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Way Out West – Music Conference

The third part of the Way Out West Adventure took place in a tent just beyond the VIP area of the music festival. This year is the first year that WOW have held a conference with lots of speakers from various points within the music industry.

My favourite talk of the week was ‘What Would Walter White Do’, a talk from Thomas Golubić – the music supervisor who worked on Breaking Bad. He and his team alongside Vince Gilligan basically got to select all of the music that appeared in the series.

He talked through the decisions and tribulations in sourcing music for moments like the “Negro y Azul” – the song that opens the second season which is a narcocorrido (a song to promote a drug dealer, apparently a familiar thing in South America) and was performed by a band from Sony Latin who write these kinds of songs for a living. Initially they had a hard time finding a band to do it as all of them had wanted to be paid cash-in-hand.

He also touched on how difficult it was to gain permission for some songs like TV on The Radio’s DLZ (which is played in the bit where Walter calls another meth producer out in a DIY store – ‘stay out of my territory.. etc’), because the song is very personal to the singer. They ended up having to blow a huge amount of the licensing budget on an album track – which is a pretty big deal. It’s the best music bit in the whole series IMO anyhow.


It was also interesting to hear him justify the eclectic soundtrack to BB – as you can never tell where the show will go next, you shouldn’t be able to predict the music choices either. The result of which creates an enriching accompaniment to an excellent series, with all sorts of juxtaposition all over the place. Actually very apt inspiration for some future work of mine.

There were also some great talks about festival programming and innovation. Giving me some great hints towards the changing needs of festivals over-time, with more digital tools becoming available – some festivals even having Wi-fi. Good pointers for if I ever have to design any digital tools for one.

Some great insight across the three days.

August 28, 2014 – 10:43 pm