TIH 438: Brandon Boone on Writing Music for Video Games and Podcasts, Aspirations, and Daily Habits

TIH 438: Brandon Boone on Writing Music for Video Games and Podcasts, Aspirations, and Daily Habits

In this podcast Brandon Boone talks about writing music for video games and podcasts, aspirations, daily habits, and much more.

About Brandon Boone

Brandon Boone is an award-winning media composer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He specialises in scoring film, podcasts, audio dramas and video games.

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Michael David Wilson 0:07

Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co host, Bob Pastorella. We chat we're masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is Brandon Boone. He is an electronic musician, perhaps best known for the no sleep podcast is also composed music for a load of other cool things including video games, Scarlet hollow, why vault, around Weaver and the hidden frequencies. This is a two part conversation. We had part one earlier this week. But you really can listen to these in any order. And this conversation, we're talking about the differences between scoring a video game and a film and a podcast. We're talking about the advice that Brandon would give to his 18 year old self. We get into his aspirations, what are some of the things that he hasn't achieved yet that he'd like to? We also talk about how Brandon deals with mental funds and setbacks. So a lot to cover. But before any of that, a little bit of an advert break.

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Michael David Wilson 3:07

Okay, well, with that said, here it is it is Brandon Boone on This Is Horror. Let's move on to talking about video games. Because I mean, you've done a lot of work on video games before. So I'm wondering, I mean, how did you first get into that? And what differences and what commonalities are there when working on scoring a video game as opposed to scoring an audio drama or a film?

Brandon Boone 3:49

I think the one that I can speak to the most would be Scarlett Harlow. I did some projects before Scarlet hollow little things here and there. But I don't think any of that has come out yet. So I would be afraid to bring too much about it. But with Scarlet hollow. It was kind of the first time I had I had to change my process and how I worked. So when Abby and Tony who who run black Tabby games, Tony does the programming and Abby does the art. They came to me and said hey, we're doing this like visual novel kind of point and click game. Would you want to do the music for it? And I was like, Oh, absolutely. Like, I grew up. I'm a big gamer. I love you know, I've been playing video games my whole life. I've been wanting to work on video games for a really long time. And when I realized I didn't really know what I was getting into with how the music like from a technical standpoint is different like it it has to loop and that's that's a big thing that I hadn't considered from, you know, the the programming side. So, I was talking to Phil Mycoskie And I had made one game pack with him previously where I wrote music and he did all the technical side and got all ready for to sell on his website. And he just flat out convinced me he was like, what you need to do is you need to, you need to get able to learn how to use Ableton. And I was like the DJ software. That's, that doesn't make any sense. And he's like, yeah, it's DJ software. But it's like the only software that lets you export directly into a loop format, which is ideal for video games. And so with this Scarlet hollow coming on, I had to totally learn a new software. And from there, like, like we talked earlier, you know, learning something new is really exciting. And you get to explore new ideas, was really cool to learn that software and learn, learn the way of writing. And then it was also different from no sleep and outside of like, you know, no sleep, I just write a four or five minute piece of music that fits the scene. This had to be more a lot of the music had to be kind of more upbeat, or upbeat, but kind of have, you know, a rhythm to it, something that's kind of, you know, keeping going along, but not being annoying, because who knows how long it's going to play in the background before the player moves on. So writing the music, in that way was totally different that it's like, you know, I had to think, Oh, well, this is a four minute piece of music, but they might be lingering in this area for you know, 20 minutes or so. I need to make sure this isn't going to bore them. Like I just kept thinking while I was running for this game. The last thing I want is for the player to like Open Options turn off music. Yeah, that would be horrible for me. So I did my best to keep it kind of enjoyable. Definitely trying to write like memorable melodies and it was just very different because it wasn't it's not all spooky. There's some spooky stuff in it. But a lot of it's kind of got, you know, more of a hip hop vibe to some of it. Some electronica to some of it. It just, you know, each character kind of gets their own theme.

Michael David Wilson 7:00

Yeah, and I'm wondering, continuing to think about video games. I mean, what are some of your favorite horror video games? And then what are your favorite horror video game soundtracks?

Brandon Boone 7:15

Oh, man. I'm really bad at horror video games. Any of the first person survival horrors like Outlast, I cannot do right. I can't do it. I can't make because it doesn't feel like a horror game. To me. It feels like a like an anxiety test

Michael David Wilson 7:32

to last really is really.

Brandon Boone 7:38

And I'm very, I'm a very anxious person. So like the whole like, run and hide in a closet and wait for a thing to walk by. I cannot handle it. I just I refuse to put myself through that. So my my horror video game experience is much more like I played you know, the Resident Evils growing up and Silent Hill. I think those feel more kind of, I don't wanna say like a normal horror game, but But yeah, I think the Resident Evil series is probably my favorite horror game series. Especially village. Oh, my God, the new one is so good. I love that game. I couldn't put it down.

Michael David Wilson 8:13

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don't know if they're gonna do this every for Resident Evils, but they seem to absolutely change the game and combine kind of elements of different genres. And I do feel that in some ways, like, eight is a spiritual successor to four in that is kind of taken the survival horror elements. I mean, I mean, seven is arguably the scariest one they've ever created. I mean, that did have something of Outlast about it times. But then there's

Brandon Boone 8:54

that one because it was too much like village I felt like I was playing a video game. Yeah. Biohazard didn't feel like that to me.

Michael David Wilson 9:01

Yeah. Yeah. And I think, I mean, we've ate too much like we're for they took it in a more action direction, but I would say they definitely retained more of the horror elements with village than they did before.

