Prime Video’s The Legend of Vox Machina—brought to animated life by Titmouse and based on a tabletop campaign by the actual play group Critical Role—is getting its very own zoetrope vinyl soundtrack. When you play the vinyl you’ll be able to see short clips play out on the track itself. The vinyl literally gets the party back on track after a misadventure.
Take a look at the big reveal below, and read on for an exclusive interview with Sam Riegel, the voice (and brains, and... other things) of Scanlan Shorthalt.
Linda Codega, io9: How did you write these songs?
Sam Riegel: When we set out to make the series, we quickly realized Scanlan was not going to be able to sing top-40 hits to activate his musical magic, like I did on the Twitch stream. Those songs are so gosh-darn expensive! So we took it as an opportunity to create brand new musical moments and distinguish our show from other adult animated series. We wanted the songs to be irreverent, cheeky, and fun, but also we strived to make legitimately catchy tunes that folks wouldn’t mind hearing again and again. The Scanlan songs turned out to be one of my favorite aspects of the show.
io9: Who are Scanlan’s musical influences and inspirations?
Riegel: Like me, Scanlan is a fan of all kinds of musical genres, so Peter and I wrote him rock ballads, hip hop jams, country songs, whatever suited the moment. And because it’s magical music, anything is possible. Need a horn section? Sure! Scanlan can conjure one. Need a phat 808 beat? Anything is possible for Vox Machina’s favorite bard. As for myself—I’m a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s—so my mind always goes to Bon Jovi, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, No Doubt, Janet Jackson… you know, the classics.
io9: What is your favorite song on this record?
Riegel: I really love how “Pull My Beads of Love” came together. The writer of the episode, Eugene Son, added the title of the song in the script as a sort-of placeholder. That sounded like the title of a James Brown song to me. So Peter crafted a killer groove and horn riff, I threw together some lyrics and screamed into a mic, and viola, we made a Motown hit! Well, a perverted Motown hit.
io9: What was the process for collaborating with Neal Acree and Mr. Fantastic?
Riegel: The Scanlan songs are a collab between myself and my brother-in-law Peter Habib, who is a genius pop music producer. He and I met singing in an a cappella group at the University of Virginia (the Academical Village People). We ended up marrying sisters from a different a cappella group, and now we’re all related. So I’ve been making music with Peter for decades. Neal, on the other hand, we were so fortunate to find. He is such an incredible composer, and when we learned he was a fan of Critical Role, it was a no-brainer to bring him onboard. The creative team usually chats with Neal long before the episodes are animated, to give him the vibe of each episode so he can plan his score months in advance. Then when we get animation back from our overseas studio, he already more or less has a sense of what he’s going to do. There is a lot of score in our show, and I don’t know how he gets it all done in time. But somehow, he does.
io9: Do you own or collect vinyl at all?
Riegel: I’ve never owned nor collected vinyl, but growing up, my grandfather had an extensive collection of jazz and classical music from the ‘30s-‘60s. It was always my job to choose our dinner music, and I got very familiar with his turntable and hifi. The feel and sound of vinyl is truly special, and I’m so excited that the Legend of Vox Machina soundtrack will be the first album in my collection!
You can order a copy of The Legend of Vox Machina Soundtrack at Lakeshore Records. All 12 episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina are streaming on Prime Video.
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