Danny Elfman

23rd August 2022

Danny Elfman has made some of the most iconic, recognizable music over the last half a century. He fronted Oingo Boingo in the early 80s. He scored his first film in 1985: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, followed soon by other iconic movies like Batman, Beetlejuice, and Mission Impossible. Last year, he released his first rock album in over 3 decades: Big Mess. And this year, he’s followed it up with another album: Bigger, Messier. The album features remixes of songs from Big Mess from artists like Trent Reznor, Xiu Xiu, and Iggy Pop. He talks with our correspondent Brian Heater about all that and more. Also, crustaceans.

Episode notes

(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella)

Danny Elfman is an award-winning composer that has made some of the most iconic, recognizable music over the last half a century. He made a triumphant return to live music at Coachella this year, playing for the first time in 30 years. 

Danny began his career as the bandleader of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, an avant-garde performance troupe in Los Angeles. The Mystic Knights turned into just Oingo Boingo – a new wave band that was as distinctive and unusual as it was popular.

In 1985, he scored his first film: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, followed soon by other iconic movies like Batman, Beetlejuice, Mission Impossible, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Overall, Danny has scored well over 100 movies and TV shows, won numerous awards, and is beloved by music and film fans across the globe. 

After building such a legacy, he’s earned a break. Danny could rest comfortably and take it easy for a minute. But Danny Elfman isn’t into taking it easy.

Last year, he released his first rock album in over 3 decades: Big Mess. And this year, he’s followed it up with another album: Bigger, Messier. The album features remixes of songs from Big Mess from artists like Trent Reznor, Xiu Xiu, and Iggy Pop. 

And about that Coachella set? If you missed it, you’ll have two more chances to see it live. He’s performing an extended version of that set this October 28th and 29th at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Conducting the interview with Elfman is our correspondent Brian Heater, an editor at TechCrunch and host of the podcast Recommended if You Like – or just RiYL, where he interviews musicians, cartoonists and more.

 

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