Articles and interviews

Brief Mark Snow Interview

conducted via E-mail by Alexander Grodzinski, between late October and early November 2013.
Page Editor: Bellefleur

Alexander: When did La La Land Records first approach you with their idea of releasing your X-Files music?

Mark: About a year ago, La La Land wanted to know if I would cooperate with them
in releasing music from The X-Files.

Alexander: Were you involved in the selection process (which tracks should be on it)? Was it clear from the beginning that there would be multiple discs and volumes?

Mark: So much of the music from The X-Files are pieces that I feel very close to and would have been most difficult for me to pick out the best pieces that would be accessible and listenable. So I left it to them, and when they first assembled the music, I was able to edit some of the cues and change the order, and even reject some of it. But it was a great collaboration.

Alexander: When you´re working on a feature film normally you deal with the director in terms of music for the film. What was it like on The X-Files? Did you go through every episode with every director responsible for it or did you just deal with the producers of the show all the time?

Mark: For all of the 9 years of the show, someone from the production team would come to my studio and listen to the music, whether it was the director or one of the producers or writers. I always looked forward to those preview sessions, it was like a wonderful secret club!

Alexander: There must be thousands of hours of music that you created over the last decades. Do you have a musical archive of your own music? For example do you have every single note ever recorded for every X-Files-Episode stored somewhere?

Mark: Yes, I have all the music archived on a special digital format, in a VERY secret place.

Alexander: Does it surprise you that The X-Files are still so popular after all these years?

Mark: Its very gratifying to have this wonderful legacy , knowing that some of my music has been heard all over the world, and still seems to be quite popular.

Alexander: You did some feature film scores as well but you never went fulltime into the movie business. Was it just not working out as you would have hoped or do you feel more comfortable doing tv shows?

Mark: If I had a very close friend or relative directing films, I might have been more active in the movie world. But I have no complaints what so ever about my involvement with the many TV shows I've written for.

Alexander: Is there a specific memory that you have working on The X-Files? A funny incident, an episode that is your favorite, or the most difficult episode to score?

Mark: Every time someone asks me this question, I seem to have a different answer as far as what my favorite episode was. Right now, I would say “Post-Modern Prometheus,” “Home,” “Bad Blood,” “Irresistible,” and “Paper Hearts.” I know that’s not just one, but I can’t imagine ever having just one favorite. I do remember acting (not a speaking part) in one of the episodes, “Per Manum,” written by John Shiban and directed by Kim Manners. It was a night shoot, and filming started at 1:00 a.m. By the time I did my bit, I tripped over the steady cam cables and shut down production for a few hours. Not very funny, but everyone was a good sport about it, since it gave the actors a much needed break!

Alexander: How did you feel when The X-Files finally ended? Was it emotional, or did you think, “It was a great time all these years, but that’s my job, I compose music, and now I move on to another project”?

Mark: I thought when the show finally ended, I will never do another TV show as good as this. It was a once-in-a-lifetime assignment where every episode was like a mini feature film. Truly amazing, especially because I was able to use my experience with avant-garde music to full advantage. I remember previewing the music for the last episode: Chris Carter and the other producers came to my studio, my wife made a fabulous lunch, we all had a group hug, shed a slight tear, and it was over. Long live The X-Files!

I must thank Alexander Grodzinski for the double duty of writing his wonderful in-depth review of The X-Files: Volume 2 box set, and taking the time to conduct this interview with Mark Snow. A very special thank you must go to Mark Snow, who graciously took time away from his schedule to conduct this interview via e-mail. Mark Snow continues to demonstrate himself as a true gentleman. As of this writing, it has been announced from La La Land Records, due to overwhelming demand that a Volume three will go into production in the near future.

Please check out Alexander’s two reviews of these releases, from here and here.
Once again, I must thank Mike Joffe for all of his help.

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