"Halo 4" Soundtrack Remixer DJ Skee: It's Going to be 'Epic' (Interview)

"Halo 4" Soundtrack Remixer DJ Skee: It's Going to be 'Epic' (Interview)

Did you get to play Halo 4 at all or have you seen anything from it?
Nah, I've seen, obviously, all the trailers and everything that's online, and you know, they've showed me some of the trailers, but I haven't actually got my hands on it. So that's why I'm trying to hold Microsoft and everybody up right now so I can get my copy. I'm eagerly anticipating like everybody else.

What do you think about 343's take on the series?
I mean, I think, look: at the end of the day, it's all about how the gameplay is. It doesn't matter who's really making it, who's, you know, anything like that. I think it's going to continue its legacy. It's something that has such high expectations, and it's going to be tough to let down, because I know everybody's putting everything they have into it, especially, you know, a classic series. I don't think it really matter at the end of the day. It's just all about Halo, the series.

Do you feel the pressure of that legacy, working on a track?
Yeah, absolutely, I mean…we spent a little extra time in the studio, THX and I, just making sure it was right and mixing it down and adding sounds at the last second. Because, you know, it's such a big thing, and just how big worldwide, and how big video games are—they're bigger than movies now, they're bigger than anything–you know, so to be involved in that process, to make sure it sounded right and was something that would fit in the game—it wasn't just a targeted audience. Like a lot of times remixes are just done for a club or for this—this one was for Halo, which is worldwide. It's people that love all genres, all, you know, across all boundaries, across borders, languages, and all that, so we really went in and hoped—and luckily, by the early reaction when we sent it in to Microsoft people and, you know, all the Halo people, everybody loved it. So I think we did a good job, but yeah, I mean, it's definitely nerve-wracking to stand up to that pressure and have to make it epic.

Had you ever worked on a song from or for a game before?
Yeah, we'd done some stuff on video games before, but nothing as big as Halo.

What games?
We've done some of the stuff with some of the basketball games, and stuff from EA, some of the sports games, and put music in them, and all that, and all of those were great experiences too. But, you know, we're talking about Halo, which is insane [laughing].

Halo 4 seems like a big departure in some ways. Do you think the music, from what you've heard, reflects that?
Yeah, I don't think—I mean, look: with Neil being involved, it definitely steps it up, you know, to what it is. But it sounds very familiar. Like, if you were to go through and listen to the music, you'd definitely say it would fit in with any of the Halo games. But it definitely has an edge, and a little, you know—I think it's going to really impress people when they hear the whole thing.

Is working on game music different from other types of music?
Yeah, I mean, it's almost tougher, in a weird way, because you don't know who you're making it for, and you have to make it work along all these boundaries, and especially with something so big, that crosses—I mean, usually for a remix it's like let's do a club remix, or let's do a hip-hop remix and get an artist on it, or—something like this it's totally different. So it was definitely a different approach. And just figuring out how to, you know—what the sound we wanted to go for when we went in, like, I just had to hear the track and break it down, and the remix that we came up with really kind of takes you a few different directions, which I think will make everybody happy.

Do you have any favorite songs from past Halo games?
I wouldn't say I have any favorite songs. I mean, the music's just always been that kind of futuristic, epic stuff. I think my favorite song would probably be from this one, though. Judging from all the stuff that I've heard, it's just incredible.

Thanks Skee!

Tags: halo-4, dj-skee, 343-industries, microsoft, neil-davidge
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