Riverdale's music composer Sherri Chung clueless about Gargoyle King, reveals the only cue she got from creators
In an exclusive interview with Meaww, Sherri Chung talks about the musical transition of 'Riverdale' from season 1 to 3 and the making of 'The Midnight Club' episode.
'Riverdale' is taking a Thanksgiving break today but the good news is that the series' Season 2 soundtrack is now available on iTunes. The CW's hit show first aired on May 2017 and now as we almost wrap up 2018 with ongoing season 3, we must discuss about one of the main reasons why Riverdale has taken the world by storm and garnered a massive fan-base - its music. Though there is the familiarity of its characters featuring the original Archie gang, but the soul of the series remains to be its music.
If you have been keeping up with the dark tale of 'Riverdale' created by Archie Comics' chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it is evident that the series is taking a turn for the dark. Thanks to its stand-out musical pieces, we can still enjoy a plethora of emotions rendered by the soulful pop the show has managed to create; a modern-day musical fused with the nostalgia of the bygone days.
In an exclusive interview with Meaww, the music composer of the cult-favorite show, Sherri Chung, gives us an insight into the making of a recently aired flashback episode called 'The Midnight Club' and the musical transition throughout three seasons. Chung has been working on Riverdale's music since its inception alongside Blake Neely, and the duo has already established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, jointly composing music for shows within the CW DC universe, such as 'Arrow,' 'The Flash,' 'Supergirl' and DC’s 'Legends of Tomorrow.'
What makes her compositions work dynamically with Blake is the sheer fact that they both have a similar take on music, writing, and approach. "It definitely helps that I have picked up some of his methods over the years!" she exclaims. "There is also a huge amount of respect and trust, which allows for a mutual willingness to be vulnerable as artists," she adds.
So when working on Season 3's highly anticipated throwback episode Blake and Chung had a conversation with Roberto who greenlit the 80s theme. "It was cool to bring out the old synth sounds, and I personally did a little research to remember what makes certain music from any decade sound the way it is from that decade," Chung explains. So they got set on bringing alive the '80s in a typical Riverdale approach with 'The Breakfast Club' referenced scenes and girls talking in the bathroom.
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The scene has been a favorite of many fans, especially seeing Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) play the bad-ass Serpent version of her mother, Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick). From season 1 to 3, there has been a great evolution and revolution of characters as they deal with different kinds of antagonists starting right from the murder of Jason Blossom to the mystery of Blackhood and now, the Gargoyle King. Even the musical tone has heavily transitioned.
Talking about this transition Chung reveals that "the dramatic sonic direction we were given was Swamp Goth, to go for it and figure out what that means." Given the supernatural elements introduced in Season 3, it is more than obvious that Riverdale creators are trying out something different this season, and that heavily includes the music, because it is the tone of the season that questions "the who." "Who killed Jason Blossom? Who is the Blackhood? Who is the Gargoyle King?"
However, the catch is, that even the composers are as clueless as we are. As mentioned above, their cue was only "Swamp Goth." "But because we don’t know what or who that is, sonically, we’re trying to create a lot of fear, dread and mystery surrounding this character. We are adding music that’s more bold, mystical, and other-worldly," Chung points. "What we know yet, it’s not of a time, place, gender or being, which makes it all the more interesting," she adds.
We need to decode that as we await episode six, 'Manhunter,' which airs on November 28.