‘Fallout’ Composer Ramin Djawadi Breaks Down the ‘Brotherhood of Steel’ Theme Song on Variety’s Behind the Song

As part of Variety’s “Behind the Song,” composer Ramin Djawadi for “Fallout” breaks down the “Brotherhood of Steel” theme.

When showrunner Jonathan Nolan was looking for a composer, he sought out his go-to, Djawadi. The two had previously worked together on “Batman Begins,” “Person of Interest” and “Westworld.”

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Based on the video game franchise of the same name, the series is set two hundred years after the apocalypse. The official description states it follows “the gentle denizens of luxury fallout shelters that are forced to return to the irradiated hellscape their ancestors left behind—and are shocked to discover an incredibly complex, gleefully weird, and highly violent universe waiting for them.”

Djawadi wanted to capture the same moody, ambient vibe that was in the score for the video game. “It’s this post-apocalyptic setting in the future, but the visuals are stuck in the ’50s. The songs in there are from that era, actually, so there’s a lot of those songs and then the score kind of blends in and out of these moments,” he said.

Before Djawadi started to write the music, he sat down with Nolan, and the showrunners, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner to brainstorm ideas. His first objective was to match the music to the show’s main characters: The Ghoul (Walton Goggins), Lucy (Ella Purnell) and Maximus (Aaron Moten).

“[Nolan and Robertson-Dworet and Wagner] talked me through the show and that was really my starting point, trying to capture each individual because they couldn’t be any more different. What are the instruments? What’s the mood and all that that I needed to capture? Once I had that information, then I would sit down and then try to figure out how to put that into musical notes,” Djawadi said.

When it came to the “Brotherhood of Steel” theme, he wanted it to be filled with tension because their environment was an uneasy one. To create that, Djawadi gave the cue a little rattle. Even though it sounds percussive, the composer says it was created on a synthesizer.

When Maximus gets his branding on his neck, he added some vocals which he recorded himself. Djawadi said, “You could say it’s almost like a religious feel, but I didn’t want it to be a traditional church choir or something like that, so I thought to use these kind of vocals and then pitch them down, it just gives it more of a darker feel, so I thought that could be a good tone.”

To reflect the heroic side of the characters, Djawadi brought in French horns. The addition of bass and harmonies open up as the cue continues.

With the Brotherhood of Steel in thick, clunky suits, Djawadi also wanted a way to incorporate that into his theme. “Having this militaristic rhythm to it, I thought could be a good match when we see them walking,” he says. And so, that became their signature sound.

Watch the entire conversation above.

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