Brandon Boone 9:19

Well, I think I liked I like the horror elements of village because it was also kind of like fantastical. Yeah, but you have it. There's like some really light hearted characters like the merchant and stuff in this village, but there's so many monsters around that, you know, you're talking to this guy about you know, upgrading your shotgun. And then there's a bunch of werewolves in the grass next to you or whatever. And it's like, so that was really built around like some really strong characters and then like monster design was really strong. The whole I would just say, like, Baby wing of the game was horrifying, like, Oh, yeah. But it was part of the game then it's like okay, And I'm back out and I can I can shoot the things that scare me now and I feel better about that. Yeah. Yeah, I just I thought it was so well done that the aesthetic and the style and the music was fantastic.

Michael David Wilson 10:13

Yeah, yeah. And I mean there are some points that are a little bit late kind of run away and and hide but I guess it's not so much hide but run away and find the novel way round. So less hiding in a cupboard and waiting for the monster to literally pass you and have an anxiety attack and then come back from hospital and continue and repeat.

Brandon Boone 10:41

I definitely had my moments of anxiety and village that's for sure. But yeah, wasn't the same.

Michael David Wilson 10:46

Yeah, yeah. And I mean, as you can tell, I could geek out over Resident Evil and the same with Silent Hill all day and regular listeners that a podcast note. Frequently there'll be a 10 minute interlude just talking about how fantastic they both

Brandon Boone 11:06

there's a song on the on the village soundtrack that I've listened to on repeat. I don't know how long yearning for dark shadows right by Brian deal of era. It's just there's something about it that I guess it's like probably like credit song. But man, it's so good. It's just it's like the perfect spooky horror song with like, contemporary elements in it.

Michael David Wilson 11:31

Yeah, yeah. I mean, are you familiar with all the Resident Evil soundtracks because one really stood out was Code Veronica because at times that went in enormous more operatic direction

Brandon Boone 11:46

that's what I have not put played I kind of I played the the first three that's where I have a big gap is I haven't played the fourth one which I know is like sacrilege so that's on my list. I think the third I played up to three cuz I remember fighting Nemesis and then I think I shifted I played I remember Parasite Eve I do. I do play Parasite Eve and that's like that's a very big nostalgia thing for me is like shifted from Resident Evil to Parasite Eve. And then thing I got more into fantasy games. I don't know. I'm trying to remember if there were any other horror games I played. Growing up. We got really into obviously, Final Fantasy seven and Ocarina of Time and all the normal classics, but not so much horror. Yeah, dead space. I did play dead space. I'm actually really excited for the remake, because I played I never beat it. It was too spooky for me at the time. So I'm excited for the remake and to try it again. But that's, I guess it's kind of like a It's kind of similar to village where like, you have ways to fight back. But there are still like jumpscares and that kind of thing. So I probably I probably appreciate it more playing it now. Because I did not finish I couldn't handle. You know, when you're shooting the thing and it keeps crawling at you as you're like blast limbs off and it keeps coming. I just, I just it got to me too much.

Bob Pastorella 13:15

Yeah, that's that's a game that I remember when I first played it. It took me forever because I progressed so slowly. It's like I made it walk very slow, because I didn't trust nothing. And even after one of those, one of those greats fall down to the top and or you see something crawl across the top and then and then they have those things that will grab you from the top and I was like Monica I'm looking at the ceiling. Is there like a liquor gonna come out at me? I mean, what's the deal here? And that's that's a it's a creepy game and then the lights go out in one thing and every turns red with that red siren line? No, that was like, Oh, well, apparently I've tripped something or somebody tripped something and I'm about to die.

Brandon Boone 14:03

Yep, yep. Yeah, that leading up to the action was to was so much in that game this that tension waiting for something to happen. Mm hmm.

Michael David Wilson 14:12

Yeah, yeah. And I think the remake is scheduled for next year but apart from PC I think it's on the next generation consoles the PS five and the new Xbox and I mean yeah, I mean, I want to play it but the problem is here in Japan and I think worldwide it's still actually really difficult to get a PS five so

Brandon Boone 14:41

I got it. Three days ago. I just I finally I finally got a hold of

Michael David Wilson 14:46

one. So some then that's

Brandon Boone 14:49

what it it was just like I saw that it was on Amazon for like 13 seconds or whatever. Because typically I'm an Xbox guy. I got the series X when I first came out, but I wait for PlayStation for like But Naughty Dog game or got a war game to come out, then I buy one. But the bite when I saw the link, I was like, oh, it's available. Oh my god, I got one. It's in my cart. I actually have it. Yeah, like, Okay, I started picking up some games for this.

Michael David Wilson 15:11

Yeah, yeah, I mean, obviously we've COVID And they've been components that simply weren't available. I mean, it has kind of been one of the more disastrous launches of a console. And I mean, that's why they're having to pull out, you know, all these new games on both consoles, because, like, you know, there's so many of us who would willingly buy the new Xbox, and we'll buy the new Playstation, but it's literally not available. So, exactly. I mean, that's a shame to

Brandon Boone 15:48

like, because you think about all I mean, obviously, obviously, complaining about video games in a pandemic, seems it's, you know, first of all problems. But like, I was talking to danza pool, and he's a big PS five guy, and I'm like, you know, I was waiting for God of War. Yeah. But then they announced that God of War is going to be on ps4 and PS five. So I'm like, okay, here comes I want to see, like, what's the craziest thing these consoles can do? And they keep being hindered? Because they have to be on but you know, Oh, great. Now we have to make God of War. Ragnarok playable on ps4? So I feel like, I don't think it's going to hold it back. But it's not going to be as you know, crisp as it could have been, I guess.

Michael David Wilson 16:30

Yeah. Yeah. And, I mean, in Japan, I mean, I have, you know, that the Xbox before the series X and the series s and I have the ps4, but in in Japan, like the Xbox just doesn't do well. So if I'm gonna buy one console, then it should be the PS five simply because that's the console that everyone owns. So it's gonna mean that with supply and demand, the games are gonna be cheaper on it. But I mean, if they put an exclusive for the Xbox, and it's, it's good enough, then you know that that's how I purchase consoles. I mean, all they needed to do with the GameCube back in the day was make Resident Evil Remake and exclusive and it's like, okay, well, now I own a GameCube.

