Aaron Abrams talks about his role in NBC’s “Hannibal”

Aaron Abrams is co-starring as Brian Zeller in NBC’s “Hannibal.” He has appeared in various other TV shows including “NCIS: Los Angeles”, “Rookie Blue” and “Stargate: Atlantis.” He also wrote and co-executive produced “The L.A. Complex” for The CW. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Aaron about this new show and what we can expect from his character.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character Brian Zeller in “Hannibal”?
Aaron Abrams: Zeller is an FBI agent who works with a team to catch serial killers. He’s a bit of a medical genius, that’s his specialty, so its fun because I get to dig around in dead bodies and perform autopsies. It’s also cool because I think on most shows this kind of character can be dorky but that’s not the case here, I wear a leather jacket and pull a gun and stuff. Zeller may use a lot of big words, but he’s a dude.

MG: In order to get in the zone for the show; did you revisit films like “Red Dragon” etc?
AA: I re-read all the books and watched the films again. I own a DVD of “Manhunter”, I was kinda obsessed with it as a kid, so I knew it by heart anyway. It was the first scary movie I ever saw that wasn’t like a monster killing naked teenagers or something. It was creepy and terrifying, you know, like “Silence of the Lambs” was too. Zeller pops up in “Manhunter”, he’s played by Chris Elliott of all people. So, I’m hoping to resurrect all of his roles one by one. Next, I’m going to try to star in a re-launching of “Cabin Boy”.

MG: How is it working along side Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne?
AA: It’s super great. My character is pretty cocky so I get to mix it up with Hugh and Laurence a bit. I’ve often got ideas about the cases that aren’t necessarily shared by the rest of the crew. And often I’m quite belligerent about that. Thank goodness I don’t have a ton of scenes with Mads, I’m sure Hannibal would take great issue with me. And by “issue,” I mean “eat my face.”

MG: What is the vibe on the set?
AA: Well it’s a really dark show and my scenes can be particularly gruesome. So that’s sort of always lingering. But at the same time, Scott Thompson is there and he’s kind of an unstoppable tornado of hilarious. Hetty Park is too. Hugh is also a really funny guy. So there’s a lot lightening up the darkness around us.

MG:  I am a big fan of “Pushing Daisies”, did you get to hang with Bryan Fuller at all?
AA: Bryan is a great, great guy. He’s not just a showrunner, but a visionary. Like “Pushing Daisies” or “Wonderfalls” or any of his other work, he’s creating a whole world. People talk a certain way, there’s a very specific tone to everything, his use of color. He’s amazing to work with because not just because he makes super cool TV, but because he creates such a wonderful world to play in. Also, he’s always very well dressed. Which is nice.

MG:  How does working on this show compare from your other TV work?
AA: Well the simple answer I guess is that its very different because the show is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen on TV. There’s also a feeling on set that’s different, like everyone knows this is different then other FBI shows, or other serial killer shows, or really anything…so there’s this sense on set that you’re doing something very cool. As far as my character, I’ve played a lot of different kinds of belligerent douches. “LA Complex” was a Hollywood douche, Rookie Blue was a tough guy douche, “NCIS” was a nerd-douche. “Stargate Atlantis”…Alien douche. But Zeller is by far the smartest of them all. I’d even say that he’s so smart that he ceases to be a douche at all. He’s just a smart dude with strong opinions. But I dunno. I guess we’ll have our answer if I piss off Hannibal and he eats my face off.

 

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7 Horns 7 Eyes’s Aaron Smith talks about New Album

Aaron Smith is the guitarist for the progressive metal band 7 Horns 7 Eyes. The group’s latest album titled “Throes of Absolution” recently released via Century Media Records at the end of April. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Aaron recently about the band and their new album.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Aaron Smith: We started around 2006. 7 Horns 7 Eyes is sort of the evolution of a rock band I was in high school. Around senior year some friends and I really started to get into metal music. We started writing heavier music and the band was born out of that. We put out a self released EP that is still available on the internet. If you have heard it you can tell it sounds quite different than how the band sounds now. We have grown older and are musical tastes have shifted some.  In 2009 we got a new drummer and guitar player and that’s when I would say the sound of the current band started.

