Blood Drive: Scoring the Finale with James Roland and Michael Gatt

The Blood Drive showrunner and the show’s composer highlight moments from the season 1 finale, both thematically and musically.

Some viewers may see Blood Drive as an indulgent if delightful grindhouse romp (and it is), but as the show’s first season draws to a close, the emotional depth of the series has entered the spotlight for the climactic finale, which airs tonight. Part of the success of Blood Drive’s season-long exploration of genres like martial arts action films and spaghetti Westerns has been the music composed by Michael Gatt, which features everything from electric guitar to opera singing. As Gatt puts it, “Each episode of Blood Drive is essentially a movie onto itself, and the score for each individual episode reflects that as well.”

In this exclusive behind-the-scenes “Score Talk,” Gatt talks with Blood Drive’s showrunner James Roland about the musical and thematic journey of the show. As they speak about the transformation of Slink, Aki, Grace, and Arthur, you can hear the swelling music that accentuates the heightened mood of the finale. “The season finale has 38 minutes of score and includes a whole new quiver of custom synths never before heard in the preceding 12 episodes,” explains Gatt.

Although there are no actual spoilers in the video below, you will definitely see some intriguing images that hint at what’s to come in tonight’s episode entitled “Finish Line.”

Roland was clearly impressed with the arrangements Gatt put together for the season finale, and expressed his appreciation to the composer for contributing to the overall feel of the show, both in its outlandish moments and its deeper sentiments. “Out of all the incredible music Michael created for this show, the finale stands out,” says Roland. “We basically made a giant 42-minute ticking clock episode and the only way to maintain that constant tension was the score. It’s more epic than previous episodes, more cinematic, and incredibly intense.”

Gatt was generous enough to share with Den of Geek a few samples of his work from tonight’s finale, and his enthusiasm for the project is quite evident. “Looking back at season 1, it was such an absolute blast to score,” Gatt says, “and I am so grateful to the entire Blood Drive family both in front and behind the camera for making it such an amazing experience.” In listening to the tracks below, the anticipation for the Blood Drive finale will be even greater.

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Gatt: “You can really hear these new textures in the opening 3 minute ‘Finish Line’ cue that covers the series recap and goes all the way up to the title card.”

Gatt: “I broke some of my own rules about scoring for Blood Drive, leaning more heavily and frequently into a more orchestral string approach for some of the cues as heard on ‘Almost Human’ and ‘To Die To Sleep.’”

Now that viewers’ appetites have been whetted, the Blood Drive finale will be that much sweeter to watch. The fun starts at 10pm ET on SYFY. Here’s hoping for another season of shocking grindhouse fun and a wonderful soundtrack to go along with it!