Sam & Max Save The World OST // Interview with Jared Emerson-Johnson

interview jazz OST soundtrack

FFO: Grim Fandango, ContrastBlack Eyes and Deka Voice

Favourite Track : Fuzzy White Butterfingers 

Jared took the time to answer some questions we had about their work with Telltale Games and returning to the world of Psychonauts. Here's what he had to say!

Q1: You are currently composing music for the long awaited Wolf Among Us sequel. What is it like returning to the project after so long?

A1: It's so exciting to be diving back into the music for the sequel to The Wolf Among Us! I had an incredible time crafting and exploring the sound for the first game, and coming back to anything years later always offers fresh perspectives and sources of inspiration. I'm looking forward to being able to share the new stuff with the fans—it's going to tell an incredible story. It's also just great to be back working with so many of the creators of the original game.

Q2: You contributed to the recently released Psychonauts 2. Is it intimidating working on the sequel to a "cult classic" with such a dedicated fan base? 

A2: I was so happy to be able to return to Psychonauts world, albeit in a small way! Psychonauts was actually my first ever credit on a major game as an audio lead (shared the sound design work with Julian Kwasneski and Clint Bajakian). Talk about an incredible entrée into the industry. For Psychonauts 2, I came in to help Peter McConnell with a few orchestrations of some of his music for the score, and it was just lovely to be back in that world for a little bit. 

Q3: When handling big name IP for Telltale Games projects (i.e Batman, Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy...etc). How much influence do you draw from the TV and film scores of other adaptations?

A3: Influence really depends on the project. For The Walking Dead games, for example, I knew I wanted to create an original soundscape that was separate from the sound of the TV show, so I actually deliberately avoided listening to the TV score almost entirely in the early stages of production. With Game of Thrones on the other hand, because of the way the game worked and the integration with characters from the TV show, I wanted to make sure I was able to capture something close to the sound of the score of the show, so I spent a great deal of time studying Djawadi's music and getting as immersed in the stylistic choices and instrumentation that was so iconic in the show. Batman was a bit of a hybrid. Since there have been so many adaptations of Batman over the years, I was comfortable doing something original that spoke to me, but I also spent a great deal of time listening to all of the past scores for the various iterations of the franchise, and incorporating the elements from each that best worked for the story we were telling.

Q4: Are there any "Hidden Gem" game OSTs you recommend checking out?

A4: I'm pretty proud of my score to Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventure. It's almost impossible to find anywhere, but it has a really fun, really different sound. The Puzzle Agent games for sure. The arrangements for Poker Night 2 were a lot of fun.

Find more of their music below!

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