‘So what sort of stuff do you play?’. The ubiquitous question that plagues pretty much every musician. The band I’m in, The Fierce & The Dead, play – well, what the hell do we play? I normally say that it’s really loud but you can dance to it which I think is a fair appraisal.

If pressed by this hypothetical pilgrim I may also reveal that we do not have any vocals, something that still confuses the masses when in the context of rock/pop music. Genres like jazz have a longer tradition of instrument led music and one could argue that jazz dance bands evolved into EDM, something to be danced to in a communal social environment. But guitar music without vocals is still something the mainstream masses find hard to swallow as a concept (they always forget about surf music).

However we are surrounded by music that is not led by the human voice. Generally when people come to see us without expectations they find themselves very comfortable – they don’t realise they’ve been hearing instrumental music all the time – and usually it’s through the medium of film soundtracks.

We never decided to keep away from vocals, it was not an ideological decision, rather it was something that wasn’t unusual to us. As kids we listened to John Barry albums as much as we did Faith No More. And so the films we watch directly influenced our music and the soundscapes within. Soundtracks help the visual elements of films by setting scenes and establishing tones. And in Horror movies directors and composers can really play with the viewer – providing strange emotional connections between the visual and the audio – to unsettle and unbalance.

And so with Halloween here again I’d like to show you some of the tracks we as a band love and definitely influenced our last album ‘The Euphoric’ which we play through live for the first time in a few weeks at The Lexington, London.

Goblin – Profondo Rosso

I was lucky enough to see Goblin play this soundtrack live accompanied by film itself.

Primarily a hyper stylised thriller the music Goblin provided hints at darker, far more unsettling depth to the visuals. The organ motif becomes a herald of terrible things to come, so much so that as soon as it appears it alters the meaning of the scene it haunts.

Falling – Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch

Twin Peaks is one of the most disturbing viewing experiences I’ve ever had. Lynch is a master at showing you things you’ve never seen before and coupling it with music that shifts your perspective, emphasising his bizarre dream logic.

The last series was terrifying on an existential level and Badalamenti’s music with Lynch’s sound design created a work of terrifying art.

Re-Animator Theme – Richard Band

Essentially a lift from Bernard Herman’s classic Psycho soundtrack – but with added eighties drums because why not. A crazy film, a very loose adaptation of a Lovecraft story full of schlock shocks that this era of b movies did so well.

Halloween 3 Main Theme – John Carpenter, Alan Howarth

Not the greatest film of the Halloween franchise but Carpenter delivers on the soundtrack. His style has infiltrated culture to the point where I hear many bands, some apparently subconsciously, mimicking the iconic synth sounds that he marinades his films in.

Halloween 3 Main Theme – John Carpenter, Alan Howarth

A perfect example of how matching a terror filled story with a sweet, almost childish melody can amplify the dread tenfold. Innocence lost is always disturbing and for this music makes everything seem much more creepy

Th Fierce And The Dead play at The Lexington, London on Nov 10th with support from Kylver. Tickets available at 

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