We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher J. Cozzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher J., what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks is always scary, especially when you’re starting out in a creative career with no real sense of stability. But if I didn’t take the risks that I did with a project like Cracka, I would not be where I am right now. It was real scary, because the whole crew was getting death threats and hate mail from white supremacists for a while after we released that first trailer, but I knew in my gut that it was better to stand for something controversial and provocative than say no to the project and not get the chance to use my voice to make a statement with the filmmakers.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve said for a long time that my aesthetic is essentially the musical mindset of black and death metal filtered through the lens of 20th century concert music. I also enjoy creating thick, dense atmospheres kinda like the musical version of the fog in the Silent Hill games. So you get this horrifying ebb and flow that’s violent and horrible on a cosmic scale, but then contrasted with pure, nightmarish texture and atmosphere. When I’m writing music where I get creative freedom, I’m essentially writing black metal from an aesthetic point of view, just without the band. Honestly, my career path has been full of both random coincidences and being prepared to be in the right place at the right time. So yeah, it’s luck. But it’s also being prepared for the luck. It’s not easy and it can be super frustrating between projects so you’ve gotta find ways to fill those financial gaps to pay rent and generally stay afloat. But once that luck does start to hit things kind of snowball, and I’m really grateful for that. The biggest challenge is not giving up and allowing slow periods to effect you. It’s not an easy career to build, but the best thing I’ve done when I have free time is writing music for me. Passion projects, really. I’ve had an album I’ve been trying to finish for three years, and I think I’m finally gonna be able to do that this year, so I’m glad I get to finally finish that. My biggest project right now is this show called Cracka. We released a trailer back in June of 2020 and had a short-lived streaming release in December, but we are set to officially premiere at the Pan African Film Festival, so that’s super exciting. I had to score the whole thing in three days and I’ve never been so happy with the result of a score before.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
You know, I really miss going out. Before COVID, we had so many fun places to go, but hopefully we’ll be able to do that again later this year or early next. BUT, if we weren’t in the pandemic, I’ve got a list. If I had a friend for a week right now, I’d definitely take them to the Museum of Death if they haven’t been. It’s kind of a tourist spot, but it’s always been a fascinating time when we go. Their exhibits are changed out pretty regularly and they’ve got artifacts there that you can’t see anywhere else. It’s definitely not for anyone with a weak stomach or no interest in the subject. There’s an amazing not-so-hidden hidden part of Point Dume state beach that we visit, too. On a slow day, it’s one of the most beautiful spots out here, you’re surrounded by cliffs and just the ocean right out in front of you. We’d grab some drinks at Sloane’s in Valley Village and just destroy plates upon plates of their specialty fries. There’s also an awesome little bar in the Valley called Scotland Yard. It’s this tiny pub next to a pizza place that’s always playing old school thrash or death metal. The last time we went, they were blasting Obituary and I knew we were in the right place. But I think the top tier meal would be at Stout Burger. That crew knows good beer and amazing food. They remind me a ton of Kuma’s Corner in Chicago back when they only had the one location. Amazing food, amazing drinks. Go. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Absolutely. First and foremost I wouldn’t be anywhere near to where I am today without the amazing people over at Columbia College Chicago’s Music Composition for the Screen program. They’ve all been a constant source of support and advice since I graduated. Andrew M. Edwards for being one of the best friends I would ask for, and being the level head that we all desperately need in our lives. My partner, Lindsey for dealing with all of the uncertainty and stress that comes with this job and being an absolute rock through all of the hardships we’ve had. And Joseph Bishara, because without having ever met, I would’ve never had the option to pursue the opportunities that I’ve had in my career.