Which musicians should score films?

22:16, Jan 28 2014

The other day I watched The Place Beyond The Pines and I really enjoyed it (you can click that link to read my review). It was one of the films of 2013 that I really wanted to see - but as the parent of a toddler I don't get to the movies all that often. I waited for the DVD and I liked it, I'd recommend it - even though it's quite an intense film and it's long.

I wanted to like it for a few reasons, I'd enjoyed the previous film by the director, I like Ryan Gosling and it had a good cast - but the real reason I wanted to see it was because the film's soundtrack is by Mike Patton. I started listening to clips of the film's music before I saw the images to go with it. I can't tell you I'm a fan of every single thing Mike Patton has done - it's hard to keep up, at any rate. But I'm certainly interested in what he does and where he goes musically, most of the time.

He's done some soundtrack work before - but this was a major step up I thought. And it really was a huge contribution to the film, the music certainly significant, adding weight to emotional scenes, almost another character within the film.

I certainly hope Patton continues with some soundtrack work - a logical move being for him to score horrors. Let's hope that happens.

There are plenty of popular music acts that have made movie scores, big names like Prince and indie acts that have dedicated almost as much of their time to film scores as they have regular album releases, such as Tindersticks.

There are plenty of people who should be working in film scoring - their albums playing out as if the soundtrack to a film that doesn't yet exist. And there are people working in music whose mind, you just have to figure, would be well suited to this style of work.

Neil Young made the score to Dead Man, Arcade Fire has scored an upcoming film, likely to be one of the hits of 2014.


My question for you today is what musician, or what group, that to your knowledge has not scored a film, would you like to see making movie soundtracks? And why?

One of my favourite movie composers is Cliff Martinez - his work even saves the day sometimes, or comes close to it. I only wanted to watch Only God Forgives because of the music (it turned out to be an example of when Ryan Gosling cannot save the day by the way). Awful, nasty, terrible film. But I liked Martinez' music still. Martinez is a former member of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. That's him on the band's first two records. He also played with Captain Beefheart and Lydia Lunch.

I'm using him as an example - now best known for his film scoring work - to show you that if you wanted to name the drummer of a terrible band as your likely candidate than there is some precedent.

Much as I like a lot of the music by Nine Inch Nails my favourite piece of work from Trent Reznor is his score for The Social Network. And though it's good news for fans that he's touring New Zealand this year, that there's a more than okay new NIN album, I'd really prefer him to continue on in the field of film soundtrack composition. I believe that's his strength. (I know he's done more than just the Social Network score, but I'm not sure he needed to make further NIN albums).

But what about the people who seem like they'd make a great score but to your knowledge haven't (yet) quite made that leap. Who is your pick for popular musical act to cross to the world of movie scoring?

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