The worlds of rock and roll and film composing have been intertwining for a few decades now. Most people know the history of Danny Elfman who transitioned from Oingo Boingo front man to film music legend, and of course the recent notoriety of Daft Punk and Trent Reznor, have ushered in a whole new generation of film music fans.
Most people, however, don’t know of composer Cliff Martinez’s history in rock and roll. The Drive composer spent the better part of the ’80s as a drummer for several bands, and when conflicts rose during the early years of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers he stepped in. Cliff Martinez was the drummer for the band during their first two albums and associated tours, and now as the Red Hot Chili Peppers are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so too is Martinez.
While he didn’t stay with the band long, original drummer Jack Irons was free of other commitments and returned after the second album, he was a part of the history of the band. Shortly after his stint with the Chili Peppers Martinez got his start in composing with a job writing music for an episode of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.
Soon after that Martinez connected with Steven Soderbergh on Sex, Lies & Videotape and began a fruitful career as a film composer, frequently returning to Soderbergh for several of his future projects. Most recently he has gained a lot of exposure for his very popular music from the film Drive. The soundtrack has been one of the most popular of the year, crossing over beyond typical film music fans and into the mainstream.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert is in April, in the mean time Martinez is a juror at the Sundance Film Festival and will be participating at South by Southwest in March.