Brandon Boone 17:25

Yeah. No, I get that.

Bob Pastorella 17:29

And, like the X Xbox, the new series, I wasn't interested in at all. I heard about this game called score, or scorn. ambling. Yeah, yeah, born. And it's based, it's, it's, they kind of say it's kind of based upon the art of HR geezer which i Yes, yeah. So I'm like, Oh, well, that wouldn't make me buy an Xbox. Because I'm like, a geezer fanatic. So it's, you know, it's, that would be the one thing like you're saying, it's like, you know, and but before that, I've been like, Nana want it? I don't want to X Box. I don't want X box. Now. My Okay, I'm gonna get one.

Brandon Boone 18:14

That's the That's a horror game. And I'm definitely looking forward to. I think it's on game paths as well. So it'll be like free to play when the first games comes out.

Michael David Wilson 18:22

Yeah, yeah. There's a number of, of games on the new generation consoles that I'm gonna be tempted by. I mean, I want to play the medium. And that has a soundtrack from Akira Yamaoka, who we mentioned before for his work on Silent Hill, but I mean, anything that is even tangentially Silent Hill. That is something I'm gonna check out, but there's also another game. I think it's um, I think it's based in Tokyo, but I'm just trying to remember. Oh, Tokyo wire. Oh, yeah. Ghost wire. Tokyo. Tokyo. That's it. Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that's another one I'm quite interested in.

Brandon Boone 19:14

I don't know. I don't know if it's considered a horror game. But I recently played Hellblade. And that sent you a sacrifice, I think so the first one is called. And that's a game where like, you know, you put headphones on and you play it. And it's just like a sonic experience, because there's a lot of like, it deals with a lot of like, mental illness kind of stuff, or like schizophrenia. So there's like voices all over the place and telling you what to do and telling you what not to do. And it's like when you put headphones on and you're kind of surrounded by that, and the music's really good. Yeah, it's a fantastic game.

Michael David Wilson 19:49

Yeah. Yeah. Well, reluctantly moving away from video games. I wonder what is next. Have you even with no sleep? Or in terms of your solo projects? And what kind of aspirations Do you have? And what things do you want to be doing to take stuff to the next level?

Brandon Boone 20:13

It's a really hard question. Because when I think of like, what I want to do, it's almost like it's like everything. Anything that could have music, I would want to try at least give it a shot. I don't know how much podcast work I want to do outside of no sleep, I feel like you know, that's where I am. That's my thing. I do that and that's where my sound goes. So podcast work outside of no sleep has to be very specific, like working with Travis Ben Groff and Steven Mullin on like, dark days kind of stuff, where we did the like, that was an experience where I went to Budapest, and we recorded live, you know, orchestras and choir, like, that was a totally different experience. So that was, that was really cool. But outside of those, those guys, I don't think I'm going to do much podcasting work. Aside from the stuff that I'm currently involved in. Yeah, but I mean, films always a big one for me. Obviously, I love I love horror movies and movies in general. So my aspirations would be, you know, get into, you know, bigger, bigger films and, and try to find something that really speaks to me. I probably be pretty specific with what I want to do. I really liked we talked about hereditary and midsummer like that kind of like a, you know, heightened horror or whatever you want to call it, as I lose fans rapidly saying that. But, but, and then I think, you know, more video games, I think. I would love to do, like a side scroller like Limbo. I know. There's no music in that game. But something like that, like just a spooky side scroller really speaks to me. But for me, for the most part, I just kind of take what comes at me and what's brought to me, and then I decide if I want to do it or not. I haven't really tried to seek anything out yet. workwise. So I'm kind of curious how that would go. But yeah, I mean, I mean, it's, it's a hard question. Because I'm all over the place. I want to I want to work in so many different aspects of this field. The only thing that I know that is like a dream job for me. Like if I could choose outside of like, a hypothetical RAS or film or whatever, if I could pick like anything to work on, it would be black mirror. Black Power was my absolute dream gig. I would love to do an episode of Black Mirror.

Michael David Wilson 22:39

Yeah, God. I love black mirror. And I love the soundtracks. I love everything about it, that

Brandon Boone 22:46

it's, it's so well put together.

Michael David Wilson 22:49

Yeah. I mean, I'm frequently listening to Black Mirror soundtracks while writing. Sure. I mean, it's just great music. They've had great artists

Brandon Boone 22:59

on there like Clint, Mansell. And, Alex, what's the summers? Just, it's just it would be an honor to be amongst the people who have worked on Black Mirror and plus, it's probably my favorite TV show. It's just you know, it's something that's always I love the Sci Fi and you know, when technology is bad for people kind of vibe.

Michael David Wilson 23:20

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it. It almost has something a little The Twilight Zone about it, but we've a bigger emphasis on tech. And yeah, yeah. And anything like that. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. And as for Clint, man, so I mean, goodness, how do you possibly pick a kind of favorite soundtrack in terms of the things that he's worked on? There's so many

Brandon Boone 23:55

pick the fountain. If I had to pick one, I'd probably pick that one. That's that's an album that sits in a special place for me.

