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  • What really is good taste, right? If I work with someone,

  • and I say, "Hey, we should make a electronic song," and someone else says,

  • "Oh, we should make an orchestral song." Like who is right? You know it's a taste question.

  • And these things can't really be explained rationally, in many ways. It's just based on individual taste,

  • and if you want to trust someone else's taste over your own you know. You can hire as many all-stars,

  • and rock stars and geniuses as you want, but the better the relationship is that you have

  • with someone you work with creatively, the better your work will be.

  • If you don't have relationships and trust, then it's just gonna be a huge clusterfuck.

  • It's always a challenge to find your meeting room. I never know where the meeting rooms are.

  • What's up?

  • Sam, she's gonna work on the Amumu video. She's from London.

  • Hello.

  • Yes.

  • Awesome.

  • Yeah, I'll dig up some of the old... old uh...

  • Yeah, it'll be great to see some of the... some of the

  • Some of the old sketches. They were early sketches. Do we have any

  • do you have some of the video already done?

  • No. No

  • No. Just starting today.

  • I mean basically today was like we got the budget approved a few days ago so

  • See, Amumu is a sad zombie who became separated from his zombie parents and never found them again.

  • Cursed with immortality, Amumu lives forever as a weepy child wrapped in what appears to be toilet paper.

  • Small, sad-looking with puffy eyes. Slow and smelly, but surprisingly strong.

  • Always looks sad and dejected. Small body. Big head.

  • Okay so that was like 2008. When was that?

  • 2000

  • Yeah, maybe 2007 even.

  • Oh wow. Two years before the game even came out?

  • Yeah. It was a simple metaphor, and it's gone a long way. It's good he's getting his own music video now.

  • That kind of just happened?

  • Yeah and I think he's a good vessel for it. Like I said, he's maybe just stories that are told.

  • You know maybe all over in turn. You're right. Like he's a good canvas for a boy in any nation, you know.

  • So he could be from Demacia or Freljordian.

  • Amumu, for sure, is the most expensive thing that we've done, as a music team, um that has no purpose.

  • Literally, there is no business incentive. There's like no - there's like no you know

  • There's no like promotional campaign tied to it or whatever.

  • The sole purpose is to do something cool for our players you know and beautiful.

  • In this video, that's kind of the only thing that we have to nail, which is him as a character,

  • How our players know him, because obviously we wouldn't want to disappoint them.

  • Yeah, like a Namibian bandit. Like our character's still gonna be pretty much based on your character.

  • You know maybe like everything he interacts with is avoiding him. I dunno. Does that make sense?

  • Christian, does that represent it correctly?

  • Amumu is such an old character. Players have known the champion for a long time,

  • Which means that there are certain expectations. I don't want to disappoint our players you know.

  • So this was the original

  • This was my take on it you know.

  • This one creeps me out.

  • Yeah, the holes in his eyes. He's a nasty little dude.

  • Yeah I mean well - I mean the - you know Amumu is Amumu. Like we can't really change him as a character

  • Yeah.

  • And we shouldn't.

  • Okay.

  • Cool.

  • Yep. See you guys. Bye Christian.

  • See ya.

  • Bye guys.

  • It's like, all right, the contract's signed. We're gonna spend a huge amount of money on this music video.

  • It has to be the best music piece you've ever made, but you haven't even written anything yet.

  • Can you tell us kind of what the status of the music - is the music already recorded? Is it written?

  • Is it finished?

  • There's no music right now. No music. It's all in my head. It's music,

  • so you can't predict how it ends up, so it's just like, "Ahh!" I have to actually figure it out now.

  • You know and we'll see. I mean yeah, we'll see. I don't know yet.

  • I feel like he's a complex situation for our game and our world, because people are like,

  • "Well how does he fit in?" And this and that, but like I feel like he's actually - he's a metaphor,

  • per se, you know that. He fits anywhere you know. There's so much to be done with this character.

  • Amumu is an exploration. You know it's - I don't know if it will be successful.

  • The music team at Riot Games started back in the day,

  • just with me kind of noodling around on blog and stream music tracks. On our music team,

  • we have Alex Temple, who's a composer, Sebastien Najand, also a composer, Mike Barry, also a composer,

  • me, also composer. Dan

  • Um..

  • I might be stretching my knowledge on the subject, just 'cause I haven't been here that long.

