Brazilian born musician/composer Marinho Nobre is also a true fan of horror movies. That music and mayhem combo makes his burgeoning career doing scores for scare flicks a dream come true. He has just finished the score for Scott Goldberg’s 2005 zombie flick ‘The Day They Came Back’ and is set to roll on Scott’s next feature ‘Danielle’s Revenge’ in 2006. He has also scored the sci-fi/horror flick ‘We – Til Death Do Us Part’ for Jordan Schachter and is preparing the music for another fright movie, ‘The Last Breath’. There is no doubt that Marinho’s versatility, background, and musical expertise are making great contributions to his every film project as well as to the genre itself. Recently Marinho took a few minutes to answer some questions for about his personal approach to scoring horror, his personal fears, and of course his future plans and current projects.

So first off I am curious how you would describe your sound?

Marinho: It really depends. I grew up influenced by a variety of styles. I was basically brainwashed on classical, baroque, traditional and world music by my Dad from 5 to 15 years old, and never abandoned loving all of these styles to this day. Also as the guitar being my primary instrument, at 13 I began studying at one of the most traditional Jazz guitar schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil and grew much love for it. Around that time I was also playing guitar for a local Heavy Metal band. Since then I have been a Heavy/Hardcore/Techno/Classical composer, musician, singer and producer for the last 20 years or so. Being that I love all these styles they basically play a big role on what I do as far as composing. When it comes to Music for Picture, it really depends on where it goes and what that particular scene will require. If I had to give you a short answer, I write for a Ukulele with Violins all the way to 5 distorted guitars with a 120 piece symphonic orchestra...

Owen: I am also curious about how you got into film composition?  Was it something you pursued or something that happened through a series of coincidences, something you always want to do...

Marinho: I guess the last answer tells you a bit about that, but with more detail, I started composing songs when I was 12. In 1985 or so, I got to start arranging and adding some orchestral parts for a bunch of local acts in NY and really grew into sound design and special sound fx on bands albums. On or around 1994 a friend passed me some school clips for their presentation and asked me if I could add some music to it. I said, I would give it a shot. The guy really dug what he heard and 2 months later I got a phone call from his friend who needed music for a local cable TV commercial. Since that time, every so often I got a call for some sort of image related work, some small, some huge. In 2003, I sold my online business, quit making band demos, pilled all I had and went full time into scoring for film and TV. I truly feel now that it's something I had it on me all my life, something that on my subconscious was always there as a strong desire. Life works in the most interesting ways...

Owen: Also you are starting to do horror/sci-fi what with Scott Goldberg's 'The Day They Came Back' and 'Danielle's Revenge' as well as 'We -- Till Death Do Us Part' for Jordan Schachter.  How do you think the horror genre matches your gifts as a composer?

Marinho: That's an easy one. I am a horror/sci-fi freak! Since as a kid my passion was just watching horror flicks (and guess what I'm doing after I finish this interview?) from Bela Lugosi films to whatever the latest blood and guts event out there...  The unreal inspires me to no limits; in a way I couldn't even explain you in words. Also, a lot of my writing is known for having a very dark, heavy and surreal nature, which makes it very natural for me to work with. 

Owen: So speaking of 'The Day They Came Back', what did you want to capture musically in that zombie film?

Marinho: My priorities lie on the vision of the film's director. I have been on a real tight sync mode with Scott Goldberg. As a writer and director he really knows what he wants, which makes my job so much easier... For "The Day They Came Back" he wants to go retro. This film is basically paying a tribute to all the early and more traditional Zombie films as well as other early horror classics. So the idea here is not to go towards that techno beat/distorted guitar, a fitting so common for today's "Running Zombies Modern Era" films. Yes, there is technology, there are modern sounds but the score approach will sound very traditional. Think of something very dark, orchestral, something that hopefully will scare the shit out of you.

Owen: So, do you compose independently of the film?  Do you see footage and compose from there?  Do you work from ideas the director gives you about the film?  How do you usually work and what would it be in your optimal film-scoring situation?

