We Create Music Blog
April 05, 2013

Roque Baños on Evil Dead

By Roque Baños

Roque Banos

Roque Baños

There have been many memorable moments since I got involved in Evil Dead, some of them scary, of course, but also ones that are very funny, believe it or not.

Everything started when I contacted writer-director Fede Alvarez through Facebook to introduce myself and my music. He already knew about me and was a fan of my work. So he replied with excitement, thanking me for getting in touch. I was so shocked! After that came the most difficult part, which was to convince the producers about this new composer, someone completely unknown by them. Fede was a big part of the campaign to inform them about me. We both knew it was gonna be nearly impossible, but he asked me to give him all of my "scary" music from other movies.

I sent over The Machinist, Intruders, Fragile and other scores to New Zealand, where he was shooting at that time. Later on in the editing process, he used my scary scores to temp the rough soundtrack, and by the time the first cut was presented to the producers, 90% of the temp music was from my scores. Everyone was really happy with the result.

Fede blew them away with his work, which gave him total freedom to choose whomever he wanted to score the film. After all of that, I finally got to meet Fede personally. He showed me the movie, and I was double-shocked, because it was such a good one, and we spent a couple of days talking about every aspect of the music before I got the final cut to work with.

Once I got it, the first two weeks were actually quite tough. I watched the film many times. Nonetheless, there were many scenes I kept getting scared by. I even had nightmares and jumped out of my chair when I heard any strange sound while working late at night. It was very “funny” to realize that I was actually working to create music that would make a lot of other people jump out of their seats, not to mention adding to their nightmares by creating even more fear and intensity with the music.

Composing a new score is always difficult, especially in this kind of genre, which requires music throughout the whole movie. We tried to follow the only instruction we got from the producers, to "Make it as scary as possible." For that matter, we wanted to have a "classical" type of score, meaning that we didn't want to use any electronic music, which is so often the case these days. We based the sound of the music on a symphonic orchestra, then added other elements like a choir to give a gothic, demonic sound to the score. We used wood crashes to represent the forest's attack, and an acoustic siren, that certainly put us on alert that something scary was going to happen.



However, contrary to what many people believe, this new Evil Dead is not just a horror movie with blood everywhere. It’s also a love story. This was one of the things I loved the most about doing the score, as it allowed me to create a wide range of styles to emphasize the different emotions within the story. That lets us hear a nice theme from the strings, which points out the fraternal love between a brother, his sister and their friends. We can hear a nice piano theme, with a dose of eeriness, that brings out a sense of magic from the whole story. Then there are rips, scratches, cacophonies, shouts and other effects coming from the orchestra. This was the principle in the making of the whole movie, from the score to the makeup – not to use anything digital. Evil Dead is all organic!

After several weeks of intense work we went to AIR Studios in London for the recording session. We all got very excited at being in such a prestigious place. But once again, I got a terrible fright during the process! The printers did not work properly and we did not know how we were going to get the scores and parts ready for the musicians to play! After a few dreadful hours, I finally heard the “printer symphony,” and everything was up and running. That was indeed a really scary moment! Maybe the scariest of my entire time on the film. Everything went pretty normally after that. But what some people might not know is that the AIR Studios' building is an old church! So considering this is a horror movie about demonic possessions, it was in fact a little bit spooky.

Now it is all done, and "alea jacta est." I had a great time working on Evil Dead. Fede and I used to spend some time after a work meeting, playing some jazz tunes, himself on the piano and myself with my sax, to exorcise our souls from the demons and witches. It was a lot of fun, and the music reflects that.

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Roque Baños was born in Jumilla (Murcia), Spain, in 1968. He developed a career as a concert saxophone player performing in a number of concerts in Spain and abroad. His path, however, was always directed towards composition and conducting. Baños has worked with Spain's most renowned directors, including Alex de la Iglesia, Daniel Monzon, Carlos Saura and Santiago Segura to, and internationally acclaimed directors such as Jonathan Glazor, Brad Anderson, Marcelo Piñeyro and Gerard Junot.

His work as a film composer has been distinguished by numerous Spanish and international awards and nominations, for his scores to 800 Bullets, 13 Roses, Oxford Murders and Cell 211 among others. The Ubeda International Film Music Festival has named him Best Spanish Composer three times.

Evil Dead came out in theaters nationwide on April 5th, 2013. Find out more at www.evildead-movie.com.