In February of last year, I was approached by Albert Cook to write the score for a zombie movie he had been filming. The project had started out as a simple trailer for one of his film classes at the University of Colorado, but he had decided to see the project through, and by the time I became involved, it had ballooned into a 48-minute near-feature-length behemoth.
I was delighted to have an opportunity to write some action/adventure/suspense film music since I hadn’t really done too much of that. Little did I know the project would require me to write, in addition to the dramatic underscore, a death metal song, a country song, a punk-rock song, theme songs for both a news show and cowboy show, and yes, even a one-minute opera to be performed by Styrofoam packing peanuts. (Now there’s something you probably have never seen before!)
Some of the tracks on the album are:
- Zombie Blood Chaos – this is the theme of the film, although it only appears in its entirety on the DVD menu. My brother Luke Banta improvised the vocals for this track, and I cobbled the song together out of his shoutings. Matt Beckemeyer laid down the guitar tracks and, in the process, helped pen some of the licks.
Zombie Girl – this one was written by Sam Cooper, and also features Sam on vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Thanks are due to Jeremy Averitt who let us use the equipment in his basement to record all the tracks. All told, the song was conceived, written, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered over a period of about four hours while Sam was in town for a day.
- Zombie Party – this dance track was done by Chris Stibrany.
Other people who helped me out on this huge project were Shenandoah Davis, who sang the soprano part for the Transformation Opera; Aaron DiVesta, who laid down some saxophone and flute on a couple of cues; Josh Moore, who was the drummer on a couple tracks; Jocelyn Holst, who let me borrow her equipment while I was recording the live instruments and vocals; and my dad, Bob, who let me take over his basement while I was making all this noise.
The film debuted in June, 2007 on campus at the University of Colorado, and later appeared at the 2008 Backseat Film Festival in Philidelphia, PA, winning an award for Best Drinking Movie.