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Pokemon Dub Music Interview Thingy

Rex Kamex

Well-Known Member
Someone interviewed John Loeffler, who handles/composes the dub Pokemon music or something like that. (I believe both PUSA music and 4Kids. If this is wrong someone please let me know.) I'm surprised no one has posted this here...

poke07 of another forum said:
Hello! Here are John Loeffler's answers to the interview I posted about a couple weeks ago.
A couple things to remember:

I DO compliment the dub BGM A LOT in my questions to him (I wanted to be as polite as possible). Please do not criticize me for doing this. Obviously I was not going to tell him that certain people didn't like his music.

Please do not get into arguments, or else the admins probably won't let us talk about these sort of things in the future.

The answer to question 6 is VERY interesting to me...along the same lines as the voice actor switch.

Thanks!

Ok, here it is:



Please note that whenever I refer to "background music" I am only
referring to what you (and/or any of your assistants) composed for the dub. I am not referring to the Japanese background music.

Here are my "top [8]" questions for you:

1) In working on background music for the show what is the process for
composing the music and then adding it to the video?




We either compose music directly to the picture, or we compose a "library of music" often several hours in length convering a variety of styles.
This music is then edited by a music editor to the picture. I meet with the producers of the show months in advance to discuss the style and mood of the music based on many factors and then compose various demos or examples until we all collectively agree upon a dominant overall style for the series or film.



2) As for the theme songs, which theme song was your favorite to work
on? What were your inspirations for composing these great tunes? Are
you still working with David Rolfe? [I think he misinterpreted this question...I was talking about Pokemon]




All popular themes become my favorite - like "Kate and Ali", the original "Pokemon", and the recent instrumental theme for "Poker After Dark". My inspiriation comes from understanding what the show needs - in other words, something warm, something funny, something provocative, etc. That is often a place to start. As for David Rolfe, after he moved from New York, I have not seen him or worked with him much.


3) A number have fans noticed that during end of Battle
Frontier/Diamond and Pearl Season, the background music alternated
every other episode between older dub music (used while 4Kids was handling the show) and newer dub music. What was the meaning behind this pattern?




This is simply because my two music ediotrs have favorites. We are
trying to slowly add more of the newer music to keep the show fresh
and current.



Why was a whole new set of background music composed, instead of
using the older dub background music? Also, the style of the music,
while just as good, is quite different. Was there a reason for this
change?





Yes, I was asked by the Pokemon people to make the music a
little "hipper" and more modern. Of course, then everyone began to appreciate how timeless the original music is - so we are trying to combine styles a little going forward.



5) Of the background music you composed, which is your favorite? I am
familiar with the episodes of Season 1 (very first season), Diamond
and Pearl 1, and Battle Dimension.if you choose to describe it in the
context of an episode.




i cannpt answer that question easily - as I have
composed hundreds of tracks. But usually the latest things I write I
like the best. ( Until I write something new)


6) Which song did you have the most fun working on for the 2BA Master
CD? Do you ever plan to include one of these songs in the TV show
again? We, older Pokemon fans, would love it!




This was my favorite project by far. I loved writing those songs and I am very proud of them. It is sad because Icould be doing that every season but Pokemon does not want to spend the money on original songs beyond the theme. It is a lot of work for them to re-edit the shows around new songs and I guess they are not that interested. Stiull, musically, it was
a blast to write those songs and have them used after every show on
Pikachu's Jukebox.


7) Finally, as I am such a huge fan of the background music, I was
wondering if there is any way to pay and obtain copies of your great
background music tracks?




Unofrtunately this music is not available to the public. If it ever ir, or we make a CD of it, I will be sure to let you know.


8) Pokemon is now being handled by DuArt instead of TAJ. For some reason the new company seems to lower the volume of the background music. You should ask them to raise it!


i will mention to DuArt about "raising" the levels. Thanks for being such an informed fan.

... "'Hipper' and more modern"? Hmm...
 

yoshi1001

Pokémon Lyricist
John has worked pretty handily with the anime since its inception, writing much of the dub music for it. He also sings "You Can Do It (If You Really Try)" from 2BA master (hopefully the WTPT ep on that album will be out this weekend), as well as the movie version of "We Will Be Heroes".

Music people are fun to interview-they always know what they want to say.
 

PokemonHero

I can see the future
Yeah, I remember reading this on Bulbagarden. It was certainly an interesting read.

... "'Hipper' and more modern"? Hmm...

It seemed to me he really didn't like it that much either.

There is one interview I would really like to see/do. I want an interview with Shinji Miyazaki. I've been trying to find a way to contact him for a little while now.
 

HoennMaster

Well-Known Member
This interview is not the greatest, but at least we get a sense on what happens with the music.
 

Rex Kamex

Well-Known Member
So much for being discreet. Bulbagarden was the forum that I got this from. I had stopped trying to bring up what forum I'd get things from, but... oh well. But anyway..

Bleh, I don't know why he had to be polite about it, I would've just plain out told him that people hate their music and would prefer the original stuff.

...

poke07 said:
Also, obviously I am not bringing up "Japanese music" with him...it would make him feel like his compositions were less liked...which would be bad

Dogasu said:
I agree. I mean...we'd basically be going up to him and saying "Hey, so um...can we have that Japanese dude's music back? Because yours just ain't cutting it."

