Founder of the Arcade Songs independent publishing company and label, Gregg Wattenberg, recently spoke with Billboard about working for WWE as the man who creates many of the popular WWE Superstar entrance theme songs we’ve come to recognize over the years.
Featured below are some of the highlights of Billboard’s interview with Gregg Wattenberg, where he breaks down making a WWE Superstar entrance song in great detail.
On crafting each theme song to fit perfectly with a given WWE Superstar: “They have a very clear vision – this should be more emo, this should be more goth, this should be hard-hitting riff rock. It’s kind of like hit songwriting but for wrestler themes. ”
On precisely calculating the tempo and melody of a WWE theme song: “There is nuts and bolts with all of this stuff, but if there’s not something magical or sort of emotional connection happening, it’s probably going to sound like you’re a songwriter stuck in a room and told ‘Go write a hit song.'”
On WWE executives Kevin Dunn and Neil Lawi overseeing the process to factor in intangibles such as the song playing smoothly in big arenas: “We have overseers say, ‘This is too complicated.’ You’re in an arena – that synthesizer will never be heard! That’s a perspective none of us would have ever had if we didn’t collaborate with them.”
On Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme song “Rising Sun” being an example of one that resonates with WWE fans: “If there isn’t some magic happening emotionally, I don’t care how calculated it is. It’s just going to sound like a calculated piece of music.” Wattenberg continues, “If you look on YouTube [at] any of the Nakamura matches, the audience sings the whole thing.”
Check out the complete Gregg Wattenberg interview at Billboard.com.