Jim Johnston spoke with the RRBG podcast recently to talk about his time with WWE. He commented on when wrestlers would end up getting involved in his music writing process, claiming that it was a nightmare.
“Honestly, it was generally a complete nightmare,” he stated. “If talent got big enough to have the clout to say to Vince or Kevin Dunn, the Executive Producer, to say, ‘hey, I want to sit with Jim and talk about music.’ The general difficulty there was they would want music that they would listen to in their car or workout to in the gym. Then I would be put in the position of saying, ‘but that’s not your character. Do you think that Harrison Ford pushes to have the music he listens to in his car as the score in his next movie? It just doesn’t work like that.’”
Despite the fact he worked with WWE for so long, Jim Johnston admitted that he was not actually a fan. However, he believes that it was an asset for him overall.
“I really don’t follow it and interestingly, I’ve never followed it because I’ve never been a wrestling fan. I got involved by sheer happenstance,” he said. “But, I think that ended up being an incredible asset because I was never a mark kind of person for it. I was always able to approach it from a distance, like scoring a film.”
Jim Johnston then spoke in more detail about the positives of not being a fan of wrestling.
“I think having that artistic distance is really positive,” he stated. “Because you don’t get lost in it. I felt like I could see the character, but I could equally see how this fanbase sees that character or is hoping to see that character. That often helped me. There’s a direction in all music.
“Is this piece coming from this guy, is it him saying, ‘this is me?’ Or, is it the crowd looking at this character? I would say Steve Austin is very much, it’s coming from him, ‘this is me.’ He says, basically, ‘f**k you,’ and the music says f**k you. Undertaker is like a shared experience,” he said. “It’s a soundtrack that’s happening, there’s no sense. I believe, that Undertaker chose his music. Like ‘this is the music I want to be playing.’ This is just an emotional description of what the mood in the room is when he shows up.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the RRBG podcast, with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.