As 4 million players have been writing their own survival story in State of Decay 2, they’ve been enjoying BAFTA award-winning and Billboard / MTV VMA nominated Danish composer’s Jesper Kyd soundtrack, which is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Starting today, for fans who want to experience Jesper’s soundtrack full of hope for survival and a better tomorrow in full, they can purchase the State of Decay 2 Special Edition – Double Vinyl for $39.99. In addition to the atmospheric guitar and analog synth score as heard in the game, the double vinyl also includes ten previously unreleased tracks.
To celebrate today’s release, we caught up with Jesper to ask him some questions gathered from the State of Decay 2 player community for a deeper look at the soundtrack.
Xbox Wire: Did you play a lot of State of Decay: YOSE?
Jesper Kyd: Yes, I did play a lot of State of Decay and YOSE and it really influenced the way I wrote the score for SOD2. It reaffirmed that exploration music is very important to setting the atmosphere of the game, especially between missions.
Xbox Wire: Do you plan to play State of Decay 2?
Jesper Kyd: Yes, when I can find the time I plan to play through the game to the end.
Xbox Wire: Did you record any live musicians for the score?
Jesper Kyd: We recorded a ton of live instruments for the score such as dobro guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitars, live percussion of all sorts, solo violin, solo cello. The live instruments are an important part of making the world of State of Decay breathe and come alive. The broken down post-apocalyptic world we play through needs to be reinforced with the feel of rural Americana, we’re in the American heartland and live instruments is critical to accomplishing an authentic vibe.
Xbox Wire: What instruments did you use? -What is your favorite?
Jesper Kyd: My favorite instrument is probably the dobro or steel guitar. It adds such a warm and atmospheric feel to the score, especially on tracks such as “Hills of my Hometown”. I also really like the fiddle, especially when it’s playing chords across the neck. Gives it a folky feel set on a country hillside vista.
Xbox Wire: How long does it take you to write a piece of music?
Jesper Kyd: It really depends on the length of the track and purpose of the music. Exploration tracks are usually the most challenging since you don’t have a clear idea of what the music needs to do at all times. Gameplay specific music is easier since the purpose is clear and established: tension moments often need tension music, suspenseful moments needs suspense, and so on. For these tracks the challenge then becomes to write something that feels fresh and surprising.
Xbox Wire: What was different about this score compared to the first game?
Jesper Kyd: Firstly, there’s a lot more music! I worked on the project for about 2 years, writing over 3 hours of music, some 105 cues in all. Also, I tried to bring out more of the human emotion of the situation you are experiencing. We wanted the music to help make the experience feel hopeful as you try to rebuild and expand your community.
Xbox Wire: What inspired you?
Jesper Kyd: I was inspired by the game’s setting, themes of survival and hope for the community.
Xbox Wire: Did you have any influences?
Jesper Kyd: I rarely listen to other music when writing scores and I was careful not to listen to any relevant music. You don’t want a theme you are writing to sound similar to something you might be listening to. So my main influence was the game’s rural environment and post-apocalyptic story setting. The score is infused with rustic elements from the landscape in decay and so a lot of the recordings were processed with vintage gear.
Xbox Wire: If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Jesper Kyd: I always wanted to become a film maker. If I wasn’t writing music I still think I would be creating stories and experiences in different ways, perhaps as a film maker.