Trent Reznor on composing the score for "Gone Girl"
Award-winning Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor discusses his life and career, and explains the creative process behind scoring the suspense thriller "Gone Girl."
On January 21, 2014, Trent Reznor announced that he and Atticus Ross would provide the score, marking their third collaboration with David Fincher, following The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Reznor revealed that the tonal inspiration for Gone Girl came from an unsettling experience of Fincher at the chiropractor's place and the music heard was "inauthentically trying to make him feel alright", and thus, had become a metaphor for the film score.
The soundtrack's music mixes soothing sounds with staccato electronic noises. Reznor had anticipated being able to focus intently on the Gone Girl soundtrack, but it turned out to overlap with a year-long tour with Nine Inch Nails. During multiple two-week breaks in his tour, Reznor and Ross would create musical soundscapes that both matched the scenes in the script as well as what Fincher exactly wanted. According to them, the track "Sugar Storm" from the soundtrack exemplifies a sound that begins with soothing, New-age music massage therapy music, the composers gradually introduce strange staccato noises that recall an old dial-up modem. In the same interview to USA Today Reznor stated, "I love the sounds in David Lynch movies, the kind that make you lean forward in your seat and tense up,".
The staccato noise introduction was justified by him stating that if placing background of a song a choir of screams that creep slowly into one's head, he could create a feeling. Further, Reznor and Ross used traditional instruments like guitars and keyboard as well as handmade gear. They created a device that when tapped made a stuttering beat sounds. Reznor was quoted saying, "So when you use that as a foundation for a track that has a sexy background, the core is inherently broken and you sense that."
In an interview with The Rolling Stone Reznor called the "The Way He Looks at Me" as one of his favorite tracks on the album. He added that when he and Ross were thinking about usages in compositions, it all began from hints given by the director Fincher. They used customized instruments like "homemade boxes that had small mics fit in it". He said that they captured guitar strings loops by hitting it and developing a repeating pattern deliberately making it uneven. Thus, the foreground created was a kind of unease justified when there were moments of tension in the film. So instead of it naturally building, they compared the loop sounds to foot's dragging or something being stuck.