Top Quotes by Damien Chazelle

It’s certainly no coincidence that big bands became the entertainment of the army in WWI and WWII, and that jazz drumming style is very military influenced. The snare drum comes from the military and becomes the core kind of sound of jazz drums.

Damien Chazelle

There’s something about some of my favorite musicals that they put me in a sort of heightened state where I feel like I’m floating out of the theater rather than walking out.

Damien Chazelle

First time that I cried at a work of art was at a drum solo that I saw. A drummer named Winard Harper, part of the Billy Taylor Trio, gave back in – I would have been in high school – 2005 or something.

Damien Chazelle

People aren’t inherently sympathetic.

Damien Chazelle

As a drummer, you’re always fighting for a level that you never quite attain.

Damien Chazelle

I love being in the editing room and playing with tempo and with the rhythm of shots.

Damien Chazelle

I guess art itself is insane. Its actual function is rarely clear, and yet people give their hearts and souls and lives to it, and have for all of history.

Damien Chazelle

Nothing is guaranteed to last, so you should just enjoy it as it happens.

Damien Chazelle

If you’re an artist, you want to draw from real life; you want to draw from experiences, emotion, and it’s something that a lot of musicians juggle with. I’ve always found it so fascinating.

Damien Chazelle

I was always pretty decent at fast stick work or doing stuff that seems impressive that’s not really; I was pretty tasteful and had good ideas musically. But I had a terrible sense of tempo, which is like being a blind painter.

Damien Chazelle

I was always pretty decent at fast stick work or doing stuff that seems impressive that’s not really; I was pretty tasteful and had good ideas musically. But I had a terrible sense of tempo, which is like being a blind painter.

Damien Chazelle

I think, especially living in L.A., it’s very easy to get wrapped up in weekend announcements and the trades and the whole social life of the city, and to get divorced from what actually matters.

Damien Chazelle

The greatest thing has been that projects that were pipe dreams before ‘Whiplash’ are now feeling more realistic.

Damien Chazelle

I was a kid living in New Jersey, who – I’d wanted to make movies since I was a little kid, so that came before music for me. But I started playing drums just as a hobby, and I wasn’t even really into jazz that much.

Damien Chazelle

I like the idea of working my way up. I don’t feel impatient to immediately jump into something that could literally bring down a studio if I don’t do it well.

Damien Chazelle

As a kid, I was just writing scripts and taking whatever film classes I could in college.

Damien Chazelle

Going back to my film education, I always have that voice in my head that’s always screaming, ‘Sell out!’ And that’s good: you want that, because it keeps you on your toes, and it’s important to remember what’s actually important.

Damien Chazelle

People like Art Blakey and Buddy Rich, you look at them playing music, and it’s just like looking at a heavy metal drummer. I mean, they’re playing with the same amount of ferocity. It’s not to say all jazz is like that.

Damien Chazelle

I like a set to be a happy place, where people can feel free to experiment.

Damien Chazelle

The end result of my personal story is that I became a really good drummer, and I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t have without this really tough conductor and this really cutthroat hostile environment I was in.

Damien Chazelle

I find L.A. kind of romantic, actually. As a movie junkie, it’s a city that was built by the movies. There’s something really weird and surreal about it that I find energizing.

Damien Chazelle

If you’re on the varsity team, the responsibilities are a lot bigger and there’s more stress, but you also walk around feeling probably like you can hold your head high.

Damien Chazelle

When you’re trying to paint a portrait of a very specific world, you’re trying to show what makes the world different. So, sometimes it means exaggerating certain kind of aspects, but I don’t think it’s that important or it’s that much of an issue as long as you get an emotional truth across.

Damien Chazelle

I hadn’t seen that many movies that really go deep enough into the fears of playing music or the language that musicians can use to treat each other or, like, the way that you can see it dehumanize and the way that it can feel like boot camp.

Damien Chazelle

The go-to reflex all over Hollywood is still likeability. I’ve always had a problem with it because I think I have a weird barometer in the sense that some of the characters I’ve cared about the most in movies are characters that are often thought of as despicable.

Damien Chazelle

It’s a weird thing where, especially in jazz, you have to totally mention cutting sessions and people one-upping each other and people being super, super tough on each other. And out of it emerge these genius musicians.