AL: What can we expect from the band’s new album?
 AS: I think a lot of our influences shine through on this recording. You can hear some poly rhythmic stuff on there as we are big fans of Meshuggah. We tried not to rip them off though. There is a lot of ambience and textures. We wanted to make the atmosphere bigger than just guitars, drums, bass and vocals. We really wanted to have a more epic feeling. There is quite a bit of technical guitar playing on the album but, we try to keep it tasteful. I don’t feel music has to be technical all the time just to catch someone’s attention.

AL: Did you guys shoot any videos for the album?
AS: We are cooking up something right now. There hasn’t been any official releases as of yet. There are a few samplers out there that show our album art work while walking you through 30 second clips of the album. There is also some older footage out there of us playing the Key Club in Los Angeles.

AL: What do you think makes 7 Horns & Eyes stand out amongst other bands in the same genre?
AS: I do a majority of the song writing so I can kind of speak from that point of view. When I write I try to not use something that sounds like something else I may have heard. There are a lot of bands I love that inspire me to right but at the same time it doesn’t make me want to emulate them in every way possible. When we are putting songs together there is a strong focus on taking our influences and taking our time to create a fresh spin. What I find the most exciting is when I record something new that I have never heard before. In my mind I think is what makes us unique.

AL: What are the bands tour plans for the release?
AS: The first tour up is with our label mates Stealing Axion. We will be out with them for around 3 weeks. The tour is mainly going to focus on the western part of the States. The tour is called “The Dual Destruction Tour”. It will be mainly to promote our album and Stealing Axion’s digital track that they are releasing. The tour is being sponsored by Guitar World which is pretty cool. That will be sort of our first tour experience in support of the album. There is another tour coming up in Mid-July but it has not been announced yet.

Interview with Aaron Zigman

Aaron Zigman is the composer of two films this year that cannot be any different, “The Company Men” and “For Colored Girls”.  Both of the scores really play a major part in the films.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Aaron about his latest films and what is upcoming.

Michael Gencarelli: Do you have a specific type of music that influences your sound?
Aaron Zigman: I am driven by my original influences which are classical and jazz. However I spent a lot of years working on records in pop culture so actually it’s kind of a fusion of those three areas.

MG: Tell us about how you became involved with “The Company Men”?
AZ: John Wells was I guess interested in me so I went down and viewed the movie. I really fell in love with it and after a little work he got me on the gig.

MG: [SPOILER ALERT for “The Company Men”] Do you have a favorite track on that project?
AZ: For “Company Men” I really enjoyed the scene where Chris Cooper’s character dies. Originally that scene was somewhat longer but the final version was cut down. I also enjoyed the boardroom meeting scene.

MG: What is the first thing you do when you start working on a film?
AZ: I look for things like what does the movie say to me and how does it make me feel. I usually will read the scripts and research different areas. For instance when I scored “The Notebook”, I actually traveled to where the film was going to be shot and saw all these really great landscapes. I had about 30 percent of that score written before the film was even done. “The Company Men” had a really short schedule, so I had to move somewhat quicker. I felt that movie told me to stay more back and out of the way. For “Colored Girls”, I wrote some music prior to the start of filming and some during the production process. I wrote that score entirely from scratch. I had asked that no temporary score be put to that film as I really wanted to come up with original music for that film.

MG: How did you get involved with working with Tyler Perry on his films?
AZ: He had contacted me after really enjoying the score to “The Notebook.” He was working originally on a period piece which still has yet to be made and he wanted me to score that. I attended a table reading for “Why Did I Get Married” and fell in love with the script. Tyler then asked f I would be interested in doing that film first before starting the one he had originally contacted me about.

MG: What has been your most challenging score to date?
AZ: I think there have been a few actually. “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” was a challenge because I worked on that with another composer who was in London while I was in the U.S. I had to take some of his themes and some of my themes and combine them. I had to write about 70 minutes of music in three weeks for that film.

MG: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
AZ: I just finished a comedy with Anna Farris called “What’s Your Number.” I am working with Tyler again on his next film called “Madea’s Happy Family” which starts next month. I have a few other films that I am up for right now that I am pretty excited for as well.