Danny Elfman: When I Made… Big Mess

Elfman takes us inside the creative process behind his latest album

danny elfman

When I Made… is a video series in which musicians and other creatives tell stories about their process. In each episode, an artist shares personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes imagery as they discuss the making of their latest album.

In the latest episode of When I Made…, Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman takes us behind the creation of his 2021 album, Big Mess. “It was a weird year, 2020,” he begins. “I purposely took no film work for the first time in, like, 35 years. I had so many concerts booked… Of course, the year that I take off film and commit to concerts, is the year that all live performance collapses completely.”

But he used lockdown wisely, and completed his first solo album in 37 years. “Once I opened that Pandora’s Box, it wouldn’t close, and I ended up with 18 songs before I knew it,” Elfman explains.

We’re now in 2022, but Elfman isn’t slowing down. Along with this new episode of When I Made…, he unleashed the AI-generated music video for his song “In Time” today (January 19th). He’s also set to perform a set dubbed “Danny Elfman: From Boingo to Batman to Big Mess and Beyond!” at Coachella this April (get tickets here), and the collector’s edition box set of Big Mess (available for pre-order here) will ship in February.

Watch Elfman’s full episode of When I Made… above.


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