Damien Chazelle

If you look at ‘West Side Story,’ a lot of those numbers are actually pretty cutty, but the cuts are always musically motivated.

Damien Chazelle

‘Whiplash’ was always the song I hated the most because it’s a song designed to screw with drummers.

Damien Chazelle

It’s easy to show terrible people’s behavior on screen, and we all just kind of nod and go, ‘Isn’t that terrible.’ It’s more interesting when you can show terrible behavior in the interest of something good.

Damien Chazelle

The go-to reflex all over Hollywood is still likeability. I’ve always had a problem with it because I think I have a weird barometer in the sense that some of the characters I’ve cared about the most in movies are characters that are often thought of as despicable.

Damien Chazelle

I don’t think of ‘Macbeth’ as the villain. I don’t think of ‘King Lear’ as the villain. I don’t think of ‘Hamlet’ as the villain. I don’t think of ‘Travis Bickle’ as the villain.

Damien Chazelle

By the end of high school, I had this fork-in-the-road moment where part of me considered going to vocational music school to really pursue it.

Damien Chazelle

There are a lot of musicians in my life. But movies came first for me. That was my original passion.

Damien Chazelle

I didn’t have traditional stage fright. If there was 500 people in the audience or three people in the audience, it didn’t really make a difference. What made a difference was the conductor. Everything that I was scared about as a drummer was him.

Damien Chazelle

There were so many specific things from high school jazz band that I remembered: the conductor searching out people who were out of tune, or stopping and starting me for hours in front of the band as they watched.

Damien Chazelle

I was interested in music and making movies about musicians, but my own experiences, and doing what it felt like for me to be a drummer? Nah, I wasn’t interested in that.

Damien Chazelle

I love the ending of ‘The Wrestler.’

Damien Chazelle

There’s something very particular about the kind of rage you feel when you’re alone in a practice room by yourself, unable to master a simple thing like a rudiment.

Damien Chazelle

I would break a lot of cymbals. You whack the cymbals hard enough, and they will crack in half. Drums are not actually as sturdy as they look. They’re actually somewhat fragile instruments.

Damien Chazelle

It’s a little difficult when something goes from being an utter obsession – a thing where your skill defines you as a person – to it just being a thing you occasionally do.

Damien Chazelle

I actually grew up wanting to be a filmmaker. I wanted to make movies, and music was a detour, almost.

Damien Chazelle

I was in this public high school in Princeton, and it had this topnotch jazz program – if you were a musician of any kind of caliber, your holy grail was to be in that orchestra. It was that claim to fame of the school, of the town, other than the university. But it was better than the university band.

Damien Chazelle

It’s interesting when you wind up distilling all your ambitions and your goals and dreams into one single person. It’s giving that person a lot of power.

Damien Chazelle

I handle screenings and award ceremonies really badly.

Damien Chazelle

I was a writer for hire. I wrote to pay the bills.

Damien Chazelle

I didn’t feel the kind of joy every day playing drums that I thought you were supposed to feel.

Damien Chazelle

My version of a stress dream is, really, showing up on a concert stage with a drum set and not knowing the chart.

Damien Chazelle

At the upper echelon of musicians in general, I guess performers in general, you have to have this kind of live-or-die, cutthroat mentality.

Damien Chazelle

I had seen a lot of music movies that celebrated music or that showed the kind of joys from playing music, which is a big part of it of course, and not something that I would want to deny.

Damien Chazelle

It’s a weird thing where, especially in jazz, you have to totally mention cutting sessions and people one-upping each other and people being super, super tough on each other. And out of it emerge these genius musicians.

Damien Chazelle

I’ve always, especially through old Hollywood musicals, loved just to watch tap dancing; I adore it. I think it’s fantastic.

Damien Chazelle

Certainly, my manager Gary Ungar was the first person to give me any attention and hustle for me. This was back in 2009.

Damien Chazelle

I remember when I first met Jason Reitman with the ‘Whiplash’ script; he quickly became a mentor figure who guided me through the process and also protected me and made sure that when it came time to actually make ‘Whiplash,’ I was able to make exactly the movie I wanted to make.

Damien Chazelle

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *