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Top Tips From Rock Stars Turned Film Composers

The career of a successful musician can take on many forms. I got a chance to chat with some of the most successful composers in the game right now and, as it turns out, many of them had previous forays into touring and songwriting as either solo artists or with a band! Though they're making a huge impact on the shows and movies they score currently, each credits skills from their stints as rockers to their current successes.

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Jeff Cardoni (Band: Alien Crime Syndicate/Currently Scores HBO's Silicon Valley and Netflix's Girlboss )

“I think the biggest thing, is that, when you’re in a band, you just jam. You’re just coming up with ideas. And really, that’s the job of a composer. You gotta come up with something -- don’t overthink it! That’s really a lot of the job -- just coming up with ideas."

Alec Puro (Band: Deadsy/Recently Scored All Nighter starring Emile Hirsch)

“Making music, that part’s constant. It definitely helped to be in a band, because when I made the transition to film scoring a lot of music supervisors took note. I think it’d be fair to say the supervisors gave me more of a chance when I was first starting out, because there was that name recognition with the group.”

Jeff Russo (Band: Tonic/Currently Scores FX's Legion and Fargo

“It’s really just all about the music. That’s the most important thing -- my time in Tonic taught me that the most important thing, at the end of the day, is getting into the studio, putting together the tunes and making sure that they adhere to the project. Deadlines are much more fast paced in the scoring world than the songwriting/record world, so it’s been a great making hours and hours of music”

Mac Quayle (Band: Rise Robots Rise/Currently Scores USA's Mr. Robot)

“Learning the craft of my instruments, rehearsing, performing, playing, becoming more proficient as a musician. That’s what’s helped me most as a composer.”

Siddhartha Khosla (Band: Goldspot/Currently Scores NBC's This is Us)

“Two areas I would point to specifically -- as a songwriter, that skill is something i get to use often. Another specific tool I use a lot is creating original sounds. When you’re making albums in the studio, all you focused on was making original sounds and textures. That’s something I bring into my scores all the time.”

Charlie Clouser (Band: Nine Inch Nails/Currently Scores the Saw series and Fox's Wayward Pines)

"Sometimes in television, you don’t have the luxury of having that lenient of a schedule, and you have to just sit down and do it. I was lucky to cut my teeth in the world of in-demand programming, which allowed me to thrive in the scoring world later on."

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