How does one add the proper background music to a “Suspiria” scene where someone tumbles into a room full of razor wire? Ah! The scene with the wires! You know, sometimes you just have to go by your first impression. And keep in mind, at that time there were not so many studio-type bands who could invent something unusual. So we would play it by instinct and try and make something that would make audiences feel the way the director wanted. At the beginning, we actually wrote a lot of the music before seeing any scenes. Dario had just asked us to come up with something unique for the very first “Suspiria” scene, after the lullaby.
Why move to Canada? I did some software for a Canadian company, and I had to go to Toronto to meet with these guys. But I really liked the place. And I liked the idea of moving to an unknown city without knowing anybody. So I had a starting point with my work there. And then I started up being a musician again after I got there.
You have a recent solo album, too — “Creatures From a Drawer”? Yes. After years and years! The title explains that the drawer is where these creatures — the songs — are lying dormant until I released them, like a lot of different souls. Some of it is very Goblinish.
What did you learn from a master like Argento? Dario was so determined, so sure of what he needed, he told me personally that sometimes to achieve a goal, you had to be totally focused and not listen to anybody. So even before seeing a scene, we would listen to his suggestions. And his films might be 40 years old, but they are still creepy.
So what truly frightens you? Well, that [Roman] Polanski movie “The Tenant,” about the third-floor apartment resident. Now that’s something that’s really scary!
IF YOU GO
Where: Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $28 to $75
Contact: (888) 929-7849, www.axs.com