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You Should Already Know: Brian Reitzell

By Brian Reitzell, Photo by Todd Cole on June 17, 2014

 

You Should Already Know: Brian Reitzell

 

THE LOW POINT OF OUR CAREER

 

After quitting Redd Kross, I essentially started over. I had no backup plan. I just couldn’t keep playing those songs any more. I was bored of the pop-music structure and recreating music when I really wanted to be creating it and growing as a musician along with my taste in music. We toured constantly yet never had any money. I was about to turn 30 and flat broke. I was lost but hungry for a new path. I rented a rehearsal space downtown and started jamming with Brian McMahon (ex-Slint). We put together this instrumental improvisational group. We never played live but recorded everything we did. It was slowly returning me to a creative space I so deeply needed. It all sounded like film music. After a few months I started working on my first film, The Virgin Suicides. It was all so natural when I think back on it now but at the time it was scary, as if my dreams had died. Transitions like that are difficult but sometimes you have to move on. With the projects I do now, there’s no danger of a lack of growth.

 

THE HIGH POINT OF OUR CAREER

 

My current project is always the high point. Finishing the second season of Hannibal, which I am doing at this very moment. I will be finished tomorrow. It will be another late night in the studio. We recorded and delivered about 12 hours of music over the past five months.

 

WHEN WE KNEW WE'D MADE IT AS A BAND

 

I got out of a band and started doing film music.

 

BEST SHOW EVER

 

Playing the Royal Albert Hall with Air. It was a magical sold-out show in the most magical legendary venue. My family was there as well. I didn’t need to play another gig after that.

 

THE BEST SONG WE EVER WROTE

 

The one we are mixing right now. It’s a nine-and-a-halfminute track that plays at the end of the Hannibal season two finale. It’s a nod to Brian Eno’s “Discreet Music.” I time-stretched, rearranged and recorded over a Bach piano piece, turning it into a really lovely and tragic ambient score piece. It plays continuously for an entire act on a network television show.

 

 

WORST SHOW EVER

 

Somewhere in Austria, playing in a massive tent with Air. There was a large gas-powered generator running near the stage. Halfway through the show I started feeling really nauseous from the fumes. I could hardly breathe. I finished the show, ran off stage and puked before collapsing. The paramedics came and gave me oxygen. I should have stopped midway through the show but that’s not my style. Gigs were always like boxing matches to me. The show must go on and at all costs!

 

THE FUNNIEST THING A JOURNALIST EVER WROTE ABOUT US

 

That may be it actually. Everybody is so serious and technical these days. When I was with Redd Kross we used to do tons of interviews—holed up in hotel lobbies for a week, eight hours a day. To keep things interesting and to weed out the ones that had no idea about our band, we made a fake bio that the record company sent out—they played along, which was to their credit. The bio said all these ridiculous things like that we were from India, our singer was a snake charmer, just silly things. We loved it when one of the journalists actually believed all of it and would start to ask us about our roots in India and such. How dare they not know who Redd Kross are! We gave some folks a hard time. Some got really upset and some even walked out on us. We didn’t care; we just laughed. Probably cost the band its massive success.

 

HOW WE HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED

 

As a film composer and music supervisor that started out playing in rock bands.

 

WHEN THE JOURNALISTS GOT IT RIGHT

 

That I’m doing some well-crafted, interesting things with music and sound and that I make no distinction between them. Everything is music. Birds happen to be some of the best musicians.

 

HOW WE'RE MOST LIKELY TO BE REMEMBERED

 

As a film composer and music supervisor that started out playing in rock bands.