Home Music Music Lists

Rockers Who Score Films

Bjork, Nick Cave, Daft Punk, Trent Reznor and more

jonsi

Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

Sigur Ros' Jonsi created an original score for Cameron Crowe’s 2011 film, We Bought a ZooRolling Stone streams the soundtrack.

trent reznor

Christopher Polk/VF11/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor, the frontman for Nine Inch Nails, worked with Atticus Ross to compose The Social Network score, which won the Award for Best Original Score at the Golden Globes and the award for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards. More recently, the pair composed the score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2011.

chemical brothers

Jim Dyson/Getty Images/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers composed the original motion picture soundtrack for the 2011 thriller Hanna

clint mansell

Chelsea Lauren/WireImage/Fox Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Clint Mansell

Clint Mansell was the singer and guitarist for Pop Will Eat Itself and later began scoring films with director Darren Aronofsky. The first project on which the two collaborated was π. More recently, Mansell worked with Aronofsky to create the haunting score for Black Swan.

Daft Punk

Eric Charbonneau/WireImage

Daft Punk

Daft Punk collaborated with composer and producer Joseph Trapanese for the Tron: Legacy score. Daft Punk created 24 songs for the film over a period of two years. In addition to the band’s signature electronic sound, the score featured an 85-piece orchestra.

karen O

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

Karen O

Karen O, lead singer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is known for her tremendous stage presence and remarkable voice. She composed tracks for the soundtrack to the 2009 film Where the Wild Things Are, along with bandmate Nick Zinner. Karen O and the Kids' whimsical song "All is Love" was nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media at the Grammy Awards in 2010.

danny elfman

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Danny Elfman

Before Danny Elfman began composing scores for film and TV, he was the frontman for Oingo Boingo.  In addition to composing the theme songs for The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives, Elfman has composed scores for multiple films. He has worked with Tim Burton several times, creating the score for Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland.

DJ Shadow

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow has shown his talent working as a DJ, music producer and songwriter. He broadened his portfolio when he produced and composed some of the songs included in the Dark Days film score. The film documents a group of people living on the fringe of society, in abandoned subway tunnels in New York City.

Mark Mothersbaugh

Randall Michelson/WireImage

Mark Mothersbaugh

Mark Mothersbaugh of the band Devo has been the creative mind behind the musical scores for countless films and TV series. Perhaps most notably, Mothersbaugh has scored most of Wes Anderson's films, including Bottle RocketRushmoreThe Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

nick cave

First Look Features/Everett Collection

Nick Cave

Nick Cave has successfully transitioned from rock into composing, for films such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2007. Cave and Warren Ellis also composed for The Road in 2009. The duo's first film project was for The Proposition (2005), directed by John Hillcoat. Here is the director of with Cave.  

bjork

Mary Evans/FilmFour/Zentropa Entertainments/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Bjork

In 2000 Bjork teamed up with director Lars von Trier, starring in his film Dancer in the Dark and helping to create the original score. The soundtrack was a joint effort by Bjork, Mark Bell, Sjón and von Trier, who also included a handful of songs from The Sound of Music.

Stewart Copeland

Mark Mainz/Getty Images/Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland, drummer for the Police, has had a very successful career composing soundtracks for films such as AirborneTalk RadioWall StreetSurviving the GameSee No Evil, Hear No EvilHighlander II: The QuickeningThe Leopard SonShe's Having a BabyTaking Care of BusinessI Am David and Good Burger, to name a few. Here is a still from the 1993 film Airborne.

tom waits

Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Tom Waits

Tom Waits is featured in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time list. In addition to his extraordinary career as a singer-songwriter, he collaborated with Crystal Gayle to create the original soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's film One From the Heart. Waits received a nomination for Best Music Score at the Academy Awards. Here is a still of Waits from the film.

Yo La Tengo

Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Mary Evans/THINKFilm/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo created their first original score, titled The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, for several short documentaries shot underwater by Jean Jean Painlevé. The band went on to work on numerous film scores, such as JunebugGame 6, Old Joy and Shortbus, to name a few.

Peter Gabriel

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel has composed numerous scores for TV series and films.  Among his film scores is the music for The Last Temptation of Christ, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure and Birdy.

Show Comments