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Composer Trevor Rabin
Snakes on Refrain

About

Born in Johannesburg, RSA

Father, Godfrey Rabin, was a highly respected violinist, who performed as first chair for the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra for over a decade. His mother was a well known actress and an accomplished classical pianist.

Began playing guitar at age 12.

Formed band, Rabbitt.

Member of band, YES.

Official Web Site

 

Composition Credits (Film)

The Guardian
Gridiron Gang
Flyboys
Snakes on a Plane
Glory Road
"E-Ring" TV Series
The Great Raid
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
Coach Carter
National Treasure
Exorcist: The Beginning
Torque
Bad Boys II
Kangaroo Jack
The Banger Sisters
Bad Company
The One
Rock Star
American Outlaws
Texas Rangers
The 6th Day
Remember the Titans 
Gone in Sixty Seconds
Deep Blue Sea
Jack Frost
Enemy of the State
Armageddon
Con Air
The Glimmer Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composer Trevor Rabin

"One of the things I try to be very careful of is not taking a movie when I know I have no inspiration left.  It just becomes work.  I always want to be in a place where I think I can come up with something. "

Trevor Rabin


The Interview

The day after the world premiere of SNAKES ON A PLANE, TREVOR RABIN takes a short break from finishing up yet another upcoming-score, THE GUARDIAN to talk with Tracksounds.  He shares about some of his most recent projects:  SNAKES ON A PLANE and FLYBOYS, about how he handles scoring multiple projects, and his involvement in the film NATIONAL TREASURE 2.

CC: How was the premiere for SNAKES ON A PLANE last night?

TREVOR RABIN:Oh! It was so much fun!


CC: So this was in Hollywood to a packed house?

TREVOR RABIN: Completely...with people jumping up and down and screaming and laughing.  You know it's been like that from the beginning of the movie.  It's just one of those movies where there's no trauma involved...just lots of fun.


CC: Now there was a bit of a contest for artists to submit music for the soundtrack album.  Did they do that for the score and ask composers to make submissions for this gig?

TREVOR RABIN: (Laughs) Ummm...not that I know of!
 

CC: So how did you come to be involved with the movie?

TREVOR RABIN: My agents called me and said that the director had called asked that I score the movie, so I met them and that was it.  We struck up a great relationship from day one and once we started working together it just got better and better.


CC: How many weeks did you spend working on SNAKES ON A PLANE?

TREVOR RABIN :It was probably six weeks.


CC: Did the directors and producers already have something in mind, as far as what type of score they wanted?

TREVOR RABIN: I think they were just aware of scores that I had done and the style I might bring to the film.  We got on very well and had the same idea of what should happen and where the music should go.  Then when we spotted the film it was even more obvious that this (collaboration) was going to work.  

You know, usually with movies there are periods, dark areas, where I might not be getting what I wanted out of a theme.  I'll have to go over and over it again. On this movie I did do some of that where I found areas that needed more energy, but there were a couple of occasions where, when I played it back to Dave (Ellis) he'd offer some notes for a few changes that were needed, but, as I mentioned, overall it was a very positive experience.


CC: What sort of unique challenges did SNAKES ON A PLANE present?

TREVOR RABIN: Yes...well, the action starts quite early on in the movie and having to sustain that for this incredibly long rollercoaster ride was quite challenging.


CC: Some have been quoted as saying that they wanted to be involved with SNAKES ON A PLANE simply in hopes of meeting Samuel L. Jackson. 

TREVOR RABIN: Yes well I've done three movies with Samuel L. Jackson, so I've met him a couple of times already.  Well, I see him everyday, but its only on the screen.


CC: Is there going to be a score release for SNAKES ON A PLANE?

TREVOR RABIN: There is a long score piece on the album, but there has been a few requests already for a score album, so I'm sure that will happen.  I did that with ARMAGEDDON where there was a score album as well as a soundtrack album, but the score album usually waits until the soundtrack album runs its course.  Otherwise, there can be a bit of confusion when you go to purchase one or the other.


CC: Were you familiar with all of the internet hype regarding this film?

TREVOR RABIN: Oh yes.  It's been absolutely unbelievable.  It's really a first.  Nothing has ever happened like this before and I think it comes through in the film.  The great thing about this movie is that it's just 100% honest.  There's nothing really contrived about it.


CC: You all aren't making any bones about what sort of movie this is.

TREVOR RABIN: Absolutely!  A lot of people were intrigued in doing it, simply because of the name - it being called SNAKES ON A PLANE.


CC: There was some talk of changing the title to "FLIGHT 121."

