Though the name of Brooklyn-based band Fall On Your Sword (or FOYS, as they’re affectionately known) may not ring the proverbial bell at first mention, you’ve definitely ‘heard’ them, especially if you’ve seen films like You Won’t Miss Me, Blackstar Warrior, Chosin, Lola Versus, Another Earth, and The Normals.
The duo of Will Bates and Phillip Mossmman is responsible for the soundtracks to a wide variety of independent films that utilize their unique blend of traditional melodies and synthetic sounds that create background scores like few other bands or composers can claim. They’ve also scored the Mark Mann Keanu Reeves-starrer Generation Um which sought to unravel the tedious ways of unapologetic hedonism. You might say that this project was the perfect fit for their talents since they play – as some claim – to please only themselves.
Up next for the band is the film Nobody Walks, starring Jon Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, and Dylan McDermott, which premiered last night (goes into wider release on October 12). We caught up with the band’s Will Bates who was the primary composer on the film to learn about his experience working on Nobody Walks and how he feels about being a musical jack-of-all-trades.
Moe: Tell us about your score for Nobody Walks. What preparations did you make when composing the score?
Bates: This was one of those rare situations of being involved very early on. I worked with Ry Russo-Young on her previous film, You Won’t Miss Me. She showed me the Nobody Walks script shortly after that was done and we started talking about the sound palette of the movie.
She wanted the score to feel as if it evolved out of sound design with warm, rich colors that reflected the look of the movie – that “California” feel. She was into the idea of synths, balanced out with some of the more organic textures that I used on You Won’t Miss Me. I got my hands on an old parlor organ that runs on tubes and has its own speaker. I mic-ed it from across the room and used that instrument as the basis for a lot of the ambient textures. Ry also wanted the score to be very thematic and melodic, so coming up with those themes was really my first task.