EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Music Composer of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Video Game & Many More Sits Down With Standish...

Standish913.com has been blessed to do an exclusive interview with...


Let's get into some questions...

STANDISH: You were the music composer for the new horror video game "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", how'd you land that role & how does it feel being apart of that amazing legacy?

ROSS: It still feels like a dream! I’ve been a horror nerd since my early teens, so I was absolutely delighted to be part of the franchise’s history - what horror fan wouldn’t be!? It came about through my job as composer/audio director at games company Sumo Digital. We split our time making original games and working with publishers on existing licenses. In this case, it was the Kentucky based company Gun Interactive, who had secured the rights to Texas Chain Saw, and needed a developer to make the game. Fast forward 4 years, and we’ve released it and it’s been a huge success, which makes me so happy. My soundtrack for it was released on vinyl too, which was a bonus! It’s certainly the craziest score I’ve composed - it used screams, pigs, aztec death whistle, bones, shaking metal and more - it was a hell of a lot of fun.

STANDISH: You were music composer for video game "Deathloop" in 2021, tell us how you landed this role?

ROSS: I got my Deathloop gig through a series of connections from previous games - primarily due to my composing for the game Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and the contacts I made through that game. Writing for Deathloop was amazing fun - it required a blend of 70s psych rock, industrial music and Jazz - exactly the kind of crazy challenge I love! We got a BAFTA nomination for that soundtrack too, which was pretty wild. Bucket list moment for sure!

STANDISH: You were music composer for video game "Crysis" in 2007, can you tell us more?

ROSS: Actually for the Crysis games, barring a bit of very occasional music, I was primarily working on the sound. Those games were a lot of fun - wildly inventive sound design. There’s very few things as much fun as designing the sound for futuristic weapons. You can really go nuts! 

STANDISH: You did sound work on video game "Aliens vs. Predator" in 2010, how'd you land this awesome gig?

ROSS: That was earlier in my career (about 2009 I think) and like you say, a really awesome opportunity. The great things about working on established franchises like that is that you get to play with original source material. Listening to the source sounds for the Xenomorph aliens was so cool. They recorded sounds of pigs and then scratched vinyl records of them to create those amazing alien screams - really inventive stuff. 

STANDISH: You were music composer for video game "Team Sonic Racing", how's it feel to be apart of the "Sonic" legacy?

ROSS: It was the lure of Sonic that enticed me to join the company Sumo Digital, which at the time had just opened a new office in Nottingham, UK. Again, I was primarily working on sound design for that game, with Japanese SEGA composer Jun Senuoe writing and sourcing the key music. Some crazy stuff on that soundtrack - some songs got to a tempo above 300BPM! To counterpoint it though, we needed some chilled music for the story mode, so I wrote that content - kinda dreamy, happy Sega inspired tunes - a polar opposite the horror stuff I write most of them for sure. Amazing to be part of Sonic’s legacy! It doesn’t get much more iconic when it comes to video games.

STANDISH: Tell us a little about your overall mission, Ross -

ROSS: I’ve had some great opportunities over the years and I’m very proud of my work. I think what I hope to keep bringing to the table is a spirit of adventure and experimentation. Video games can sometimes be a little conservative when it comes to their soundtracks so I think it’s good to have composers trying fresh ideas and pushing game music to be as varied and fun as possible. We’re at a great point with it in the industry now, there’s a wealth of exciting composers making wonderful varied music. 

STANDISH: If you could compose any video game, which would it be?

ROSS: Oooh that’s a tricky one! GTA would obviously be amazing, as it’s huge and crazy game. Mortal Combat would be another one I’d love to do. I feel like I’d love to writer some dark electronic music for it. Overall though, pretty much any new game I work on always has something about it that’s exciting to me as a composer. Having said that, if I composed purely for horror for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy chap!

STANDISH: What's been your favorite project thus far? Do you prefer a certain genre of video game?

ROSS: It has to be The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - I was given a huge amount of creative freedom, and it was really rewarding to push myself and write the wildest music of my career. There certainly is something about horror games that’s particularly fun to write for, but I think anything edgy or fantastical has a lot of merit. The opportunity to go a little nuts is what I always want!

STANDISH: What can we look forward to in the future from you?

ROSS: More games! More crazy soundtracks! Maybe some work on films too - it’d be really cool to compose for a horror movie. I have more games coming out that I’ve written music for, but the game’s industry is very hush hush, so I can’t discuss them yet - sorry to be a tease!

STANDISH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

ROSS: Working on games and obsessing about synths probably, the same as right now! I’m very happy with the work I do, and if I’m still composing for games at age 100, that’s totally fine with me. In terms of self improvement, I don’t think you can every stop learning when it comes to music, which is part of the joy of it. To that end I’ll try and always keep learning and growing.

STANDISH: Who are some of your mentors?

ROSS: I was lucky to meet an awesome dude called Graeme Norgate when I was younger and became friends. Graeme was already a much loved game composer, having composed for games like Goldeneye, Timesplitters, Killer Instinct and more. I learnt a lot of from him in those early days and I’ve always been hugely grateful.

In terms of people who’ve inspired me, composers like Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Johann Johannsen, and Clint Mansell have been core influences on my sound. And Bowie! I’ve always loved Bowie, and everything about his personality and his music has inspired my work.

STANDISH: During COVID, we all faced struggles, what was one of your main struggles?

ROSS: Weirdly, while COVID was an awful time in terms of the devastation it caused, and not seeing friends and family, it was a very important time for me as a composer. It gave me time to dig in and work crazy hard, and up my skills and my commitment to life as a composer. Post lockdown, I’m obviously spending more time with friends and family again, but I try to make sure I’m always working hard on music, or looking for new work.

STANDISH: Where can fans find your work?

ROSS: Come chat to me on social media! I’m friendly and love talking music and games. You can check out my website at www.rosstregenza.com, or find me on twitter, instagram, threads or YouTube - just google my name. I have a weird last name, which makes it easier to find me! Also, you can listen to some of my game soundtracks on Spotify, and other misc tracks and albums I’ve released.

STANDISH: Anything you'd like to include/say here?

ROSS: Just a thank you to the games and horror fan communities for their amazing support, they’re awesome! And if anyone reading this is thinking of getting into composing for games, GO FOR IT! There’s a huge amount of tutorials and info online (including my own YouTube), so give it a go.

STANDISH: What are your social links?












Thanks so much for your time!


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