Exclusive: Jed Kurzel on the Music of Alien: Covenant - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Jed Kurzel on the Music of Alien: Covenant

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We’re at fever-pitch levels of excitement for Alien: Covenant, the Prometheus sequel/Alien prequel! Directed by Ridley Scott, who directed the 1979 original sci-fi/horror classic, the film will delve further into the universe of Weyland-Yutani, the Engineers, and space exploration.

Additionally, there will be parasitic aliens, several deaths, and a lot of catastrophes along the way!

In anticipation of the film, we managed to score an interview with composer Jed Kurzel. We asked Jed what it was like coming aboard such a storied franchise, the inspirations for the instruments he used, and more. You can read it all below!

Look for Alien: Covenant everywhere on May 19th.

Related Story: Attention: Boston – See Alien: Covenant Early and on Us!

Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, and Benjamin Rigby star in Alien: Covenant. Ridley Scott directed the film, which was written by John Logan and Dante Harper based on a story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green.

Synopsis:
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

Dread Central: The Alien franchise has been around for nearly four decades and has a huge and devoted fanbase. What were your thoughts when you came aboard to score the film?

Jed Kurzel: That the Alien franchise has been around for nearly four decades and has a huge and devoted fanbase!

DC: One of the things we’ve always loved about the Alien films is that they wonderfully blend organic with synthetic. Even the Xenomorph itself feels like a combination of both attributes. Did that factor into your compositions at all?

JK: It definitely provided a jumping off point for me. When I first met Ridley, we talked a lot about these organic-sounding instruments being corrupted either by foreign sounds or from within themselves. Even within the more lush orchestral pieces there are elements suggesting a threatening presence, like breaths and pulses. Ridley was a big fan of the BBC Radiophonic show from the 60’s. It’s pretty interesting if you haven’t seen it.

DC: The trailers have shown that much of the film will take place on a lush planet that seemingly has no life on it. How does one evoke such a lonely concept using music?

JK: I think by utilizing silence. It’s pretty effective when you have the opportunity to exploit it.

DC: Your resume features a wide variety of genres. Alien: Covenant is not your first horror movie, which it appears was The Babadook. Obviously Covenant is a drastically different kind of film, but were there any lessons or concepts you learned from The Babadook that you brought over to this film?

JK: The Babadook was a lot quieter and more contained, but if they share anything, it’s the way the music sometimes hints at sound design . I remember with The Babadook we created this aural landscape with voices. We were always hinting at some kind of threatening presence existing in the house. You never knew where the sound design finished and the music began. We employed something similar with Alien: Covenant although on a larger scale!

DC: When you look at the Xenomorph, as well as other alien creatures that will be in the film, what are some instruments that you feel represent such a creature?

JK: Stringed instruments used percussively. To me they sound like different weighted bones being smashed together. Distorted, blown out brass has a certain weight to it as well. Low primal breathing pulses.

DC: I’ve long held the belief that music is one of the most important and under-appreciated characters of a film. If you had to personify your music for Alien: Covenant and describe it as though it were a character, what would that description be?

JK: Maybe a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own

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Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…

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Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis:
Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January

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Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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