Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Massive Dog visits my blog

I'm delighted to welcome the ridiculously talented Massive Dog (a.k.a. my good friend Dan) to the blog today. In case you didn't know, he's the mastermind behind the soundtrack to the ENTANGLED trailer. You can download the track for free here. And watch the trailer in all its glory here.

This is Massive Dog. Isn't he a handsome fellow?

Welcome to my blog, Mr Dog. So, first things first... How did you come up with the BRILLIANT name Massive Dog?

I have to be honest and confess that I stole it from a certain friend. She thought it'd be a fantastic name for a punk band, but I think it works just as well for me.

She sounds like a very clever, insightful, wonderful sort of friend. How did you go about tackling the ENTANGLED soundtrack?

It was important for me to come up with something that suited the mood and narrative. I tried to create something that mirrored the intrigue at the start of the book and matched the pace and energy of the story.

When I came up with the idea I was just playing around on my electric guitar and came up with the chord progression and groove behind the track. I played around with that for a while until I came up with a little melody that worked really nicely over the top and this essentially became the second half of the soundtrack. I then tried out the tune on the piano and everything just fell into place and I was able to imagine exactly how I wanted the whole piece to sound.

The recording and production of the track was a real adventure as it was the first time that I'd tried to record anything properly rather than just a rough demo. I'd just built my little studio and was getting used to a whole new bunch of equipment so it was very much a test case for me. For a one minute track, it certainly took a lot of effort!

The soundtrack reminds me of a super-awesome TV theme tune... My favourites are Tru Calling and Angel... what are yours?

I love E.R. and Dexter, but Friday Night Lights wins by a mile. I get very annoyed if Mrs Dog tries to speak to me during the credits and will often skip back to hear it all over again. It's such an emotional and uplifting piece of music and I just wish that I could create something that was half as brilliant.

If someone LOVES the soundtrack, are there any bands you'd recommend they check out?

My music tastes and influences are a little eclectic, but based on the sound of the Entangled soundtrack I'd recommend Remy Zero, Jack's Mannequin and a smattering of Nine Inch Nails... and my band See You Next Wednesday of course!

What are your three favourite YA books and why?

Unwind by Neal Shusterman - The premise of this book is fascinating and shocking, but it's delivered in such a straight-talking tone that it's instantly believable. I love a futuristic dystopian story and this is as thought-provoking and engaging as they come.

Watership Down by Richard Adams - I think too many people regard this as just a simple children's book, but at its core it's darker and more sophisticated than that. It's not all about fluffy little bunnies but their struggle for survival and the nature of society, plus General Woundwort is one of the scariest characters you're ever likely to encounter.

The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) - The idea behind this book is simply amazing as 100 teenage boys learn that being the last man standing is all that matters. What makes this book for me are the characters and their interactions and relationships as they face up to their own mortality.

What one book would you like to write a theme tune/soundtrack for? And what kind of sound would you go for?

The Hunger Games - these books require something anthemic built around a string section so huge that it could fill the arena with sound.

What's next for Massive Dog?

I'd love to do some more trailers but for now I'll just churn out whatever I fancy! I've recently finished my band's EP and I'm currently halfway through recording a pop-punk love song I wrote back in '02. Once that's done I've got a few unfinished song ideas that I'd like to work on with a slightly heavier feel but I may start on something else entirely if the mood takes me!

Chocolate or cheese?

That's easy, I'm definitely in Team Cheese!

Team Cheese triumphs again! Thanks for stopping by, Mr Dog!

You can visit Massive Dog's website here.


  1. Excellent interview - thanks Ms Clarke and Mr Dog.

    As I write this I'm wondering about the wisdom of putting it out there on the world web wide for all to read but ... I LOVE the theme tune to One Tree Hill. Seriously.

    Off to find Friday Night Lights now - thanks!

  2. Awesome interview!
    And good recommendation of bands, I like Mr. Dogs' style! :) I am about to go check out his band right now! :D

  3. Thanks Raimy, I'm pleased to hear that you like my style. My beret is rather fetching isn't it!

  4. Informative post, Very good Q & A Session.