Claudio Simonetti, longtime film composer and former member of the band Goblin, told Movies that his next project is Dario Argento’s adaptation of the Bram Stoker vampire classic Dracula. Simonetti, who on Saturday and Sunday joined members of the cast and crew of the 1985 film Demons at Creation’s Weekend of Horrors genre convention in Los Angeles, indicated that Goblin, the band that created iconic scores for Argento’s films Deep Red, Suspiria and Tenebre, aren’t likely to reunite any time soon, but he is still hard at work on a number of film scores, including Argento’s latest. Movies sat down with the acclaimed composer on Saturday to discuss his history as a composer and music producer, his various collaborations with the other members of Goblin, and his future work on a number of different horror films.
Movies.com: Are you sort of the main force keeping the remaining members of Goblin together?
Actually, [the other members] did an event called Back to the Goblin from 2005 to 2008 or ’09, and they did one album. It was the original members except me, but after that they split because it’s strange with the original members; it’s impossible because it’s like a marriage – when it’s finished, it’s finished. And if all four of us play together, it doesn’t work; I don’t know why, it’s strange. But now I play with Massimo Morante, because we were friends since before Goblin, and Maurizio Guarini, who lives in Toronto and comes to Europe just to do gigs, and two members of [my current band] Daemonia. But with the other two members of Goblin, it’s impossible. We’re good friends, except when we work.
I know you did Mother of Tears with Dario Argento. But how actively are you continuing to produce scores for films?
I’m working on a lot of films, not just with Dario. Now I’m working on one film called The Darkside, which is a French film. It’s a story about witches. It’s a special-effects film, because the director Gerard Diefenthale, he’s a special effects [producer] and this is his first film as a director. And I did also two independent films, one produced by Sergio Stivaletti that’s called The Bloodlines, and the other film is Like a Chrysalis by Luigi Pastore. But now I will do the next Dario Argento film, Dracula 3D. He will start shooting at the end of May.
Do people who hire you now ask you to do scores similar to your earlier material, or do they give you free reign to come up with something different and new?
I’m lucky because every time they call me, they love my music, so they don’t ask me, “do this exactly like Profundo Rosso.” Because what I think is the particularity of me - and Goblin, but more so me – is that every film is different from the other. You see, if you listen to Suspiria and Tenebre, they are two completely separate soundtracks, or Opera or Phenomenon – every film is different and has its own style. I don’t like to do the same stuff because it’s boring, and I don’t want to imitate myself every time. I want to change and do something new. For example, for [Mother of Tears] I used for the first time a big orchestra with a choir, and it was a very nice experience. And I don’t know what’s going to happen with Dracula, but it’s exactly the same story and it’s [set at] exactly the same age as Bram Stoker’s book; the film will be set in 1893, so I think I will use an orchestra again. But I’ve never found a director who said, “I want this to be like Profundo Rosso,” because I say, “let me see the film and I will decide.” But to be free to do this, I am lucky.
Do you have a favorite score or favorite album you recorded?
You know, all of my soundtracks and all of my records are like children, and every one has its own particularity. But of course, Profundo Rosso was my first important soundtrack, and Suspiria is the same, but I love also Tenebre, Phenomena, and [Mother of Tears]. I loved the Masters of Horror [episodes] “Jennifer” and “Pelts.” And I did many other films: I worked with Lamberto Bava on Demons, Ruggero Deodato, Lucio Fulci, and I did a lot of films – maybe more than 60. So every one was a part of my life, so I love them all.