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Interview With Edward Patrick White

Gears Utility

So, I’m sure a lot of Gears fans are wondering how you captured the sound of Gears of War?

As an avid gamer – I started playing desktop games in the early eighties (loaded onto cassette tapes if anyone remembers those), then I had a Nintendo NES console, PlayStations, successive models of Xbox etc – I’ve been actively studying music in video games since my earliest musical moments. And look, I played Gears a lot! The one that was transformative for me was the first one. It was so gritty and hopeless. I love the second and third too but the first was where the connection was formed. So there’s a kind of Gears-y DNA running in my musical veins.

From my personal playthrough of the game, I and I’m sure alot of others heard throwback sounds, incorporated into your work.

I’m glad you did! Those throwback sounds were all inspired by my reverence for the earlier games. I literally had to reverse engineer them – to make them from scratch. It was definitely a labour of love.

How did you go about finding the right legacy music to match your own personal Gears Tactics music?

Well – my personal musical heritage runs from Mahler symphonies through the likes of film composers like John Williams, Alan Sylvestri and James Horner; to NIN, Fear Factory, Slayer. Fortunately, I have a feeling that these were all similar influences on earlier Gears composers – so that common heritage / lingua franca really stood me in good stead when I was trying to land the gig!

Did you play Gears of War before you managed to snag such an awesome gig?

Just a little bit. I had the Gears 3 limited edition Xbox 360 controller… Is that an indication?

Out of all the Gears of War Sound Tracks, what was your favourite? What’s the reason to that choice?

I LOVE Steve Jablonski’s work on two and three. He had the opportunity to really take the music to a larger world. But, I always come back to the first Kevin Riepl score as being creatively the most interesting. It’s so rough around the edges – brass and wood-wind heavy… The ethos of the score is that after E-Day and then subsequent scorched earth Hammer tactics, the COG would have had to fix and make do; and so there is this sort of gaffa-taped quality to the music, which I love. That will be the Reznor fan in me.

As someone with a large musical background, what would you say your favourite instrument is? As well as your favourite thing to manipulate?

As a guitar player, that’s my instrument. The way I write – sometimes the idea will start on the guitar and then get arranged for the orchestra. We’re living in this golden age of music technology were you can achieve pretty much whatever you want to achieve 100% in the box. And that’s amazing. But I love the immediacy and connection that you get with real instruments and uniquely recorded sounds. For the Gears Tactics score, there are all kinds of unexpected things in there – even my nine year old daughter gave me some vocals that I pitched, stretched, granulated and resampled. Nothing is sacred – it’s all sound for corrupting in the machine.

Would you create a sting that can be played upon completion of reading this?

Gears Utility’s answer: Keep reading 😉

Has to be asked, as a Brit, favourite meal?

Is it possible to beat a Tomahawk Steak cooked on the barbecue? I got my technique off of Malcolm Reed on You Tube…

Definitely tastier than a rockworm and more substantial than Hearty Crunch.

Psst, Edward, just between me, you and PR… Have you been offered to score any other Gears Games?!

The Coalition recently asked me back for a little thing…

Well Edward, it was a pleasure getting to interview you here at Gears Utility.

Pleasure is all mine.

Before we sign off, is there anything you’d like the Gears Community to know? Or anything you’d like to say?

Tactics is 100% Gears. It was made with love and reverence from everyone who worked on it. It can be fast paced and brutal. If you haven’t given it a shot, it’s out now, optimised at 60fps on Xbox Series X. Give it a whirl!!!


Edward Patrick White

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