LEXX Interview: Marty Simon is interviewed by FX

Interview with Marty Simon
Interviewer: FX, (Moderator – SadBOARD LEXX Episodes Forum)
October 2001
Where: By telephone

The following is a phone interview I had with Marty Simon after we had all returned from Halifax. As you all know, Marty is the producer/composer of all the Lexx music (except for Brigadoom), and has been working with Paul since the beginning of Lexx and before. In fact, Marty had worked with Paul on Paint Cans and the Squamish Five, so like so many involved in the making of Lexx, he is one of Paul’s preferred collaborators. Marty has also worked with several other groups, including the Who, the Stones, as well as Eno and Celine Dion among others. His resume is quite long and varied, and I just wish I had the time to talk to him about all of it. But on to the matter at hand.

When I called Marty, he had been up until 3 am the night before working on Prime Ridge . This would be the episode that features Brit Eckland. It would appear to be, like many of the S4 episodes, loosely based on a well-known film. At any rate, the Lexx crew visits Prime Ridge, Ohio. Marty describes this eppy as not truly “Lexxian”, and that it almost seemed more like a separate pilot episode.

Since the conversation was already about scoring an episode, I asked when exactly Marty comes into the picture when an episode is being made. As I spoke about CGI and final versions, Marty broke into raucous laughter.

Oh, you’re assuming I get to score to the final version?! No, the CGI is getting changed and altered until about 4 seconds before it gets sent out for airing. So what I see is a bunch of green screen with little typed cues at the bottom…along the line of ‘imagine the Lexx exploding here’.” He went on to add that Prime Ridge in particular had come with a sort of ‘Needle drop” soundtrack. For those of you too young to remember LP’s (and album art and all that good shit…sigh), this is where you drop the tone arm more or less randomly onto a particular track and see what you get. So the instructions to Marty are then, ‘give us something that sounds like this”. Without, of course, plagiarizing.

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Marty then went on to note that Paul Donovan is no less elliptical when dealing with his colleagues than we have noted him to be in chat and interviews.

Yeah, he gives me a little wink and says ‘wait and see’ when I ask him what is going to happen in a particular scene…to which my response is ‘well gee Paul, don’t you think you could let the composer know that rocks are falling in this scene, or whatever!’” And you guys thought you had to have a degree in mind reading for your jobs?!

At some point we got onto the topic of MP3’s (sorry guys, but whenever I talk to Marty, I end up following all sorts of tangents with him that have nothing to do with Lexx, he’s just that interesting and fun sort of a person, so bear with me here!) Anyway, I mentioned how much you guys love trading mp3’s , and are starved for Lexx music, particularly Brigadoom.

I love the far reach of Lexx. People from all over the world are enjoying this show. And the mp3’s allow my music to be shared and appreciated by people I normally would not have access to. So no, I don’t have a problem with it; it’s very gratifying to me” He went on to discuss the strange appeal of Lexx, and how it continues to grow despite “continually introducing more characters that are NOT attractive characters!”

Marty mentioned that thus far in S4, Walpurgis Night had garnered the highest ratings, while The Rock has the lowest. I happen to be one of the few, who really enjoyed The Rock, especially the various versions of the Brunnen G chant. Marty agreed with the appreciation of McManus’ renditions.

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McManus, as we all know, has quite a bit of musical training, and is an accomplished pianist. The versions you hear Kai play in The Rock are versions that McManus arranged and played.

As we all may have gathered, McManus feels a certain, as Marty puts it, ‘ownership’ of the chant. He feels very strongly about it, particularly the pronunciation of ‘Brunnen’. Marty characterized McManus’ pronunciation as “sort of a blend of German with an Irish brogue!” Nevertheless, Marty’s pronunciation of Brunnen G has more or less prevailed, and is the one we hear in the opening credits of Lexx. The opening credit version has Marty and his choir mixed in together. ‘Live Kai’ singing in his spacecraft in I Worship His Shadow has Michael’s voice mixed in with the choir of five other males.

Marty and Catharine Tait (CEO of Salter St. Films)

Finally, by popular demand, I brought up the recurring issue of a commercial release of a Brigadoom soundtrack. The problem with the Brigadoom soundtrack is that is was not recorded under Marty’s aegis. As most of you are aware, Brigadoom’s songs are largely German nursery rhymes with new lyrics written by Lex Gigeroff. Lex’s brother André did the musical adaptation. So already, there is a problem with permissions to use these various nursery rhymes. The final mix and fill-in’s however were done by Marty in his Toronto studio.

There are around 25 voices involved in that soundtrack. Salter brought in these people for the filming of Brigadoom. Consequently the necessary permissions to release Brigadoom as a soundtrack were never obtained.” And at this point, it would involve a fair amount of money and legal backtracking to be able to release the soundtrack as such. The contracts for the DVD’s have ‘music and effects’ clauses, which do not allow for legal release of the soundtracks as separate entities.

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As to a separate season 4 CD; there are no plans at this time. Hopefully demand will lead to release of a final Lexx CD. We ended the conversation with discussions of possible chats, and of pictures to accompany this little addition to the Lexx Interviews. Stay tuned for more, with fond greetings from Marty to all of you, and thanks for the appreciation of his music.

{Please note: Neither Marty Simon nor FX condone the
illegal production of MP3 music files which are copyrighted}

Marty Simon Bio

A Montreal session musician, Marty Simon has been playing drums for over 25 years. Some of his collaborators have been Mylon LeFevre, The Sharks, Leslie West, Wilson Pickett, Brian Eno, and the Liquor Giants. Although he has no albums of his own, he has appeared on over a dozen albums of other artists.

Filmography (as Composer)

Blind Terror (2001) (TV)
Stranger in the House (1997)
Marked Man (1995)
Wrong Woman, The (1995)
Life with Billy (1994) (TV)
Paint Cans (1994)
Relative Fear (1994)
“Sirens” (1993) TV Series
Cry in the Night, A (1992) (TV)
Scanners III: The Takeover (1992)
Buried on Sunday (1992)
Quiet Killer (1992) (TV)
Scanners II: The New Order (1991)
Deadly Surveillance (1991) (TV)
Back Stab (1990)
George’s Island (1989)
And Then You Die (1987)

Notable TV guest appearances
“Lexx” (1997) playing “Brain No. 14” in episode: “I Worship His Shadow” (episode # 1.1) 4/18/1997

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The LEXX names, characters, pictures and everything else associated with the series are the property of SALTER ST FILMS & TiMe Film-und TV-Produktions GmbH in association with Screen Partners. All rights reserved.

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