Interview with End Of Silence
Today we’re here with Christian Baczyk and Kevin Mantey, founders of End Of Silence, a music library focusing on high end music and sound design for Hollywood advertising campaigns. Despite being a new company in the industry, their music has already been featured in major game and film trailers worldwide such as Avengers, Independence Day 2, Captain America, and more, with placements from production companies like Disney, Marvel and Ubisoft.
You were both composers and producers yourselves even before you founded this company, tell us a bit about your backstories.
Christian: I grew up with a lot of music, as my parents used to listen to artists such as Pink Floyd, Vangelis, Jean Michelle Jar but also classical music like Bach, Chopin and Beethoven (big thanks to my parents for their wonderful choice of music!). Today I can definitely say that all these different artists and genres influenced not only my taste of music but also my composing style.
I always wanted to be able to play an instrument so I decided to start learning the piano. After 7 years of musical education I graduated and started creating my own bands and focused on creating acoustical covers of songs that did well in the billboard charts.
Many times I have been told that doing music is risky so I finally believed that and studied business law - which was very helpful when setting up EOS - but I stopped after a few semesters it as it wasn't for me. After that I gave it a second try and started to study psychology but even though I had great grades and good prospects, my desire to be a professional musician was strong. I finally took up music full time.
While I was studying I had already been producing music in a few campaigns for companies such as Samsung, Gameloft, Kaspersky but also for award-winning feature films such as the movie "Popolo". Besides that I always loved trailers and the epic music used in those so I decided to write a few tracks for companies such as Really Slow Motion Music, Colossal Trailer Music and Dos Brains. And here me and Kevin Mantey are today - creating a music publishing library of our own.
Kevin: My musical history is actually still very young and in early stages. I always loved music and discovered the epic music genre about 8 years ago with the infamous Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell. I found a new thing called trailer music which was quite hard to find a lot about at this time. There was hardly anything accessible for public and i thought these powerful sounds should be heard by more people. That was the birth of my youtube promotion channel which is still active today under the name Trailer Music World I & II.
About 3 years ago Chris got in touch with me. We instantly realized we have much in common and he showed me the basics of music and opened the door for me. Making music myself really changed my perception on it. Improving with time i managed to contribute my first sound design cue to the trailer industry and right now I'm finishing my education as a music and sound designer.
Even more amazing is to see EOS taking foot in the industry and have it's music featured in campaigns like Captain America Civil War or Independence Day Resurgence. Evolving from an idea in our heads 2 ago I didn't expect it to become reality so fast. It hasn't always been easy but now we’re working together with some of the most amazing composers out there and are able to contribute top notch productions to the industry.
The trailer music industry has for long been pretty dominated by major trailer music publishers such as Position Music, Immediate Music, Audiomachine and Two Steps From Hell. Has it been a daunting task breaking into this seemingly tough industry?
Christian: The most difficult challenge was finding composers that would actually trust us enough to start working with us! Kevin and I were not able to offer one single placement at all back then so you can only imagine how tricky it was to convince people writing music for our label. We had to offer something else than placements.
We decided to create a very family-like working atmosphere which includes regular group meet-ups all over the world and we are also working on improving the financial situation for all composers that work with us. Last but not least Really Slow Motion who distributed our two first albums "Ravage" and "Sublimation" played a big role as well!
What would you say makes End Of Silence unique from all the existing trailer music publishers?
Christian: I feel like the fun factor plays probably the biggest role. All of our meet-ups so far have been a lot of fun and full of great stories to tell! The spirit of our team is extremely strong and everybody is so helpful and adds his own value to our group.
Besides that I think that our upcoming split system, which will assure that our most successful composers will be rewarded, is going to make us more unique from all of the other trailer music publishers.
Which trends do you see in the trailer music industry these days?
Christian: At the moment there seems to be a big demand for vocal tracks with the typical tension building trailer structure with incorporated trailer FX such as hits, whooshes and risers . Besides that editors seem to prefer massive but very simple and minimal sound design tracks at the moment.
Do you like where trailer music is going today? Do you strive for being unique in your tracks, or are you going for a more generic, more easily licensable style?
Christian: I think the current development of trailer music is very interesting and inspiring and is definitely helping make trailers appear bigger and more intense. Speaking of our own productions we definitely try to adapt to the demand of the editors and supervisors but we also try add our own sound to it for sure. So it's basically a mixture of both, combining a generic, easily licensable style with something more unique to it.
I can't tell more but I am very excited about each of our upcoming releases!
Your first two releases were published under already established and successful ReallySlowMotion. Did that help reach more potential clients, such as Hollywood trailer houses? And how are you planning on moving forward, releasing your own albums?
Christian: Yes, the cooperation with Really Slow Motion Music definitely was and still is a good synergy! We are forever thankful to Agus and Rain for giving us this opportunity. Our current plan though is to take care of the distribution on our own especially since most upcoming changes within our company including the new split system would financially not possible with a publisher above us.
