Charlie Clouser

Composer of the SAW Franchise | Former Keyboardist for Nine Inch Nails

Source: Zoe Wiseman

Source: Zoe Wiseman

Part I: Musical Beginnings | Nine Inch Nails History

Part II: Behind The Music of the Saw Franchise | American Horror Story Theme

Charlie Clouser is a recording artist and composer for film and television who lives in Los Angeles. The recipient of twelve BMI Film & TV Music awards, Charlie has also received ten platinum and gold record awards for his work as a member of the band Nine Inch Nails, and as a producer, programmer, and remixer for David Bowie, Rob Zombie, Killing Joke, Helmet, Marilyn Manson, Jamiroquai, White Zombie, and many other artists.

His scores for all seven films in the "SAW" franchise combined brutal electronics and homemade bowed metal instruments with tortured orchestral washes and became landmarks in industrial-strength horror, and his "Hello Zepp" became a trademark of the franchise and a minor icon in the world of memorable horror themes. His scores for "Dead Silence", "Death Sentence", "The Stepfather", "Resident Evil:Extinction", "The Collection" and other films expanded upon these ideas and produced dozens of memorable themes, terrifying ambiences, and tension-filled rhythmic climaxes.

With over two hundred hours of television underscore to his credit, Charlie's scores to the CBS series "Numb3rs" and the NBC series "Las Vegas" spanned a wide range of styles, from ticking-clock hostage dramas and high-energy car chases to comedic casino capers and delicate heartbreak. More recently, his main title theme from the Fox/FX series "American Horror Story" was widely praised and helped to establish the creepy vibe of the very successful series, and his theme and underscore for the Fox series "Wayward Pines" provided another thick dose of unsettling atmospheres and powerful action-adventure themes.

As the keyboardist in the band Nine Inch Nails during most of the nineties, he toured the globe and contributed to their landmark albums "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile", as well as numerous singles, remixes, and other projects undertaken by the band during his tenure. During that era, he remixed and collaborated with artists from Atari Teenage Riot to White Zombie, and as an early adopter and long-time user of Moog and other modular synthesizers, he has appeared in documentaries about Dr. Robert Moog's life ("Moog") and about the recent resurgence of synthesizer culture ("I Dream of Wires").

Drawing from his thirty years of experience as a keyboardist, synthesist, and programmer, he brings to the table a huge palette of sounds and an unusual collection of instruments, including many one-of-a-kind electronic devices and hand-made sculptural metal instruments, all of which combine to create a huge range of emotional textures, from outright aggression to disorienting dissonance.


Listen to Saw Anthology, Vol. 1 & 2.

Pop Disciple Charlie Clouser Podcast Interview Composer Film Music Score Soundtrack SAW franchise Nine Inch Nails Wayward Pines Death Sentence The Stepfather Resident Evil: Extinction The Collection Number3rs Las Vegas American Horror Story The Downward Spiral The Fragile Marilyn Manson
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These episodes of The Pop Disciple Podcast is hosted by Paul Goldowitz.

Production, Editing, Mixing, Mastering | Paul Goldowitz
Select Cues and Songs Throughout Episodes I & II | Charlie Clouser, Nine Inch Nails
The Pop Disciple Podcast Theme and Outro Music | Paul Goldowitz

Special thanks to Charlie Clouser.