TREVOR RABIN: Yes there was a period when that happened and I know for myself, I was sort of disappointed.  I thought, "God, why?"  My reaction to that proposed title was, you know, yawn!  To me, SNAKES ON A PLANE is what it is...the best title for a movie in 20 years.  "FLIGHT 121" doesn't tell you what the movie is, while "SNAKES ON A PLANE" tells you exactly what it is.  I don't think anyone can come to this film and be disappointed.  They know what they are getting into.  It's a fun ride.  It's scary.  It's kind of gross at times...but in, what I consider, a great way.


CC: Now do you like snakes yourself?

TREVOR RABIN: I don't mind snakes.  Growing up in South Africa there were a couple a snakes around....and I'm not talking just about the government! (laughs)


CC: Of course, SNAKES ON A PLANE is but one of 5 or 6 projects you've done in 2006.  Would you say this has been your busiest year? 

TREVOR RABIN: I think it's more that all these films seem to be coming out all at the same time.  I think this is my fifth movie this year, so it has been a busy year.  My son, who is in a band called, "The Outline," called me from the road and said that, as he walked passed a movie theater, he saw four movie posters of different films and my name was on all of them.


CC: Well that has to make son a proud!

TREVOR RABIN: Actually, he sort of used to it. He's a little jaded (laughs).  But I don't think seeing something like that is going to happen all too often - having four movies come out in the space of five weeks.


CC: Now were you scoring these four films simultaneously?

TREVOR RABIN: No.  FLYBOYS was scored in '05, mixed in '06.  GRIDIRON GANG was done in January/February of this year and THE GUARDIAN, I'm just finishing off today.


CC: Do you ever work on projects simultaneously?

TREVOR RABIN: I've done that quite often, but I've got to be quite honest...as much as you would want to only do one at a time, sometimes projects overlap and there's nothing you can do.  Sometimes you to have begin writing a new project just as you're finishing off another.  The idea of starting two films at the same time, I try to avoid like the plague.


CC: If you find yourself in that situation, how do you mentally segment yourself between the two or more projects?

TREVOR RABIN: Well, I have been in the situation many times and I don't really like it.  It takes an enormous amount of energy...and its not healthy either.  By the time that you've finished you on the verge of collapse.
 

CC: FLYBOYS, releases in September and I have heard the promo and have to say that its beautiful stuff - the kind that most of your fans really appreciate.  You seem to gravitate towards films that provide you great opportunities to write memorable, heroic themes such as :  FLYBOYS, THE GREAT RAID, GLORY ROAD, REMEMBER THE TITANS, or ARMAGEDDON. Is that intentional or coincidental?

TREVOR RABIN: I do gravitate towards those sorts of films.  I really love writing themes and melody.  While I'm quite happy and love doing the atmospheric and quirky stuff, the melodic stuff, I've done quite a lot of.  It's also another reason why I try not to do two or three at the same time.  Writing a simple melody can take weeks to get it right where I want it, but I do quite enjoy it.
 

CC:  Will there be a soundtrack release for FLYBOYS?

TREVOR RABIN: Yes.  There will be a release for it.  I believe they are talking about it write now.  I really would like that one to come out.
 

CC: There's talk about NATIONAL TREASURE 2.  Will you be involved with that?

TREVOR RABIN: I think so.
 

CC:  What's the timetable on NATIONAL TREASURE 2?

TREVOR RABIN: I'm not sure.  I haven't actually signed up for it as of yet.  They did say its starting quite soon.  John, has mentioned that he'd like for me to do it, but it's still up in the there as to when or how.
 

CC: So what else is next for you?  Time off?

TREVOR RABIN: You know it has been so busy.  One of the things I try to be very careful of is not taking a movie when I know I have no inspiration left.  It just becomes work.  I always want to be in a place where I think I can come up with something.  There will definately be a break.  I'm certainly thankful that there are offers and demand out there, but I think it's just as important as picking the right movie to pace yourself.


CC: Is a part of that demand to do a video game score?

TREVOR RABIN: Actually, I haven't been asked, but my partner in crime, Paul Linford, has done a game, NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED.
 

CC: So you've never been asked to do a game score?  Do you have any interest there?

TREVOR RABIN: I don't remember being asked, but yes, I wouldn't mind it.  You know, I would have done NEED FOR SPEED, but Paul was asked!  So if they call back here and Paul is not here, I'll tell them they got the wrong guy last time...he's pretty useless (laughs).


CC: Last question.  Some fans are very anxious for a release of TEXAS RANGERS.  Will there ever be one?

TREVOR RABIN: It's a funny thing.  That's a score a really enjoyed doing, but the movie had like three people actually watch it.  It's hard to release a score in that situation.


CC: Well, thank you so much for your time.  All the best to you as you take a break and later move on to your next projects.

TREVOR RABIN: Thanks for the call.  It was good talking to you.

 

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