Pop and Yanni are as close as this. Honest. In spirit, at least.
well-aged proto-punker, Pop, invoked the name of the new age noodler in a press
conference Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. Pop was explaining how he came
to do the score for The Brave, actor Johnny Depp's dismal directorial
debut about a native Indian who sells his body to a snuff film maker to help
his impoverished family.
Pop contributed the instrumental score, most of
which involves soft keyboards and acoustic guitar. Hardly the sort of stuff you
expect from the author of the head-rattling proto-punk classic, "I Wanna Be
Wearing shades and sitting next to the ever-pouting Depp, Pop
said he's always wanted a chance to make like Yanni.
"I don't have anything
against Yanni... New age is fine," Pop said, smiling knowingly. "In fact, often
when we were creating the music, the engineer and I looked at each other and we
would say, 'What would Yanni do?' And we would work from there."
the chance to work on the score for The Brave -- in which he appears in only
one brief but amusing scene, gnawing on a giant turkey leg -- was for him a
sort of emotional rescue.
"I've had a lot of various emotions in my life,
as we all do, and I've been able to put some of those into music, in the work I
do as a singer with a loud band. And other emotions, they've just sort of been
sitting here for 50 years, waiting for a chance like this."
Pop was asked
if he did the entire soundtrack for the film, which includes a scene in which
Marlon Brando plays harmonica, dressed like a hippie version of Don
"I'm not sure, because I haven't seen the finished version yet,"
Pop said, to great laughter and applause. "So they might have raped my score, I
don't know. But I trust in the powers that be here. The boss (Depp) is pretty
good. I did the whole score, pretty much all the music. In other words, the
tinkly tinkly you hear when things go on, that's me." And does Pop take his new
musical direction seriously? "As far as how seriously I take it, it's not at
all until I take the gig," he said. "Then once I take the work, it's like life
and death. You've got to do your best. Better than your best."
who doesn't actually sing any songs in the film, "It's kind of terrible to be a
middle-aged musician and not know how to do anything else."