The Neon Demon, directed by Drive filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, is one of the most controversial films of the year. An exploration of LA’s modelling industry starring Elle Fanning and Keanu Reeves, the horror movie follows the exploits of a young model preyed on by cannibalistic older models threatened by her newcomer status. It’s extremely violent, was booed and Cannes and got The Daily Mail all up in arms. Its soundtrack, switching between ambient numbers and banging rock songs, was recorded by Cliff Martinez, who was the original drummer in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He’s worked with Refn before, on Drive and Only God Forgives, so we chatted to Martinez about The Neon Demon, working with Skrillex – as he did on the 2012 film Spring Breakers – and why doesn’t miss the Chili Peppers.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The composer (and once Red Hot Chili Pepper) who has made multiple films with Nicholas Winding Refn and Steven Soderbergh, as well as such diverse projects as Spring Breakers, The Normal Heart, and Pee Wee’s Playhouse chats with David Poland.
The longtime movie maestro’s third collaboration with the director Nicolas Winding Refn opens Friday.
An important ingredient in my artistic upbringing is punk rock. Shortly after moving to L.A., I was rehearsing in South Central L.A. with a top-40 band that was doing George Benson cover songs. In an adjacent room, I heard an offensive racket that turned out to be L.A.’s first (or second) punk rock band, The Screamers. At first I was repulsed. My next response was, “This is interesting,” and by the end of the song, I was hooked. Shortly thereafter I joined The Weirdos. We played at the Whisky A Go Go and when I saw three people do swan dives off the balcony, I thought to myself, “That beats applause any day.”
This is an exclusive interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Cliff Martinez. Cliff is best known as a former drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He’s also played with The Dickies, Lydia Lunch, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, and has composed the scores for numerous award-winning films. During the show he discussed his time with RHCP, composing music for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and the influence Captain Beefheart had on his life – See more at: http://thefivecount.com/interviews/an-evening-with-the-red-hot-chili-peppers-cliff-martinez/#sthash.CirHLYQf.dpuf
To hear the entire show visit The Five Count.
Cliff Martinez is probably most known through his collaboration with filmmakers Steven Soderbergh and Nicolas Refn. The composer of Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Drive, Solaris, and Only God Forgives, Martinez has had the chance to set the mood for some of the best movies of the last few decades. In fact, a cursory glance through Martinez’s filmography will reveal a nearly flawless tract record. It isn’t just through his composing, however, that Martinez has received recognition. Beginning his musical career in the late 70s/early 80s punk scene, Martinez has had a career as diverse as they come; including putting in time with bands like the Dickies, Captain Beefheart, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, which awarded him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Following the release of his latest work, the score for the HBO film Normal Heart, we caught up with Cliff to ask him about his transition from an LA punk to Grammy-nominated film composer. – Joseph Yanick, Jul 15 2014
Read the full interview at NOISY, Music by Vice
Meet the man who links Captain Beefheart, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pee-Wee Herman, Only God Forgives and the films of Steven Soderbergh.
Cliff Martinez is a movie composer with a difference. He is self-taught and comes from a rock background (he played drums for both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Captain Beefheart). Since his first feature film score, for Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies and videotape in 1989, he has written music around 30 features, including several collaborations with Soderbergh (most recently 2011’s Contagion).
Alongside his Hollywood credits – Traffic, The Lincoln Lawyer, Arbitrage, Spring Breakers – Martinez has also worked with European directors. He was one of the guests at the recent Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival where he spoke in detail about his work with Nicolas Winding Refn and reflected on a career which has taken him from the Los Angeles punk scene of the late 1970s to composing for films of every shape and size. He is currently working on Fred Cavayé’s new action-thriller Mea Culpa. – Geoffrey Macnab
Read the full interview at BFI Film Forever
With Only God Forgives about to hit DVD, composer, former Chili Pepper and Captain Beefheart collaborator Cliff Martinez looks back on more than twenty years of soundtrack composition. It was his minimalist electronic score for Nicolas Winding-Refn’s Drive which brought Martinez to widespread recognition – his pulsing, understated compositions were absolutely vital to the film’s slick appeal, and with a deluxe vinyl edition released in the UK by Geoff Barrow’s Invada imprint, suddenly Martinez’s name was on the lips of every hipster and film fanatic … – by Bram E. Gieben
Continue reading at THE SKINNY
The art of film music made a quantum jump when composer Cliff Martinez made his big-screen scoring debut with the pulsing rhythms and otherworldly tones of Steven Soderbergh’s 1989 Sex, Lies And Videotape. Martinez, who’d previously served as a drummer with rock and punk bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers; The Weirdos; and Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, brought a pleasingly strange new tonality to his soon-to-be heavily influential scores, often derived from a plethora of exotic percussion instruments such as giant steel drums and Indonesian gamelans. His artfully minimal aesthetic of simple, haunting melodies and subtly dense harmonic textures has graced a legion of other high-profile Hollywood films, including Soderbergh’s Traffic, Wonderland, Solaris, and Contagion, and recent releases including Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, scored in collaboration with Skrillex. – by John Payne
Read the full interview at DRUM!
REDDIT: Is it true that Beefheart pushed a guy down the stairs after he didn’t understand how to ”play a strawberry” on the drums?
CLIFF: The stairs story appears in Drumbo’s book but I don’t recall the line about “play a strawberry”. That’s very Beefheart though. I was asked to play “giant blue babies levitating over the mountain….you know, like Fred Asparagus dangling through the teacup”. I must have played it correctly because he didn’t throw me down the stairs.
Read the entire interview at Interviewly
The 27th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2012
On April 14, 2012 Cliff Martinez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Cliff joins the band on stage at 3:30 for Give it Away with Jack Irons and at 8:25 for Higher Ground with Billie Joe Armstrong, Ron Wood, Slash, George Clinton and Dr. Funkenstein.
2012 Hall of Fame inductees the Red Hot Chili Peppers chat backstage, reflecting on sharing the moment with Jack Irons and Cliff Martinez, seeing the Small Faces, the Roots tribute to the Beastie Boys, figuring out how to get better, the youngest inductee ever into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and why the Hall of Fame is cool.