Virgil Franklin Interview

Virgil Master of The Ethermuse Interview
By Noah Wullkotte

Today I interview Virgil, the haunt and horror music extraordinair. His music ranges from horror to Christmas. He’s been very influential in the haunt industry with his unique style and presence.

What got you into creating horrifying music?
I’ve always been a fan of horror and worked in Jaycee haunts as a kid. My brother and I use to make”haunt tapes” when I was a kid using two reel-to-reel tape players and a Disney sound effects LP. 4 years ago the owner of a haunted attraction I worked for asked me to write some music for his haunt. When I played him examples of my work he loved it and said, “You should market this”. I’ve been obsessed ever since!!

Who is your favorite composer?
I have so many I’m afraid I’d leave someone out! That said, Bernard Hermann and Myklos Rosza are my two favorite classic horror composers. In contemporary horror Tyler Bates and Danny Elfman are awesome.

How has the haunt industry changed your life?
It’s really given me far more than I could ever give back to it. I have made so many friends and met people that have truly enriched my life through the industry. It’s also given me an audience for my music who would have never heard of Virgil if I had not started down this path.

If you weren’t a composer, what would you be doing to fill up that time?
I’m a father of a 15-year-old boy so I have no trouble filling up time!! I’m also and a music teacher/ band director.

How much time and effort go into creating one of your CDs?
Sleep is so highly overrated!! (laughs) It truly depends on what I’m doing. “Night Sins” took me months to just research and read before a note was written whereas “Out of the Ether” was written in 10 days of marathon recording/ composing. Understand that while I’m writing a CD I’ve got at least one to two more CDs in planning stages. I’ve worked for 20 years as a band/ orchestra arranger so I don’t have to sit out under the starlit sky waiting for inspiration to strike. Simply getting up in the morning is inspiration enough!!

Have you ever walked into a haunt and heard your music playing?
Several times.

How did that make you feel?
It’s so absolutely affirming to hear that. Also, it’s cool to see how folks use what I write. Everyone has a different bend on the whole concept of what a piece of music means. I’m so inspired by how folks use the ethermuse!!

How do people react to your music at conventions?
Thankfully we have been very well received. Folks who have never heard my music are always commenting that I have a “different” sound. The comparisons to other haunt/ horror genre writers is inevitable but they’re becoming less and less as folks get use to my style of writing.

What is your favorite Halloween costume?
Man, you are really cornering me here!! I love tons of things out there. The SPFX masks that Rusty makes are killer. There are so many talented mask and costume makers in the industry. Costume eh? OK. I bought this “Bad Seed” costume from Jeff at “The Frighterers” last year and it just rocks!! I wore it to school last year and the kids flipped out.

What is your favorite horror movie?
Please don’t laugh. A tie between the first “House on Haunted Hill” and “Mr. Sardonicus”

What’s your favorite music used in a horror movie?
Harry Manfredini’s work in Friday the 13th.

What kind of music would you like to create that you haven’t done yet?
I’m like a kid in a candy store right now. I have several huge projects looming on the horizon so, suffice it to say, if I don’t die soon I’ll likely write most of what I want to!!