He has played the drums on albums by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Captain Beefheart. He once drummed for 72 hours without stopping. He has worked on almost a dozen Steven Soderbergh films. Cliff Martinez is… the most interesting film composer in the world.
No, seriously. You can keep your Howard Shores and your Hans Zimmers. We bet they would have given Nicolas Winding Refn's “Drive” a thudding, portentous action-movie soundtrack; it took Martinez to see that what it somehow needed was a sickly sheen of 80s electronica, both in new pieces written by him and provided the likes of Chromatics, Kavinsky, Desire and more. It was a decision brilliant enough to get him a gig on Refn's “Only God
Forgives,” which Martinez added his own throbbing score alongside selections of Thai pop.
Now Martinez has opened up about his next project, the score for a French action movie—described as “Die Hard” meets “Taken,” which is French for “action movie”—called “Mea Culpa.” Vincent Lindon, Gilles Lellouche and Nadine Labaki star in the film from Fred Cavaye (last years cult fave "Point Blank") in the tale about a pair of cops who are sent into a spiral after an accident. So what kind of music will be approate? "It's gonna be comedy music over the most violent things you've ever seen," Martinez tod Hitfix. "Lots of marimba, tuba and xylophone."
But really, with a guy like Martinez, how can we be so sure he's joking? While you wait to find out, go see “Only God Forgives,” and even if you don't like the movie, we're sure you'll dig the soundtrack.