Christopher Lennertz Interview: ‘The Boys’ composer
“I was trying to channel this muscular, overproduced, unapologetically heroic score,” reveals Emmy-nominated composer Christopher Lennertz (“Supernatural”) about his work on “The Boys.” “There’s no subtlety in it. It’s as stereotypically heroic as you can get.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Lennertz above.
In “The Boys,” real life superheroes are revered as celebrity gods keeping the community safe. Based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it was developed for Amazon Prime Video by Eric Kripke and stars Jack Quaid, Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Elisabeth Shue and Chace Crawford. The comedy satire action drama hybrid explores what happens when these heroes go rogue and abuse their powers, telling a highly entertaining cautionary tale about celebrity worship, materialism, fame and greed.
“The Boys” starts with a bang within minutes into the first episode, as Hughie (Quaid) witnesses his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) killed in a high-velocity impact with celebrity superhero A-Train (Jessie T. Usher). Her body is physically obliterated so that Hughie is left traumatized on the sidewalk, covered in her remains and holding nothing but her bloody dismembered hands. It is one of many examples of how everything on this show is turned up to 11.
“We’ve got the most ridiculous, messed up, insane superhero show you can imagine,” Lennertz says when recalling how the show was pitched to him. “We need to skewer everything that everyone thinks superheroes are all about. We need to take Marvel and DC and everything and just flip it and be as nasty and violent and unexpected as possible,” he explains, noting that he was sold on the concept pretty quickly before going to town on its loud bombastic sound.
Much of the score features dense, propulsive and grungy electronic elements that propel the narrative with a variety of instruments from percussion to strings. It coalesces into a score coalesces into a mash up of a propaganda video and superhero anthem, tweaked to match the show’s satirical bent. “It’s as over-produced as possible but then when things start going wrong we use software that actually warp and pitch down,” he explains. “It actually bends the pitch. Not of a single instrument, like you normally would a guitar or something like that but actually bends an entire 80-piece orchestra down or up depending on what’s going on.”