Brian Kutzor (OneManStanding)

Original Film Soundtrack of A.J. Gribble’s Dollar Baby Cain Rose Up.

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

OMS: My name is Brian Kutzor and I make music under the name OneManStanding. I primarily créate darker electronic music. I have been making music for about 25 years in multiple different styles and médiums.  While I grew up playing guitar and bass, throughout the years I have expanded to multiple different instruments including piano, drums and theremin.  I have been officially releasing music under OneManStanding since 2015, but have worked under that name since approx 2001. I currently have 2 EP’s available, 1 new EP that will reléase in the next few months and the Cain Rose Up Soundtrack Available in all major digital distribution channels. I also have a YouTube channel with videos for a few of my songs that I fully created and also a few  videos of me making cues from the Cain Rose Up Soundtrack.

SKSM: How did you become involved with Cain rose up?

OMS: AJ and I know each other from working together at a local radio station. Over time we found that we have very similar interests and he had showed me some of his previous work. He had mentioned to me that he was planning on remaking  a Stephen King story as his next Project.  As he started to talk to me more about it and increased my interested, I had offered to help in any way he needed and if he needed any music that I would be happy to help. I originally thought he only needed a few short cues, but as we started to talk about it more, he asked if I would do the whole movie. I was still in the mind-set that he wanted shorter cues, and then he began to clarify that he wanted a Wall-to-wall soundtrack for the entire movie. At that point, I became really excited and really nervous because I knew the music had to carry every moment of every scene. I would actually be creating a full length path of emotion to run in tándem with the visuals. It was incredibly exciting and challenging at the same time. So I ended up creating the entire score, except for the End Credits title.

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

OMS: I have always had a love for music, film and production. When I was a teenager I would rent a bunch of horror movies and using 2 VCR’s and my stereo, I would  edit/cut together scenes from my favorite horror movies and insert my favorite heavy metal  songs as the audio track, essentially making my own music videos for them. I was also a big fan of heavy metal/industrial music so the natural progression took me from guitar playing to experimental/industrial electronic drum machines. I loved to make my own 4-track recordings and reléase them as demos in all the bands I was in. I was the primary producer for just about every band I recorded with growing up and I had to learn as I went with the basic gear I had. This offered me the ability to learn lots of different production techniques without any expensive studio gear. Fast-Forward to current day and the production landscape is totally different. While I wish I had the technology of today at my disposal 25 years ago, I am happy I learned the way I did.  As far as becoming a composer, I was always drawn more to instrumental work. While lyrics were always a great and powerful addition to good music, I was always fascinated with soundtracks and how they helped propel a story. I always loved how the music in a film always envoked so much more emotion  than a  song on the radio. Perfect examples include the Halloween Theme. John Carpenter scared the life out of me with that track. Always kept me awake at night. Unreal.  A Clockwork Orange Soundtrack was incredibly futuristic and had great paranoia and fear overtones all while evoking a futuristic feel.  I loved the music as much as the films. It seemed more natural to me as I continued to write and make music to remove the lyrics and focus more on the sounds and pulling as much emotion as I could from them. While I still continue to write lyrics, poetry etc., I find my mind just naturally focuses on the music.

SKSM: How did you get started to wrote the Soundtrack for Cain rose up?

OMS: The first thing that I did was to establish what AJ did Not want.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t use anything He DID Not want to use. While he gave me some cues as examples of what he want, he also stressed that he trusted me and didn’t micro manage me in the least. I was pretty nervous when I sent him the first scene, but he immediately  thought it was great and was exactly what he was looking for. I liked that even though I was creating the music, I also worked in certain  sound design elements that follow certain characters. Now not only did I créate the music, but now I also added to the characters as well. I was able to créate certain sounds that I buried Deep in the mixes that would creep out subltley so that you would almost pick up on them AFTER the fact and that element was removed. It felt like it tied together certain characters and added to the discomfort level in certain scenes. As I pointed them out To AJ, he told me how much he enjoyed them, so I kept them in. As far as instrumentation goes, I primarily used samples that would be stretched and slowed down. I would reverse clips and then warp them so they would drag out to créate this droning landscape that was just outside the border of reality, but not quite in a nightmare yet.  I also used theremin in certain cues, piano and even the Moog Model D app to créate some great deep bass leads. There is a ton of sampled organ with choirs of people singing Latin phrases like” Apocalyse”. I also wanted to put samples of whispers throught the scores, but I made sure that none of the whispers were audible words- just whispered tones.  As I went along I just analized the scene and would pepper in what sound design elements I thought would fit best for the scene and créate the music as it played.  I would keep the scene on loop and just write as it played over and over again. When the music felt right, I would hit record and then build on it from there.

SKSM: Is this your most challenging audio so far?

OMS: I would say it was definetely was one of the most challenging projects I have worked on to date.  I would say the hardest part was probably the actual creation of the music and following along to someone elses creation. When I créate my own music in the studio, I have a totally different process for creation. While I had a lot of creative freedom on this Project, I had to keep in mind what AJ’s visión for the movie was and try not to cross the line of what he wanted me to adhere to. Even though it was  a totally different process than I was familiar with, I found it incredibly interesting to be taken out of my safe zone and made to function under someone elses creative guidelines. It was a great challenge, but I found it to be helpful because it took me into a different realm of creation and thinking. I also had to build in safeguards and use certain production techniques so it would be easy to remove or enhance certain things in the mix just in case AJ didn’t like certain parts of what I made. So while it was challenging at times, it taught me a ton of things to be aware of for future projects and only made me a better artist and composer for next time.

