Recently we’ve featured electronic artist and composer Jimmy Urine through a couple of posts, the first of which was a song premiere and the second of which was a collection of his top 10 horror soundtracks. Today we’re capping off our series of exclusive posts with a Q&A that dives into the mind of Urine.
Considering the delightful and horror relevancy of his upcoming album The Secret Cinematic Sounds of Jimmy Urine, which comes out tomorrow, I feel like it’s a perfect way to round off this collection. Check out his interview below!
You can pre-order The Secret Cinematic Sounds of Jimmy Urine right here through one of four different methods.
Dread Central: Mindless Self Indulgence is known for being chaotic, upbeat, and thrilling, but the music on The Secret Cinematic Sounds of Jimmy Urine is far more relaxed, yet no less imaginative. How did you approach composing some of these pieces?
Jimmy Urine: Well, way before I was in Mindless Self Indulgence, I was a pre-teen with a shitload of synthesizers and a love of soundtracks. I did not buy a rock record until I was 15. The first record I bought was the soundtrack to Star Wars. Then it was John Carpenter, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, etc. All soundtracks and synth records, so it was very, very easy to go back to doing what I did as a kid. In fact the song “Salome” was written way back in the early 80’s. I found the old disks and ran the old synths and re-recorded it in new, better quality. But it is almost note-for-note the same as my 80’s version.
DC: “All Together Friends Forever” begins like something one would hear on a kid’s program, like Barney. However, towards the end it becomes something sinister. There is a wonderful deception at play here and I’m wondering if that kind of musical approach is something you particularly delight in.
JU: Fuck yes! I love leading the listener down a path and then slamming on the breaks or taking a sharp left. On MSI’s first album Tight we had a track called “Diabolical,” and we made the end ramp up so loud as to try to break your speakers. On purpose. And we got emails from a bunch of fans that we did. So mission accomplished.
DC: Maybe it’s because I’m a child of the 80’s, but I hear a lot of influence from that decade in terms of the movies and aesthetics in these tunes. In particular, “Salome,” for me, sounds like it would fit in beautifully in Heathers. Is there some truth to this, or is my childhood nostalgia clouding my listening experience?
JU: Absolutely, yes. Not only am I influenced greatly by the composers and soundtracks of this era, but some of these pieces were written somewhere between 1980 and 1987. So they are literately from the 80’s.
DC: There are several new tracks on this album, and I’m wondering… if you could slide them into the soundtrack of any films, which ones would you choose?
JU: Oh, good question. Well, right off the bat I would slide the track “Lento Romantico Erotic Incubo” into any 1970’s soft erotic French film. I wrote the track based on that style. All those French and Italian erotic 70’s films with the soft focus and the young ladies losing their virginity plots had amazing synth soundtracks. They all sounded very classical and Baroque, which stands out against the American 80’s horror synth genre, which was very sparse and plodding.
But overall I’d love to put my track into a period film. I love when the music is modern and the movie is set way in the past or vice versa. I think all sci-fi films should have classical music like 2001: A Space Odyssey, and all period pieces should have synths like “The Knick.”
DC: You’ve composed music for video games in the past and I’m wondering what other kinds of mediums you’d like to try your hand at composing for. Is there a specific kind of sci-fi or horror film that you think you’d have a blast with?
JU: I’ve been lucky in that I have been able to do music for so many varied projects. Video games, films, cartoons, TV commercials, podcasts, etc. But if I had to choose, I would love to do a full old-school horror synth-style soundtrack in the John Carpenter vein. It does not have to be horror specifically — it could be a thriller or sci-fi — but in that full 80’s Carpenter style would be fun as fuck.
DC: What’s something that you love that seemingly no one else has heard of?
JU: Photonovels. Before VHS and before DVD, the best way to re-live your favorite movie in the late 70’s was Photonovels. It was a book with all the scenes of the movie laid out like a comic book. Kind of like a storyboard made with movie stills. And it was the entire movie. They had them for Star Trek, Alien, Outland, etc. I started getting back into them on eBay and I read a bunch while making this record funny enough. But when I tell people — even people who are my age — they are like, “What the fuck is that?” The Alien one is worth picking up; it’s big and really well made.
DC: Do me a favor and let me know your first horror movie memory!
JU: It would have to be “Chiller Theater.” It was a Saturday night show in New York that showed classic horror movies. I was too young to watch the movies; I was like 4 or 5. And it would come on right at my bedtime. So I would be watching something, and when it ended, the opening of “Chiller Theater” would come on. It was the craziest, creepiest thing; and I did not even understand it. It broke my mind. It was a very horror-psychedelic freak-out stop-motion animation of a hand coming out of a pool of blood. All the sounds were freaky oscilloscope-style electronics. So I would see this fucking insane intro and not the movies and be off to bed like, “What the fuck was that ?? What did I just fucking see??” Here is the video for you all to show your kids and make some more Jimmys…