He's really the man with the midas touch when it comes to rescore a Bond film we love or bring a modern touch to the classic GOLDENEYE 64 tunes for the Mod version of the 1997 classic, hence his nickname GoldenZen. Ladies and gentleman, this is Yannick Zenhäusern, best known his work on GOLDENEYE: SOURCE and GoldenEye: Decrypted, a rescore of the 1995 James Bond film. In the following interview, we have some "chit-chat" with GoldenZen about it all: Bond, Serra, NIGHTFIRE: SOURCE and, of course, something on his upcoming GOLDFINGER project...
Yannick, what was your first experience with Bond and GOLDENEYE? It was the films or the videogames?
First of all, thank you very much for having me on. I really like The GoldenEye Dossier and it the work that's put in it. To the question: I was still pretty young when GOLDENEYE was released. I remember playing the N64 game for hours with friends. After that I've seen the movie and loved everything from the very start.
|Yannick in his studio, playing his electric guitar.|
The Nintendo 64 version of GOLDENEYE was one of the game's strong points, how did you feel of rearranging Grant Kirkhope and Greame Norgate's work?
Both are great composers and have created amazing pieces. It made my work so easy and you could instantly create that GOLDENEYE 64 feeling by playing the first few seconds of a song because the original pieces where so distinct. I started to build every song upon the original and go from there. Maybe expand it a little, add more orchestra or more modern stuff and that was it. I still love to listen to the original tracks a lot and it makes me even prouder that Grant Kirkhope listened to some of my work and made very kind comments.
How did you came to work with GOLDENEYE: SOURCE? Were you in the project from the beginning?
No, when I joined the GOLDENEYE: SOURCE team I've just been composing for about 3-4 years and started to sound halfway decent. At the time where I've applied there were already 2 musicians involved. They've really created some great tracks but where more into the techno, dubstep kind of department. When I've applied with a track that was very reminiscent of the actual GOLDENEYE movie soundtrack it started some wild discussions in the background. Some thought there's no need for a third composer and some thought: "Hey, we make a GOLDENEYE game and his music sounds like the movie – sure we take him". To make a long story short, I was given the chance to prove myself with a few more tracks and I was officially a part of the team. One of my biggest achievements ever and I've learned so much during that time. I might say, without GOLDENEYE: SOURCE – no GoldenZen
|GOLDENEYE: SOURCE, the Mod version for the 1997 Nintendo 64 classic. where Yannick proved his scoring talents.|
Who's your favourite Bond composer, and has he influenced you in your compositions?
Clearly Eric Serra. He was the original composer for GOLDENEYE. The movie was and still is the ultimate and unbeaten experience movie experience to me. All the amazing characters, the locations, the gadgets, Pierce Brosnan, the ladies the dark and intense atmosphere – all that was perfectly supplemented with a soundtrack that is a perfect fit in my eyes. Despite the fact that a lot of people doubt Eric Serra's work on this movie I absolutely love it and still get goosebumps whenever I get to hear The GoldenEye Overture (Editor's note: This is track #2 of the film's original soundtrack). But of course I love John Barry's, David Arnold's and Michael Kamen's work very much too.
|Unlike many Bond fans in the world, Yannick calls Eric Serra his favourite Bond composer: "I absolutely love it", he points out.|
You recently rescored GOLDENEYE and the unofficial Bond film NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. Why you picked those films? You felt they needed a rescore?
Because I love the movie GoldenEye so much I always wanted to rescore it. Not with the intention to make it better but different. I've tried to combine all the best elements from Eric Serra and maybe a touch of David Arnold and some of my own elements. During the GOLDENEYE rescore project (GoldenEye: Decrypted) I was already approached by different people who asked me if I'm going to rescore another James Bond movie. The thought actually never occured to me first but then some people suggested me to rescore NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. Nevertheless, after a little break after completing GOLDENEYE I was working on it already, although I wanted to take a longer James Bond music break. I guess I can't just live without this tune.
|Artwork for GoldenEye: Decripted, Yannick's rescore for the 1995 film|
So your next project is the Mod version of NIGHTFIRE, released in 2002. Why has the team picked this game and what are your expectations in the terms of music and playability?
Currently the developer team is quite small. A friend suggested me to apply there and send them some material of mine. They liked my previous work and I was in the team right away. It's also a great project for me because I can create a whole new soundtrack based on my ideas. These tracks are mainly based on orchestra and a lot of synth and percussive elements. Fast driven and full of Bond elements – I just love it. Some preview material can be found on YouTube. The developers are very dedicated and slowly but steadily we make progress and I believe it's gonna be a great thing.
Any other projects on the horizon?
Bond, what else? No seriously, I'm still working on NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and just finished to write a whole new title track with lyrics and everything. It turned out to be one of my best tracks so far.
NIGHTFIRE: SOURCE is still on my list and then there's the secret GOLDFINGER project in collaboration with some very talented people to. Funny thing - Despite the fact some people doubted the sense of the GoldenEye: Decrypted project, it was the project that got me connected with a lot of cool and nice people like game developers and filmmakers all over the world who liked it and things are looking really great. There's definitely a whole lot more music to come!
As usual, we thank Yannick for his time and we wish him the best of luck in his projects. To read more of him and keep in touch with his projects, check out his official Facebook Page.