Elfman, formerly of the disbanded Oingo Boingo, is probably best known now for his orchestral scores for many major movie releases, often working closely with Director Tim Burton. Some include Batman, Mission Impossible, Men in Black and the upcoming Superman Lives. He also wrote the opening theme for the Simpsons television series.
In a lengthy interview with Joshua A Fruhlinger published at the plug site, Elfman talks about Hell and the afterlife...
JF: You've often dealt with themes of death and the afterlife, venturing into those areas musically and also thematically.
DE: I don't know. I don't know. Why have people been obsessed with death for centuries, you know? I can't really answer that. I wish I knew. It's just there, you know, the great mystery. I don't believe in life after death.
JF: You don't?
DE: No. So, I suppose, you know, that becomes a fascinating mystery. I mean, I'd like to... I hope... sometimes I really... I kind of hope that there's a Hell. I hope that there's a Heaven and that I'm qualified for Hell. 'Cause that's where I would definitely want to go. You know, if there is a Heaven and a Hell, I hope that involves the Russian plan. I've always loved the Russian version of Hell, where all the writers and the interesting people are gonna spend their time gathering. It's just like this big house in like the middle of somewhere. If there is a Christian version of Heaven, I know I don't want to go there. Awful bad. Jews don't have Heaven and Hell. It's not really part of that way of thinking. If there is any kind of Hell, I would like to think it's along the lines as presented in Master Margarita, a Russian novel, and that nails it for me.
From a January 1997 chat on AOL:
Question: *Really* stupid question. Are you an atheist?
DElfmn: Absolutely not. I believe in Dog.
Correction (16-Feb-01): Good sources confirm that Elfman is not a Scientologist, though some readers have reported so. This is likely due to the fact that his older brother, Richard Elfman, Richard's son Bodhi, and Bodhi's wife, Jenna Elfman, are all Scientologists. Consult FAQs on Elfman for more details.