When it comes to television, the scores are just as important as the storylines. The biggest scenes in history have relied on music to help drive messages of sadness, fear, romance or anger—which is where people like Mac Quayle come in. The Emmy-winning and GRAMMY-nominated composer is behind the melodies of some of your favorite TV shows, including Mr. Robot, American Horror Story, Feud: Bette & Joan, The People v. O.J. Simpson and Scream Queens.
We spoke to the Virginia-born musician about the creative process behind making scores, his favorite American Horror Story season and why he decided to switch from working in the club remix scene to dominating some of the biggest shows in Hollywood. Read our in-depth interview below.
FUSE: Do you remember the first time you fell in love with music? When your eyes widened with excitement?
Wow, you know I was probably 6 or 7 and my parents had a turntable with records. I discovered that I put the speakers on the floor, lay down and put my head in between them to listen to records. I just started listening to music really closely at that point. Some of the early things were like Jesus Christ Superstar, Neil Diamond...these kind of wacky choices. Like the early Chicago musical. I was loving it. I read that you were in a rock band, which is really cool.
Did that affect you when you decided to make the transition from performing to composing music?
It’s certainly has influenced who I am as a musician. I was in a couple of bands in Virginia before I went to New York, then I was in bands there. I’ve played with people since I’ve been in Los Angeles. I’ve been performing pretty much the whole time. When you ask any musician, it really has an affect on how you play and what you do when you’re out there performing regularly in front of people rather than just being in a studio writing music for something.