LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy on Scoring His First Soundtrack for “Greenberg”

March 19th, 2010 by Jennifer Vineyard Leave a reply »

Photo: Wilson/Webb (Greenberg), Horowitz/WireImage(Murphy)

In Noah Baumbach’s new film Greenberg, Ben Stiller plays a curmudgeon who’s more likely to push people away than attract them. And that’s precisely why LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, who wrote the soundtrack, likes the character so much. “I’m Greenberg-esque,” Murphy says proudly.

In fact, Murphy’s music was a chief inspiration for the movie: Baumbach was obsessed with LCD Soundsystem’s sarcastic ballad “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” while writing the script of a sad-sack Manhattanite living in L.A. So when it came time to approach someone to craft the soundtrack, Baumbach immediately thought of Murphy. “It’s not like it was a stretch, like what would I do if I were a serial killer?” says Murphy about relating to the movie’s plot. “It was more like, what would I do if I were a 40-year-old grumpy dude out of place in Los Angeles? It was real method for me, but I can get into that.”

Murphy has never scored a film before but he agreed to the project so he could take a break from working on LCD’s next album, due out this May. “When given the opportunity to fail myself or fail someone else, I choose to fail myself,” he jokes. When it came time to write, Murphy deliberately chose to move away from typical soundtrack cliches — “[Soundtracks] are just these tones… and sounds all over the place,” he says — and would check in with Baumbach regularly while the director was still editing the movie. “We’d sit and talk, we’d have tea, I’d pet his dog, and we’d look at [scenes],” Murphy says. “It literally could have been two roommates who were making a movie for $15,000.”

The resulting Greenberg soundtrack sounds nothing like LCD Soundsystem: Seventies-style California po...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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