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“Metal Comes From Hell, Everyone Knows This” – Darren Korb Talks Loki, Lavtas, And Led Zeppelin – Feature

Darren Korb Interview Nintendo Life

We recently spoke to award-winning composer Darren Korb as part of our Quick Beats series, where he kindly answered ten quickfire questions about his musical tastes. However, that small snippet was just part of a much larger conversation we were lucky enough to have with Supergiant Games’ in-house composer and audio designer a little while ago.

The studio’s first game, Bastion, first released on Xbox 360 in July 2011 and would eventually come to other platforms, including Switch in 2018. After falling in love with it nearly a decade ago (played on an iPad, of all places), we couldn’t resist double dipping on Switch and the game’s incredible atmosphere held up very well years later, and its rich soundscape and smart audio design is key — not to mention the unforgettable tones of Logan Cunningham as the narrator.

Over the last decade Supergiant has released another three titles with music and audio from Korb, the sublime smash hit Hades being the most recent. We caught up with him via Zoom for a good old chinwag about his career, his influences, and more…

Please be aware that a few spoilers for Hades are discussed below.


Nintendo Life: First off, let’s go back to the beginning. Do you remember when you first thought, “yep, okay, composing music is for me!”?

Darren Korb: I knew that I wanted to do something in music probably sometime in high school. Before that, I was really into filmmaking and acting and stuff like that, and I was playing instruments and playing in bands since I was maybe in middle school, and I discovered recording — multi-track recording. As soon as I discovered that I became pretty obsessed with it, and I thought “okay, this is as much fun as anything I’ve ever done and I want to do this as much as possible”.

I was just trying to kind of find any way to do music professionally… taking gigs as a musician, playing around the city in New York… doing gigs here and there as a producer… interning in a recording studio for a few years… joining any band that would have me for experience.

I think it was at that point that I knew I wanted to do something in music, I didn’t know what it was going to be yet, so I pursued that. I kept writing songs and playing in bands and recording music and I went to school at NYU and I studied a little bit of music business, music production, kind of an individualised major there.

I was just trying to kind of find any way to do music professionally. I was taking gigs as a musician, playing around the city in New York. I was doing gigs here and there as a producer, I was interning in a recording studio for a few years, I was joining any band that would have me for experience. I did a couple of little composing gigs for commercial spots, infomercial spots that I was able to snag. My brother is an editor, so he was like “you can submit some stuff and maybe we’ll use it for this”. And so I was able to kind of dip my toe into composing that way.

The oopportunity to compose for games presented itself by my buddy Amir [Rao], who co-founded Supergiant, when he asked me “hey, I think you might be able to do this — would you like to do all the audio for this game I’m working on?” and I [said] “yeah, totally, that makes perfect sense. I had no idea that it was a job that I could do, but now that you say it out loud, yes, I want to do this.”

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