Insomniac Wanted Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart To Sound Like Thor: Ragnarok – So It Hired Thor’s Composer

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is being composed by Mark Mothersbaugh – depending on your age and interests, you’ll either know him as the lead guitarist of Devo, or the composer of Thor: Ragnarok. As far as his role in Rift Apart goes though, it’s the latter that was crucial in landing him the job. As part of my recent Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart preview, I listened in on a fireside (or Zoomside, at least) chat between Mothersbaugh and the game’s creative director, Markus Smith, and heard all about how the partnership came about.

It turns out that Smith had recently watched Ragnarok, and put it to the team that it had the perfect sound for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. As a result, the team spent a while unsuccessfully looking for somebody who could sound like Mothersbaugh, before someone had the ‘so-obvious-you’d-never-think-of-it’ idea – why not just ask Mothersbaugh himself? He said yes, and the partnership was born.

That’s not the only link Ratchet & Clank has to Ragnarok, however. The MCU movie was significantly longer at one point in development, with much more Jeff Goldblum. These scenes had already been composed – in rough form, at least – when they were cut, and so Mothersbaugh had a lot of great tracks and nowhere to put them. He later retooled them for his 2017 album Mutant Flora, and subsequently used Mutant Flora as an inspiration for Ratchet & Clank. That makes sense, when you consider that a lot of the planets do indeed have mutant flora.

Mothersbaugh has worked on 18 games across his career, although Ratchet & Clank is his first sine 2010, and he typically works as a much producer, rather than the original composed. He produced the soundtrack for the original Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter trilogies, although the composer for those games was Josh Mancell. Mothersbaugh has also worked on The Sims, Skate, The Simpsons, Rugrats, The Lego Movie, and four different Wes Anderson features, so is bringing a wealth of experience to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which launches exclusively for PS5 on June 11.

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