11 Questions with Composer Neil Pollard

11 Questions with Composer Neil Pollard

16 Mar 2012

APM Music recently caught up with composer Neil Pollard to discuss everything from his work on Dark, Cool & Cinematic 2, to whether he prefers donuts or bagels.

  1. Q.        What is one of the biggest challenges you face as a composer?

Surviving the continual wild parties. With production music you don’t necessarily know where it’s going to get used so there’s no point in writing something ultra specific, but at the same time it’s still emotional music. It’s a fine balance and the best tracks are the ones that you can easily see working for lots of different uses.

  1. Q.        What advice would you offer to the aspiring composers looking to get into the industry?

Only do what you truly love. I don’t mean by that to be too selective in what you’re working on, but rather to interpret the brief in a way that you’re going to enjoy and that will hopefully bring out the best in you. The people who write good production music apply the highest standards to everything they do and love the job.

  1. Q.        What inspired the creation of the Bruton album, Dark, Cool and Cinematic 2?

My writing partner, Adam Salkeld, and I had a very good response from what we did for the first DC&C and Kris, the producer, suggested a follow up. The concept is film trailer influenced music for promos. But it could also be anything from Saturday night TV to actual trailers. I think this is some of the best work we’ve done to date and a great album overall from all the writers. Louise Dowd has written some killer ‘end credits’ tracks too.

  1. Q.        How long did it take to finish this album?

I’m responsible for 10 co-writes on the whole album and spent somewhere around 6-8 weeks on this project. Roughly 2-3 weeks of listening to music and making demos, another 3 weeks of making those demos into full tracks and then a week of mixing.

  1. Q.        What piece of gear do you never want to go into a session without?

All recording is done in my home studio so I have everything there I need, but my secret production weapon is a little mono PC speaker. If it sounds big on that then you’re in business.

  1. Q.        If you were to release the soundtrack to your life would what would it be named?

Ha. Good question.

  1. Q.        What is one of your favorite movie soundtracks or tv show themes and why?

Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception is incredible. It feels like a modern benchmark for that style of writing... Some beautiful stuff in there. But there’s only one John Barry. Those key James Bond themes are, for me, the best film music ever written.

  1. Q.        What is the silliest interview question you have ever been asked?

I’m still thinking about Q.7

  1. Q.        Bagel or Donut?


  1. Q.        What sound or noise do you love?

The opening ‘aahhh’ of Good Vibrations is a sound I like very much indeed.

  1. Q.        What sound or noise do you hate?

Noisy restaurants.

>Listen to music from Neil Pollard in APM Search