At his Arcade Songs, independent publishing company and a label venture with RED/Sony, Gregg Wattenberg is known as the hitmaker behind tracks like Train's "Soul Sister", Phillip Phillips "Gone, Gone, Gone" and his roster of writers including Todd Clark and Derek Fuhrmann have recent hits with Kygo’s “Raging” and Shawn Hook’s “Sound of Your Heart,” a Dance Club Songs No. 1. But on the side, he’s quickly becoming a go-to for a different kind of hit -- bone-crushing themes for WWE wrestlers.
The partnership began with Wattenberg’s former Wind-Up label, which previously licensed many rock songs to WWE. Since 2012, Arcade Songs crew of writers, headed up by John Alicastro and Michael Lauri, writes much of the league’s music, as well as the theme for E!’s WWE reality series, Total Divas, which returns this fall. “We’re a well-oiled machine,” says Wattenberg, who, wrestling aside, is currently in the studio with Jason Mraz, Grace VanderWaal and Stanaj.
And though Wattenberg says his “two worlds” of music rarely cross, the formula for putting together the perfect wrestling theme can be just as scientific as crafting a pop hit. Below, Wattenberg breaks down how composers John Alicastro and Mike Lauri give wrestling music its muscle in four steps.