As a rock girl, my heart melted when I heard that Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy was creating the soundtrack for The Incredible Hulk Coaster revamp! The fan favorite attraction features an exclusive on-ride score composed by Patrick. You’ll also be able to jam out to a composition Patrick put together for the brand new queue.
I was lucky enough to chat with the music master and find out his inspiration for the attraction. Here’s what he had to say:
LD: What was your inspiration for composing the score in the queue and ride?
PS: For me it all started with the ride and the story. I wanted something that complimented the experience you’ll get at the theme park but also took you on the journey in its own way. Plus, I utilized some strange angular properties to kind of emulate the hyper-chiseled squared-off way Jack Kirby would draw the Hulk. Conceptually, I wanted rumbling drum rhythms that could capture the Hulk’s raw muscular aggression and deep growling brass instruments that mimicked that kind of throaty roar. I wanted melodies that struck you in the chest as if the Hulk was swinging a bus into a wall.
When it came to the queue overture however, I composed several reappearing themes (I’d almost say leitmotif) to take you through that kind of childlike innocent wonder, the heroics, the military aspect of the story, the technological/sci-fi element, that kind of espionage chase feel, even a bit of the lonely melancholia the Hulk is kind of famous for.
LD: How did you initially get involved with the project?
PS: I’m not entirely sure but I’m grateful haha! Universal Orlando asked me and I said yes right away. I think I opened the e-mail and started composing instantly. I was ecstatic to have an opportunity not only to score for such a legendary creation (I’m a big fan of Marvel) but also to compose for a full 70 piece orchestra.
LD: How closely did you work with the designers of the attraction to create the score?
PS: I’d say we worked pretty closely. They didn’t guide the composition so much as they had a lot of notes on the overall feel. One thing I was impressed by was their choice not to play up the old “The Hulk is a monster” thing. It’s a great part of the Bruce Banner character, but we’ve been there so many times. For that reason, this Hulk experience is more focused on the heroic side which I had more fun writing anyhow!
LD: How long was the process to create and compose the scores?
PS: The initial composition itself really took very little time actually, mainly because I was so inspired by the ride. I did my first demo for the ride score in maybe an hour. I was just exploding with ideas as soon as I saw the ride animatic. I was also doing the sound effects and voice over elements so that took a bit longer to get those all to line up to fit the technical requirements of the ride. I also had to compose the music concentrated in frequencies that would cut through the air and the noise of the ride itself.
The queue music was basically written just for fun. Universal Orlando didn’t actually ask for it but I simply couldn’t help myself, I was having so much fun getting engrossed in the story. I’d be washing the dishes and get an idea in my head and start pounding the sink with my fist in rhythm. I’d probably still be writing movements now if the ride wasn’t already open!
LD: What is your favorite memory from working on this project?
PS: I’ve gotten to work with orchestral musicians and sections many times before, but this was the first time I actually heard my music coming out of an orchestra all at once. You can do so much with samples and MIDI these days that you start to really miss the sound of air trembling in the wake of a screaming trombone section. I almost forgot what it felt like to have music knock you right in the chest so to have it be my own music is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. Hopefully I get to do more.
LD: How was it different to compose a score for an attraction versus composing music for an album?
PS: Well, to be honest, I think I treated it like it was an album. There are some slight rock elements throughout the score so there are some similarities there. I played drums, bass, and guitars and there is a movement or so that are almost exclusively electronics so that’s a bit like recording for an album. Also, I kind of broke the movements up in the same way you break up one song at a time when you’re recording. The biggest difference I’d say would be the lack of lyrics. Lyrics are always the thing that slow me down and take the most re-working for me, so not having to write or arrange a single word was wildly different for me.
LD: What can fans of yours expect to hear when they come experience the attraction?
PS: I tried to imbue little hints of some of my signature sounds just as a calling card really. If you know the records I’ve worked on I think you’ll recognize me as the same guy. Over all though I’m kind of expressing a side of me I’ve always wanted to get out but haven’t ever had an outlet for. My very earliest musical memories are all film scores, not pop or rock records. So i think my fans will get to experience that side of me.
LD: Are there any hidden melodies or anything that fans should listen for?
PS: I talked a bit with Universal Orlando about that and ultimately we decided not to include any melodies from any of the previous Hulk properties. The story just didn’t call for it and all the music was composed specifically for this attraction. However, throughout the score there are little instrumentation things that I hope capture the spirit of the Hulk music we all know. Listen for the voice of the Hulk though…
If that’s not enough for you, we’ve also made Patrick’s score into ringtones. Download all three with the links below to #HulkOut your phone.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster Ringtone #1
The Incredible Hulk Coaster Ringtone #2
The Incredible Hulk Coaster Ringtone #3
Check out The Incredible Hulk Coaster open now at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.