The Dire Straits and Notting Hillbillies frontman, solo artist and film composer Mark Knopfler reflects on skiffle, smoking and soundtracks
“You get your money for nothing and your chicks for free…” Yes, it’s that man from the 80s with the vile headband, the ample proboscis and the mega-selling coffee-table albums. But never fear: although the smooth AOR of Dire Straits was an inescapable reality two decades ago (and spawned a whole generation of white sock-wearing, Capri-driving blokes), times have changed. Singer and songwriter Mark Knopfler has evolved from the MTV-straddling axeman of 1985 into a blues and folk singer of enormous repute for the Noughties, and spends his time crafting multilayered albums with more emphasis on atmosphere than stadium-rock show-offery. He also takes time out to compose music for films, with acclaimed soundtracks for movies such as Local Hero, Metroland, The Princess Bride and Wag The Dog on his CV.
As his new album, Shangri-La, was about to be released, the softly-spoken Knopfler met RC for a look back through his lengthy career — and an insight into how he composes his soundtracks.
Are you pleased with Shangri-La?
Yes. Not meaning to sound self-satisfied or anything. It came out the way we wanted it to, we did it in about three weeks. The band play so well. I don’t tell ’em what I want to hear, unless there’s something …
by Joel McIver
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