Danny Elfman Tells Noise11 How He Created The Simpsons Theme - Noise11.com
Danny Elfman photo by Jacob Boll

Danny Elfman photo by Jacob Boll

Danny Elfman Tells Noise11 How He Created The Simpsons Theme

by Paul Cashmere on June 4, 2021

in News

Danny Elfman has written over 100 film scores. ‘Batman’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’, are his but the one he is most fond of is his Theme for The Simpsons.

“That was a rarity, Danny tells Noise11.com. “I’ve done like, 105, 110 film scores, and most of them are really, really hard work. But there are a few moment here and there where something just goes ‘bang’, like that and The Simpsons was one of them”.

Elfman had a meeting with the creator of The Simpsons in 1989 when the show was still in development. “I went and met with Matt Groening, the creator, and they showed me a bit of it. I said ‘no-one is going to see this thing. It’s just for fun’. I told Matt ‘if you want something really crazy retro I’m the guy. If you want something contemporary I just don’t fell it”.

The inspiration for the theme was “prehistoric”. Danny summonised The Flintstones as his starting point. “There was something that reminded me of an old Hanna-Barbera Flintstones,” Danny says. “Maybe because Homer was driving the car and the beginning of The Flintstones was also driving a car, crazy. I thought it should just be crazy retro. I thought it will air three times and get forgotten. I wrote it in the car on the way home from that meeting. By the time I got home it was done”.

Everything happened that night. “I ran downstairs, I took a 4-track tape player, I made a demo and it was done. It took me a couple of hours, three, four hours, I don’t remember. The next day I sent Matt the demo and he called me back and he just said ‘Yeah’. That’s it. I have never done anything that went that easy”.

Danny cannot believe how easy it was and what an impact that night would have. “The fact that it wasn’t a throwaway that nobody heard was just amazing. It was just a lucky break. I was in the right place at the right time”.

Jump forward to 2021 and Danny’s first album of contemporary music is about to be released. ‘Big Mess’. Is a double album with origins that became prior to covid but accelerated during.

‘Big Mess’ will be released on 11 June, 2021.


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