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

OMS: There were quite a few moments I can remember during the creation of the soundtrack. After all it took over 6 months! (Laughs)  The nice thing is that when I would get a good feeling about a track, I would take a video of what I was doing in the studio and send it to AJ just to show him what I was working on. He would always respond with excitement or something along the lines of how much he loved it. It was encouraging, because the last thing I wanted to do was waste a month on a cue, give it to him and have him hate it and delay his Project while I created a different versión. Luckily most of the tracks didn’t have to be changed too much. We then finished, I took those videos and threw some filters on them and released them as a behind the scenes type thing and I like them because I know exactly where I was in the process  of making that track and I can relive the excitement of how it felt as the track was coming together.

SKSM: After Cain rose up did you write more music? If so what?

OMS: Immediately after Cain Rose Up,  I took a week off. No music, No Studio, Nothing. I loved doing it, but it was very stressful. I put my heart and soul into it and felt a ton of pressure that if something didn’t go right with the audio it would be my fault for the hold up or rework. I knew AJ was under a tight deadline toward the end and I literally finished at the last minute. So even though I was done, I was still biting my nails wondering if all was ok. Luckily he got it together in time w/ minimal issues and it was all good. My downtime only lasted about a week before I was back at making music and planning for 2019.

SKSM: What are you working nowadays?

OMS: I will have a new EP out within 2 months. It’s already done, I just need to master it and put a few finishing touches on it. I also wrote and recorded 2 new songs for another EP that will be released later this year. I am excited about that, but I have also decided it’s time to translate the songs so they can be played live. I have played live once before and it was exciting and worked out well, but I have not had time to devote to it. Since Cain Rose Up, I constantly like to challenge myself, so I will often write down something I am scared to do musically or artistically and make that one of the next things I will tackle. Currently I am trying to créate a live set that spans different points of my work while incorporating visual elements to enhance the audio experience. I have it all written down in detail, now I just have to make it work. Its coming together nicely, but takes time. The good news is that once it is programmed up for live, I can just dial it up and change it around from there. I am looking forward to taking the show live and excited to do the next thing on my list. I have my hands in so many different projects, I wish I could add hours to the day so I could tackle them all. For now, I just have to add it to the list and stay excited about it. Nice thing about that list is that I know that if it makes my list, it’s exciting so it always propels me forward and gives me something to look forward to.

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

OMS: Oh, Heck Yeah! Some of my favorites were “Stand By Me” and” Christine”, But I remember how excited I was when I was a teenager and found out how different “The Shining” book was from the Kubrick movie. I was also really excited  when they did the remake back in the 90’s and went according to the book. I really love all versions of that movie and love how every versión feels so different, but all of them are incredible in their own way. Pet Sematary scared the hell out me when I was a kid. Poor Zelda. That one holds a special place for me too. They made Gage so creepy in that movie. It was done so well. Its incredible how so many memories are tied to one incredible author and it seems like his work was all over my childhood.

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

OMS: I am incredibly patient, laser focused and persistent when it comes to goals. My friends will all tell you how I am, once I get my teeth sunk into something. My friends will often laugh about the lengths I went to for my first guitar in high school and purchasing a DeLorean when I was 18 years old. Its crazy because once I get an idea in my head, I become obsessed with it and don’t let up until I have reached my goal.

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

OMS: I always preface this before I say it because it sounds cheesy, but I have it written in multiple places to remind me. You miss 100% of the shots your don’t take. The risk you take will never, ever kill you. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Never play it safe. If you grow 25% by doing something uncomfortable, its 25% more growth or experience than the 0% you would have gained by playing it safe. There are so many genres and styles of music out there today, but the only one that matters is the one that you create by being honest. Pop radio will always be around. Famous artists will always be around. But the most powerful music and art comes from someone being honest. Thats the most beautiful thing out there. And today it is easier than ever to get your art out there. The beauty of it is that when you realise that competition kills creativity, you want to share everything you create. And right now anyone can create and share their art with the world and they absolutely should. We live in a fantastic age when you can create and produce something one day and have it reach the other side of the world in minutes for people to appreciate it. There will always be somone out there who appreciates your work and there will always be trolls who love to cut others, but you have an obligation to share whatever you create as an artist. Don’t ever stifle your creativity. Your gifts to the universe are what make others glad to be alive. Even if you don’t think they are important, I can assure you  that they are.

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?

OMS: It was an honor and a pleasure. I am humbled by anyone who takes time out of their day to actually read about or experience my work. I continue to praise AJ for creating this interpretation of Cain Rose Up and I appreciated the opportunity to contribute to it. I welcome any and all feedback or questions anyone would have and thank everyone for their interest in it. I also appreciate you taking the time to continue to contribute all you do and dedicate your time to this endeavor. It’s incredible that you dedicate the amount of time in your life to expose people to King’s works and connect people from around the world who share the same excitement about his work, so THANK YOU!

SKSM: Do you like something to add?

OMS: I am pretty easy to contact if anyone is interested in reaching out. I will have a new EP coming out in a few months and I am trying to get out to play some of this stuff live (Including tracks from the Cain Rose Up soundtrack!) so you may see me around. There is always something I am working on so keep checking my website and feel free to drop me a line on twitter @OMSARTIST. I certainly hope we get to do this again soon and anyone interested in some sounds for their projects can hit me up. Thanks again! Cheers!

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