David S. Chackler [Interview]

dc and lingtonv2nolington

David Chackler may not exactly be a household name in all households, but trust me, he has brought you the world in back in the both the music business as well as the music supervision world in some of your favorite horror, gangster, and even comedy films.  With Chackler you may have never known a thing about a little group called Fleetwood Mac.  Freddy Mercury might have just been a stand in for Tim Curry during Rocky Horror Picture Show gigs in New York City.  And we may have never felt the power and glory of Luke and the controversial dirty boys known as 2 Live Crew.  And that doesn’t even begin to dive into his world in the film industry.  He’s brought visions to life with his music in classic films like Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (featuring what I believe to be is greatest work when he got Dokken on board!), Kickboxer, Fatal Beauty, Fright Night, and on and on and on.  He is a rarely fully appreciated mastermind who brings depth and life to films that may have lacked the intensity without his presence.  The man is a legend, and we are honored that he took the time to chat with us about his illustrious career, numerous accomplishments, and more.  Enjoy!

You have had an illustrious career in bringing oh so important music to several amazing films.  But, what about in the regular recording arena?  What kind of non film related projects have you been a part of?

Wow! that’s an answer that could be a book by itself 🙂 i started in the music business in the late 60’s, and worked for several years at labels, both major and independent,first promoting records to radio, and later in a&r, signing acts. Labels ranging from the legendary Chess Records, to Mercury, Polygram, and others…
in the early 70’s, while at Polydor, i was brought a duo named Buckingham\Nicks, by Producer Keith Olsen..i signed that duo to Polydor, and immediately left to form my own Publishing and Production company, with them as my first act..
along with Keith Olsen, we introduced them to Mick Fleetwood, the magic was done, and their first album together “Rumours”, became the largest selling album of all time, up to that moment…
Having experienced the British Invasion  first hand through my tenure at Polydor Records in London., i knew that music, more than ever, was a global industry, so i became involved  in a new European venture designed to scout and cultivate British talent. This venture, with Trident Studios in London, achieved unprecedented success. The discovery and launch of Freddie Mercury and Queen (the group that first challenged then changed the sound of FM radio) was the first among the many successes. Ever remaining at the forefront of new music, i watched the onset of Rap take over the airwaves, so i next joined forces with Luther Campbell to start the groundbreaking rap label, Luke Skyywalker, Luke/Atlantic Records, achieving  multi platinum album status with the group, 2 Live Crew.


so, that is kind of a brief overview of my early years in the music industry…..

What is the most challenging aspect of being a Music Supervisor?  What is the most rewarding?
i think the most challenging aspect of Music Supervision, is the balancing act you have to perform, between the director’s vision, and the studio or the producers budget :-)…..its your job to make that vision come alive with the music, as you interpret it, yet, you always have to be aware of costs….its extremely challenging..
the most rewarding , i think, would be the moment you see the film on the big screen , in a theatre with the audience…and, they react to the overall experience, much as you had hoped…that’s very rewarding ! 
How did you manage to team up with Tom Thurman spanning an almost 30 year working relationship and the creation of Dead Rabbit Films?  Did you meet during the making of Fright Night?
i assume you meant Tom Holland ?…because i don’t know who Tom Thurman is (lol)….and, yes, we met during Fright Night, my friend Gary Lemel, who was head of the music dept at Columbia Pictures brought me in to help create the soundtrack and underscore…this was at a time, when soundtracks where very important, and added to the marketing of the film…i then had a label distributed thru CBS, and i could help create the music, as well as release and market it….it was a combination, everybody felt really worked !  Tom and I really hit it off during this period, and became friends, he asked me to run his production company TH Productions,  and do the music for his future films, as well….and that’s what we did, and we are still going !
The finished products you and Tom have created are obviously a collection of brilliant material.  What do you believe it is that makes the two of you such an impeccable duo?
i think what makes it work for us, is the personal chemistry..Tom took great pains in the early stages of our relationship, to make sure i understood film, and story structure, even had me take a class in screen writing… we became a team in the true sense…i understood what he wrote, and i totally understood his directing prowess, and i knew what he wanted musically ….even today, when this extends to not just music, but the business side of our company, we are totally in sync !
You’re inclusion of Dokken’s original track “Dream Warriors” in the third installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series is now a cult classic move.  Did you forsee that such a thing could happen?  What made you choose Dokken?
in discussing the film with the studio (New Line Cinema), and the director Chuck Russell, we were looking for something “edgy”….something that would resonate with the genre audience…..we felt Heavy Metal, Hard Rock would really be perfect, it just so happened i had a friend at Elektra Records, who mentioned Dokken was preparing a new album, and it would be a cross platform marketing bonanza…and, so, it was born :-)..the group created the single “Dream Warrior”, we even had Freddie appear in a video with them, to cross promote…..i have to say, at the time, i did, really feel this genre of music would be perfect for the horror audience, and i have used it in other films as well :-), so maybe i was a bit of a “seer” !
You’ve worked in a varied amount of Music Supervision, from horror themes to hip hop base melodies.  What would you say has been your favorite area to perform your duties in?
to be honest, all forms of film appeal to me…i thoroughly enjoyed doing the horror films, but i also think, musically, doing the rap oriented films was even more fun :-)…
With such varied amounts of work, how do you choose the projects you want to be a part of?
at this point in my career, i am pretty much working with Tom Holland, exclusively, on our own projects …so, that makes the decisions easy :-))
If you could have live scored any significant event in American history, what would it have been?  Why?
wow, what an interesting question :-), i think i would have loved to do the music for the Civil War….the breadth and scope of emotions,action, power and pathos, would have been an incredible challenge musically !
 What was the last thing that made you smile?
ha !! i think i would have to say, it was watching De Niro’s performance in the new film Silver Linings Playbook…..i couldn’t help smiling at the character….i guess, of course, that being a Philadelphia Eagles fan myself, might have influenced my choice (lol)..

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: