Wal-Mart ad sets former rock star on new path
alexandra martineau/for metro vancouver
At first glance, an office with a secretary and a front desk seems an unlikely place for a former Canadian rock star.
But it’s where you’ll find Joey Serlin.
Since calling it quits with his once-successful band The Watchmen, guitarist Serlin has traded in the stage for a job composing music for film and television in Vapor Music Group’s offices.
It was an unexpected contract to write music for a Wal-Mart commercial that landed him there.
“A friend of mine at an agency asked me to write just for the hell of it,” he said.
The composition was very well received in the industry and Serlin started accumulating contracts. One of these was to write music for the original CSI series.
“I started a smaller company and it grew until I was approached by a few companies to join them,” he said.
Serlin doesn’t regret taking the job at Vapor Music last May.
“I came to (Vapor Music) and man, I just love the environment. And I like the work a lot,” he said.
Even if that means being called a “sell-out.”
“If it affords me to get to do what I love everyday and to take care of my family, then I’ll do it … Let’s face it, I mean, big corporations — as evil as they are — have the budget to let you do the best work,” he said.
Coming up with music for a commercial or to go along with the action in a movie is a changing process.
For some projects, Serlin will be given a direction. But other times, he is given total freedom.
“Occasionally, you’ll get to work on a spot or a short film and use your own instincts,” he said.
Despite having a job that he loves, Serlin admits he still misses his rock star days.
“I miss playing live … There’s something that you get live. It’s that connection with the crowd,” he said.
Serlin doesn’t exclude the possibility of someday recording another album. But touring again is out of the question, he said.
“There’s a lot of great things about touring but I was pretty burned out on it. … I have two kids now and I couldn’t imagine not being with them.”
Besides, Serlin has too many composing projects and dreams to go anywhere.
“There are certain directors that I’d love to work with. … I’m a super hero freak, so I’d love to work for Bryan Singer and write music for him.”