Details regarding the production of AEW theme songs
Submitted by Aaron Rift on 05/18/2020 at 08:07 AM

AEW music producer Mikey Rukus recently did a Q&A with and here are the highlights...

On AEW playing their theme songs quieter than WWE does: “This is done by design. In terms of a sports based presentation, when you watch UFC, or any other sporting event, the music is all in house. The focus is on the overall atmosphere rather than pushing the music 1000% front and center. Just a different approach and I’ve come to enjoy it.”

On the process of getting licensed music for theme songs: “The process is long and sometimes not very cost effective. Many times there are multiple publishers involved and absolutely everyone has to be on board. Then there is a negotiation process. If a big name company owns a track and they want to charge you $20,000 to use it for one night, (not a specific example but its typical) its just not good business sense, just because you have millions doesnt mean pissing away $20k on a song you will use once makes sense. But there are a ton of variables involved.”

On the quickest turnaround he’s done for a song: “Its a toss up between Jeff Cobb and the Inner Circle Theme. Might be the Inner Circle Theme. QT texts ‘Did you ever make a song for the Inner Circle’…I replied ‘You guys told me to wait lol, when do you need it by’ he said ‘Tonight haha’, mind you it was 4:30 PM. I said holy shit. Then I get a text that said ‘Chris wants you to tell HIM what you think the Inner Circle Theme should sound like’ so I said ‘Well the leader is a rocker, so its rock music, but with all of them coming out, the music needs to be a slower tempo, as they all walk out slowly selling their arrogance’ QT texts back and said ‘OK Chris said make it happen’ SO I sped my ass home and by 6:30 PM I sent it over. Then QT calls and says ‘Chris says he wants something at the top like ‘Innnnner Cirrrrcle’ and we are good, he said its strong, its edgy, its obnoxious, its perfect’….then I fainted :D”

On how he works with wrestlers on their theme songs: “100% open communication before I begin. Some are more detailed than others, while some are still trying to figure out what they are trying to convey. Its a super organic process that involves everyone from the talent, the EVPs, Tony, Brandi, QT and the post production team.”

On who was the most hands-on with their theme: “One on one with Kong. Many phone calls back and forth, awesome creative. Worked with Butcher and The Blade over a 3 way text. Worker with Matt and Reby over 3 way text and a couple of phone calls. majority of others are email exchanges. Some cases in person on location we have brainstorming sessions as well.”

On which theme was the most difficult to create: “Butcher Blade and The Bunny. You only get to hear the first minute on tv, so I wanted their song to be special, and make it one of the heaviest and most technical metal songs ever done for a pro wrestling theme. We were all very happy with the end result.”

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