I think we can all agree that the Donnie Darko original soundtrack and musical score is a work of genius. So who was/is the mastermind behind it all? That’ll be Michael Andrews, one of the best film composers on the planet.
Best known for his cover of Tears for Fears’ ‘Mad World’ with Gary Jules (remember him?), Andrews sat down with us to talk “˜80s pop, crazy artist clichÃ©s and his excellent solo record, Spilling a Rainbow.
Grolsch Film Works: I hear you’re a new dad? Congratulations!!”¨
Michael Andrews: Relatively new. Thanks.
So there’s a reissue of the Donnie Darko soundtrack coming out. How involved were you with that?”¨
I was involved in the remastering, approving sound quality and so on. We wanted it to represent the original sound of the score, and I was involved in making sure that happened. Also I wanted to make sure it felt good in people’s hands, so we wrapped it in some shiny stuff.
Are there any additional tracks or is it just a straightforward remastered version? “¨
There are no additional tracks. It’s the original format – no reason to mess with a good thing, for that you can watch the Donnie Darko director’s cut…
Absolutely. So are you a big fan of that brand of ’80s pop? And who are your favourites from that era? “¨
Well, that era was really when I was just a boy and music came into my life and took over. Without knowing it, bands like Tears For Fears, Gary Newman, Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes… As time went on of course I dug deeper, beyond the obvious pop stars.
What’s Gary Jules up to these days? Have you heard from him?”¨
He lives in Asheville and he just had a daughter this year. We have recorded a record but I don’t know when or where it will come out yet.
I heard that Kevin Shields recorded the music for Lost in Translation at 3am in the morning to help bring a dreamy atmosphere to the film. Do you have any crazy ways of getting into the zone when composing/recording?
I don’t really conform to the crazy artist clichÃ©, I just make music all day every day.
One of my favourite scores of yours is for Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know. Did she give you a clear idea about what she wanted for that? Any bands for reference points, etc.?”¨
She wanted it to sound naive. She has her own cryptic understanding of music so it was more of a sound hunt than a conversation about other people’s music.
Do you ever have other film scores in mind when writing?”¨
Hmm, not really…
What about composers, who tends to inspire you the most? “¨
I enjoy Lalo Schifrin, Michel Legrand, Jerry Goldsmith, Francis Lai, Isao Tomita… Old guys.
If you could work with any filmmaker out there at the moment, who would it be?”¨
Anyone, really. People who want to work with me… the great filmmaker who has never made a film.
Out of the films you’ve worked on, what’s your favourite to watch?”¨
That’s not a fair question! Honestly, I don’t watch my own stuff after it’s finished ““ barely at all.
Tell us what you’re working on at the moment.
Just getting my records out. My solo record, ‘Spilling a Rainbow’, comes out the same day as the Donnie Darko vinyl. The next movie I’m working on will begin in September and it will be a cop flick.
Michael Andrews’ ‘Spilling a Rainbow’ is released August 14th on Everloving Records. You can listen to it here.
By Oliver Lunn for Grolsch Film Works
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