Thom Yorke Says He’s Ripping Off The Blade Runner Score For Suspiria

Last month, we learned that Thom Yorke is following in the footsteps of his Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood and working on his first-ever film score. Yorke is doing the music for a forthcoming remake of Suspiria, Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic. That’s a tall order, especially considering that the Italian band Goblin’s frantic, insane score for the original Suspiria is one of the all-time great left-field film scores. But as Pitchfork points out, Yorke recently spoke with BBC 6 Music host Matt Everitt about his work on Suspiria, and he says that he’s not trying to equal what Goblin did with that movie. Instead, he’s ripping off something very different.

In the interview, Yorke says that he’s been rewatching Blade Runner and that Greek composer Vangelis’ haunting electro-noir score for that movie has been an inspiration. He even jokes that he’s trying to rip off specific sounds. But that’s a good idea! He should do that! As far as film scores go, Blade Runner seems to be way more in Yorke’s wheelhouse than the original Suspiria, and its bleeding-neon sounds could be a cool complement to a horror movie today. Here’s what he says about it:

It’s taken me a while to even learn to say “Suspiria.” It’s absolutely terrifying…

[Goblin’s original score] is insane. It’s an insane one. I’m not even attempting to even bother to answer that, in a response to that. Because there’s no point…

It’s a very, very different film. So I don’t know, really. There’s a few core pieces of it that I’ve been trying to piece together. It’s hard because I’m way out of my comfort zone. And I can’t read music, so it’s not like I’m writing for orchestras. So I’m building it all myself. In fact, I watched Blade Runner twice this weekend: “Ooh, that sound, I could do something like that! That’s quite easy! I’ll rip off that bit there and that bit there!” No, not really…

Vangelis, he did that [Blade Runner score]. It’s him. It’s his hands that made that, which encouraged me. Because I think that’s the thing I find the most daunting. Normally, for a horror movie, it involves orchestras. It involves these specific things. But Luca [Guadagnino], the director, and Walter [Fasano], the editor, are very much like, “Find your own path with it.” And they’re giving me as much freedom as they can, which is great, because as they know, I’ve never done it before. So I kind of have to find a way into it, which I am doing. It’s exciting. But at the same time, I’m so out of my comfort zone that I don’t know what’s going on.

And here’s the audio:

Elsewhere in the interview, which hasn’t aired yet, Yorke also talks about listening to Queen in the car with his parents and about the time he almost canceled Radiohead’s iconic 1997 performance at the Glastonbury festival. Here are those clips:

The Suspiria remake is in post-production now; no release date has been announced.