Five Questions: Adam Levin, Executive Producer, Headquarters Music
Headquarters Music creates custom music and sound for commercials, television, and video games, with an emphasis on bringing successful composers, recording artists, and producers into the world of work-for-hire music composition. Among the studio's recent success stories is the evocative web promo "Introducing Google Play," which garnered more than 9 million views on YouTube — it was such a success that Google asked the company's lead composers, known as The Gifted, to create a song-length downloadable version of the music from the 83-second piece.
We asked Headquarters Executive Producer Adam Levin five questions about work, technology, and inspiration. Watch the Google Play video, below, then read the Q&A.
Q: What are you working on today?
A: Today it's music and sound design for a video game title sequence. What sounds make a teenager want to shoot zombies with lasers? We're open to suggestions.
Q: What is the best tool or innovation you've found that has come out in the last year?
A: It's got to be the Total Artificial Heart developed by Syncardia Systems, which replaces both the left and right ventricles and facilitates the movement of blood through the human body. We're also way into Addictive Drums from XLN Audio. And almond milk.
Q: What project (film, television, commercial or music video) most impressed you in the last year? Why?
A: Dan Harmon's Community is a genre-shredding masterpiece. It continues to fold in on itself and call attention to the conventions and assumed limitations of the medium of television while advancing it at the same time. Start with "Modern Warfare" from season one and then saddle up for a marathon. That is an endurance running/equestrian mixed metaphor.
Q: What's the best, or your favorite, project that you worked on in the past year? And why?
A: We did a note-for-note, sound-for-sound re-recording of Europe's "The Final Countdown" for Cadbury, with 30 or so non-professional singers belting out the lyrics as best they could. I went to London and recorded all of the vocals over two marathon days in a dank basement studio. It was probably the most difficult thing we've done, but the result was pretty magical.
Political answer: we love every job we work on equally.
5. Name the top 4 artists on your iPod.
Action Bronson – He's a gourmet chef who also happens to be a rapper. Download the new mixtape and hear the hottest rhymes about Robiola cheese ever recorded.
The Clash – Mustapha Dance from "Super" Black Market Clash will lay. You. Out.
St. Vincent – She does a cover of the Beatles' "Dig A Pony" live that's like whaaaaaat?!
Toots and the Maytals – Who's better than Toots? Trick question. Nobody is.
Elvis Costello – Because I couldn't stop at four. And because I think all of his songs are about me.
For more information: http://headquarters.mu/