We had the honor of interviewing composer Tim Wynn about his work on Marvel’s Midnight Suns as well as the DLC coming out soon that he’s also scored. Tim has one of the most diverse lists of credits including movies, TV, video games, and more. We had a great conversation and thanks to Tim for his time! Without further ado:
Adam Moreno: Hello everybody. Welcome into another “we interview” session! Today, we have composer Tim Wynn with us. He’s done everything you can imagine. He’s done Supernatural. He’s done Madden. He’s done XCOM! And now he’s doing Marvel’s Midnight Suns. Tim, how are you doing today?
Tim Wynn: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Adam Moreno: OK, you ready to go?
Tim Wynn: I’m ready to go.
Adam Moreno: OK. First question, You join a great list of composers who have written for Superhero content. From John Williams’ Superman, to Alan Silvestri’s Avengers. As you were growing up and starting your music career, who were your influences and how did they influence your work with Midnight Sons?
Tim Wynn: Well, I think my first classical sort of influence was, I would say Claude Debussy and also Gustav Holtz. Both of those guys, they’re not very related as composers are, but I think that getting that cinematic quality of both of their sounds. In different ways, I think, is what kind of got me on the road for it. But growing up in the 80s, those were my, you know, sort of part of my teen years. I think that the composer I gravitated to most was James Newton Howard. I love John Williams. When you mentioned the Superman score, you know, I didn’t really think about it. That is one of the first scores. That I really loved the music for. I mean, I’ve been a fan of John Williams for lots of things, but his Superman score especially was epic and just just magical sort of thing like that. So yeah, I mean, I don’t know if it consciously, Silvestri’, maybe I think is what I had more in mind because we had a little bit of an homage to the 90s. And so Silvestri was more of the influence, I would say, for the Midnight Suns, yeah.
Adam Moreno: So you’ve scored some iconic entertainment moments; Supernatural, Freaks, Madden NFL 25, XCOM 2, and now Marvel’s Midnight Suns, as we’ve talked about. How does your process change when you’re going from movies to television to video games?
Tim Wynn: Well, mean in some ways it’s the same. For Midnight Suns, I was responsible for writing all the themes and all the cutscenes. So in essence, it was almost like I was writing a three part movie. You know, it’s kind of split up into thirds. So it felt very cinematic to me in the same way that a movie does, but on a much bigger scale because movies you’ve got 90 minutes total music that you have to write or less. And so this was pretty much three times that. So, you know, the approach was very similar to movies, but I think one of the similarities that you are always doing is the thematic qualities. So finding the theme. Like, what’s gonna be the theme for the overall movie. So much like you mentioned Freaks, the first thing I did was, you know, writing that main theme that was going to be the thread that was going to be used throughout the whole, you know, project.
Adam Moreno: That’s wonderful. I love that answer so much and going off of that, I really love your usage of percussion, horns and strings in the soundtrack, especially for songs like “This is for Johnny Blaze” and “The Strongest There Is” all give such a sense of intensity and glory to them. Did they give you footage for the game to play off of or was this mostly storyboards and written descriptions?
Tim Wynn: So at the first part of it, it was sort of, yeah, storyboards was the first thing that I saw. So when I was writing the main theme called “Origins,” that was what I was working off. It was more of the sort of the hero quality. You know, we wanted something like you said, you know, glory, something with energy, and those are all things that, you know, it naturally felt right for a Marvel game. So that’s really, that’s really what I was thinking about when I was writing those pieces of music.
Adam Moreno: Your job is so difficult because with a movie you don’t have; the audience is not involved in the production of the movie. They’re not moving characters forward, so the music kind of has to drive the players to move forward as well as fit the, you know, the vibe of the scene itself. So it’s an amazing ability that you’ve had to create these songs to push everyone forward in the game like that.
So, I just have one last question for you. What is one memory from your time scoring video games that will live in your head forever as a cherished memory?
Tim Wynn: Well, there are so many good ones that I’ve had so far. I’ve been grateful to have any of them. But I guess if I had to pick my favorite was back, I forget what the year it was, that I was working… It was the first time that I got to score up at Skywalker Ranch, using the live orchestra up there. Yeah, it was. It was pretty amazing. So I was working on this The Simpsons game, and so me and my partner Chris Leonard, we flew up there and had an amazing time, got to score the game over a week up at Skywalker Ranch. I mean it’s, you know, it’s just amazing to be able to do that. And I’ll never forget, you know, as a composer, when you’re working in our field, for film and TV and video games, you don’t necessarily work with an orchestra every day. You know, you’re not like, or something like that where you get to conduct all the time. So sometimes, that was the first time that I had conducted in a in a few years, so getting up in front of this amazing orchestra up at Skywalker Ranch and starting on a Monday and then ending up on a Friday night, it was the most, you know, intense thing that it all came back to me all the over the orchestra and for me the moment was that final moment. And I was recording with the brass. And I knew this was the last take. The take before was probably OK, but I’m like, oh, there’s one more time for safety, right? Just so I can do it more time and it had these great chords coming out of the brass and it’s almost like you could fly away on these chords because they’re just coming at you in the air. It’s hitting you and you’re just like, you know, it’s just. It’s just the feeling is so intense. And so I just, for me the thought was just that last moment. Where I’m like (does conductor motions) Oh, I just don’t want to leave right now. I wanna, you know, can I just keep going, please? It’s like, I wanted to keep going, but the take was done and just walking off the podium and that sort of vibe where you’re just like, wow, that was the most amazing week I ever had in my life. So just being able to work with a live orchestra for a week on The Simpsons Game was probably my top!
Adam Moreno: That’s such a great answer. That is that is such a great answer. Thank you so much. Now you’ve been amazing, concise answers, ready to go. And we appreciate you so much. Thank you for joining us guys. You can listen to Tim’s music. It’s all throughout Marvel’s Midnight Suns. And you can see and play that right now. So Tim, thank you so much for your time.
Tim Wynn: Thanks, Adam. Appreciate it.
Adam is a musician and gamer who loves his partner in crime, Regan, and their two pets Rey and Finn. Adam is a fan of Star Wars, Mass Effect, NFL Football, and gaming in general. Follow Adam on Twitter @TheRexTano.