Michael David Wilson 24:02

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, yeah, I mean, Clint, man, sellin Aronofsky. Yeah, family. linked, I think you know, when you think you're thinking

Brandon Boone 24:19

I just can't listen to Requiem for a Dream ever again. I've I've heard that song. 4 million times. So I think that one's out of all his stuff. That's the only one that's like I can't I got to skip it when it comes on shuffle. Yeah,

Michael David Wilson 24:32

yeah. Is that is that purely because it's so popular in it? It turns up or I mean, I've just

Brandon Boone 24:40

heard it's been in like trail, various movie trailers, you know, whenever someone had there was there was a time where if someone needed a song and they would just pop that in there and it was just like, I've just heard it. I need like, five years more of not hearing it and then I'll then I'll pop it back on and like, oh, man, I haven't heard this in forever. I love this song. You Yeah,

Michael David Wilson 25:00

I don't think that's gonna happen unless, you know, Clint Mansell has some licensing agreement. And you know, there's just a consensus that like, right, we're not playing that song again, it's on hiatus for five years.

Brandon Boone 25:16

And if I understand it correctly, like the studio owns the song, so it was like, anytime they had a trailer for another movie that needed something, or, you know, they could just use it whenever they wanted, because it was such a recognizable, you know, it's such a good piece of music, that it's, you know, really, it just draws you in, so why not use it everywhere?

Michael David Wilson 25:37

Yeah, but that that is the problem if you overplay something can use it too much, then. Yeah, I don't know if it necessarily loses its power, but it's just yeah, it can become a little bit too overwhelming. Yeah, there's a there's another piece of music. That word does a lot of pieces of music that do that. I'm trying to remember this. There is another one I'm specifically thinking of, I don't think is Clint Mansell. But that just seems to be on everything. And my talking and trying to Google so I can seamlessly tell you what it is has failed. I've now may have now drawn that sentence out too long. In some sometimes works, but not today.

Bob Pastorella 26:34

Last time he did that. Anyway,

Brandon Boone 26:38

and this is me talking and not searching on my phone.

Michael David Wilson 26:43

Did I'm I'm pretty I'm pretty good at it. But not today.

Bob Pastorella 26:51

It seemed like that there was a time that they were using the song from 28 days.

Michael David Wilson 26:57

That's the fucking sun gun looking for. Wow, that is the sun. I'm like, yeah,

Bob Pastorella 27:06

it's such a good fucking song. And it's but it's it. It turns up like when you and now it's kind of like why you couldn't come up with something other different

Michael David Wilson 27:20

in the house in a heartbeat?

Bob Pastorella 27:22

Yeah. Okay.

Michael David Wilson 27:27

I'll be honest, like, what I do, go do it. 28 Days Later, hot, because I knew that was hot in the fucking title. Yeah, it failed. But yeah, that's on films that's on trailers, that son commercials as you say and saying it's a great fucking piece. I can see that. Like, if you Google it, like the top question is what has in the house in a heartbeat being used in I think an easier question to answer would be afraid of Esther was in the house in a heartbeat not being used in a smaller list. That's hilarious. Well, I wonder what is something you should be kinder to yourself about? Wow.

Brandon Boone 28:27

kinder to myself, What have I done to deserve my kindness? I think I think there's a workaholic, part of me that I'm always thinking I should be doing more. And I think more recently, I've been trying to get better about taking a step back and kind of enjoying other things and being okay with it. I used to get I used to feel really guilty when I would play video games and think like, you should be working on something you should be, you know, pushing your career forward. And now I realized that when I behave like that, I just get burned out. And burnout is such a bad thing. And it's just the absolute worst when I'm like, you know, I'm kind of at the end of my rope, trying to think of anything and I've got deadlines. And and so I've kind of reframed how I think about that kind of stuff. You know, I tell myself, okay, Brandon, you work in podcast, games, movies, whatever. It's important that you also take these things in, like, these are your like, you're refueling yourself. So then I feel more justified in taking the night off and watching a movie or playing a game or, you know, whatever it might be, or just actually, you know, sitting around listening to music, you know. And so I'm definitely trying to be kinder about relaxing and kind of, you know, working a little bit less when, when I don't have to.

Michael David Wilson 29:57

Yeah, I'm exactly the same and it's like I almost have to like, mentally trick myself. And it's like, no, no, if you don't stop, then you will get burned out. And if you get burned out, you'll have to take even more time off work. So hopefully playing this video game is gonna mean that in the long run, you're gonna get more work done. So it's these weird kind of mental gymnastics and shrinks, and I guess it's just that thing, if you're kind of built like us, and you have that workaholic mode, whereas other people will be like, the fuck you talking about? Why don't you just take downtime? Because you enjoy it? Right? Yeah. And I, I've been burnt out too. So I fallen victim to that. And I know, you know how shitty that is. It is

Brandon Boone 30:51

the worst, it's just the worst, because you like, I'll sit there and tell myself like, you're gonna make yourself hate this. You know, you have found yourself in a place where you literally have your dream job. This is something that you've always wanted, and you're gonna make yourself hate it. And you don't just take a step back, chill out, and, you know, relax for a night. So I do think it's important, but I do I mean, like you said, there are people who are built this way. And I don't, you know, for better or for worse, it's just that you feel compelled to constantly work. And you know, just how it is.

Michael David Wilson 31:28

Yeah. And I wonder when you became a parent? How, if at all, did that workaholic part of you change?

Brandon Boone 31:37

I definitely have to, it's, it's really tough because I don't do well in like, big family environments, I guess. I don't know, I don't know how to put it. It's just I feel like if we have a big family gathering or something, I do feel like I shouldn't be working or something like that. So I have to kind of force myself to be like, No, you're here. And this is important too. And you have to engage. You can't just be in your head the whole time, you know, thinking about what you have to get done. So a lot of the time, I'll either have to force myself to engage more, or it'll be like, Okay, well, if I work, you know, more these few days, I'll have these next couple of days off, but I can spend with my daughter, you know, and my wife and you know, if we have a family trip or whatever it might be. So it's it's kind of a balancing act. But it's definitely important to to realize how, you know, I'm a father like that my, my priority is my child above all else. So it's, it's easier when you have to kind of look at it that way. And think like, Oh, you have to do this, like, you don't have a choice. So but it's also it's also got the fun part to like, My daughter, Ella has actually contributed to a no sleep score. So I was done working in my studio, and she came down, asked him what I was doing. And you know, we were talking, and she just pressed a note on the keyboard, add a key, and I really, really liked how it sounded. So I just left it in. I was like, look at that, kiddo. You're in it. You did it. Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, her agent contacted me and I had to work out some sort of commission. So it's got it's got its ups and downs. I think it's it's definitely shifted how I think about things, but it's also a lot cooler when your kids interested in what you do.

