Interview with Hollywood film and television score composer Andy Grush

Ella Adamec, Photography Editor

Andy Grush worked with Potomac sophomore Pippa Westland, both virtually and in the recording studio, as her singing is featured in the intro to Netflix’s The Haunting season two. Recently, Current writer Ella Adamec interviewed Mr. Grush over Zoom to learn more about his career. From composing the soundtrack behind The Haunting of Bly Manor to working on the music of several documentaries, Mr. Grush has is making his mark in the film and music industry.  

Ella Adamec: How long have you been working on film score composing?

Andy Grush: I’ve been doing it as a living since 2000. The first projects I ever worked on were student films, but now I mainly work for TV and film and occasionally some commercials. 

EA: When did you first become interested in film?

AG: When I was seven years old. My favorite movies were Star Wars and Raiders of Lost Ark. From there, I fell in love with the world of film and TV and I was fascinated with the stories films tell and the places they take you. Even if the stories weren’t true, they gave me perspective on the things everyone encounters in life. It brings people together to share the connection of feelings and thoughts we encounter. 

EA: Was there a certain point in your life when you realized you wanted to work in the music industry and/or become a film score composer?

AG: There was a specific moment for me after seeing Star Wars that got me into film. My uncle was a very talented pianist and one day he came over to play me the Star Wars main title theme because he knew how much I loved the movies. As soon as he started playing, I was blown away and all I could think of was “that would be incredible to do.”

EA: Talk about your first experience as a professional film score composer.

AG: The first film I ever worked on was You’ll Never Wheeze on Me Again by Polly Shores, which I shot and edited with a friend. It was a good introduction into what is involved in writing music for film.

EA: Do you have a favorite piece of music you’ve composed?

AG: Definitely all the pieces I’ve written and worked on for the Haunting series. I’m very proud of melodies, specifically. Once I wrote an actual song for the last movie in The Grudge series with a band named Dead Sara. What I love about the song is that it’s very aggressive, but it fits in well with the story and it has a lot of purpose. 

EA: Who is or who are the most interesting music industry person or people you’ve worked with?

AG: Working with Danny Elfman, a film score composer who worked on Edward Scissorhands, was a really cool experience. He’s been an idol of mine and my brother’s for years. I also got the chance to briefly meet Jennifer Aniston while working on a score for a film she was in. 

EA: Do you have any advice for students studying film who want to be film score composers or work in the music industry when they’re older?

AG: The music industry is a very tricky industry. The best advice I can give is “you’re gonna be your best proponent of moving forward, so whatever it is you want to do, just go for it.” No one will ever walk up to you and present the opportunity for you, you have to go for it yourself. The process will make you doubt yourself a lot and you’ll question whether or not this is really what you want to do but it’s important to keep moving forward if it’s what you love and what you’re passionate about. My uncle used to tell me that “80% of the game is just showing up,” and I think that’s really important if you’re planning on making a living in the music industry.