User Avatar Image

Q&A with Jared Emerson-Johnson, Friday!

posted by nikasaur on - last edited - Viewed by 2.9K users

Hear ye hear ye, Jared is coming to the forums to answer some of your music and sound related questions! Pop in to hear the answers on Friday the 2nd from 10am to 11am PST (he chose this specifically so Europeans can be awake for it, what a guy!)

Let me tell you- Jared is a superhero. He sets the tone of the world with ease, he knocks out sound effects with a single blow, he makes what we do sound AMAZING. It's a fact that Telltale sometimes hires super-human automatons, and investigations as to Jared's actual humanity are pending. Some people are just too talented.

(Fun fact: he's also super-skilled at Beatles Rock Band.)

We're open for questioning, so load 'em up and keep him busy.

182 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Zeek said: Are we ever going to get a Useful to Boot instrumental track? I'm kidding. :p

    Have you ever thought about rearranging the original Sam & Max: Hit The Road theme song just for fun and not as something that will play in the game? Jeremy Soule has done something similar at least once, although he posted that "for fun" project on OCRemix.org.

    That never did occur to me, and I'm afraid there might be some copyright infringement issues with LEC, but to be honest, I rarely have time for anything "extracurricular" these days, and when I do, I usually take to the mountains and go backpacking!

  • @puzzlebox said: 1) To an outsider, music composition seems to be a very creative endeavour. What happens when/if you don't feel particularly creative or inspired - is it still possible to sit down and churn out the music? Is scoring as natural and procedural to you as, say, programming is to a programmer?

    2) Until you voiced the Marquis de Singe in Tales of Monkey Island, we didn't realise you were freakishly good at anything other than music. What further hidden talents lurk in Jared's unplumbed depths?

    3) The lives of successful musicians are often fraught with the temptation and vice that come with the trappings of fame. You, however, seem like a very down-to-earth young man. How do you manage to "keep it real"? Or have you simply been lucky enough to escape the glare of tabloid journalism thus far?

    That is a really good question, and it's one that a lot of my friends ask me. There are definitely tunes that flow really freely, and some that are like prying a rusted door open. The reality of the work, though, is that it has to get done, and usually very quickly, so I've learned to live with the "blocks", and to work through them as much as possible. I have found that the more I write, the less likely I am to be blocked, or to feel uninspired. I can't speak to the question about programming, since I am decidedly not a programmer, but I do think learning how to carry on through a difficult creative moment is an important skill that needs to be honed by any composer. It sort of comes with the territory.

    Haha. Um, I like to think I'm a decent cook...I certainly enjoy it. I do a lot of teaching work with junior high and high school age kids, and I like to think I'm reasonably good at that.

    Haha! My life is not glamorous at all. I honestly think of myself more as a craftsman than anything else—lucky enough to be making a sustainable living doing the things I love best. Anything beyond that would just be noise, to me, I think.

  • @Joop said: Hey Jared,

    Just wanted to ask you what your favorite experiences were working for Telltale.
    Anything particular you have learned by doing the music for all these games?

    All of my favorite experiences are moments where I was in collaboration with the rest of the team. All of the recording sessions are high on my list, just because I love working with actors and musicians and building something together with them. I love working with the writers and designers, to help bring a story to life. I guess the main thing I've learned through all of my work for Telltale over the years is how to turn around huge amounts of music in a very short time.

  • @corruptbiggins said: Jared, I was just wondering if you have played any of the games you were involved with making? Do you play video games at all for that matter? If so which ones?

    It takes me a LONG time before I can play the games I work on and experience them as a player, not as a creator. For example, only now, in the last year or two, have I been able to fire up Psychonauts and just play it without thinking of the long nights implementing sounds, and tweaking the mix (and noticing things that I wish I could revise, etc.)

    I'm nearly there with the Bone games, I think. I'll have to give them a go at some point soon.

    I don't play a ton of games, but I play more than I ever used to. Honestly, the games I play most often are the classic 8 and 16 bit nes and snes games. I have been known to very occasionally spend entire weekends playing GTA: Vice City and Katamari Damacy, though.

  • @Scrawffler said: Hey Jared, love your work (music, voice acting, everything)! In fact I'm listening to the Bone soundtracks as I type!!

    Here's something I'm always curious about with musicians. What is your favourite genre of music to listen to? And what is your favourite genre to compose?

    A lot of your music reminds me of certain classic adventure games. Are there any adventure classics that you are particularly inspired by?

    Your voice acting as DeSinge was awesome! Will you be voicing anyone in The Devil's Playhouse?

    And of course, what is your all-time favourite Beatles song? :D

    More "favorites" questions! They're so hard! I listen to a lot of classical, rock, and jazz. Those are probably what I listen to the most. The darker stuff is always more fun to write.

    The scores to Monkey Island 2 and 3, and Grim Fandango were the main reason I first became interested in game audio, so it's safe to say those scores had an influence. I love all of those classic LEC adventure games, and since I started my career working beside Clint Bajakian, I think a lot of my way of looking at game audio is in that school of game scoring.

    The COPS are back in the Devil's Playhouse, so you'll get more of them. Beyond that, we'll just have to wait and see, I guess! :)

    Man, favorite Beatles. It's probably a toss up between the entire second half of Abbey Road and Happiness is a Warm Gun. And for sheer Beatles pop, probably I've Just Seen A Face or Girl...or I'm Looking Though You. I'm lousy picking these "favorites," I tell ya!

  • @Will said: Ok, I officially want to make a Transmet game now.

    You have no idea how awesome of an idea that is in my head. I'm not even sure I have an idea. Wow...

    Okay that was like two minutes of me sitting here thinking about how awesome a game of that would be. You'd be Spider. You'd have your bowel disruptor. Half the screen could be green, the other half red (okay thats a bad idea but still kinda funny) and mini games where you get to punt puppies! PUPPY PUNTING!

    Okay maybe you do have an idea of how cool that is.

    Will, Jake, Jared, please! Anybody, this /must/ happen! And you have to get Patrick Steward to voice Spider! He wants to. He said he did. Maybe he'll do it cheaply. :)

  • @World93 said: Out of curiosity, how did you come up with the war song? If that wasn't you, sorry for taking your time.

    The idea of doing The War Song originally came from Brendan and Dave, if I recall. They said they'd like to have a big musical number about War, and then got me a list of lyrics, which I believe were written by Brendan, but I can't quite remember at this point. I added the big dance break, though, since I wanted it to be sufficiently show-stopping.

  • Well folks, I need to get back to work, but it was nice answering all of these questions for you. Sorry I'm so rotten at picking favorite things—there is just too much that I like.

    I'll try to check in on this forum at some point down the line, to answer any followup questions any of you may have, but until then, be well!

  • @JaredEJ said: The idea of doing The War Song originally came from Brendan and Dave, if I recall. They said they'd like to have a big musical number about War, and then got me a list of lyrics, which I believe were written by Brendan, but I can't quite remember at this point. I added the big dance break, though, since I wanted it to be sufficiently show-stopping.

    I think the lyrics were actually written by Chuck. Pete and I thank/curse you for adding the giant dance break, but it really made that moment.

  • User Avatar Image
    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    @JaredEJ said: Well folks, I need to get back to work, but it was nice answering all of these questions for you.

    Thanks for taking the time to write such comprehensive answers to all the questions! It's cool that you took them all seriously, even the not-serious ones. ;)

    A really interesting and worthwhile session - very much appreciated!

Add Comment