for both songs and score. As the songs came first, they heavily influenced the score - we pulled most of the themes in the score from the five songs we wrote. He learned a lot from me about the craft of film scoring, and I learned much from him about his unique approach to songcraft and record production. We became good friends during the year we worked together and influenced each other greatly in ways that continue to this day. If you listen closely to my score for I Spy you can hear touches of the Korn sound in some of the cues. I also like to think that working with me opened up Jon to other ways of writing for Korn. I definitley put in more hours on the score than he did, and he most definitely put in more time on the songwriting - but again, those score melodies were derived from the songs. So there really is no way to quantify who did more ultimately to create the score. We treated the project as a whole, songs and score, 50/50 and we are both very happy with the outcome of our labors. We are currently seeking another project to do together - this one was way too fun to leave it as a one-off.
I highly recommend the song cd - it went gold and continues to sell at a decent clip. It may or may not be your cup of tea, but I am very proud of what we wrought. The back story here is of some interest to you perhaps. Jon's voice is the singing voice of Lestat in the film, but when time came to release a soundtrack Sony (Korn's label) would not allow his voice to be released on a cd. A mad scramble ensued over at Warner Bros., with the end result being that an all-star cast was assembled to re-sing the five songs we wrote for Lestat. Jon and I produced Manson, David Draiman (Staind), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Wayne Static (StaticX) and Jay Gordon (Orgy) singing over our tracks in a two day marathon – all of the guest stars were enthusiastic and very well prepared. Check it out.
This is an e-mail exchange I just had that I thought might be of interest to people on this thread:
Dear Mr. Gibbs,
My name is Robert Stephan and I have a couple of questions concerning the Queen of the Damned score album. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I watched Queen of the Damned for the first time. I absolutely loved it, especially the score! Right after I saw the movie I went and bought the soundtracks. Everything was perfect with the soundtrack with various artists, but I was very disappointed with the score soundtrack. Half of the most memorable songs were not even on the CD. There are three songs that come to my mind that were not on the soundtrack. The scenes which the songs are played are: 1) Akasha bursting through the floor of the stage, seizing Lestat in her arms, and flying them both to the sea shore. 2) Akasha leaving the vampire pub in flames. 3) Lestat lying on the Satellite. This song is even played on the DVD at the menu screen.
My questions are, why were these songs not included on the soundtrack, and (for the ultimate question!) could it be possible to re-release the Queen of the Damned Score Album with all of these songs included or more? I know it’s really late to be requesting a re-release to a 2002 score album but I most definitely feel that these perfectly chilling pieces should be included on the score album. Again I would like to say that I loved the score and I hope you consider re-releasing the score album. Please reply as soon as possible.
Sincerely, Robert Stephan
Hello Robert, Thanks for listening and thanks for your compliments! The reason that the score album was so short simply comes down to money. Score albums typically do not sell very well at all - 25,000 units is a hit in the score soundtrack world. So you can understand why labels are reluctant to invest much money in them, especially when the same label already has a song soundtrack in the marketplace (which in this case has sold well over 500,000 units!). The score was recorded in Los Angeles with American Federation of Musician players. The AFofM has very stringent rules regarding soundtrack albums. The record company must pay every musician that performed on the score again. How much is paid out is based on several factors: the size of the orchestra (100+ in this case), the anticipated sales (this part is a bit complicated to explain here), and, most importantly here, the number of minutes of score included! The minutes are calculated in 15 minute increments - Warner Bros. Records requested that we keep the minute total under 30. I eked out every possible second under this formula. Believe me, both Jonathan and I felt a certain amount of pain when we excluded particular cues, including the ones you mentioned. Unfortunately the score album's sales stayed true to low-performing score album standards, so I am sure there will be no re-release. I wish there could be. Adios, Richard Gibbs
VERY interesting information and good for a soundtrack collector to know. I didn't know that they had to pay for it all over again. You would think that the rights would be already covered in the original contract.
There is a movement afoot within the union to re-work the "new use" fees - hopefully they will become much more reasonable. Meanwhile scores recorded overseas or with the non-union orchestras in Seattle and Salt Lake City are completely unencumbered - hence the release of The Book of Stars soundtrack this summer (recorded in Seattle). This is also why my score for First Kid was released - it was recorded in London.
Every so often I am flattered to receive an e-mail like this one I just opened -
hello my name is ******* and i am quite interested with the song "sex on the beach" on the queen of the damned score. The violin in it sort of mesmerizes me a little bit and i was wondering if there was some way i could try and play it on my acoustic guitar of if anyone has tried? im more curious to find some sort of tablature for me to follow along to. thanx for your time and keep up the good work.
Usually they get the title right 'On the Beach', and usually it is from a violinist seeking a transcription. I might as well post this here for all who are interested - unfortunately, there is no written version of any of the solo violin pieces that Shankar performed for us (it's a long story). If someone wants to transcribe it, I will gladly proof it and post it here!
I had a question for ya. I really love the track Secret Passage, but I am a music whore and when I find something I like I need to snag more of it. I was wondering if you had any artists that influenced the track that you could recommend.
A belated kudos on the albums. Some friends of mine and I saw the movie in theaters and the first thing we did after we left the theater was buy the soundtracks.
Thanks Matt! I can't really point to any one specific influence for that track, although thematically it does tie back to the five songs we wrote (somewhat elliptically). Shankar was a spark on many cues, including that one. I highly recommend you track down his work with Shakti (there is a greatest hits cd available) and listen to his playing and vocalizing on Peter Gabriel's score to The Last Temptation, released as The Passion. If you want to go even further afield listen to Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and The Rite of Spring. No direct correlation there, but always a wellspring of influence and inspiration for yours truly. I realize what a piker I am every time I listen to those pieces.
Hey Richard! I loved the work you did on Queen of the Damned, and I as well enjoyed the scene where the girl played violin on the beach. I was wondering, is there any way to get ahold of the sheet music for that particular part? I would love to learn how to play, and am willing to pay! Thanks!
Hi there, i loved the song On the beach, i was wondering if i can get the partiture sended to my email if is not much trouble, the part of the viola and violin at least. Thanks, my mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
sorry if is that too much trouble but i cant find it anywhere. I would like to learn it to play it for my self :)