  • I've only been here two months you know, so

  • That's fine. Be as liberal and as uncensored as humanly possible.

  • We all have different strengths on our team. Alex Temple, for example, phenomenal in the traditional sense.

  • Young, handsome composer. That was kinda weird.

  • First CD I ever bought was - well I didn't buy it, but it was Beethoven's Fifth Symphony,

  • and my dad gave it to me. I was uh five I think,

  • and my parents had to have a rule that I was only allowed to listen to one hour of music a day,

  • because apparently I was trying to listen to too much.

  • Sebastien has a really good ear for how to weave electronic music into orchestral pieces.

  • Actually used to work for Han Zimmer's team.

  • The first album I bought was the soundtrack for The Rock, by Hans Zimmer. I was - well,

  • I was 10 when I got really interested in film music, and I started actually using computers to, like,

  • make music when I was about 11.

  • Mike Barry. A very, very classically trained classical pianist, and really good opinions.

  • I like being around people who are really good at things and feel like they're not,

  • because they're always trying to get better. My first love in music, before classical, was rap.

  • Going back like to Dre and stuff was the first CDs that got taken away, as a child.

  • Dan also is a composer. Pretty fresh on the team, and helps us with a lot of production aspects.

  • I'm not sure exactly how, but I ended up with this video on my computer, right now.

  • It's what I'm writing music for. I mean, since I'm new, like you know my schedule is a little more open,

  • So I said, "You know I've got some time. I can... I can work on that."

  • It kind of started with me, but I am probably the worst out of all of our composers, as a composer,

  • in the traditional sense, but at the same time, I probably know our game and our players best.

  • We have Perlman, Tchaikovsky, I don't know who the hell that is, Dvorak, Nat King Cole,

  • Led Zeppelin number three, Led Zeppelin number two, Frank, obviously.

  • One of the core ideas of League of Legends is you have these unlikely champions

  • coming from all different realms, and genres, and times and inspirations,

  • and they kind of come together in a really cohesive manner, and that, to me,

  • is the most interesting thing about League and also about the way that we approach music.

  • If you know your strengths, but even more important, your limitations, then you can really work well together,

  • as a team. If you have a very sober way of thinking about your team, I think you can achieve things

  • that are way greater than yourself.

  • We are all rolling? All good?

  • Yes.

  • Cool.

  • I keep finding myself worrying about like what your piece - like what your piece is, and making sure I'm giving you

  • the right stuff.

  • I know, it's

  • It's - Brandon, don't worry about the cameras. Just tell us what you know.

  • Right.

  • Um..

  • So this is Pan, one of our crazy artists.

  • Hi, how's it going?

  • And he's working on the - a Pentakill art piece.

  • No one has seen this, or

  • No. No this is - I mean he's still working on it. Can you give Sona a mustache?

  • Yeah, for sure. A little Chinese type.

  • Like a curly one.

  • Oh, it's right here.

  • It's a good mustache.

  • Yay.

  • It looks pretty - it's actually pretty legit, now.

  • Heavy metal.

  • Heavy metal, yeah.

  • Cool.

  • Oh, I didn't make different layer.

  • Uh-oh.

  • I can't get rid of it.

  • Oh no.

  • Pentakill originated as this sort of alternate reality where certain characters in the game played in a band

  • together, and that was enough for a while. And then years later, the music team had this notion of

  • "Sure, why not?" Like why not have those guys play in a band? Why not bring that band together

  • and drop an EP?

  • That note especially. That one.

  • Too much vibrato?

  • That's always a little - no, it's always a little flat.

  • Jesus Christ, my little sister could play that better.

  • Well, when we record this like the original idea that was so open, you know what I mean? It was like

  • Well, the first half you're obviously way behind.

  • You know what? Don't matter here. Stoppin' me in my motion.

  • I think the second half you can actually be a little more on the quarter notes, kind of grooving.

  • Except

  • 'Cause right now you're rushing, but just one more time.

  • Too much stress, man.

  • I personally felt like it was gonna start as a joke, but it's sort of taken a life of its own.

  • The quality and the craft that's going into that EP is actually really mind-blowing.

  • Danny Lohner is a musician. He used to be part of Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle,

  • and really knows some really cool alternative industrial stuff, so we're working with him, on one song,

  • For the Pentakill album.

  • Yikes.

  • That is creepy.

  • What's that sword on the wall?

