Earlier this month, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain brought the Metal Gear Solid series to a close…and it may be the end of Konami as we’ve known it! But if this is the end, then legendary game designer Hideo Kojima and his team are going out on top with another amazing game.
As a tribute to Metal Gear Solid V, Gavin Dunne a.k.a. Miracle of Sound has written, produced, and performed “Don’t Say a Word,” an ‘80s-inspired electronic rock song based on the game. And while the title of the song and some of the lyrics suggest that Quiet is the focus, the imagery from the accompanying video centers on Venom Snake, the man who will become the Big Boss of the Metal Gear series.
Shortly after “Don’t Say a Word” was released,” Dunne spoke with Nerdist and shared some intel about what went into the making of this song and offered his thoughts on Kojima and the game itself.
Nerdist: From concept to execution, how long did you work on this song?
Gavin Dunne: This was a particularly difficult song to produce, it took almost 100 hours from the first recorded note until the final master, the majority of which was spend trying to EQ, balance, and mix everything. There are 78 layers of instruments, vocals, and percussion in this one so balancing all those frequencies together without it turning into a muddy mess was a huge challenge. But I like how it turned out!
N: The sound of the song reminds me a lot of the music from the ’80s. Was that intentional to invoke the time period of MGS V?
GD: Absolutely, yes. I wanted it to have a distinct ’80s flavor but to also feel modern and sleek, like the game’s OST.
N: Tell us about the instruments that you used in this particular song. And feel free to elaborate on any of the lyrics as well.
GD: It’s mostly synths in this one. layers upon layers of synths. All kind of pads, synth basses, arpeggiators, strings and so on. There are also some nasty, distorted guitars in there, though they are pretty… quiet (sorry, I had to) in the mix. Then there’s also bass guitar, about 12 layers of vocals, and various drums and percussion. It’s huge!
The lyrics are themed around the idea of language and what happens when we lose our ability to communicate.
N: Who edits these videos for your songs? They are amazingly well done!
GD: Thanks! I do most of them myself, including this one. I also get help form Paul Goodman on some of them, he edited the Mad Max one.
N: What was your favorite moment in MGS V?
GD: Probably the intro actually. It was so bizarre and dark and epic… really did a great job setting up the story. Also, the Sahelanthropis battle and the many, many wonderful emergent gameplay moments I had in the open world.
N: Now that the series is over, which Metal Gear Solid game was the best?
GD: Gameplay – V, by far. Story-wise, I’d have to go with MGS 2. The final third of that game is a complete headf— in the best possible way and it was almost frighteningly prophetic about the nature of social media.
N: What are your thoughts on Hideo Kojima and his impact on the industry?
GD: I’ve only recently gotten into his games, but the man’s legend is undeniable. I hope he gets to do something just as insane and ambitious now that he’s parted with Konami.
N: For anyone new to your music, what song would you suggest as a complimentary video for “Don’t Say a Word?”
GD: I’d recommend any of the recent songs! If you enjoyed Witcher 3, check out “Wake the White Wolf” and “Lady of Worlds.” If you enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road, go for “Road Rage.” Enjoy Fallout and ’50s style music? Try “Going Nuclear.” There’s a lot of variety in my songs so I guess the best way is to just have a listen to a few of them and see what sticks in your head, haha.
N: If I’m calling the tune, it’s going to be your original song, “All As One,” which was inspired by Dragon Age: Inquisition.
For more original songs by Dunne, check out his Miracle of Sound YouTube page. Additionally, Dunne has released five albums of Miracle of Sound music, a Heavy Metal album, instrumental albums and other recordings at his Bandcamp page.
Metal Gear Solid V fans, what did you think of “Don’t Say a Word?” Open a codec frequency and share your opinions in the comment section below!