Mark Mothersbaugh Talks ‘A Real Bug’s Life’ Soundtrack In New Episode Of ‘The Big Score’

Mark Mothersbaugh Talks ‘A Real Bug’s Life’ Soundtrack In New Episode Of ‘The Big Score’

Hollywood Records has released the newest episode of its music docuseries and podcast, The Big Score. In this episode, composer and lead singer of Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh does a deep dive into his score for A Real Bug’s Life.

Mothersbaugh aimed to give the tiny creatures emotional depth through the music, ultimately drawing the audience into their world. By making the music grandiose, he aimed to evoke emotions and humanize the subjects, encouraging viewers to empathize with them rather than fear them.

In the interview, Mothersbaugh reflects on the origins of the score, saying “I think the score for A Real Bug’s Life could be described as very dramatic and attempting to inject emotions into them, to give the viewers another way to look at insects.

“What sucked me into wanting to do this show, oddly enough, I was born legally blind, but they only discovered that when I was seven.” He described how he couldn’t see things further away then a few feet, but if they were close to his face he could see.”

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He added, “I remember laying on the ground and playing with ants and worms and caterpillars and things that I could see up close. To me that was so fascinating, to see these little creatures when I was five years old that were all articulated and had their own world that they were living in.”

The songwriter also shared the thinking behind his instrumental choices for the album. “When I first saw the film, I just looked at the way the insects moved and it was so impressive. I just thought, ‘Oh, let’s do it all electronic,’ but the producers and directors wanted it to sound orchestral, they wanted it to have a human feel to it. They were afraid that electronic music would be too cold. They were right! I tried it and they were right!”

Mothersbaugh also outlined his goals for the project. He said, “My specific goals were to humanize and dramatize the stories. You’re at the same levels as the spiders…and the bugs. It’s easy for it to feel dehumanized or mechanical. By using orchestral instruments it makes it easier to empathize with little critters.”

Listen to Mark Mothersbaugh on The Big Score via Apple Music.

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