When Bates arrived at the 1999 Composers Lab (a program launched the previous year), he had already scored, arguably, more movies than the rest of the fellows combined. “But I had never spoken to anyone else who had scored a movie,” says the composer.
At the lab, Bates was asked to re-score an ethereal dream sequence from “Gods and Monsters.” He recalls the assignment being especially stressful since the film’s original composer, Carter Burwell, literally worked alongside him as a mentor. According to Bates, Burwell liked what he heard. “He kind of smiled and said, ‘Yeah, that’s right up my alley.’ ”
Bates, who started out as a band musician and producer, also befriended mentor George S. Clinton at the lab. “Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to actually win a couple of jobs that he wanted,” says Bates.
For “Get Carter,” Clinton visited Bates’ studio to give his work a listen. “It was kind of like my first big movie,” says Bates. “He gave me his thoughts and then said, ‘Man, I wanted to do this movie so bad!’ “