Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
On episode 151 of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, 'Prime Time' Sam Roberts interviewed WWE's dynamic production duo of John Alicastro and Mike Lauri, better known as CFO$. Among other things, the pair talked about the impact of NXT on them as artists, working with Triple H, whether it is possible to know whether a song will catch on with fans, Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance theme, what AJ Styles thought of his entrance theme when he arrived on the scene at WWE, and recording with Enzo Amore.
According to Alicastro, the CFO$ growth as artists has coincided with the rise of NXT. Moreover, Alicastro called the yellow brand a "game-changer" for duo creatively.
"It kind of felt like we started with that brand and we came along right when that brand started to become what it was and we were able to grow with it because we're just learning as we go too." Alicastro said, "I think NXT was a game-changer for us just as far as being creative."
After Alicastro praised Triple H for the success of NXT and his hands-off approach to the creative process, Lauri clarified saying that 'The Game' is very involved.
"Triple H is amazing when it comes to talent and what he allows us to do and gives us space to do our own thing. He's the brains behind the whole thing, obviously, and everything goes through him, but a lot of times, he'll just point us in the right direction and then he gives us a fair amount of space to do our own thing."
Lauri explained, "it's not completely like, 'okay, go do it and then it's great.' He is very involved, as is our team throughout the entire process, but that was the start of us getting to put ourselves a bit more into some of the songs."
On the subject of 'The Rising Sun', Nakamura's entrance theme, Alicastro indicated that the songsmithing tandem did not know what 'The Artist''s NXT TakeOver: Dallas entrance would look like prior to the show.
"We had no idea how he would come out for that at all. We just came up with the song and when you see him come out and he's timing all the hits, 'we just go, 'oh, that worked,' but we don't see, 'okay, at 10 seconds, he's going to do this.' We just kind of have to use what's in our heads and what we think could potentially happen for that."
Alicastro recalled, "the Nakamura [theme], it's so insane when people started singing along to it. It's like a violin. We thought that song's incredible, but we didn't think fans would sing along to this. We just thought, 'that's a sick violin and that came out insane,' but, I mean, it still blows my mind, man."
In Lauri's estimation, it is impossible to tell what songs will resonate with fans, as a like Bobby Roode's entrance theme, 'Glorious Domination', could have been a total dud.
"There's no way to know and some things can go either way like Glorious could have been the biggest joke ever and gone over horribly, but it's probably our biggest hit at the moment next to Nakamura."
With respect to AJ Styles' 'Phenomenal' theme, Alicastro recalled that 'The Phenomenal One' loved the song immediately.
"Like, he was all about that song when he first heard that. It wasn't like a, 'oh, change this, change this.' It was one of those things where we had the song and it was like, 'done, that's it. Perfect.'"
Apparently, CFO$ worked with Amore for 'The Michael Jordan Of Jargon''s upcoming rap album. Lauri elaborated:
"We've been in the studio with Enzo a couple of times. Yeah, he's really good. Yeah, [Enzo is working on music outside of WWE]. Exactly. We've done a couple of things here and there. We've talked about a bunch and had a couple of days in the studio."
Get in Not Sam Mode here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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