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After the original Saints Row landed on the Xbox 360 in 2006 and broke out in a big way, licensed music has firmly become an essential part of the franchise's appeal, with Kanye West, Faith No More, Deadmau5, Mötley Crüe, Hall & Oates, De La Soul, My Chemical Romance, Crystal Castles, Buju Banton, and dozens of other notables soundtracking the action.
Saints Row IV—a PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 release due August 20—sports seven radio stations with a similarly stacked playlist and sense of variety that Deep Silver Volition officially details for the first time here. (Speaking of which, a soundtrack featuring around 80 minutes of original music from returning composer Malcolm Kirby Jr. is on its way, too.)
According to SR IV Project Audio Director, Brandon Bray, the process of plotting and licensing the soundtrack was split between Deep Silver Volition and New York-based music production and publishing company Heavy Duty. Specifically, Josh Kessler—a Partner, Executive Producer and resident Music Supervisor at Heavy Duty—played a huge role in guiding the soundtrack of both Saints Row: The Third and now its followup.
“He talks to his contacts and he tries to look at what will be popular and what will be released by the time our game comes out. We’re looking at licensing tracks eight months away from release. We're trying to figure out, 'Well, what’s going to be popular? What’s going to be good eight months from now?' He helps us predict the future,” says Bray. “It’s an interesting process because one, we’re privy to songs that may or may not have been released yet, and two, we need to make sure that what we're going to be licensing will be relevant by the time our game comes out.”
We spoke to both Bray, and associate Audio Designer Roel Sanchez, about the songs and ideas driving each of Saints Row IV's radio stations. The two speak on the development of the game's absurdly clever Dubstep gun.