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Ambient electronic textures, intoxicating vocal melodies, driving hypnotic rhythms -- these are just some of the phrases to describe the musical innovations of Tyler Bates. Whether as one of the most sought-after composers scoring hit films Watchmen, 300, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween 2, scoring Showtime's hit comedy "Californication," or writing music for videogames such as Army of Two: The 40th Day, Activision’s Transformers and the 300 and Watchmen games, Bates is creating some of the most distinctive music today. His latest projects include Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, Emilio Estevez’s The Way, James Gunn’s Super, and Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated series for Cartoon Network Sym-Bionic Titan.
Bates' music possesses a timbre of its own, attracting visionary filmmakers who aim to make extraordinary films with commercial appeal. His work on Zack Snyder's battle epic 300 embodies expansive orchestral and choral themes that express a sweeping range of color and emotion with a rock n’ roll attitude. Snyder responded to Bates' score concept for Dawn of the Dead, and hired him to create the music for his zombie epic, which became an instant classic in the horror movie genre. Both Rob Zombie and Dawn script-writer James Gunn recognized the affect of Bates' music for Dawn, and recruited him to score their films, The Devil's Rejects, Halloween 1 and 2 and Slither, respectively, which have joined the pantheon of cult classic films and earned Bates' the moniker the Devil's DJ by his directors!
The film that cemented Bates' career in scoring movies was director Stephen Kay's art house Be-Bop film, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, starring Keanu Reeves, Adrien Brody, and Thomas Jane. This film, whose critically acclaimed soundtrack was released on Blue Note Records, led to their collaboration on several films, including Get Carter; the catalyst to Bates' stylistic emergence as a film composer. Bates followed up with Matt Dillon's directorial debut, City Of Ghosts, and Mario Van Peebles' acclaimed BAADASSSSS!
Early in his career, while composing a string of low-budget films, Bates, along with singer-songwriter Lisa Papineau, formed the band, Pet. The duo created a stir in Los Angeles that led to their major label debut on Atlantic Records, recorded at Amos' hillside castle in rural Ireland in 1996. Pet soon had a platinum record to their credit for the song "Lil' Boots," from the "The Crow: City Of Angels" soundtrack album, and began touring stints with Blink 182, Limp Bizkit, and Social Distortion. By late 1997, Bates' desire to write and record music on a daily basis prompted him to leave the group and focus his energy solely on scoring films.
Tyler Bates spent his formative years in Chicago, developing his keen obsession with music. An avid enthusiast, his mother introduced him to a wide range of recording artists; from Zappa to Coltrane, Simon and Garfunkel to Sly Stone. The soundtrack albums for the Broadway musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar left an indelible impression upon him, both compositionally and emotionally.
At age ten, his hard-partying teenage cousins introduced him to Led Zeppelin and Kiss, which was all it took for Bates to drop his alto saxophone for an electric guitar. He then found the early records of U2, Gang of Four, and King Crimson, which influenced the principles apparent in his music today. The limitations of his home studio equipment became an integral part of his creative process; sparking an experimental approach in effort to complete his compositional ideas.
His foray into music production began by daisy-chaining cassette recorders to produce multi-track recordings. An Echoplex and other sound mutation devices became the gateway to his atmospheric explorations and counter-rhythmic sensibilities, as he studied the effects of varying tape speeds on live and pre-recorded sound sources.
By nineteen, Bates managed a trading firm in Chicago while enjoying the beginnings of great success in bands, but he could not ignore the calling to expand his career in music. In 1993, fueled by an offer to score a movie that paid less than a month's rent, Bates returned to his native Los Angeles with little experience in making music for films.
In 2011, with more than 40 films and 17 years experience scoring movies, Bates is at the forefront of innovation in film music, steadfastly finding new ways to connect the emotional with the abstract and the organic with electronic.