I'd think that the goal would be to be polite, not (in an offhanded way) tell him that he sucks.

If I was interviewing this person, I'd ask something about the Japanese music, but if I were to say the wrong thing not only would the person be offended but he might not listen to a request to use all of the Japanese music.

I suppose, however, I could ask why the music in the movies have become Japanese while the music in the shows isn't all of the time. Or something.
 

yoshi1001

Pokémon Lyricist
I suppose, however, I could ask why the music in the movies have become Japanese while the music in the shows isn't all of the time. Or something.

Probably because the movie music is mostly recorded all at once by the same people, making it easier to license (the fewer signatures needed, the better).
 

Rex Kamex

Well-Known Member
Probably because the movie music is mostly recorded all at once by the same people, making it easier to license (the fewer signatures needed, the better).

Maybe, but still... they didn't use to keep all the Japanese BGM (well, almost all of it- they didn't use pieces like that version of "Spurt" from the 9th movie). For the first three movies the dub used its own score, but for the ones afterward the Japanese music was used. In fact, if PUSA and 4Kids continued making their own score for the movies, they'd have even fewer signatures to sign. (And I'm not saying for them to do that.)

I'd also ask when the dubbers determine when to use Japanese music and when to use their own music. Surely doing a mixture of BGM is some kind of hassle. Or why certain Japanese music is used in some episodes but not in others. Also why there were a few times when multiple pieces of dub music that only lasted a few seconds were put in a scene to fill up the silence. All politely, of course.
 

Kenpachi

Flawless Technique
None of the background music is Japanese correct?
So any music I hear that I like, I can credit to them?
They do have some good battle music.
 

Tyranitarphantom

seems so familiar...
whilst Loeffler's music is decent, IMO the dub would be much better if the japanese music was left untouched

None of the background music is Japanese correct?
So any music I hear that I like, I can credit to them?
They do have some good battle music.

Not all the dub's music is original, they still occasionally use the original japanese music. "O'er the Rampardos We Watched" keeps most of it's japanese music. the scene with Piplup and Buneary fighting Aerodactyl has all it's original music
 

Rex Kamex

Well-Known Member
None of the background music is Japanese correct?
So any music I hear that I like, I can credit to them?
They do have some good battle music.

This won't be all the Japanese music, but...

... all the music in movies 4 (3 if you include the mini movies) through 10 are in Japanese (save for certain songs). All of the music based from the games is Japanese. So if by battle music you mean that which is from the games, it's Japanese.

Tyranitarphantom said:
whilst Loeffler's music is decent, IMO the dub would be much better if the japanese music was left untouched

I agree, but I do feel sorry for him not being able to compose more of those original songs because PUSA won't let him...
 

yoshi1001

Pokémon Lyricist
The Japanese Score for the first three movies was pretty minimal, so I'm guessing that's why they decided to replace it.

Music licensing is an incredibly complex business-the economic friction is off the scale. There's no one rule that explains why the original music is used sometimes and not others.
 

Rex Kamex

Well-Known Member
The Japanese Score for the first three movies was pretty minimal, so I'm guessing that's why they decided to replace it.

Norman Grossfeld of 4Kids said about the first movie, "We also rescored the entire movie with all new music that would better reflect what American kids would respond to." It was on the website for the first movie, but I can't find it there anymore. I'm sure the music thing was also mentioned on the commentary of the third movie, but I haven't seen that in a long time since I don't have in on DVD.

Music licensing is an incredibly complex business-the economic friction is off the scale. There's no one rule that explains why the original music is used sometimes and not others.

... In this link,

http://www.animeboredom.co.uk/anime-articles/80/

... is this...

4Kids Interview said:
Rasmussen : Another music question. Why replace all the original Japanese BGM for each episode? What is it about the music that makes it unusable for American audiences? Also does it seem culturally insensitive to do such a thing (if, for instance, the original soundtrack featured Japanese vocal singing for example)?
Mr. Haigney : We replace it for both artistic and commercial reasons. I don't think it's any more or less insensitive than dubbing.

Also, the recent American episode ("Pokemon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu Part 1") apparently kept all of the Japanese background music. They must have treated this episode, and most likely the second one, as a movie, and kept all of the original music, but still... (Also, it doesn't seem complex for other dubbing companies. I'm not sure if it would be easier to license the background music if PUSA had the mindset of always keeping all of the original music.)
 

Genome

pro-SHARK WEEK
You naughty child, that was a huge bump you just made.

But I would like more people to read this interview. AND RAISE THAT MUSIC VOLUME. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ENJOY CHERRYLAND'S WORK OR EVEN AVOID GETTING DISTRACTED BY ANY NOISE IN THE ROOM WITHOUT THOSE SHORT AND TRENDY TRACKS.
 

Rex Kamex

Well-Known Member
You naughty child, that was a huge bump you just made.

Not huge enough to exceed a month, so...

But I would like more people to read this interview. AND RAISE THAT MUSIC VOLUME. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ENJOY CHERRYLAND'S WORK OR EVEN AVOID GETTING DISTRACTED BY ANY NOISE IN THE ROOM WITHOUT THOSE SHORT AND TRENDY TRACKS.

Wait... who's Cherryland?
 
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