Michael David Wilson 33:42

Yeah. So you are interested in the music side of things, early doors.

Brandon Boone 33:49

I'm trying we have a piano upstairs. I told myself, when I had a kid that was a was a requirement as I wanted to have just, you know, growing up, my family is not musical at all. And so I'd never really had that kind of stuff. But I would go to my friend's house and I would see, you know, it's very common thing for some of my friends that just have like a piano in their living room. And I was like, I'm gonna have that so my kid can just, you know, goof around on the piano.

Michael David Wilson 34:13

Yeah. Yeah. What about the horror or does genre say that things? Have you got her into any of that? I mean, probably at six years old. You haven't introduced it to hereditary yet, but I'm wondering, like anything, like kind of lighter?

Brandon Boone 34:30

Yeah, there's definitely there's definitely some stuff that I kind of. I tried to steer more towards like, the more kid friendly stuff like the Transylvania movies, and yeah, you know, there's a lot there's a lot of kids stuff out there where like, vampires are a thing and werewolves are a thing. It's obviously a thing. But obviously October is my favorite month in the year and when autumn starts and Halloween starts creeping up. We watch like Halloween Town and you know, the Disney Halloween movies and all that kind of stuff.

Michael David Wilson 34:59

Huh? Yeah, yeah. Well, I guess through laughter watch this space. And in 10 years, we'll be talking to her. And you know, she's already contributed to a first score. So starting young,

Brandon Boone 35:17

it's tricky because I want like, I want to push her towards music. But obviously, you know, millions of children have been pushed into music too aggressively and grow to hate it. So you gotta be careful.

Michael David Wilson 35:29

Yeah. I mean, the only thing you can do is like, you can encourage that and suggest there. But ultimately, you've just got to encourage her to be happy and to do that things that she enjoys, and whether that's music or something creative or something entirely different. Yes. I mean, yeah, life's too damn short, really to be doing anything other than that, which makes you happy. You know? If if you can? Yeah, that's the dream. Yeah, yeah. Well, what advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Brandon Boone 36:09

Oh, man. See at 18. I didn't even like, this wasn't even a concept yet for me. I just tell myself to stop being such a doofus. And I don't know, I guess just, that's really tough. Because, you know, obviously, I would want to say, you know, tried to discover more music, but it kind of worked out the way that I that it did. So I don't know, I'd be afraid to change anything. As far as like, you know, what I was doing when I was 18. But I'd probably just say, just don't worry about things so much. Just feel like something, try it. Go for it. See if you like and if not, who cares? Don't Don't get hung up on things. When you're 18 you're just like, you feel like the whole world is, you know, wrapped up in school or whatever it might be and just pluck it. Try to have some fun.

Michael David Wilson 37:08

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, I totally get the a free to change anything coming. Because if you're relatively happy with where you are in your life now, then you don't want to kind of start that butterfly effect. And so many things happen, you know, out of can so because of circumstances. And I mean, sometimes it's the hardships or it's the more negative experiences that then push us towards something positive, even if you know, we can't see at the time.

Brandon Boone 37:45

Exactly. For all I know, I already encountered the future me at 18. And they told me something to set me on this path. You know, who knows? Maybe I am I am the 18th version of me. It was now 34 years old.

Michael David Wilson 37:59

Now you go no one's said that before. So over 400 episodes, so we've got a unique answer to that classic question. Well, I wonder if you could change one thing in your life. What would it be and why?

Brandon Boone 38:24

I would love to just be like a little bit taller. Just a little bit. Like like 511 would be perfect, I think. Versus I don't know, if I could change one thing and

Michael David Wilson 38:36

I like the answer. I mean, how totally you now I'm just wondering what like five nine? Okay, so yeah, I like how modest it is as well. It's like I want to just be a little bit taller. I'm not gonna be fucking greedy about this. Do you think if you were 511 instead of five nine would the other people involved in the no sleep podcast respect you more

Brandon Boone 39:03

maybe because they're most of them are very tall the men at least so like David is he's got to be like six to something like that. And then David Hall is also like six to two of my friends that I that I see pretty regularly, regularly in person are both six, four and six, five, so I'm just surrounded by tall people constantly and I'm just like, I don't know people think they're like my bodyguard.

Michael David Wilson 39:29


Brandon Boone 39:31

yeah. 511 I'm going to ask for six foot just five level it'd be great.

Michael David Wilson 39:35

Yeah, yeah. Do you think maybe if you were 511 You'd still be surrounded by taller people but it might remove the ambiguity as to them being your body garden is like okay, no, that's probably just friends but but with those those two inches there is the disparity that they could in fact via bodyguard.

Brandon Boone 39:58

Maybe I didn't just lean into it. Never At time we go, you know, we go out somewhere. I'm like, here put these earpieces in. Yeah, it looks like you're doing something.

Michael David Wilson 40:04

Yeah. Yeah. Did you want an add enough around? Say you weren't gonna, you did seem like you were contemplating something else. But maybe we've made this one one thing. Ya know, it's

Brandon Boone 40:17

tough. It's tough because I've gone through a lot of changes already. And like, you come to realize that changing things doesn't really necessarily change life all that much. I don't think I think it can be glamorized in certain aspects. But you know, like I said, I quit my day job, and I literally have my dream job, but I don't necessarily feel that different. Yeah, I don't know. I could change one thing in my life. I would, I would just change my anxiety. I would love to be a less anxious person. I'm working on it. But man, I'm a one on one anxious guy.

