These Go To 11 - Brütal's Birthday and McConnell's Musings

Happy birthday Brütal Legend!

October 13 2020 marks eleven years since Eddie Riggs and co first rocked out to the sweet, sweet sounds of some heavy, heavy metal.

To celebrate, we're revisiting the game's development process through two blog posts.

As an added bonus, we're also giving a sneak peek at a small slice of the Brütal Legend content in the image shown above, taken from the upcoming book collaboration between Double Fine and Indie By Design, 20 Double Fine Years.



In our first blog post we featured art director Lee Petty's recollections of his early days on the project, to coincide with Brütal's recent release on Xbox Game Pass. 

This time around we have input from composer Peter McConnell on his myriad projects with Tim Schafer and his varied body of work with Double Fine. Some of Peter's fine work is being celebrated with the upcoming re-release of the Brütal Legend soundtrack on none other than the metal gods' medium of choice: special edition vinyl (via Fangamer)! 




Peter McConnell's relationship with Tim Schafer goes back a long, long way to their days at LucasArts Games. Monkey Island 2, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango... the list of games the pair worked on goes on and, after Tim left LucasArts to form Double Fine Productions, fate evidently determined that so too should their professional relationship. 

"Tim and I share some kind of telepathic communication, at least it's always felt that way to me," Peter recalls of their plans to team-up post-LucasArts. "I just figured we'd be working together and I think he just figured we’d be working together, too."

Work on Psychonauts led to Brütal Legend, which followed a similar pattern to earlier projects with Tim providing a reference library of music to listen to and...Peter doing what Peter does, after some reacquainting with the sounds of his youth, that is.

"I was more of a folk guy when I was a teenager but I was surprised how much of [Tim's heavy metal reference material] was already in my blood because, you know, it was just a huge thing in the 70s. I definitely did some serious re-channelling of my 14-year-old guitar-self.

"For me, as a musician, it's very liberating. I've always felt like I had a sandbox with Double Fine projects." 

This freedom has led to Peter's varied scores gracing Double Fine's own eclectic mix of projects over the years. This variety and desire to walk the path less trodden is part of what the composer feels is indicative of the studio's output, long-term success and its mercurial founder's approach to creating games. 

"The thing with pretty much everything that Tim has ever done is that you walk in expecting the unexpected. What would be surprising is if there weren't a surprise."

Having recently replayed Brütal Legend and been delighted all over again by its powerful metal persona, we'll certainly raise a glass to that.

 Soundtrack album art - Lee Petty