Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh

He is the Composer of Kyle Dunbar‘s Mute Dollar Baby film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I’m Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh, most people call me Nate. I’ve been playing instruments since before I could talk, mainly drums and guitar. At this point I’m the drummer/writer for bands Colony, Across The Wasteland, and Hussar. Ranging genres from progressive rock, pop punk, tech-death metal. Within my years taking this professionally I’ve also been honoured with session work and hired gigs, as well as a loyal group of students. Aside from my drumming career my truest passion is writing, I have a solo project called Aghast Imminence. I write all instruments, stacked with synth layers and orchestration. It’s my outlet for writing the craziest, wackiest, most beautiful music I could ever want to hear.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Mute?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Funny enough I started a relationship with a really great girl, she heard some of my music I wrote for my solo project and thought it would be great for her brother Kyle’s films. That’s when she told me all about him and his movies, especially Mute which he was currently working on. I send her the tune, she shows Kyle and he put it in the movie. Before him and I met in person he reached out about the tune and moving forward with a potential soundtrack. Of course I jumped at the opportunity! After meeting with him and Rebecca and discussing the soundtrack, I had a really clear vision of how I wanted whatever I wrote to sound.

SKSM: How did you get started as a composer and what do you do on production?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: From a young age I’ve always wrote songs. I started my first official band Colony when I was in Grade 10. At this point I was writing more so progressive rock/metal tunes with pretty simple structure. I’ve always loved odd time signatures, so in the era of my life my writing was similar to Tool, Rush, Mastodon. Till I finished high school, I stuck in that style of writing very progressive rock/metal vibes, adding different genres in the mix, exploring different harmonies and tones. But it wasn’t till I went off to college for music my writing really became what it is now and what Im most proud of. Being able to record at home was a world of different. Now I could write a riff on a guitar and patch it a violin or a flute etc, I could add huge chords and atmosphere in the background to songs I had already wrote. Having this at my finger tips opened up an entirely new world! As for production, I do it all myself for soundtracks. For album recordings I get my work mixed and mastered by someone else.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Mute?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Like I stated earlier, my writing of the soundtrack began with a song I wrote for my solo project. From there on I just wrote naturally as I would, on a guitar or a keyboard. Recorded the parts. From there I notated them in a score and patched that to synths, orchestration, and atmospheric tones. That what how I captured the feeling and vibe Kyle and Rebecca were going for.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: This is the 2nd soundtrack I’ve done, my first was for a podcast Endless Vigilance. With soundtracks, I have no stress, or challenge whatsoever. I just write how I naturally would. The only time that can be a challenge is making sure the director is happy and you captured the feeling they wanted. But I’ve been fortunate enough to have everyone happy with my work.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the music that you would like to tell me about?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Nothing too crazy, but it had been 2 years since doing my last soundtrack so it was unique to see just natural how it would differ from the first. The first soundtrack I went a little too crazy initially, put too many layers etc. I basically wrote the tracks as complete songs, where as a soundtrack you have to be in the background, there to set a mood for a viewer/listener to feel while still being able to focus on the film or podcast. Having this knowledge made writing this soundtrack a lot more natural in that sense too. Which for me the key was to know when to stop writing and when to stop adding layers.

SKSM: After Mute did you write more music? If so what?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I’m constantly writing music. Aside from writing within the bands I play for, I’ve easily wrote over 4 albums worth of material. I always have at least 3 project files on the go. It’s a constant craft, you can only become a better writer the more you write. In terms of soundtracks and hired work, with covid too it’s been a little slow. Although within the next few months I will be ready to record an album for Aghast Imminence my solo project. I had a few songs from months ago I just finished, as well as a few new ones I just wrote. They all fit the same vibe, so keep your eyes and ears out for that within the next year!

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: Aside from everything musical, for day jobs I’ve worked construction jobs, retail, contracting. Currently I’m a supervisor at a dispensary. In Canada cannabis is legal, pot shops everywhere. It’s a good gig to have, the store I work at is low staff so feels very family oriented in the way of how close we are and how well we get along, also my Aunt is my GM so it’s literally family oriented for me. For high school me I’m working my dream job, but even now it’s one thing that pairs perfectly with music.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I am a fan of Stephen King’s work, the story lines and concepts are unlike no other. Personally speaking I’m not the biggest reader my mind wanders a bit too much that I have a hard time finishing books, or I end up spacing out and having to re-read. Ive read The Shining, it was incredible! I also have Nightshift which is awesome, I’m a huge fan of his short stories. In terms of the movies, TV specials, and TV shows I’ve loved everything I’ve seen which is a big chunk of the selection. I recently finished Mr.Mercedes the show, that blew my mind! I also recently saw the 90’s rendition of The Shining the TV special, that was superb as well, I found it a lot more accurate to the book compared to the movie. Which for me is a bold statement because I’ve always loved the movie!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I have a bacon strip tattoo… I eat 80% vegetarian. Obviously I still eat bacon

SKSM: What advice would you give to those people who want to be musicians?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I’ll try to make this short… practice everyday minimum 2 hours, practice to a metronome, learn your favourite songs, listen to every genre, learn every genre and style, find people with instruments to jam with, go to open mics and jam nights to connect and learn from local musicians. Key at this point is to find people better than you, jam with them and you’ll skyrocket! Learn from as many people and as many outlets as you can.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Nathaniel Reynolds-Welsh: I appreciate you all, especially if you’ve read this far! Enjoy the film Mute, it’s a really great piece of work along with everything else Kyle and Rebecca have done!

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