Marinho: I can think of a scary sound sequence at 4am, get on my trousers, jump into my studio and toss it out on hard drive. If I'm outdoors I can just write it on a piece of paper then bring it to the studio to develop that idea. Sometimes I hum some bullshit on my cell phone's recorder and weeks later it turns into a full orchestral part. My ideal situation is to accompany the film all the way back from the final script draft. That will basically give me more time to develop ideas, come up with sketches and themes for the score. This way by the time I receive the locked footage from the director I am better prepared to start putting everything in place. I had the script for "The Day They Came Back" back in August if I'm not mistaken. I immediately began creating a few sketches on my laptop while traveling on other film affairs. Some of that stuff actually made it for the film score. Scott came by with Chiko Mendez a few weeks ago and dropped me a rough cut from the footage, which allowed me to have a very clear vision of what I'm going to need in order to efficiently compile everything I'm creating for the film right now. As of now, I have the final footage and I'm looking for a very smooth process all the way to its end.

Owen: Somewhat along those lines, what inspires you to compose and specifically gives you ideas for darker films?

Marinho: Ultimately I would have to say, a really well written story. Dark mean, so bloody evil. Other factors that also contribute to inspire me are the quality of the production, how well the actual film is shot and how efficiently the actors hired on it will portray the actual story.  Another very important role is the actual direction the film's director brings a given story. I mean, I've seen films with brilliant stories literally brought to dust by poor directing and photography. I am having a tremendous surge of inspiration with "The Day They Came Back". Scott Goldberg besides being a completely sick pup for evil ideas is also a very visionary director, a true genius, and a master of his art. I really see him as the next George Romero/Clive Barker or someone along those lines. I am very fortunate to come across someone like him and hope to score for a ton of his films in the future. Also, actors such as Chiko Mendez and Paul Kratka bring Scott's work to the level it really deserves, I mean they're amazingly ass kicking; everything about them in and out of this film is just so damn natural...

Owen: Has composing for films stretched your gifts as an artist?  If so what has been the challenge of doing them?

Marinho: The main mistake many people make is thinking that composers just throw a bunch of music on top of an image and that will be all. Scoring for film has brought me to tests that really put me to the limit in a way I never imagined. Talk about earning your dollars man... With that kind of pressure, you have to grow musically, mentally and spiritually or you will simply won't be able to keep up...  Working on what I do and studying as I still do is hopefully and slowly turning me into a "super me", which is ultimately all I thrive for. As far as some examples of the challenges one in my position will go through, there are really quite a lot of them involved, but here are a few I can mention: You must learn to be able to create great music that fits a certain image portraying a story, enhance that feeling by as much per cent as possible, be able to finish everything on time, be able to understand the needs of a director the first time around, otherwise be able to have to re-do everything you did as the director wasn't too hot about it, without complaining or even being upset. My main challenge above all however, is to blow the minds of everyone I work with, and really hope to be able to do it, every time.

Owen: So what film scores/soundtracks do you admire the most?

Marinho: Wosjiek Killar's Score on Bram Stocker's Dracula is one of my favorites. It is so simple, yet so damn scary. I love what Jerry Goldsmith did on "The Omen" and "The Mummy" Alan Silvestri's score on Van Helsing always kicks me in the ass too. Let me thing who else... Danny Elfman on "Mars Attacks" and "Spider Man 2", James Newton Howard's score for "The Village" is simply beautiful, James Horner on "Aliens", Hans Zimmer on "King Arthur" and "The Lion King", man there are so many great ones, but those are the few I could recall.

Owen: What is your instrument of choice?

Marinho: As a player, Guitar. I do it since 9. As tools of the trade I also enjoy playing keyboards, bass, Ukulele, Mandolin, Brazilian Percussion and any exotic instrument I can possibly have my hands on.  I also really love the sound of a full orchestra playing my stuff...

Owen: Hey, so as a horror fan if you were going to have friends over for a horror double feature at your place what would be the 2 DVDs you would pop in the machine?

Marinho: 1 - An American Werewolf in London   2 - Pumpkinhead

Owen: Do you have any other projects coming up in the future?

Marinho: Yep.  As soon as I finalize "The Day they Came back" I'm starting with Jordan Schachter's "WE - Till death do us Part", that's a horror/sci-fi. After that I have Scott Goldberg's Danielle's Revenge. It will be a real cool trip working with Scott again but on a slightly different kind of Horror film. Then Paul Hough's "The Last Breath" which is also another very sick flick about people buried alive. So far I'm booked till mid 2006, but very possibly there are other projects that might come in between now and then.

Owen: What frightens you in real life?

Marinho: 1-Terrorism. 2 -The people controlling all nations and everyone's future.  3 - Fear itself. 4 - Big hairy Moths from South America.