Your recent release “Tunnel Vision” was just released to the industry. Do you plan on releasing it to the public?
Christian: For now we are waiting to see how the industry reacts to this new album. But sooner or later most albums will be available for the public, yes!
What’s the process making such an album, from the very beginning to the finished release?
Christian: Kevin and I are analyzing trailers all the time to figure out the current demand of editors. Besides that, we are going through all upcoming movies for the coming years to see whether a possible investment into an album would make sense or not.
Once we figured out that a specific style is currently demanded or might be trending in a while, we start preparing references and instructions and send them to our composers.
After all tracks are supervised and approved, we send the album to our sound-engineer Toby Mason. He takes care of the entire post-production process including the final mix and master.
In the meantime we start working on the artwork together with our graphic designer Ryo Ishido.
After all of that is done the album is finally ready for the release!
Do you accept new composers?
Christian: Currently, we are pretty set for our upcoming releases but we might accept new composers in the end of the year.
Oh, by the way - who is that, ahem, awesome album cover artist you have used for Sublimation? *Wink wink*
Christian: This wonderful artwork has been designed by Walid Feghali who is not only a great designer and musician but also a good friend of us. We had the absolute pleasure to hang out with him in Berlin!
Ok, back to the topic. What’s your tips for composers wanting to get into the trailer music industry?
Christian: Here are two of my biggest tips. The first one: Listen to a lot of trailer music. I made the mistake to not listen to it that much. When I just started I had first struggles when producing music for labels but once Kevin and I were setting up EOS we both listened to trailer music way more than before. At the same time our trailer music production skills grew exponentially.
Nr 2: Not only listen to a lot of trailer music but also make sure to watch many, many trailers. If you want to succeed in this industry you absolutely have to know what is licensable. Which sounds are doing well these days? Are there returning FX that you could incorporate into your cues? Make sure to analyze trailers and try to achieve a similar sound in your productions and I promise that you will do well!
Tell us about the process for accepting new tracks to your library, either from composers already working with you, or from new composers. What are you looking for in a track submission, when reviewing new material for your releases?
Christian: As mentioned before we always try to combine what already works with a little bit of uniqueness. I do believe that there is a limit when it comes to being original - especially in this industry. If you go above it your tracks might be too experimental for the modern zeitgeist. It can work but it's quite risky.
If your tracks lack uniqueness they still can place but you don't stand out from the mass of all the trailer tracks in this industry which is why we try to keep a good balance. The composer that wants to work with us on a specific release usually sends us regular WIP’s so we can give the first feedback. Once we are happy with the track, we send it to Toby who has to undergo the same process by sending us WIPs from his mixdowns and masters. After everything is approved the track is ready for being incorporated into the specific album.
Is it better, as a trailer music composer, to release music via a publisher such as End Of Silence? Why not release their own music, what’s the advantages of being with a music publisher?
Christian: I think the main reason why working with a good publisher is recommended is that the musician has the time to focus on the music production entirely and does not have to worry about the entire distribution process. One might think distribution is only sending music to clients but this process requires a lot of knowledge regarding international music and copyright law (as long as you don't have your own lawyer), contracts, trading and selling. The latter two skills require a good personality which again requires to work on controlling your emotions and so on.
In my opinion there's always a win-win situation when a composer works with a good and fair publisher.
What would you recommend for people thinking about starting a new music library?
Christian: Make sure to be very well organized. Keep in mind that most things will need more time than you might expect first, especially when it comes to registering the company and getting all the numbers and permissions you will need.
Tackle big problems step by step. I would also recommend meditation and taking breaks a regular habit to avoid burning out. Also you should make sure to have enough money on your bank account or at least a good and steady income stream to be able to invest into your company properly.
Last but not least don't treat your body badly and try to learn something new that you and your endeavours benefit from day by day.
To round off this interview, how does the future look for EOS?
Christian: As mentioned earlier we are currently working on a few new releases together with some of the most successful composers this industry has to offer such as Daniel Lenzmeier or Aleksandar Dimitrijevic.
Besides that we are doing some custom scoring jobs for advertisements and events in Dubai and Switzerland, BMW and Hyundai being some of our recent customers.
Our goal for the next two years is to establish a production music library for TV to make EOS a well known audio brand within the film- and videogame industry. Last but not least we would love to set up a charity project as well.
Just one final question: what does success mean to you?
Christian: Success to me means being able to find a bigger purpose in the things you do and to enjoy the process as much as possible while taking care of body and mind at the same time.
Kevin: Evolving everyday by doing the things you enjoy to do and not having to worry about what's not going right in your life. It is to be able to create the life you want for yourself.
Check out End Of Silence here:
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Co-founder of Evenant, Walid is a composer, mechanical engineer,
concept artist and entrepreneur from Sweden. Travelling and exploring new opportunities, always looking for new things to learn and create.