When major networks like MTV, Disney, Spike, Real TV, Fox, and CBS need music, they turn to Shawn Clement. With a filmography/discography that spans every genre of music, Shawn Clement has a made name for himself for being able to deliver whatever a project needs. We met Shawn at Winter NAMM 2010, where he was scouting each booth for audio tools to add to his already impressive studio. We asked Shawn about DrumCore and Discrete Drums which have quickly found a place in his workflow.
How did you get into composing?
Oh my God that's a long story! We'll I've been a working musician for a long time. At 13 I was playing clubs and touring the country. For me, I had too many influences, I just loved music. I asked myself "How am I going to make a living as a musician?" For me, I immediately thought "Film and TV." I could explore different avenues of music and I didn't have to wear spandex! (laughs) I moved out to California about 16 or 17 years ago and through a lot of hard work, got somewhere. I worked at the mailroom of Sony Pictures which gave me access to key people. I got my demos out and eventually got a few breaks.
What kinds of stuff are you doing currently?
I'm all over the place. One thing about my career that has been interesting is that I've been lucky enough to work in every genre. I'm in the middle of three TV series, finished a couple of films, I'm producing a TV series, producing a film; I love so many different things and so many kinds of music. I'm lucky to be a part of so many things!
Do you have your own studio or do you work at local studios?
Well it depends on the budget. I have a ranch with my own studio about forty minutes north of LA that is really versatile. I do a lot of things here, I can cut a record if I needed to. If I'm on a job that requires a full orchestra, obviously we go to bigger studios. One of my last films required the use of the San Francisco Philharmonic which we worked on at Skywalker.
What instruments do you personally play?
I'm originally a guitar player. I made a living as a teenager playing in bands touring the country. Eventually I got into playing keys. I have a pretty insane collection of instruments at my studio, but I'm strongest with the guitar and keys.
Do you prefer theme writing and scoring to writing traditional songs?
I really love writing scores. I wrote lots of songs for bands growing up, but my rush is music for film. Music is so powerful, it can change a scene, drive it, it's such a rush.
Speaking of studio and gear, you've recently been using some DrumCore and Discrete Drums stuff, what did you think?
I think the stuff is amazing! One of the things I love about it is the production quality. You can really use this stuff, especially when you are working with tighter budgets. You can dig in there and get stuff you need without hiring a percussionist or drummer. I love working with it.
Is it stuff you would use with demos or is it usable for final mixes?
I can tell you right now, a lot of this will find their way into final mixes. It's not demo stuff. This is high quality. Demos, final mixes, final Tv shows, final scores, all of it.
Composers often tell me they have sharp deadlines and they like DrumCore cause it's so quick, do you agree?
Definitely, especially with the new software. With this new version (version 3), you can fix stuff quick, meet deadlines, and you know it's going to sound great.
Do you have any advice for aspiring composers?
Yeah, find another job! (laughs) No, you have to think outside the box and work hard. The business has always been hard and it's harder now than it's ever been. You need to go beyond and above, make use of all your tools and work hard.
Do you have any plans for the future? Big projects?
I have a real big project in the fall. I just finished a couple of indie films, and I'm just wrapping up Most Shocking and Most Daring. I'm also set to work on a new Sinbad film, not the comedian, the sailor which I'm excited about. I also have a production company that I'm a partner in that we have a couple of projects to do. I also have a TV series I'm scoring called Masses of Sound. I'm really busy!
Where can our users hear more of your music?
My website has a lot of music www.clemistry.com. I also have a lot of soundtracks available for sale. I'm all over the web!