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'Neon Demon' composer Cliff Martinez enjoys feeling like a 'Hollywood outsider'




Composer Cliff Martinez plays a Crystal Baschet, an instrument he's used in his film scoring.
Composer Cliff Martinez plays a Crystal Baschet, an instrument he's used in his film scoring.
Courtesy Cliff Martinez

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Cliff Martinez never considered film composing as a possible career. After all, he got his start as a drummer for this little band called the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

But after an opportunity to score an episode of "Pee-wee’s Playhouse" in the ‘80s, Martinez became hooked on writing music for the big and small screen.

Since then he’s racked up an impressive list of credits, including many of Steven Soderbergh's films, and three movies by Nicolas Winding Refn —“Drive,” “Only God Forgives” and “The Neon Demon.”

"Neon Demon" is set in the world of L.A. fashion and stars Elle Fanning as the new girl in town. The other women will do anything to steal a piece of her modeling mojo.
 

We recently coaxed Martinez out of his studio in Topanga Canyon to visit our studio in Pasadena to talk about his work.



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