Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman LSQ

“When I used to be in Oingo Boingo, I was constantly battling these impulses to go in opposite directions,” says film composer Danny Elfman of his earlier career. “First, I was in weird musical cabaret theater for eight years and suddenly I hear ska music out of England and I say, I want to be in a band. Every two years I wanted to be in a different band, but you can’t do that when you’re in a band. And then suddenly I become a film composer out of the blue, and I realized these competing influences worked in my favor, rather than torturing me. Because you can go from one extreme to the other. You can go from really intense grinding music to something very small and minimal and touching to something very lush and romantic to something completely absurd and ridiculous. And that appealed to me, both sides of me settled down because they each got their turn.” Hear Elfman discuss the film scores that fascinated him as a child, how Tim Burton and Pee Wee Herman got him into doing movie music, what it was like working with Elliott Smith on the score and soundtrack for Good Will Hunting, the inspiration behind Big Mess – his first solo album in 37 years – and why he relates so strongly to his famous Jack Skellington character in The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Elfman reprises his role as Skellington for a live performance of Nightmare in Los Angeles on October 29th.)

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