Quick Beats: Hades Composer Talks Weird Al, The Beatles, And Radiohead

Hades Supergiant Games ZagreusImage: Supergiant Games

Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival we’re speaking to a range of composers and musicians for a mixture of in-depth interviews and shorter, sharper (and perhaps a little goofier) Q&As where we ask just ten rapid-fire personal questions; we’re calling these shorter features ‘Quick Beats’.

Today we’re talking to Darren Korb, in-house composer at Supergiant Games, the studio responsible for Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and most recently the sublime Hades, a game we awarded a thoroughly-deserved 10/10 in our review (it is what we and practically every other gaming outlet like to call A Very Good Game™). These questions were taken from a longer conversation we had with the composer recently, and you can look forward to hearing more from the voice of Zagreus himself in the very near future.

In the meantime, let’s find out the answers to the really big questions. You know, Which magical instrument would you take on an epic adventure? — important stuff like that…

What was the first song or album you remember buying?

First album I bought was two albums at the same time, it was Off The Deep End by Weird Al and Monty Python Sings, those were the first two albums I bought on the same day.

What was the last music you listened to?

Last music I listened to was Queens of the Stone Age.

What was the very first video game you wrote music for, and how do you feel listening back now?

I think Mine, Windbag, Mine from Bastion was the first piece of video game music I ever wrote. I guess technically I did a piece of video game music for a student project that Amir [Rao, Design & Studio Operations at Supergiant Games] had done in school, so I guess technically that’s the first piece.

But Mine, Windbag, Mine, I still feel good about it, [and] a lot of my past stuff, I feel like it’s representative of where I was at at the time, and I don’t really have a revisionist desire for any of that kind of stuff even though maybe I’d do it differently now. I feel like I liked it at the time, I still like it, I’m at peace with a lot of my past stuff in that way, I think.

Which piece of yours are you most proud of?

I think at this moment it might be In the Blood, just because of how we recorded it. It was an original song I was recording at Abbey Road with this chamber orchestra and I brought some tracks — I’d recorded the rock tracks beforehand and brought them in, and yeah, it was just such a wonderful experience doing that and recording the vocals live there with Ashley [Barrett, singer/songwriter and longtime Supergiant collaborator] and while the chamber orchestra was there,

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