Jason LaRocca talks Cloak and Dagger, Aquaman music production

Jason LaRocca in studio. Courtesy, MWPR.
Jason LaRocca in studio. Courtesy, MWPR. /

Major motion picture and television music producer Jason LaRocca recently took the time to share about what music means to him.

Jason LaRocca, a major motion picture and television music producer whose work has been featured in movies such as Aquaman, The Accountant, Joy, and TV shows such as Cloak and Dagger and Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, recently took the time to share with us about his journey in music.

From rocking in The Briggs, a punk rock group, to producing music for movies and TV, Jason LaRocca has certainly left a mark on the music industry. Chances are you’ve heard some of his work if you’ve been keeping any kind of tabs on the latest shows and movies coming out.

As a producer, LaRocca helps keep the musical project on track, and contributes creatively, as composers bring their scores to him to be recorded. Basically, the composer creates the idea, and the producer (LaRocca) drives it home — it’s a special and unique talent that not many people have.

Here’s what Jason LaRocca had to say to Hidden Remote about his journey in music and what it has been like producing major scores.

Jason LaRocca in The Briggs. Courtesy, MWPR.
Jason LaRocca in The Briggs. Courtesy, MWPR. /

Hidden Remote: Could you explain a little bit about what music means to you? 

Jason LaRocca: Music is everything to me. It is all I do day and night, every day because I find that there is something quite special about what music is capable of creating emotionally. Anything I can do to help make it as powerful as possible is incredibly fulfilling for me.

HR: I understand you went from playing in a band to producing — could you explain a little bit about what that shift was like for you?

LaRocca: Well, in a way I have always been a producer, I just didn’t know it in the beginning. When I started out as a musician, I was the one in my band who wanted to figure out how to make our own home recordings and distribute tapes to our friends. I have always felt a sense of responsibility for taking care of the process of creating the recorded medium of music and presenting a “vision” to the listener.

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HR: What were some of your most memorable experiences playing in your group, The Briggs? 

LaRocca: Playing Leeds and Reading Festival in 2008 with Rage Against the Machine. We were playing a small side stage that year and RATM was playing the main stage. I managed to sneak up onto the main stage and not get kicked off! So I got to see their whole set from the side of the stage. I had never seen anything like it. That band really has the most unbelievably captivating effect on their audiences. Like nothing I had ever seen.

Playing Staples Center in Los Angeles to 20,000 people at the LA Kings Playoff game recently was pretty amazing too. Such a special feeling to be part of something like that.

HR: How did you end up breaking into major motion picture engineering and music production?

LaRocca: After high school, I was trying to find work in a studio so that I could get to know more about music production. I had my band, was 18, and was willing to do whatever it took to get a job in the music world, preferably at a recording studio. I eventually found my way to a composer, Mark Isham, who was looking for a new assistant. I started out as an intern for him and worked my way up to assistant. This was in the late 90s when the big shift was going away from analog recording to digital recordings. So I got to know about 24 track tape and Tascam D-88s and hardware samplers but then quickly made the shift to Pro Tools and software samplers. It was an exciting time to get into the studio world of film music and I just soaked it all up.

HR: Did you ever think things would work out the way they did?

LaRocca: Not really. For a long time I managed to do both, touring with my band, The Briggs, and also working as an assistant engineer at Mark Isham’s studio. But eventually I decided to tour full-time and in 2004, I decided to go out on my own and see where “the road” literally took me. But in 2009, I decided I wanted to focus on production and turned my focus back to film and TV scoring, this time as a freelance engineer/producer. It was very tough at first but I was determined to make it somehow on my own. Ultimately I found my way.

HR: What has your experience been like working on Cloak and Dagger?

LaRocca: It has been lots of fun. The show is getting more complex with its storytelling, as well as with the music. There is an exciting new instrument added to the score in season 2 that I think fans are going to really enjoy — it is part of one of the main characters this season.

HR: Aquaman was no small feat either. How was it working on that music? 

LaRocca: It was really incredible. Rupert Gregson-Williams is an amazing composer and a real pleasure to work with. The film was very complex visually so when we were working on the film, much of the live action had green backgrounds and even the actors had their hair CGI-ed in after shooting. Much of it wasn’t finished until after we did the music for the film. We recorded here in Los Angeles, which is of course always a great pleasure. The players here are some of the very best in the world.

HR: What are some upcoming projects that you are excited about? 

LaRocca: Very excited about Ma, Godzilla, A Dog’s Journey, 6 Underground, and, of course, Morbius — that one is really going to be insanely fun.

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Stay up on all the latest work from Jason LaRocca on his website at jasonlarocca.com. His social media can be found at Instagram and Facebook