Composer Profile: Meet the composer behind XBLA’s Bloodforge

To go from 20 years of writing heavy rock music to scoring your first game soundtrack isn’t a path that many musicians take, but most heavy rock artists aren’t Aaron Miller.

Drawn to the game’s gritty style and early artwork, Bloodforge on XBLA is shaping up to be a dark, twisted and menacing experience both visually and aurally. In an interview published here on the game’s main Facebook page, Miller discusses his inspirations and challenges to composing his first video game soundtrack. Or, you can read the entire interview below:

What’s your back ground in both Music and the Games Industry?
I’ve spent twenty years writing music in various bands, mainly heavy rock. But I’ve been writing music in one form or another, my whole life, but this is my first score in the games industry, and its been a joy to work on!

What drew you to BF as an Artist?
The dark, gritty style was the first thing I noticed, I got excited seeing the screenshots of Bloodforge in its early stages. I remember thinking that the game looked visually striking, which I found as a composer, was extremely inspiring, that’s what really made me want to work on it!

What challenges did BF pose, creatively as the composer?
At first I thought, big drums, big brass, big choirs. Yes! I can hear it, and it’s gonna be great! It does have all those things, but it needed an identity, something that you could recognise as Bloodforge. I initially wrote the theme, which had to be big, dramatic, and fairly fast paced to match the action element to the game. I used lots of drums, I mean lots of drums!! There are lots of huge tribal drums in this score, it needed to be very percussive. But it needed a melody too, so I choose something simple, two chords, played by a huge big brass section, then I gave a layer of choirs to give it that epic feel. The cut scenes were tricky also, I wrote new pieces that suited a particular character or scene.

Given the option to lie with the Cailleach, would you be a “Yay” or a “Nah” kinda guy?
Umm as tempting as that sounds, I’m a married man

What inspirational material did you draw upon?
Danny Elfman’s Planet of the Apes is a big influence for me on this score, I also looked at the Apocalypto soundtrack, that’s a great score too, really natural! but as the Bloodforge score went on, it took on its own identity.

Your favourite part of the game?
I love the scene where he finds his wife, mainly because I could write something slightly different to raarrrr!! Also the Balor scenes are great!!

If you had to chop off an NME’s Limb, what would you go for?
Left big toe? Can we do that?

How do you feel about the end product / the score?
I love it!! I think the game looks and feels awesome. I think everyone that worked on this game should be damn proud!! I certainly am.

If Crom were to swap his sword for an instrument, what would it be?
It would be an electric bass guitar plugged into a million watt amplifier, he would hit a low A that would ring out of thousands of miles destroying everything in a sonic soundwave!!!!! Don’t we have that in the game then?

Bloodforge is coming to XBLA from from Climax Studios on April, 25 for 1200 MSP ($15). Be sure to check out our sister site for additional Bloodforge coverage and news.


About Tyler Cameron

Tyler is a longtime gamer and videogame music fanatic who grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. Now living the dream in the land of dairy (Milwaukee) he has taken to showing the world just why videogame music is so darn great. A diehard Red Wings fan, cat lover and cereal connoisseur, his passion and enthusiasm knows no bounds.