Exclusive interview with Joel Eriksson, creator of the Battlefield theme song

What reminds you of Battlefield? I'm sure one of the things is the franchise's iconic soundtrack, which perfectly transcends the essence of the game. Theme music is such an essential and exciting pillar that when we hear it, we can't help but remember "Battlefield".

So, we would like your attention to introduce the person who created the famous Battlefield franchise theme song, Joel Eriksson, Swedish composer who became known for composing the Battlefield 1942 soundtrack 20 years ago.

We at Battlefield Brasil talked exclusively with Joel Eriksson, who even gave us the honor of introduce first hand a new version 2021 of the original theme, which is being released today.

At the end of the interview, we shared the link for you to listen to Joel's new version, which by the way is amazing! Let's go

BattlefieldBR: Before we start, tell our readers briefly what are your main projects in the gaming industry.

Joel Eriksson: I compose tracks for different game projects and trailers in a wide variety of styles. I also do sound design, implement assets in games collaborating with game developers.

BattlefieldBR: How were you invited to create the famous Battlefield soundtrack and what was the inspiration for creating such an iconic theme?

Joel Eriksson: Olof Gustavsson who is one of the founders of DICE were looking for a composer for the game. One day he headed to the local music store, where my brother Daniel worked. Olof asked around for tips and Daniel suggested him to work with me. I had to make a demo showing some compositions, and I used my Roland JV-1080, the only synth I had containing orchestral sounds. I got the job, because my compositions sounded original and in the right mood, but I learned that the sounds I used had a lot to be wished for.

Later Olof came over to me with a bunch of orchestral samples, 30 or so CD-ROMS in, which opened up a new world. Kirk Hunters, Peter Siedlaczek and Hans Zimmer was a few of the names showing up in those sample collections. We had a community we called Gonkyburg, a bunch of friends and music producers under one roof in different small rooms in an old margarine factory. These were good times. All of us were collaborating (and competing) and made different forms of underground electronic music.

When starting to play around with these new orchestral samples, my aim was still to make groovy and beatbased music. If writing music for an actual orchestra to perform, it would probably not be smart to put so much focus on rhythm, but if producing digitally you may quantize a 70 piece orchestra exactly the way you want. I got more and more confident in writing orchestral songs, and went to my old school Hvitfeldtska and sampled the grand piano in the concert hall, for to use in some of the Battlefield songs.

BattlefieldBR: Did you create just the Battlefield 1942 theme or did you also participate in the creation of other games in the Battlefield franchise?

Joel Eriksson: I participated only for Battlefield 1942.

BattlefieldBR: What do you think about the multiple versions of the music that were created for the different Battlefields always keeping the essence of the original version?

Joel Eriksson: It is cool when people and orchestras is covering and playing the theme, and heart warming. About the music in the battlefield sequels, some interpretations are great sounding and others are like someone's trying to twist the arms on your baby.

BattlefieldBR: Do you feel that it somehow gave personality to the Battlefield franchise?

Joel Eriksson: My own game memories, from playing Zelda, Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, definitely has strong music connections. I'm honored when I hear from some people that my music has created such emotions as well. When I was attending some of the concerts playing the battlefield 1942 music I met some game composers that I like myself.

I remember Nobuo Uematsu, saying "the battlefield music is cool". That meant alot to me, since his music is not only cool, it is imprinted in the nostalgia part of my brain and will stay there for as long as i live.

BattlefieldBR: What do you think makes the Battlefield theme song so timeless?

Joel Eriksson: If that statement is true, I would credit the timelessness to all the people taking the song to their hearts.

BattlefieldBR: Is there an invitation for you to reinvent this theme for another game in the Battlefield franchise?

Joel Eriksson: No. But it's fun that you asked, cause I've just finished making a 2021 version. I promised myself that when I'm done building my studio, I will produce a new version of the themesong. Look at it as a twenty years anniversary for the song and a way for me to say thank you to everyone who cared about the music, for the concerts, covers and all the comments during these years. On this new recording I've kept the feel of the original, but with a more modern production. Still a solo trumpet for the melody, which is something I always thought was key for the track: The image of a solo trumpetist standing on a field, accompanied by a fat orchestra.

BattlefieldBR: That's it! Joel is today launching a 2021 version of the original theme that he composed 20 years ago. Now available on Spotfy and Soundcloud, you can listen now! And leave a comment about what you think. We are also leaving a link to his website here (www.joeleriksson.se), so you can learn more about his work.

We would like to thank Joel Eriksson once again for giving us this interview. We are very happy to be able to tell a little of his history with Battlefield to our readers.

Portuguese Version of the interview.

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