The JUDGMENT NIGHT SOUNDTRACK was released 25 years ago!
During the early 90s the music press desperately tried to label the hybrid styles of alternative bands with tags such as funk-metal or rap-metal. It is true that the genre busting sounds of certain bands made it difficult to categorise, however these tags were more relevant for particular songs rather than bands. In 1986 Aerosmith joined up with Run DMC to record a rap-rock version of the classic song Walk This Way and in 1987 Anthrax and Public Enemy released Bring The Noise.
In 1993 this fusion of the rock / rap genres was taken to the next level with the soundtrack to the film Judgment Night. The movie is an 'urban suspense drama' starring Emilio Estevez, Denis Leary, Cuba Goading Jr., and House Of Pain's Everlast.
Judgment Night OST was the brainchild of Happy Walters, the then president of Immortal Records and manager of hip-hop bands such as House Of Pain and Cypress Hill.
"Since I manage Everlast, it sort of came ta pass that [my record label] would handle the Soundtrack." The idea for a set cross-pollinating alternative noise with rap expression grew out of Walters’ realization that "a lot of alternative artists dig hip-hop and a lot of hip-hop artists like alternative. It kind of made sense to do something that brings the [two teen genres] together."
The process of translating his vision into reality took six months to complete. It Involved hard planning and heavy negotiations.
"First I had to get a hold of the managers and get them excited about the project. Once that was achieved the artists also had to be stirred. Next the labels had to give their permission to be on the album. Then the artist’s publishers had to grant sync fees and licenses for the off."
Walters says he succeeded with help from other artist managers linked to the project. To assist the creativity of the performers, who recorded from locales all over the world. Walters says he provided them scenes from the movie complete with notes explaining the shots. The task of 'spotting'(selecting where songs would be used) was carried out by Karen Rachnian, music supervisor for the film's producer, Largo Entertainment.
"Sonic Youth, Helmet, their managers were super supportive. Helmet was super into it. Faith No More was really into it. Those three, I think, were the first ones to come on board, which were all credible and cool at the time, which helped with others."
Faith No More were paired up with Samoan gangster outfit Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E. In late July of 93 FNM had finished a two year long tour supporting their album Angel Dust, this time had allowed the band to push the boundaries of their music further than ever before. However there were casualties as long-time guitarist Jim Martin became alienated by the band's new direction.
Therefore only four members of the FNM (Patton, Gould, Bottum and Bordin) flew out to L.A to attend a recording session with Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E.
"We didn’t know the Boo-Yaa guys before we did the collaboration…in fact, we met at the studio. They were all great musicians in their own right, and what was surprising is that we clicked immediately on a musical level. Once the instruments were set up, we proceed to do a probably 30 minute jam, which I have to say was excellent. Sadly, the engineers thought we were just soundchecking. So we did another, for probably another 30 minutes straight. It was also really good, maybe not quite the same as the first attempt, but great nonetheless. However, as luck would have it, the producer had forgotten to hit “record”. The music on this soundtrack came from our 3rd attempt, which turned out ok, but sadly probably the least interesting of the three takes." - Bill Gould 2018
The Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E group leader Ted The Godfather Devoux, who sadly passed away on April 28th 2018 from an extended illness, said.
"Hopefully, this will open up more opportunities for groups like mine to tour with Metallica and Guns n' Roses. And it gives us a little edge on the rap scene. Our scene is, we always try to make our own music and then loop it." - Samoan Godfather 1993
The song Another Body Murdered was written by Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E. and FNM with Bill playing guitar, it was produced by both bands and Ghetto Guerillas. ABM was chosen as the second promotional single to be released from the soundtrack, and an accompanying video was filmed and directed by Marcus Raboy (FNM would also use him for their next video, Digging The grave).
Oral History of the ‘Judgment Night’ Soundtrack: 1993’s Rap-Rock Utopia
"I went to Samoa to record some singers, just on my own. And the thing about Samoa is that they do this a cappella music, they grow up with it, it’s beautiful. It’s like five-point harmony, incredible stuff. I just asked, “Can you get ahold of Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.? Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. are these Samoan guys, I bet they can sing like motherfuckers." - Bill
"The Samoan national anthem is actually really, really cool. So we worked up a version of the Samoan national anthem. I was like, “Yeah, let’s not do rock-rap, let’s do something else!” We worked the whole thing up and we played it for ’em and they just, like, laughed. They literally laughed in our faces." - Patton
“Eh … That’s lame [laughs]. Why don’t you just come over here and bring your instruments and let’s make some noise?” Boo-Yaa, they all play instruments, they’re all musicians, which I didn’t realize. The bass player was really good! Jim [Martin, Faith No More guitarist] wasn’t really interested in going. Our guitar player wasn’t there, and I just said, “Let me start playing guitar first since you play bass.” We went into this jam that lasted about a half an hour. It was insane. It was like we totally clicked. It was like the most incredible jam. And then the producer came out and said, “OK, you guys ready to record now?”
So we did it again. We did this jam, it was another half-hour’s worth. And it turns out he didn’t hit the record button. And then lunch came, and we got Thai food and everybody got really full [laughs] and then we went to do it again. And what actually made it on Judgment Night was from the third jam.
They all had guns on the mixing console. And the producer was trying to move the guns. The guy [Vincent] Rook [Devoux] in the band, he was about 6 foot 5, 6 foot 6. Probably about 380 pounds. And he had this gun that dwarfed his hand. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was this pistol, but it was so fuckin’ big. I don’t know what the fuck it was. And we were playing and he was, like, pointing it through the glass and stuff [laughs].
We hit it off so well [on] a musical level, like at the end of it, we were like really close friends. We were tight! I think that we talked about [touring together] and it didn’t work out." - Bill
"For as mean as they look, they were super sweet." - Patton