As I sit down to write this, it occurs to me... I think Peter McConnell was one of the first game composers who I really "noticed" as a kid. And oddly enough, the game that did it was Full Throttle. Who remembers that gem, from the old PC adventure gaming days?
I enjoyed that game, and really liked how Peter was able to bring compelling composition to the game with a biker/metal "edge" to it, while still keeping the works in a variety of genres that worked great in whatever scene you were in. And even though the Gone Jackals were featured heavily with their rock tracks in the forefront of much of the game, I was still very drawn to McConnell's work, interwoven as it was.
And then I really started to notice his name, again and again, in games that had consistently great music. Day of the Tentacle. Sam and Max Hit the Road. Grim Fandango. Escape from Monkey Island. Psychonauts. The list goes on.
So if you've heard the American Album or Star Spangled Chips, then you've already heard me arrange the music of Peter McConnell a few times, either via some of the world music-infused tracks or the jazzier pieces, but it occurred to me... I'd never tackled one of the edgier rock/metal compositions by the guy. Since that scope of work was what introduced me to his name in the first place, I felt for this album that it was time to return to that particular root. And while I still want to do a Full Throttle remix at some point, a better choice for this project seemed to be from Tim Schafer's epic heavy metal adventure, Brutal Legend.
That said, the "Spirit of Bladehenge" theme seemed the ideal source composition to arrange. Listen to the original here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=APgaGhowwns
As far as inspiration goes, for some reason I felt like it would be fun to fuse the rock and metal aspect with "Angel" by Massive Attack, a trip-hop piece that's probably my favorite by that particular artist.
Now, take the ingredients above, and add one more. Waleed "zyko" Hawatky, my friend and fellow Bad Dude, and guitarist extraordinaire. I knew from the start that I wanted to bring him on to play the lead, and thankfully, he also loved the idea. Now if you're familiar with zyko's work, then you know that he has a tendency to... wander... in a really awesome way. So, I crafted the remix with that in mind, with plenty of breathing room and extensions of various sections where I could just let Waleed do what he does best. I gotta say, he knocked it out of the park.
The end result... Brutal Legend trip-hop metal featuring zyko. Unsurprisingly, it's a pretty long track... and I love it. This is the "headbanger" on the album, for sure.