I can’t write without music. Well, I can, it’s just more inspirational to do it with music. Depending which character is in the scene, what they’re doing, where they are, all of this has an effect on what I listen to. I created a Karen Yellowtail OST on Spotify where it’s easy to jump from track to track. Are we in the casino? Let’s put on Lightningcloud’s Casino Money, even if they do misuse the term clip when they meant magazine (thanks for that Ben Sobieck). Finding music for antagonists and the bad shit they do is easy, as they say, the devil has all the good tunes. The well is always full to overflowing with Mark Lanegan, Betty X, Nick Cave, Wolf Alice, Mas Ysa, Mourning Ritual and Blues Saraceno to name but a few.
Writing for the protagonist is a different ball game. She’s complicated with a whole mess of problems in her life and all she wants is peace and quiet. But working with her has allowed me to delve deep into the abundant overflowing wellspring of Native and First Nations talent. It all kicked off with Tyler Peyron’s haunting urban poetry of Melodic Soul featuring In The Woods, and A Tribe Called Red’s blow your head off remix of Northern Cree’s Redskin Girl which lead me down an incredible road of creativity to Frank Waln, Leonard Sumner, Fawn Wood, Tanya Tagaq, Blue Flamez, Black Lodge Singers, Kevin Yazzie & Cheevers Toppah, IsKwé and Four Nations. If you’re on Spotify or Soundcloud, look them all up. There is also a special place for Robbie Robertson and his Skinwalker, a track that allows me to go into deserts with protagonists, antagonists, victims and a certain amount of creative inspiration.
There is only room, currently, on my soundtrack playlist for one U2 track (Hawkmoon 269) although another of their tracks, One Step Closer, hit me up with some inspiration – U2 lyrics: “I’m on an island at a busy intersection, can’t go forward, I can’t turn back; can’t see the future it’s getting away from me. I just watch the tail lights glowing.”
Here’s what it gave me: “But as you know, when the big moments come, the ones that hit you hard and rip your feet out from under you, you’re still gonna get T-boned at that intersection, island or no island. Grief comes in little pieces, jagged chips of bloody pain. Karen had begged the universe for more time, even just a few more months, but the appeal was returned stamped application denied.”