  • Danny slayed

  • Excalibur.

  • Four people onstage one night.

  • Look at this guy. A flying mouse. You got that taxidermied.

  • Dude, the craftsmanship of this thing is just like - I mean just look at this wood. You know it's like

  • It's just this complete brutal machine, and all the other ones you can tell are kind of finished in like a

  • You know.

  • What's going on up there?

  • Yeah, let's just noodle around, right?

  • Korean people are funkeh.

  • What's up, Seinfeld?

  • There's a track she sang on. Is that the one - they have a character. They have a little punk rocker chick?

  • Jinx? Yeah.

  • She's fucking hot.

  • The character?

  • Yes.

  • Well, she looks like your type of girl.

  • Oh, fuck you.

  • Jinx, is that her name, Jinx?

  • Yeah Jinx.

  • I met the girl who designed her when I

  • Oh, Katie.

  • Oh, Katie, yeah.

  • Cool chick.

  • I made her sound effects.

  • For that?

  • Yeah, for that character, yeah.

  • Oh, wow.

  • She's cute though, that little character.

  • Do you want to play Christian, Trinity? Do you want to play?

  • I don't care. You can play. You're a better player.

  • We are right now here in Danny Lohner's house. Everybody's messing around with all sounds of

  • all sorts of sounds and ideas, and we'll probably record some stuff with Jason.

  • Just a little - yeah like no preconceived idea. Just like do some heavy,

  • riffy kind of shit that I can fuck with.

  • The most rewarding thing about working at Riot is the collaboration aspect. If you don't feel that magic,

  • then you're really not doing it right. That's kind of what we're all here for.

  • No, you're fine. I'm gonna put the riff on, so you have something to play to.

  • We started pretty much like every other video game, just with you know orchestral music, which is awesome.

  • I mean it's my favorite music, but if you now want to do something with character and that's like iconic,

  • you have to cross borders. You have to use things that might not work out on the paper. You know,

  • now we're at a point where we can work with maniacs like Danny, and

  • We could do remixes of that one, too. You could put out like Pentakill or whatever.

  • Release a lot of the League of Legends music, you know what I mean? Like the orchestral stuff and

  • No, that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna make a soundtrack, like the first volume, basically.

  • What makes it interesting too is that we could do the Pentakill remix or whatever.

  • I mean whatever's cool.

  • Even the fucking Crystal Method track

  • Basically we are starting to work on the Amumu music video, and you know obviously,

  • that also needs a music piece. We talked about it for months and months, but it took a while

  • for me to actually start to work on it. I'm fucking rusty, but anyway.

  • I never felt like I actually have the right idea what it should feel like.

  • I wrote some lyrics basically that - that added some very you know bare bones stuff, so for example,

  • I recorded basically some piano part that kind of felt like it would hit the right tone.

  • Shit. My pedal's loose. I gotta do that again.

  • What the fuck just happened? God damn it. Fucking pedal. Oh.

  • So there's that.

  • Nope.

  • I always wonder how many of our players know that Christian used to be in a German like rock band,

  • and that you can go online and Google his name and literally find drawings that 12-year-old girls did,

  • in notebooks, 'cause we knew him for a couple years before that fact came out,

  • and it was almost like he had been living this weird double life that he didn't want us to know about.

  • It's like amazing like composer, and then there's like the teenage heartthrob Christian

  • that has little hearts drawn around him.

  • Christian started at Riot Games in player support answering billing issues for German players,

  • and he joined Riot 'cause he's a big gamer, right, and he loved League of Legends,

  • but he never talked about his past in a cool band, and then ultimately the company started to figure out

  • that Christian's got all this musical talent, and we didn't really have a music department at the time,

  • so gradually Christian started composing, and over time that evolved into us taking a lot of musical risks.

  • For me, this is a very interactive collaborative world. We're just given blank pages,

  • and we just have to translate that into music. Every bar, every decision that's made needs to be based on

  • what works for that character, and what does that character feel like?

  • It's you with this piece of music. You really want it to sound like something that you'd enjoy listening to,

  • and that someone else might share the same experience with.

  • We're all gamers. We're all nerds you know.

  • So what's leading the album? Demacia is gonna be the first track?

  • Yeah. I think it works really well.

  • It works better than Nami?

  • Yeah. I think Nami should be the second one, so it's like diversity you know.

  • Now we have seven songs done.

  • Everybody should