Playlist: Clifton Collins Jr.
Thu, 14 May 2009 09:09:34
Clifton Collins Jr. has got rhythm—for a Romulan.
In Star Trek, Clifton gives his character Ayel an entrancing darkness through a calculated and tense portrayal. In some ways, Clifton's musical sensibility comes through in the rhythmic nature of the performance. Watching him onscreen, it's no surprise that Clifton is also an accomplished music video director and true tune aficionado.
Clifton's got a lot on the horizon—Extract, Brothers, The Perfect Game, Boondock Saints 2—but he's always down to talk music. The Capote and Trek star sat down with ARTISTdirect.com and opened up his playlist for us in this exclusive feature.
Check out Clifton's playlist below and don't miss Star Trek!
Clifton Collins Jr.'s Playlist:
1. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is a staple of my playlist! My production company is even called "Stone Free." I've played so many different roles, and I pride myself on the diversity of the different things I do. Even though Hollywood tries to get you to do something over and over again, Jimi says, "A woman here, a woman there—if I stay too long with people they try to hold me down." That means if I keep doing the same role people will try to hold me in that position. I think it's a perfect model. I'm always in awe of Hendrix!
2. The Zach Brown Band
I listen to The Zach Brown Band a lot. I just got nominated for two CMT awards for directing their video for "Chicken Fried." Zach is an incredibly talented artist, and we've collaborated in so many different ways. This band's honesty really resonates with me. They're rock stars, but they're so humble. Zach started playing guitar when he was six, and he started playing classical guitar when he was eight. He grew up with a lot of the demons that great artists have, and that makes this music really honest and special.
3. The Soul of John Black
This is always on my playlist. He's a left-handed blues guy, much like Hendrix was. Miles Davis mentored him, and he even wrote a couple songs for Miles. He's played for Fishbone, and he plays for Nikka Costa. This guy is just really passionate about his music. I'm wrapping a new video for him. It's dope when you get you get your finger on the pulse before everybody hears about something. I hate being the last guy to get an album after everyone's had it for a year [Laughs]. It's so easy to get lost in the stories on a great album. It's like when you watch a movie for the second or third time and you pick up different details. It's not something you simply listen to; you feel it. It's like Star Trek. You get lost in the excitement and the fun of it.
4. Jason Mraz
I just started to listen to Jason Mraz. There's something really cool about his melodies, harmonies and acoustics. His songs are like those songs you used to hear when you were a kid that you want to hear over and over again. It's funny to be my age now, and say, "You know what? I want to hear this again" [Laughs].
5. Hank Williams Sr.
He's also a good staple. I like him for the same reasons I like Hendrix. He was like the original rock star. He died of an overdose at 29 in 1953 in the backseat of a Cadillac with Minnie Pearl in the passenger seat on New Year's Day. It doesn't get more rock star than that. He took the corniness out of country music and started coming with something so real. It was so foreign to everybody that it was something new and precious. I think that's why people felt it. I studied him when I was doing Capote because my character Perry Smith lived in that era. He sang songs that Hank sang. There were three songs from the book, In Cold Blood. When I found those three songs, I wanted to listen to more in order to have the attitude, emotion and idea behind those times. That was something I listened to all the time up until the day they hung me in the movie.
6. Hank Williams III
I like III for the same reasons I like his grandfather. III exudes those same rebel qualities. I don't mean in terms of going against the system; I mean rebel qualities in terms of singing and writing songs to the beat of your own drum and not being affected by record labels and having them control your content and what you put out. The guy knows how to write a hook! I love it. He's got an insanely good band too.
7. Van Morrison
8. Janis Joplin
I love the sacred three J's—Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. They all died at 27. I constantly listen to them.
9. Crosby, Still and Nash
10. Creedence Clearwater Revival
I love those cats! This is music you can just put on and feel. It's like being in a forest and hearing the silence of the wind blowing through the leaves. I love "Fortunate Son." You can't get any better than CCR!
11. The Rolling Stones
Lately, I've been listening to a lot of early Rolling Stones. A lot of these songs I hear over and over, and it's like I'm hearing them from the first time. You hear the influence everywhere. I don't think any great art comes out of conformity. I think all of the great artists know what they did to get where they're at. At some point, they make a choice to either sell out or not sell out. So many great artists aren't acknowledged until years after they've died, whether it's Van Gogh or Jimi Hendrix. Great artists will always be great in my opinion.