Long have the Grand Theft Auto games existed in their own musical stratosphere, so far beyond other games' soundtracks that a comparison seems almost unfair. It's no surprise to hear that GTA V will have a phenomenal soundtrack, given the tracklist info that's already leaked. But now that Rockstar has begun to announce official info, it's somehow sounding even better.
Rolling Stone has got the scoop straight from Rockstar on the radio stations and the celebrity DJs they'll feature, along with a great interview with Rockstar soundtrack supervisor Ivan Pavlovich. If you're into GTA music, go read it. They've also got music samplers from some of the stations, which I've linked to below.
Here are some salient points:
- GTA V will have 15 radio stations, two talk radio stations, 240 (!!) licensed songs, and what Pavlovich calls "20 movies' worth of score." That is officially a shitload of music.
- There've got some outstanding celebrity radio DJs, including Pam Grier for a soul station, Bootsy Collins hosting an 80s funk station, and Kenny Loggins hosting the classic rock station. Which hopefully will still be set to play every time you climb into a helicopter.
- The station "Vinewood Boulevard Radio" is a modern rock station hosted by Stephen Pope and Nate Williams from Wavves. Listen here.
- "East LOS FM" radio will feature a bunch of different types of Mexican music, hosted by Camilo Lara. Listen here.
- "West Coast Classics" will be hosted by DJ Pooh, who Pavlovich points out created the movie Friday, and who I'm pointing out helped write Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Listen here.
- "Rebel Radio" will feature what Pavlovich calls "outlaw country" music and will be hosted by Jesco White. Listen here.
- The original score—a first for a GTA game—is sounding incredibly ambitious. Pavlovich says that the score will combine the work of three composers, Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream; Woody Jackson, who scored Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire; and Alchemist and Oh No. Here's Pavlovich on how the music will work in the game:
Although each of these composers is used to define a character or an environment, what's been interesting about this process is that it's been the first fully collaborative score that we've done. Even though you may be triggering one score with a particular character or within a particular area in the world, you're always hearing elements from the other composers. The first time you come into the country you're blown away by Woody Jackson's rock score, but within that you're still hearing elements of Tangerine Dream, and Alchemist and Oh No. So you're never too far away from this core sound that we've established for the game.
- Last, and perhaps coolest of all, is the fact that the (amazing) DJ Flying Lotus will be mixing music for another of the stations, called FlyLo FM. Pitchfork's got the whole track listing and a sampler:
- Flying Lotus will also be collaborating with rapper Tyler the Creator to do an original tune for GTA V. According to Pavlovich, Tyler has been a fan of GTA since San Andreas, and was happy to get on board with the new game.
There's a bunch more over at Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. I don't know about you, but combining those new stations with the ones that already leaked, as well as this talk of the original score... yeah, this is all sounding pretty damned good.