Michael David Wilson 40:57

Yeah. Imagine the dream if you were just a little bit taller. And you could play Outlast without a panic attack. The dream? I mean, that might be that might be too much to imagine. You might say I can't conceive of such Yeah. A utopia.

Brandon Boone 41:17

I don't want to be greedy. I don't want to be less anxious and taller. If that's too much to ask for. Yeah, those are my first two Genie wishes.

Michael David Wilson 41:25

Yeah, yeah. What's the third just for Jessica to stop giving you a hard time?

Brandon Boone 41:34

I want to be a little bit taller for people to be nice to me. Yeah. Well, what? I wish I had a better answer for that. I don't know.

Michael David Wilson 41:46

Is that your wish, man, because now we've bizarrely turned this into wishes. That question, it's just became a different thing.

Brandon Boone 41:58

I just spoke, I have a boring answer. I don't know. I don't, I don't know what else I would change. It'd be cool to have like a cooler car. I drove a Prius. It's not that exciting. Maybe a car will be cool.

Michael David Wilson 42:07

I mean, that'd be a pretty weird thing to waste a wish on. Because I mean, kind of changing my life. Yeah, I don't know. Can't you literally just, you know, save up money and get a different car. You shouldn't waste a wish on that. I'm sure there are ways around it either. Okay. The problem I'm finding is more valuable. If it's a wish cards for free. Yeah. So you make a good point. Okay. I'll allow that to stand. If like,

Brandon Boone 42:39

that'd be a very irresponsible thing for me to do. I finally get my dream job I'm making you know, I'm working for myself. And the first thing I do is go buy a fancy car. Yeah, well, no. And now I'm broke. Do you need to do it for me?

Michael David Wilson 42:52

Yeah, I suppose. Yeah, you want to wait kind of five or 10 years to ensure that you know, the money is stable, and you've got a bit of, of savings towards that dream car. So we need alright, we'll check in in five or 10 years and see what you're driving for. The new podcast? What are they driving with me and Bob Pastorella. It's a very short podcast. I don't know if there's gonna be the demand for that. We just call up people and ask what their car is. And then the end of the episode.

Bob Pastorella 43:34

Yeah, it would be very short.

Michael David Wilson 43:36

Yeah. Yeah. Well, what morning rituals and daily habits do you have?

Brandon Boone 43:44

Well, my day, like I said, almost every day is practically the same for me. Now that it's spring, and it's nicer out, the bike riding we'll, we'll resume. So normally I wake up, help get my daughter ready for school. The bus picks her up at nine. So then nine o'clock, I go on a little bike ride for 20 minutes or whatever, why listen to the story come home. Make a breakfast smoothie of some sort and cappuccino and get to work and then I drink more and more coffee. Keep working. eat lunch, keep working. Then go to the gym. And that's pretty much everyday for me.

Michael David Wilson 44:26

Yeah, what's in the breakfast smoothie?

Brandon Boone 44:30

I normally do some mixed berries like raspberries, strawberries, some SunWarrior protein, pea protein, maybe a banana, maybe some spinach, something like that. Just something that not like if I ate a big breakfast. I'm just real slow going in the morning. And the same thing with the bike. The reason I started riding my bike was I you know, my old job was very physical and I would get to work and I'd be doing things that my hands immediately. So I found when I started working from home, my days were just really slow to start. And I felt like in a fog almost in the mornings. So like doing something active and kind of getting my blood going, it wakes my mind up. And I can just, I can get more done that way.

Michael David Wilson 45:19

Yeah. Yeah. Sounds like a good routine and not too dissimilar from mine, or do I do the workout in the morning because I just found that when I was doing it in the evening, I actually just feeling far too burnt out from the day the full day of work that I'd put in. So I've experimented with the timing before, but it just feels a little bit better for me to do that in the morning. And then at least, you know, I've kind of set myself up for success that way, too.

Brandon Boone 45:54

Yeah, I, you know, I actually liked working on the morning, I experimented with that a little bit last year. In the winter, I was going to the gym, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna get up and go to the gym before Ella wakes up. And so I was going in at like, six or seven in the morning. Yeah. But you know, another thing with starting to work from home now is I don't have a lot of, you know, personal social interactions with people outside of my, you know, immediate family. So, I felt really isolated doing that I wasn't working out with the same people every day anymore. And so I just went back to my normal, four o'clock gym time. I can see my friends.

Michael David Wilson 46:33

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I've kind of gone between full time work and self employed, and then kind of work in a day job and doing this, in addition, and experimented with all of those things that I do find that if I'm doing a full time, then, you know, the isolation and the potential depression from it's not socializing with people. It's real. So I mean, I very rarely Yeah, yeah. So I do some teaching as well. So I found that, like, the sweet spot is ensuring that you know, I'm at least like teaching one or two days a week, because then I've got sufficient time to work on my self employed stuff, but I am actually seeing other human beings and interacting with them, which, what are you know, I didn't realize before, but actually, there is a benefit to that. So good.

Brandon Boone 47:32

Yeah. I think a lot of like creatives and artists, we kind of romanticize the whole like, Oh, I just want to be in a cabin in the woods by myself with no distractions. So I can work and you know, focus on my craft, but we I mean, we're social creatures, we need people, we need to talk and chat. And even if it's just, you know, idle chit chat about the weather, or whatever it is, I you know, I think it's important just to have that interaction with another to have another humans voice, you know, coming back at you is something not to take for granted.

