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An Interview with Michel Schiralli, Soundtrack Composer of Coyote

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2014

Films scored by Michel Schiralli on (re)Search my Trash

 

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You recently scored the movie Coyote - in a few words, what is the movie about, and what's your score like?

 

Coyote is about a mentally ill man who day by day slips further down the rabbit hole to madness. I TRIED to capture that feeling as best as I could through the music, so that the audio matches Bill's descent into darkness.

 

What were your inspirations when writing the score for Coyote, and to what extent were you inspired by the movie directly? And asking this, had you even seen the rough cut of the movie berefore writing your score?

 

My main inspiration was the movie itself. Trevor Juenger [Trevor Juenger interview - click here] was a huge help in that regard, sending me scenes as he was editing them, so I had those to work with. I started writing the score before he had finished with a rough cut though. I should also mention that Trevor had sent me the script long before filming started, so I already had a good idea what the movie was going to entail. I wasn't able to be present on set much, but I did record all of Bill Oberst jr's voice over (Bill was excellent to work with by the way. A consummate professional, and a sweet man as well) [Bill Oberst jr interview - click here].

 


Do you approach scoring a movie any differently from writing a standalone tune?

 

Absolutely. When making my solo project music, it's all about ME ME ME. When doing the music for a film, I had to realize that it's not just about ME, it's about the FILM, and how to best complement what is visually happening in the movie. So that means restraining myself sometimes haha...

 

How did you get hooked up with the project to begin with, and what can you tell us about your collaboration with Coyote's director Trevor Juenger [Trevor Juenger interview - click here]? And how did the two of you first meet even?

 

Such an odd thing... totally happened by chance too... I was living in St. Louis at the time, and was in a local shop, and Trevor & Carrie were also there. I'm PRETTY sure one of us complimented another one of us (don't remember who) on a T-shirt one of us was wearing. We struck up a conversation, and it came out that I was a musician. They became fans, and we became friends! It still blows my mind that a chance encounter led to what it did. Working with Trevor was easy. We understand each others sensibilities well, which makes our working relationship fairly smooth. Hopefully he'd say the same about me hahaha.

 

What can you tell us about your time in the studio scoring Coyote as such?

 

I can tell you that I went half mad working on it... just kidding... sort of. It was a challenge. Probably my biggest musical challenge to date. My experience scoring a feature was ZERO. My only experience composing music for video was 2 short films previous, both under 10 minutes, so going from that to a 70 something minute FEATURE was intimidating to say the least.

 

Based on your experience with Coyote, will you ever score another movie - and/or other future projects of yours?

 

Well that depends. I certainly would LOVE to... It's just up to the other directors in the film world I suppose, and if I ever get contacted to do that for someone else. As of now, I work a typical, unfulfilling 9-5 sort of job, but I would much rather be making my money from composing... that's my dream I guess you could say. Hopefully it isn't a "pipe-dream". With any luck, Coyote will get the recognition it deserves, and with that, if I'm lucky, maybe a couple gigs will come of it for me. If not, I can still look back at Coyote and be proud of it.

 

What got you into making music to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

Ever since I was a wee lad I was a music lover. I started playing the snare drum in 6th grade, but that was the only "formal" music education I got (wasn't much). Then in 7th grade, my parents got me an electric guitar for christmas. That was when it REALLY began for me. I taught myself how to play, other than getting some very important tips from my stepbrother Matt (https://m.soundcloud.com/matt-sonnicksen/tracks). Over 2 brief lessons he taught me about the power chord, the pentatonic scale, and how to read tablature... That was enough to get me playing to all my favorite albums of the day (Sabbath, Metallica, Misfits). I was in a few bands in high school, but eventually moved on to electronic music, which has been my primary output since probably 2001. Taught myself that as well, as I didn't know anyone else who made electronic music, and that was before the YouTube days.

 

As far as I know, you have had some experiences scoring movies prior to Coyote - so do talk about those for a bit!

 

The only experience I had scoring movies was this:
http://vimeo.com/33646118

Crabs in a Dollhouse was my 1st collaboration with Trevor & Carrie Juenger. I had about 5 days to pull the music together (pressure!) but it came out beautifully in my opinion. Also, on the Coyote DVD special features, I scored the silent short film Trash Man (I was also the lead actor but please don't hold that against me ;) ).

 

You apparently have to talk about your project H.P. Sneakstep, and what's your music like?

 

Well, I take influence from all sorts of styles. Industrial, drum and bass, techno, house, braindance, IDM, funk, African bush music, footwork, metal, and most everything else. All my releases as H.P. Sneakstep are too varied to pigeonhole. I try and write music that makes both your ass AND your brain cells dance.

 

Any other musical projects of yours you'd like to talk about?

 

I have a couple aliases in the underground electronic scene but I don't want to out myself just yet. I have a feeling people wouldn't believe me anyway considering I've never told anyone and one of the projects has quite a following now... :)

 

How would you describe yourself as a musician?

 

Not sure how to answer this... insecure? Haha...

 

Musicians have inspire you?

 

Goddddd so many. I love so many styles of music, but it doesn't always show in my musical output. I guess I will make a list... in no particular order: Aphex Twin, The Misfits (nothing post Danzig era though that should be obvious...), Dopplereffekt, Pantera, Ceephax Acid Krew, Venetian Snares, Igorrr, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Hank Williams sr, Skinny Puppy, Grateful Dead, Squarepusher, Shpongle, Mitch Murder, EOD, Machinedrum, DMX Krew, Luke Vibert, Type O Negative, Wisp... the list goes on... I could list MANY more.

 

And since this is a film site, your favourite movies?

 

Another list for ya: Gummo, The Thing, Slither, the Evil Dead-trilogy, pretty much every Lynch film (Mulholland Drive probably is my fave), Brain Damage, lots of Cronenberg, lots of Tarantino, Coyote ;)

 

... and of course, films you really deplored?

 

Feeling lucky ?
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Find Michel Schiralli
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Michel Schiralli here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
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Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Michel Schiralli at adultvideouniverse.com

Just about anything Michael Bay-related, romantic comedies, Lords of Salem, American Beauty.

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

Well, I don't have a proper website (if anyone wants to help me in that regard please email me - I don't expect you to work for free but obviously I won't have a huge budget for the site).

https://www.facebook.com/sneakstep

https://soundcloud.com/sneaksta303/

http://www.karakasamusic.com/2011/04/hp-sneakstep.html

https://hpsneakstep.bandcamp.com/

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I'm available to score films! Directors who want an original score, contact me!

 

Tanks for the interview!

 

No, thank YOU!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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