It seems that we're not the only ones who thoroughly enjoyed the Borderlands score, as the guys at Original Sound Version have chatted up Gearbox audio lead Raison Varner about the "impressive" soundtrack he helped contribute to.
OSV: I admit I wasn't too familiar with your work before hearing the Borderlands soundtrack, but I was very impressed with (Fighting Off the Skags) and (Traversing the Deep.) The sense of atmosphere you generated and some of the ethnic instruments you used reminded me of Matt Uelmen's work on the Diablo series. Is this kind of music your specialty, or was it a bit of an experiment for you?
Varner: I consider Borderlands soundtrack my first commercial release and while I've been writing music for many years, this is the highest profile game that I've had a chance to contribute music to.
I absolutely love Uelman's work in Diablo and while I never directly referenced that game's score, I'm honored to be mentioned in the same question!
My music background is pretty broad. I've focused on film style writing for a long time but I've also had plenty of experience in rock bands, prog rock bands, dance music and various hybrids between those styles and (ethnic) or (world) influences. That was my favorite aspect of writing for Borderlands, that I was able to combine electronic music production with traditional film and world elements.
Ed Lima deserves credit for initially establishing this (world) style before I started on the project. I shifted it to a more abrasive, dark and aggressive tonality as the project changed but the original direction was because of Ed's hard work.
(Fighting Off the Skags) was the first piece of music that I wrote for Borderlands and we had a running (Moooo) joke with many team members all throughout development because of the Mongolian throat singing. I thought that was hilarious and would moo at the audio programmer whenever I walked by his office. lol.