Along with Clint Mansell, Kevin Kiner composes the music for the popular DC/HBO Max series Peacemaker. Created by James Gunn, the series stars John Cena as the raunchy title character and also features the talents of Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, and Robert Patrick. Kevin Kiner has worked on many projects over the years, including CSI: Miami, Narcos: Mexico, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Leprechaun, Walker, Texas Ranger, Stargate SG-1, Hell on Wheels, and many more.
The 10 Questions
1. What is the best approach to composing music, either for a score or in general?
Kevin Kiner: Compose with the emotions of the characters at the forefront of your mind.
2. What are the challenges to composing music for heroic or villainous characters?
Kevin Kiner: The biggest challenge is to not be derivative of what other composers have done for the genre. Being unique in such a crowded field is a big task.
3. It appears that Peacemaker is on both sides of the law, being a mercenary-type, hated
anti-hero. Was it fun being involved with such a character’s story?
Kevin Kiner: That is the key to how much fun it was to score Peacemaker. The shades of grey and his
character’s emotional flaws play very big in the score.
4. Without giving too many spoilers, what can viewers expect? A satisfying blend of
Hitchcockian suspense, with a Scooby-Doo-like mystery twisted by commentary on the justice
system’s corruption and accurate depictions of the PTSD plaguing veterans?
Kevin Kiner: Score wise viewers can expect a heck of a fun ride, some deeply emotional moments, and a ton of heavy rockin’.
5. Obviously, I must also ask a question about your experience making music for
Leprechaun. What was that like?
Kevin Kiner: Leprechaun was my first feature, and a great start to my scoring career. The director, Mark Jones had a lot of faith in me and I was given a great deal of freedom. I’m still really proud of that
6. The score is very action-oriented, and I couldn’t help but hear some industrial metal
influences to it. Is that accurate at all?
Kevin Kiner: Close. It’s kind of late 80s hair metal, like the needle drop songs. At least it’s our take on
combining that style with orchestra, so a hybrid.
7. What are some of your favorite films and TV shows?
Kevin Kiner: Star Wars, Superman, Game of Thrones, Westworld (Season One)
8. I noticed plenty of guitar in the score. Do you think the guitar is enjoying a resurgence?
Kevin Kiner: Yes! And it seems like a lot of film and TV composers are guitarists these days. It’s definitely my instrument.
9. Are there any classic characters you would like to create music for?
Kevin Kiner: I always wanted to be Spider-Man when I was a kid. I would literally climb the walls in my
house, and jump behind the couch after shooting an imaginary web at my foes. So that would
be super fun someday. I’ve actually had a great bit of fortune, scoring Superboy/Superman,
Batman, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, etc., Ashoka, James Bond, Robot Man, Cyborg. And now,
Peacemaker! I am truly blessed.
10. What current projects are you working on?
Kevin Kiner: Star Wars Bad Batch, Promised Land on ABC (premiers Jan 24th!), Dark Winds on AMC.
We’d like to thank Kevin Kiner for answering our questions. Obviously, feel free to check out Peacemaker on HBO Max, as well as any other projects he worked on (chances are you’d already seen some of them!).