Lindsey Best The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off yesterday…
- Posted on May 19th 2011 2:00PM by James Sullivan
Simone Joyner, Getty Images
"Portland found me, really," he tells Spinner over the phone from England. "I've been away a while now and I miss it."
Marr, who has kept up a steady stream of projects since the brief, wondrous life of the Smiths, indulged his craving for the States with his recent work on the soundtrack to 'The Big Bang.' The film, out on DVD May 24, is a noirish crime tale starring Antonio Banderas and features a cameo from Snoop Dogg.
The first half of the movie is set in L.A. with scenes in the Roosevelt Hotel, the classic Hollywood Boulevard high-rise said to be haunted by the ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. (Marr, coincidentally, had just been spending time at the hotel when director Tony Krantz approached him about the soundtrack.) The second half follows Banderas' detective into the New Mexico desert.
Marr says Krantz asked him to contribute based on his affection for the guitarist's 2003 solo album with his band the Healers. "He was using terminology not normally associated with me -- things like 'trippy,' 'heavy,' 'psychedelic,' 'expansive,'" Marr says. "Those are not words usually associated with the work I did in the Smiths or Electronic."
Marr recently worked on the soundtrack to 'Inception' with composer Hans Zimmer and also wrote the theme song to 'The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,' David Cross's IFC sitcom. He seems poised to follow contemporaries such as Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood ('There Will Be Blood') into film scoring.
Still, he won't let himself be influenced by other scores. "I really tried not to think about anything done by Ry Cooder or Brian Eno or Ennio Morricone," he says. "I tried to stay true to the script, to write something entirely from my own heart."
The difference between writing rock music for a band and writing instrumental music for a movie is apparent, he claims. With a film score, "I know straightaway when something isn't working. In the case of rock music, you have to wait for the audience to give you that feedback."
Marr is eager to do more film work, but he doesn't want to retire from rock 'n' roll to get it. "Touring and traveling just energizes me," he says. "I spent a long period away from it in my 30s. I built a couple of recording studios and lived in them, essentially. That was an interesting experience, but that's done now, ticked off the list."