Get the inside scoop from the frequent Tim Burton collaborator

By Josh Glicksman
November 15, 2017 at 12:33 PM EST
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Legendary composer, singer, writer, and producer Danny Elfman has landed a lot of notable gigs throughout his illustrious career, ranging from frequent collaborations with Tim Burton to Silver Linings Playbook to Justice League. His most recognizable work likely comes from The Simpsons, as he is the writer of the show’s famous theme. Though it didn’t take him a long time to create, he understands the weight of its cemented legacy.

“I think it’s pretty clear to me at this point, even though it took exactly one day of my life to write and one day of my life to record that theme, that if I died right now, it would read: Here lies Danny Elfman. 1953-2017,” he says, half-jokingly. “He wrote The Simpsons theme. D’oh!”

After years of work with Burton, Elfman is now highlighting one film, in particular, to be played in concert, live-to-film: The Nightmare Before Christmas. And while the famed composer labels Burton’s 1989 effort, Batman, as “the most difficult and challenging experience” of his career, the score on the holiday classic took some serious effort as well.

“Neither Tim nor I had any idea how to start a musical. He’d been working on a script, but it wasn’t coming together right. He was like, ‘Let’s just start on the songs.’ Literally, he would come over to the house and he would show me pictures that he’d drawn,” explains Elfman. “He’d tell me a little bit of the story. I spent about three days on each song until suddenly, we had ten songs. We went to the studio and we spent one night and recorded all the voices for all the songs. Other than ‘Sally’s Song,’ I kind of did every voice.”

Watch the full clip above to hear more of Elfman’s work-by-work breakdown. The live-to-film concert for The Nightmare Before Christmas will be at the Barclays Center on Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 7, where Elfman will reprise his role as Jack Skellington. Tickets can be purchased at www.barclayscenter.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

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