What was it like working with Vince McMahon on the musical side of WWE?
"It's an interesting thing. It was two extremes with very little in the middle. Very little conversation in general about the music needed. He'd tell me just a few headline notes about a talent that needed music and then he'd always have final approval on it. There were no circumstances ever where I could say: "This is what we're going with because I really like it." Fortunately, I developed a good track record of giving him stuff he was happy with."
How did your relationship with WWE end?
"My last few years with WWE were sadly filled with a lot of politics. It was disappointing because I didn't think I could contribute in the way I would have preferred. It was probably best I'm no longer there."
Did your relationship with Vince McMahon change in those final years?
"Well, certainly, we didn't spend time together like we used to years ago. In different ways, both of us regretted that but both of us understood the phenomenal growth of the company just prevented that from being a possibility.
"We got to a point where it was time to move on. I'm good with that, because I was not happy with where things were going musically in the company and I wasn't contributing in the way I wanted to. So when Vince gave me the leaving orders, that was probably the best thing for us both."
You said the last few years of your tenure was when things took a turn for the worse. That seems to correlate with WWE hiring the production duo CFO$ to create some of their new music. Is that fair to say?
"Yes, it's fair to say. I'm not working with them so I don't know what their directives are. All I can react to is what I'm hearing. I'm sure they're talented guys. But what's being produced just feels too homogenous. It's just music that plays—it doesn't feel like each guy is really themed. All the women have a dance music kind of thing. And it's lots and lots of loud sound effects.
"What makes me the worst is not anything that happened to me, or any negativity towards those composers...I feel bad for the talent trying to build careers for themselves when I just don't feel they're being served well enough to become stars. Before 'Stone Cold' was 'Stone Cold' he was The Ringmaster. The Ringmaster's theme was something I wrote for him. The music can make such a difference in the person and how they perform. That same guy who was dead-in-the-water as The Ringmaster, a couple of tweaks, different music, different attitude, and he becomes one of the most popular people in the history of the genre. I'm wondering who is working currently at WWE who is an absolute superstar but, who, because they're wrapped in a homogenous piece of clothing, they're stuck and can't break out? I would hope they would try to really brand each guy and each woman as an individual."