Danny Elfman was already in reflection mode before this whole quarantine process began. The composer was gearing up to perform a career-spanning set at Coachella, which would have been going on right now but has been rescheduled for the fall (for now). Elfman started thinking about his past life as the leader of the new wave band Oingo Boingo, and he landed on their 1982 track “Running On A Treadmill” as an apt song for these self-isolated times. So he recruited his daughter to record him performing it.
“As I struggled though those first few weeks, an old tune I had written decades ago began running though my mind,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I didn’t know why, but it didn’t go away. Eventually I decided not to resist and laid down tracks, just for the simple pleasure. It’s really almost like a nursery rhyme. Maybe under all that stress that’s why it came back to me, and just the act of recording it was really calming for my brain.”
Check out his new performance of “Running On A Treadmill” below.
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When we started our isolation, I found myself out of sorts (like most of us surely did). My energy was very low. I had poured so much of myself into preparing for Coachella, and suddenly… nothing. Like everyone else, I was stunned and a little shell-shocked. I decided to return to an orchestral commission, but I found that my focus was also whacked from everything turning upside down. . Weirdly, as I struggled though those first few weeks, an old tune I had written decades ago began running though my mind. I didn't know why, but it didn't go away. Eventually I decided not to resist and laid down tracks, just for the simple pleasure. It's really almost like a nursery rhyme. Maybe under all that stress that's why it came back to me, and just the act of recording it was really calming for my brain. . I decided finally to share it with everyone. It's silly and simple. Playing everything and singing live to my backing tracks. This thing is funky! This is NOT my new single or for a new album that I'm working on. Just a little something that was fun to record and relaxed me, and maybe it will do the same for you? Totally home-made! Daughter @malielfman shot it on her iPhone, and homie Jon Mann Krieger (my Danny and Buddy Show collaborator) edited it. Hope you like it! . #socialdistancing #lockdown #weekfour #isolation #dannyelfmansfriends #yukielfman #runningonatreadmill @noahscotsnyder
And here are some bonus clips of Elfman just running on a treadmill: