Warren Ellis is an Australian musician and composer best known as a co-founder of the instrumental rock trio Dirty Three; for his film score collaborations with Nick Cave, and as a member of Cave's bands the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. A classically trained violinist, Ellis studied in Melbourne before busking his way across Europe in the late '80s. In 1992, he formed Dirty Three with guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White, and the group made their debut a year later. Throughout the '90s, Ellis maintained a healthy output of music, releasing a string of acclaimed records with Dirty Three and first collaborating with Nick Cave, then joining the Bad Seeds as a full-time member. Over the years, Ellis has also collaborated with Marianne Faithful, Cat Power, and the Avalanches, among others. He made his solo debut in 2002 with the experimental Three Pieces for Violin EP, which featured music he'd composed for Canadian dance company Holy Body Tattoo.
Ellis' history composing for theater dates back to the '80s, and a few years after his EP's release, he and Cave composed the score for the Austrian Western film The Proposition. His collaborations with Cave produced scores for numerous films over the coming decade, like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Road (2009), and Lawless (2012). In 2006, he and Cave also formed Grinderman, a side project of the Bad Seeds that released albums in 2007 and 2010. In 2015, Ellis acted as the sole composer for the film Mustang before teaming back up with Cave to score the heist film Hell or High Water in 2016. The following year he stayed equally productive, offering up the scores for the indie drama Bad Girl and the Django Reinhardt biopic Django, as well as two more Cave collaborations in the Brad Pitt political satire War Machine and the thriller Wind River. ~ Timothy Monger