Interview: MTV’s Good Vibes Music Supervisor

Soundtrack recently sat down with Louis Clark, the Music Supervisor for MTV’s Good Vibes. Louis gave us his take on Music Supervision, Music in General, and Artists he’s currently digging.

ST: In your opinion, what constitutes a “great” song for television?

LC: There are a literally a ton of great artists and songs out there these days.  Finding a “great” song for a TV show can be quite challenging and rewarding simultaneously.  To me, a great song for TV allows a viewer to connect with a scene in their own personal way while at the same time helping to convey a message or a point that scene itself doesn’t always do on its own.

ST: When you’re looking for music to place in Good Vibes, are you looking for a specific type of music?

LC: Yes, absolutely.  This stands true for any show, in my opinion.  There should be a dominant theme, style and tone that constitutes an overall feel for a show.  In the case of Good Vibes,  the producers and I really wanted to come up with a tone that portrayed an updated or more current so cal surf vibe.  We really wanted to stay away from that Dick Dale sound that has dominated the surf culture for so many years. So, going after surf punk bands, Reggae and Hip Hop artists and bands that fit into the vein of Sublime and Jack Johnson was the way to go and really helped put an original stamp on the show.

ST: Describe the feeling that you get when you have the opportunity of placing an emerging independent artist in your show? Are they ecstatic when they hear their music on the show? Can you give a specific example?

LC: It’s always nice to make someone’s day.  We have an episode coming up that takes place at a music festival and we needed some bands to fill the roster.  It was especially rewarding for this particular episode because not only were we able to use some songs from indie bands but we were able to animate a few of them as well.  One band in particular that I worked with for this episode was Vette.  The band was quite eager and very gracious through the whole process and I’m quite excited to hear the their reaction to this episode!

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ST: List a few up and coming artists you’ve felt passionate about when it came time to place music in Good Vibes. Can you give a specific example of an artist you placed in the show, how you found them, and how the placement had an impact?

LC: In Good Vibes, I worked with bands such as Big Troubles, Diarrhea Planet, The Dopamines, Neighborhood Brats, The Hallway Ballers, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Trak Kartel, and Breathe Carolina.  But one instance in particular was with the band Drive A.  We were struggling with a particular scene in which naked old folks were storming a rave and all hell was breaking loose.  At first thought, the idea was to go the classical route and get really artsy with it.  Instead, I found the song “Revolt!”.  I had just received the CD that day from a friend of mine and decided to take a listen.  After I heard the song in all its punk rock and hardcore glory, I knew a whole new dimension would be added to the scene and it ended up working really well and being quite funny.

ST: What’s currently in your iPod?

LC: Bands like The Bodies, Ferraby Lionheart, Fucked Up, Mean Jeans, Marked Men, Sharp Objects, Band Of Skulls, The Weeks, High Highs and Jeff the Brotherhood.

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