Interview with composer Jesper Kyd on Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Assassin’s Creed and Borderlands

jesper kyd
Photo by Fitz Carlile

The Metal Hurlant Chronicles Season 2 Original Soundtrack will be out on September 30th, and we had the chance to interview composer Jesper Kyd on his latest project. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, he was responsible for composing music for the Hitman and Assassin’s Creed series.

jesper kyd metal hurlant

Nerd Reactor: How was it working on the second season of Metal Hurlant Chronicles?

Jesper Kyd: It was a ton of fun. Each episode was so different and features a different music style. Spanning from a Western to outer space, from creature horror to time travel, there are no limitations in this series and so I never know where they are going to take it next.

NR: What new challenges were you faced with?

Jesper Kyd: Writing a Western score with fantasy elements took a while to score as did the creature horror that takes place on a distant mining colony. I like coming up with my own sounds for each episode – it feels more like writing 6 mini movies than a TV series.

NR: I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the music in the series feels very retro. Is this something you were aiming for?

Jesper Kyd: Some of the episodes are very retro, especially the more 1980s-inspired episodes. In general, the series is campy and follows the spirit of the comics really well and the music follows along with that. It was never the intention to have a straight up orchestral score for this series.

NR: What’s the difference between working on Metal Hurlant Chronicles compared to your other projects?

Jesper Kyd: I have a close working relationship with the director and creator of the show, so any questions or ideas can easily be shared back and forth. When working on a game, you work with the audio department and rarely do you get to talk to the creative director. So creative communication is often more streamlined when working on film and TV.

NR: Are we ever going to hear your music again in future Assassin’s Creed or Hitman games?

Jesper Kyd: Who knows but you can hear my Ezio’s Family theme throughout Assassin’s Creed Unity and Assassin’s Creed Rogue where it has been adapted as one of the main themes.

NR: What are your current or upcoming projects that you can reveal to us?

Jesper Kyd: My next release will be Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which is my first synthesizer score since Hitman: Contracts. However, it is completely different. In this score there are no traces of real instruments, everything is made with analog synths, drum machines and old gaming consoles. The music is my take on 1980s sci-fi music and electronic music and there’s everything from Commodore 64 and Sega Megadrive instruments to massive analog synths and vintage drum machines. It’s basically a headtrip through 1980s film inspired electronic synth scores with my own twist on that genre.

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