Michael David Wilson 48:04

Yeah. Yeah. And, I mean, it appears that you've been hugely successful and prolific in terms of your output and your journey and what you're doing, but I mean, I would imagine that there will have been mental funds and setbacks. So I'm wondering kind of, what are some of the hardest things in that vein that you've had to deal with?

Brandon Boone 48:32

So I, I'm, I'm fortunate in that. So, you know, as you know, no sleep will have like, four to six stories a week. So there are times when I get into, if I get like a writer's block for a story, I can just move to something else that might require, like, less melody more something, I can always just go to something that's like more atmospheric and I can at least get that done and check it off my list, and then save the harder thing for later and put it off until I'm in a better mindset for it. But yeah, the funks man, I've noticed that too, with with working on music, um, good for about two real solid funks a year. And these funks will last, I don't know, three weeks to a month, something like that until something kind of, you know, kicks it loose, I guess. And it's just the accountability of having a deadline is huge, because it's it forces me to work. And in working, I'll find things that I enjoy. And that kind of helps out. But it's almost like when I'm in a funk. I'm just talking about burnout earlier. I'm just burned out or I have no inspiration. Everything sounds like shit. I don't you know, I can't write anything. I can't find a good sound to save my life. And I'll Just try to listen to other people's music or even I found like, talking to people about music, just find something to kind of reignite why I'm here in the first place. Like, kind of go back to the roots of it. And even if even if it does mean, like, you know, I'll just go outside, or I'll go to the gym or something, and I'll listen to the Prodigy, you know, something from my, my childhood, and just something that just, you know, it kind of just rekindles the fire a little bit. Or, you know, YouTube's great for it, pull up videos of other people talking about music, or, you know, there's like those composer roundtables where they've got all the all the big names talking about their film scores and everything. And it's just like, it almost makes you feel like, okay, people have been here, everyone's been in a funk, everyone's horrified by a blank page. But we all find a way out of it. And we all get it done eventually. So just don't be too hard on yourself. And try to remember why you love doing this. And when you think like that, it's really it kind of comes back to me pretty quick. I feel like once once that spark is, is lit, that I can just hit the ground running.

Michael David Wilson 51:17

Yeah, yeah. Well, what is it that you are reading and watching and playing at the moment?

Brandon Boone 51:27

Well, reading I just picked up. I'm really bad with books. I've been reading heart shaped box for like a year now. Because I just I just don't read very often, unfortunately. Part of my anxiety stuff is like I like to be doing more than one thing at a time. So reading is really difficult for me, because it's like, you have to sit down and you can't like read and do other things. You know, it takes all your attention. So I should I mean, I should probably do it more for relaxation purposes. But even when the last big set of books I read was I read A Song of Ice and Fire. And I would have to like listen to like medieval music while I was reading it just to have something else going on. But right now I just picked up. What's it called? I got it wrong. Last time. I talked about it. The only good Indian?

Michael David Wilson 52:20

Oh, yeah. by Stephen Graham Jones.

Brandon Boone 52:23

Yes. Yes, the one. I was in the bookstore the other day and I was Googling like, what's the Indian book? What was it called? So I grabbed I just picked that up. Playing. I just beat Elden ring. Oh, yeah, game. Beat it twice. A lot of fun. currently playing horizon forbidden West, I guess. I just I mean, I just got it. I haven't really put too much time into it. I play against my brother and Mortal Kombat, like 30 minutes every day. So just to establish my dominance. And watching I finished severance, which was incredible. And our flag means death. That was a great show. That's kind of what I've been. That's like the most recent things that I've kind of watched and wrapped up I think.

Michael David Wilson 53:23

Yeah, it's severance exclusive to Apple.

Brandon Boone 53:27

It is. I recently got a new iPad. So I'm I'm almost at the end of my free trial. So I'm glad I was able to.

Michael David Wilson 53:37

Yeah, I had a free trial before I don't have one at the moment. And like, I feel that you know, Apple has a number of good exclusives but but I don't quite have enough to justify me getting it right now. Particularly when there's so many things on both Netflix and Amazon. I still haven't watched

Brandon Boone 54:02

man there's there's just so much we've got Disney plus and HBO max. And like, I'm trying to figure like, with Netflix just raising their rates again, I'm like, is it time to cancel Netflix? I don't want to cancel Netflix. But you know, I mean, it's just there's just so much stuff out there now.

Bob Pastorella 54:21

Just when do you want to cancel that come out with something else? Like, oh my god, I can't cancel it

Michael David Wilson 54:27

now. I mean, the thing is, for me, Netflix is still the best of the services in terms of you know, what it's got on and the quality so yeah, I'm, I'm not going to be canceling my Netflix and I doubt that many people who are saying they are actually going to be canceling it because there's so many exclusives and good programs on it. And that's true anyway, I mean, yes, they're looking not raising the reigns, but they're also looking at introducing some lower tiers. So I know. I mean, I know it's not exactly fun to be paying the same amount that you are now, but now having some sort of adverts, but it is, it is a solution. And, you know, they need to make money somehow. So

Brandon Boone 55:21

I totally get it. I'm on that 4k plan. So it's like 22 bucks a month, or whatever. It's like, well, all my other services do Fourcade. It's not, you know, it's not an extra markup. But

Michael David Wilson 55:33

yeah, yeah, but it looks fucking sweet. While you're watching. I'll help ease the pain on that one.

Brandon Boone 55:43

Yeah, it's tough when everyone's doing their own thing now. And, you know, I mean, I watched a peacemaker on HBO. And that that was incredible. Our flag means that was on HBO. To keep peacocking around, because I need a machine that plays the office at will. Yeah. Yeah, it's like, it's every, every little things got its own little hook for me.

Michael David Wilson 56:06

Yeah. And purely because you are American. I'm gonna assume you're talking about the American version of the office? Of course, yes. Oh, don't get me down.

