Former WWE composer Jim Johnston on today’s pro wrestling themes, creating iconic themes for Steve Austin, Undertaker, and Ultimate Warrior, the possibility of being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Jim Johnston
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

On today’s wrestling themes: “It’s why I think all the current music for, uh, doesn’t work, because it doesn’t, again, it’s just, it’s exactly like scoring movies. In a story, if you don’t care about the character, like if you don’t care if they live or die, then you’ll never really be in the story. You know, you may sit through the film, but it’s like, eh, it was okay and the guy dies at the end, you know? But no, for fans of Steve Austin, they’re, they’re truly pulling for him like a brother. It’s an emotional attachment, and I think the music is largely responsible for that. Music is such an emotional medium and, and that’s not me trying to take undue credit. I’m speaking to the power of music. When, when music works, boy, it really works.”

On The Undertaker theme: He’s such a massive dark, mystical, ominous, dangerous character. I always thought it was interesting that even when he was a complete babyface, there was something dark and like evil about him in a way that it was, that that whole mystical thing really worked or, or he made it work. He was never like a happy go lucky, oh, I’m the good guy. I’m coming in to save the day. There was always an element like you didn’t quite know. You had your hopes about what you thought was gonna happen, but you never really knew. And the theme when I wrote it was just an absolute gentle, I think, beautiful child’s theme. You know, not something that you think would go with a guy like Undertaker.”

On the Ultimate Warrior theme: “You look at the guy and it’s, you know, he’s like this on the ropes and he’s running full tilt like this and he’s moving like this. And so how does that translate to music? You know, just something, uh, a frenetic pulse. And I think I literally picked up a guitar and just started dun dun, dun. Started with that and the rest. It’s interesting, John, when you ask, how did I think about it? You know, how did I come up with that? From my perspective, it’s not really coming up with it as it’s sort of in some sort of bizarre, It’s, I guess it’s as much a mystery to me as it might be to you in that it just sort of, it’s much more organic than that. You got excited, you’re in the kitchen, cooking dinner, and hear the TV in the next room and you go, oh, Warrior’s coming out.”

On the Steve Austin theme: “So those are things that all have to be taken into account. Who’s the music for here? You know, like in the Warrior’s theme, clearly the Warrior’s theme is Warrior’s theme. But even something like Stone Cold’s theme, it’s Steve’s theme. That theme says I’m here to kick ass. But it also says, for us it’s like a team thing. It’s like, we’re here to watch Steve come and kick ass. So it’s, it’s like our theme with Steve.”

Would he want to be in the WWE Hall of Fame: “Oftentimes when things happen, you can’t really take ’em back. The fact is they happened and, um, some things happened towards the end of my time there and, uh, basically getting dumped by Vince [McMahon], you know, that hurt, and so somehow going back in and being in the Hall of Fame, you know, I’m of two minds. It’s like on one hand relative to other people who’ve gotten into the Hall of Fame. It seems pretty weird that I haven’t been asked. And at the same time, I know the way I feel about it and it wouldn’t surprise me if, you know, for whatever reasons that I would think would be pretty bizarre, but that there’s no explaining the way people feel. They could have decided like, well, no, we’re not letting that son of a bitch in the Hall of Fame.”

Other topics include breaking into the business, WWF, WWE, Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, creating iconic theme songs, his exit from the WWE, and more.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. I grew up listening to Jim’s music.. Did he take ownership of that horrid X-Factor theme?

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