You’ve also had success composing scores for film and tv. How did you get into that?
I’ve been into instrumental music since I was a kid and I started writing music for my old band that we were pitching for tv. From that I got a taste of it and started writing instrumental pieces for documentaries and other things. There was a couple of guys who had directed music videos that I’d stayed in touch with and they knew I was getting into writing for tv, so one of them asked me to write a bit of music for a short film they had. From there they gave me another bit to write for, and it’s just gradually built up over a number of years.
Do you approach that differently to playing for a band?
Yeah definitely. You’re literally sitting on your own behind a piano for hours and hours a day so can get cabin fever! It is a completely different thing. Being in a band means bouncing ideas off each other whereas when composing for the screen you are bouncing ideas off the film instead, so your inspiration is different.
Like working with a range of musicians you also need to get used to working with different directors. Some will provide temporary music and will place that where they want your music to go. That helps to give you an idea of what they want. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s difficult as they become attached to the temp music, so you need to move it on and make it unique whilst still fitting in with the temp music that was suggested.