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December 19, 2012

From Gangsters to Guitars: A Q&A with David Chase

'Sopranos' creator makes his directorial debut with coming-of-age film about rock 'n' roll aspirations

The mild-mannered, soft-spoken demeanor of David Chase belies stereotypes about a man who created one of the most exciting and violent pop culture phenomenons of all time, television’s “The Sopranos.”

During a recent interview in Boston, Chase sat with his hands and legs often crossed, pondering his answers before vocalizing them. It’s an unexpected demeanor coming from a man who spent eight years writing out gangster-laced tales of both morality and mortality for HBO.

When Chase did begin to light up in conversation, it was regarding the music of his youth; the rock ’n’ roll revolution that outlined his late teens and early 20s, and eventually led to the crafting of his directorial debut, “Not Fade Away.”

Now in his late ‘60s, Chase is delivering his long-awaited, big-screen debut about a young adult named Doug (John Magaro), who tries to form a rock band during this very eventful period in music history.

Chase recently sat down to discuss the generous background of music that is the driving force behind his film, the passion that fueled its creation, what creativity means to him, and why his generation of music is simply the best, no contest.

Eagle Tribune: So million dollar question: Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

David Chase: (Straightfaced) Both.

ET: You can’t choose?

DC: I mean, I really like them both. I find myself listening to the Stones more. There’s more there — more albums. But I really love them both.

ET: Fair enough. So it’s easy to see that music is important to the film. I was wondering throughout the film, how much of the budget was music rights? The soundtrack is just the ultimate mix tape.

DC: About 15 to 20 percent.

ET: So it was really important to you making this movie about the music? Or more about the people inspired by it?

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