An Interview with RZA, soundtrack composer of “The Protector”
BY KEVIN CARR
The RZA is the co-founder of Wu Tang Clan and the composer of several hot soundtracks, including “Kill Bill,” “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” and “Blade III.” Kevin talks with the RZA about his upcoming film, the Thailand import “The Protector,” brought to the states by the Weinstein Company. Excepts from the interview follow.
Excepts from the interview follow. Hear the entire interview here…
7M: WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS FILM?
I was actually supposed to have been in this film, but I couldn’t make it this time because of my schedule. So when the Weinstein Company acquired the film, they asked me to add some music to it. It was my pleasure because I always wanted to be involved in this film from its inception. Being that I missed my first opportunity to actually be a member of the cast in this film, I get to come in and help out this film in another way.
7M: DO YOU SEEK OUT MARTIAL ARTS THEMED MOVIES, OR DO THEY FIND YOU?
Both. Being a guy whose had a lot of time to view a lot of these films – and a movie geek as well, I love movies, the martial arts stuff is my favorite brand of movies. But being a guy whose been in that movie world for years, and a constant watcher of it, I think that maybe that translates a lot of things and taps into my source of values.
7M: HOW DO YOU APPROACH SOUNDTRACK DIFFERENTLY FROM AN ALBUM?
The first difference you gotta notice is that when you’re making an album, you’re actually the team. You can make the situation of what you want your album to be about. But with a film, that’s the director’s thing. Now you have to accompany and accommodate that world. I have to now watch the film and deal with what the film is trying to impress to the heart. It’s a different translation.
7M: HOW DO YOU KEEP THINGS INTERESTING IN THIS MOVIE?
In the Protector, for instance, there’s a lot of scenes that start with the Steadicam. There’s a lot of four-minute scenes. One song cannot cover the scene. There’s two or three major cues to cover this one scene, this one location, this one atmosphere. How do you carry on this music for four minutes without boring the audience with the scene, the music and the atmosphere. So the music had to keep changing. So you’re in the same location, but when the music changed, you get a different adrenaline push, a different adrenaline boost. We had to do that at least two or three times in this movie.
7M: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STYLES YOU USE IN “THE PROTECTOR”?
Two things are different. The first thing is that I was able to go into a genre of music in this particular film. So we went from your basic Hollywood score to hip-hop, blues, house, techno, hip-hop vibe. We’ve got some rock-and-roll vibe in it. So I think I just went into a couple of chambers that I normally am not able to incorporate all in one thing. You’ll notice that the music sounds like more than ten people worked on it.
7M: DID YOU GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL SOUNTRACK?
I actually completely started new, but there were some cues from the Thai soundtrack that I suggested that they keep. But actually the movie company didn’t want to keep any of it because they didn’t feel the vibe of it that maybe it was a little too strong from the American audience.
7M: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE PROTECTOR AS A FILM?
This is an action-packed film. This is an ass-kickin’, bone-kickin’ film. I’m sure that some of the things you’ll see on the screen, you’ve never seen before. And some of the things you may hear, I don’t think you’ve never heard before. So I think this is going to be a unique experience for the buying audience.