Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein Q&A: ‘Stranger Things’ composers
“It was a bit of a surprise for everyone involved. I don’t think anyone really expected it to take off like it did,” reveals composer Kyle Dixon as we chat via webcam (watch the exclusive video above) about the breakout success of “Stranger Things.” Created by Matt and Ross Duffer (credited as the Duffer Brothers), this Netflix original series centers on a group of children in a small Indiana town in the 1980s investigating the mysterious disappearance of their friend. The sci-fi/horror show won the PGA award for Best Drama Series and the SAG Ensemble prize for its large cast, which includes Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Matthew Modine, and Millie Bobby Brown.
“Stranger Things” marks the composing debut for Dixon and partner Michael Stein, who are part of the Austin-based electronic group Survive. In order to prepare, Stein divulges, the two tried, “to pay a little more attention to previous films and things we liked.” Although the series is set in 1983, the Duffers “didn’t want it to be just like a retro throwback. They wanted it to be modern, and there’s something about our music that was cinematic, as well as retro, as well modern.”
Dixon and Stein received Grammy nominations for Best Score Soundtrack for “Volume 1” and “2.” Is their first Emmy nomination next? Check out our full interview above for more about their work on “Stranger Things.”