Could you introduce yourself to the community? Most of us know you only by name "Sonic Mayhem".

Sure. My name is Sascha Dikiciyan. Born in Germany, I moved to LA 11 years ago to study music at MI and UCLA.

Sonic Mayhem was founded (with my now ex-partner, Dave) back in 1996, just after Quake I was released. Quake II was our first official gig. I work pretty much alone as of now but I have various musicians coming in depending on the project.
How have you managed to signup the contract with id to record music for Quake2 and later for Quake3? I mean, Quake1 soundtrack was made by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails who is a god for many people. You had a great opponent...

Well, right after Quake I came out, I released the first ever audio add-on called "Methods of Destruction". I sold it out of my apartment at the time and was quite a success. Id heard it and we were ask to submit a demo for Quake II. I guess it was just the right timming.
Did you have a free hand in recording soundtracks for both Quakes? Or did id Software tell you what they wanted and you had to listen to them?

Good question. In all before we signed onto Quake II we produced two very different demos. The original demo was more something out of a Terminator movie. More orchestral, ambient. Id liked it, but wanted something more in the vaine of 'Metallica'. More rock. At the end it was id's decision to go with the rock flavour. I think we did a good job and the production still holds its own place today, but I really wish id would've chosen to let us do a more industrial/orchestral score. I think it would've made the game more cinematic.
There's a difference between Q2 and Q3 music. Q2 OST is more like heavy metal, while in Q3 we hear a lot of computers and stuff... And your newest promo is all industrial.

Yes. QII was really a mix of rock/industrial/metal. But our strength was always in the more electronic genre. So we had a chance to create more interesting tracks. Since there wasn't really a story line, q3 needed music to just get you going for dm'ing. We've also released a Quake III Arena soundtrack. I'd say we had a lot more freedom on QIII then before.

Our newest promo is a mix of orchestral/industrial/electronica. That's what we do best. That's not say we can't do another styles as well.
Except Quake2 and Quake3 you have made the music to James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies. Which one was more entertaining to work with? Or maybe there are more games in which we can hear your music?

We've produced all the music for the Quake II and III mission packs. We also produced some music for shiny's Wild 9 psx game. All of the weapon sfx on the original Unreal Tournament was created by myself.

We've had a lot fun with the Bond stuff. It was just so cool to be able to use the classic melody and twist it, make new ones etc. I would love to do another Bond game for sure.
How much time does it take to produce a single track that satisfies you and a game authors?

That really depends. If I have enough time in the schedule, I'd say a good 5-6 days. I was just ask to submit a demo for the new Terminator game (we haven't signed anything yet) and we had one day to pull it off. That means a nice 12 hour day. ;)
Are you the only one person who makes Sonic Mayhem's music or there are more people behind it?

Originally I started the company with Dave Valencia. He wanted to do different things, so since 2000 I work pretty much by myself. Depending on the project I will bring in various other musicians.
Is music making your full-time job?

Yes. I do a lot of other stuff then game music. I also Dj a lot and I have my own sample cd line. You can check it out at
What are your favourite bands? What bands had (and have) an influence on your music?

New Order, NIN, Autechre, Aphex Twin, MM, Rob Zombie to name a few.
Do you play games for which you make music? What are your thoughts on Quake3?

Oh yes. I'm first and foremost a gamer. I started playing games back in 1982 on my VIC-20. I think it had 4 colors and something like 16k of RAM. When Quake I first came out we played it online for hours and hours. Something like 11pm 'til 6am almost everyday. It was a cool time. I still play Quake III to this day. Mostly Rocket Arena. Look for "Buzzfunk". ;)
What are your plans for the future? It is known that Doom3 OST will be made by Trent Reznor, but there is Quake4 coming... Are there any chances that we're going to hear your music in it?

Last I've heard Trent is not involved with Doom 3 anymore. I have no idea who's workin' on it. And yes, we will submit a demo for q4 when the time is right. We have a couple of projects in the works and I hate to not being able to share it but NDA's are no joke. ;) Keep an eye on our website for more news soon.
OK, thanks for the interview and good luck in the future. I must say that Quake2 OST is still one of the best cd's I have. :)

Thanks! We did put a lot of work and heart into it. Glad to see that people still to this day enjoy it.
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