Composers Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion on Young Justice Season 3

Last month, I interviewed the Emmy winning Dynamic Music Partners (Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion) for my Above and Batman Beyond podcast. Young Justice Season 3 was our main topic of conversation, and, we also touched on Batman Beyond (’99-’01) since our musical guests scored both animated series. I followed the interview with a piece right here at C506, specifically covering what Kristopher Carter had to say about YJ Season 3, a.k.a., Outsiders. Today, I wanted to write about what our other two Music Parters said during the pod.

The Dynamic Music Partners. From left to right: Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion

The second half of YJ Outsider eps begin dropping this summer, exclusively on the DC Universe streaming app.

As someone who has done a fair amount of interviews, I always strive to find that one question an interviewee has yet to be asked. On the new Outsiders season, here’s one the DMP apparently never heard before:

This is going to sound oversimplified, but what do you do to capture the idea of ‘young?’ Do you do that, or is it just the covert ops thing you guys just talked about? Do you consciously go, ‘Does this sound young as I’m writing?’

Lolita Ritmanis: Wow, that’s a cool question. I haven’t heard that one. I don’t know if we specifically think, ‘Oh does this sound young?’ I think, it’s more about getting into the psyche of somebody who is younger, and what that younger hero would be feeling or thinking; and, having the music help emphasize that. Rather than, something kind of external that is laid on top of what they’re already feeling. That sounds high brow and complicated, but I think it plays more to the essence of who these characters are.

Playing their emotions and what they’re going through, playing them as real as they can possibly be. And, trying to get into their brain space, of where they’re at.

Young Justice Season 3 Poster

BD:  I love it. So, the subtitle, Outsiders, of this newest season. And, I do love that each season has its own, as we established, a season arc, which makes each season have its own thematic identity; so they give it this title. Great stuff. So, this season, the subtitle, Outsiders, there are new, weirder characters than normal, everything changing in the YJ universe. Has there been intention to make the music weirder than normal, like offbeat, to match that feeling of change and this weirder outsider cast?

Michael McCuistion: Gosh, I don’t think that there’s been intention to make it weirder just for weirder’s sake. I think that, if anything, the music is just following along with the story. I mean, there’s some pretty intense subject matter in this season. You’ve got the whole trafficking thing going on, you’ve got the deception going on. There’s so many angles and subplots, and there’s some political overtones, and there are all these different perspectives in this season that are all jumbling in to make this really interesting story soup.

And, I think the music is just addressing that. And, when you have so many different motivations and different angles, and all that stuff happening at once, it creates an opportunity for music to be a little more unusual, and come at it from a more unusual angle, and a more unusual place.

Again, stay tuned here at C506 for more from this podcast interview with the Dynamic Music Partners. More fascinating musical insight to come from Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and even more from Carter as well!

The second half of Young Justice: Outsiders drops this summer, only on the DC Universe app. Sign up for YJ, Batman Beyond, BTAS, and endless DC Animation, much of which features the composers we spoke with today.

Today’s interview and all episodes of Above and Batman Beyond are available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and SUBSCRIBE!! 

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