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Interviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam
Monday 15th July, 2013 8:22AM

Italian band Goblin has, to be blunt, made some of the greatest film scores in film history. Their work has been intimately connected with the work of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento, beginning first with his classic film Profondo Rosso. They have recently re-formed and are touring the world playing their cracking score from Argento's Suspiria - and one of their next stops is a special one-off performance at the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland. It's sure to be one of the Festival's many highlights.

We put some questions to founding member/guitaris Massimo ( Max ) Morante over email ahead of the show this Friday and here are his entertaining answers...

You were influenced by prog music in the early 1970s - why prog? Why did that style of music, along with jazz etc. interest you?

In the '70s it was called pop-rock, prog music is a next definition that I honestly can not understand well, but I do not care ever to understand the music, I compose it and nothing else. 

Why did Goblin decide to do soundtracks? Did having a visual accompaniment help with your composition? Or was it more difficult than making an ordinary album? 

Goblin began to compose soundtracks because Dario Argento knew us and admired us for our concerts and our music. We had some ideas by looking at the pictures, however it is difficult to make as an ordinary [album].

Your music is so strongly associated with Dario Argento - how did you start to work with him with Profondo Rosso?

As I said, we already knew Dario Argento, one day he asked us if we were willing to compose a soundtrack for his film, and we immediately agreed, the film was Profondo Rosso ( Deep Red ).

Were you surprised at the success of Profondo Rosso?

Yes, we did not think they could sell millions of copies around the world, we thought it was just a big thing for us.

The Profondo Rosso soundtrack is so diverse and eclectic - you were obviously influenced by a lot of different types of music?

No, I do not think that much, I think, however, was equal to what we had always done.

Artistically, there was a lot of great things happening in Italy during the 1970s - do you remember it as being a good time to be an artist? Is it different now?

Yes, it is true, in the 70s there was a lot of creativity and were not used computers. Today's groups are increasingly using the technology and less and less the musical genius. I thank God I have lived my 18 years in those fabulous '70s.

Why do you think the relationship with Dario Argento was so artistically productive?

Because we found a perfect music sharing, all that we played Argento liked. Were wonderful years until 1983 with Tenebrae, then Argento began to make bad movies for 17 years and the Goblins not have done more soundtracks for him, only Sleepness in the year 2000 we did because it was a good movie, then nothing else.

What are your memories of doing the music for Suspiria?

Very beautiful, a magical movie with beautiful colours, it was a pleasure to compose music for that film.

You used unusual instrumentation for the soundtrack - do you remember how you chose the various instruments?

Yes, I used a greek mandolin Bouzouki which is why Elena Marcos was a greek witch, then a Tabla, percussion deep hypnotizing, then a sweet melody and evil together. Then I used an acoustic guitar tuned in a strange way, and effects which at the time seemed to electronic manuals but they were not even appear on the moog sequencer but it was not that.

Do you remember what you thought when you first saw the film? Were you scared by it?

Did not fear, I was excited for the music and for all the work.

Suspiria is so memorable visually? Was it difficult to make the music add something to the visuals?

We have worked a long time to the music, it was not complicated because the sequences of the film were perfect.

Do you have a problem with your band's legacy being so strongly associated with Argento's films?

No, absolutely not, even our LP that are not soundtracks have sold a lot (Roller, The fantastic journey of Bagarozzo Mark, Back To The Goblin).

How have you found getting back together? Are you surprised by the number of fans nowadays who want to see your soundtrack work live?

I am very pleased, four years that we travel the world for concerts and we do sold out everywhere.

How much ability do you have for improvisation or trying new things when playing live to the films?

Very much, because improvisation is the antechamber of the composition, you can find phrases and melodies which then adjust slowly.

Do you see new things in the films when you play like this?

We invent always new things!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahahahahahhaah

Thanks to all,
Massimo ( Max ) Morante
Guitarist, composer and founder of Goblin


Goblin Plays Suspiria
Friday 19th July, Civic Theatre

Ticket available from Ticketek.

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