Brandon Boone 56:24

I'm sure if you talk to Gemma, I watch a lot of British TV. I love it. I think it's great. But the British office just does not hold a candle to the American. Steve Carell is just the best. And there's like 12 episodes of the UK office

Michael David Wilson 56:42

here. We're gearing for quality over quantity. But this is a conversation for another day, we're not gonna we're not gonna get started on this, or I mean, I guess we just did get started. We're not gonna finish it, there's gonna be no conclusion. This is a conversation I've had many, many times before. And, yeah, I mean, I used to be like, a kind of purist, and so is very much against the US office, but I've softened my stance, you know, in recent years, and it's like, okay, I appreciate both of them. And then they're doing a different thing. So I mean, they can both. Maybe, maybe this will get me cancelled, because it's such a great war between the UK and the US in terms of the office, but I believe that we can live in a world where they both exist, and we can appreciate both of them. Yeah. And now I've lost all my patrons and subscribers. They're like, No, no, we fucking can't.

Brandon Boone 57:52

If you want a fun YouTube experiment of a British show that I love when it's like a top five show for me, peep show. Yes. Okay. Use the pilot for the American version.

Michael David Wilson 58:04

The the American No.

Brandon Boone 58:08

Reason You haven't heard about it go after this. Go on YouTube and look up the pilot for the American American peep show. It's it's impossible. It's impossible to walk.

Michael David Wilson 58:19

I Yeah. I just imagine and I mean, you've kind of proven it anyway. I just don't think that the American the the peep show would translate to an American version.

Brandon Boone 58:32

It doesn't. Yeah, at all. Yeah. Like an American mark. Talking about World War Two just does not have the same. You know, I don't know. Charm behind it. I don't know. It doesn't work.

Michael David Wilson 58:48

Well. Well, I'm genuinely excited to to go and check out that trailer. So yeah, I've got a new rap class to listen to. And I've got a trailer for the American peep shows.

Brandon Boone 59:03

I'll get a DM from you in like 45 minutes, just like oh my god. I made it three minutes into this and I had to turn it off. Well, hang

Michael David Wilson 59:11

on. Hang on. Did you say it's a pilot? It's not even a trace as the pilot Yeah. Oh, my God does. Jesus, okay. Oh, oh, watch it, and I'll report back.

Brandon Boone 59:27

I'll make it past five minutes. Okay.

Michael David Wilson 59:30

Okay. But now you've made you've turned it into a personal challenge. So I've got to see how long guy can last but I mean, I might hate you by the end. For putting me through it. You will? Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, on that note, where can our listeners connect with you? I'm

Brandon Boone 59:56

on Instagram on at Brandon Boone music. I'm on Twitter. We're at Wonder a sound. My website is Brandon boon composer.com. I've got a bunch of stuff there. I've got some new videos going up. And yeah, I think those are probably the two main are the three main places to find me. I always I always forget to mention this. And then I get yelled at, by friends. I do have a Bandcamp random wound up bandcamp.com I don't recommend it often because it literally has everything I've written on there. So there's like, almost 6000 tracks on that thing. So if you're, you know, into that, go check that out.

Michael David Wilson 1:00:34

Oh, it's just been a tremendous amount of fun. Yeah. And we've you spoke about so much from your career to video games to life lessons. So thank you for being so generous with your time.

Brandon Boone 1:00:48

Thank you for having me. This

Michael David Wilson 1:00:50

was a lot of fun. And I wonder Do you have any final thoughts to leave our listeners with?

Brandon Boone 1:00:58

If you want to do a thing just do it. Just fucking do it. It's all I can say. It's just if I've learned anything in my reasonably short life as far as just just go for it doesn't matter what what happens. Just keep trying.

Michael David Wilson 1:01:18

Thank you so much for listening to the This Is Horror Podcast with Brandon Boone. Join us again next time when we will be welcoming back for the first time in over three years. Maps booth the third. And this was a great conversation. We have recorded that one already. And we spoke about Max's new novel. maggot screaming, spoke about his podcast and festival ghoulish, and we spoke about screenwriting. So it is an episode not to be missed. And you don't have to miss it. Cuz you can get it early. And if you want to get it early, become our Patreon. A patreon.com. Forward slash, This Is Horror. Not only do you get access to each and every episode early doors, but you can submit questions to each interviewee. We've got David Wong coming on the show soon. We're going to be arranging a conversation with Catriona ward. So lots of exciting things coming up. We'd love you to support us. We've been doing this for almost 10 years now. Getting on for 500 episodes. And we're not slowing down. but believe you me, your support is invaluable. It helps us to keep doing this. It helps us to level up. So thank you. Go to patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. Have a little look around and see if it's a good fit for you. All right before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break.

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Michael David Wilson 1:04:11

That about does it for another episode. How you doing? You okay? You taking care of yourselves? What are you struggling with at the moment? Hang in there. Keep going. Your life is full of obstacles it's full of challenges. But you're probably stronger than you think you are. You got this you can do it. If you're really having a problem if you want to talk about it and tweet us at This Is Horror. Send me an email Michael at This Is Horror dot co.uk You're not alone. All right. Now I like to end these episodes of either a quote or a thought. And today's thought is this saying yes just Something is saying no to something else. So remember your time is so valuable. Choose what you do with it wisely and become comfortable with saying no. Yeah, only say yes if it is a hell yes. Because otherwise that is taking valuable time away from the things you really want to be doing with your life. Whether that's writing, whether that's another creative endeavor, whether it's spending time with children or family or loved ones, your time is precious. So remember that remember saying yes, is saying no to something else. I'll see you in the next episode. We'll Max spoof the third. Can't wait. But until then, take care yourselves. Be good to one another, read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.

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