Servant of Rock!
Music is a huge part of writing for me. It helps keep my inspiration burning, adds emotional weight to specific scenes, and generally keeps me grooving while I work. I’ve seen several authors post playlists for their books and I think it’s a totally awesome idea. As such, I’ve put together one for Servant of Rage!
There are spoilers in the below notes. I’d advise reading the book before continuing.
“Sound of Madness” by Shinedown
In chapter one we’re introduced to Subei and his, as some would call it, suicidal ambition. I think that ties in rather nicely with the “sound of madness.”
“Rooster” by Alice in Chains
Chapter Two, part one
This song oozes dread, pain, and regret. I think it pairs appropriately with the Old Father’s mentality as we meet him in the beginning of chapter two. He’s lived an interesting and violent life, and in his final days, he’s dwelling on that.
“Haunted” by Disturbed
Chapter Two, part two
This song kicks off with a thunderstorm in the background. How could I not pair it with chapter two, part two? It’s an angry, painful song, which goes right along with Subei and Bataar’s experience with the unnatural storm. Then we have the line “no medication can cure what has taken hold,” and hot damn, is that an accurate description of the bloodrage.
“Diamond Eyes” by Shinedown
This song starts off calm, then boils into hard rock. That feeling is exactly how I imagine the moment in chapter three when the bloodrage first emerges in Subei. Bonus points for the line “the story’s just beginning,” which is all too appropriate a way to describe the burgeoning relationship between the two.
“Awaken” by Dethklok
I mean, this one’s pretty self-explanatory, right? I mean, there are no ten-story tall trolls rising from lake beds to the tune of pseudo-ironic death metal, but chapter eight is most certainly the chapter in which we sample the bloodrage’s true nature. Considering that, this song seems more than appropriate. Bonus fact: I tried using it as my alarm clock. Unfortunately, I am a deep sleeper. Deeper than Mustakrakish, apparently.
“Chapter Doof” by Junkie XL – Mad Max: Fury Road
This is a wonderful chase song and I think I mainly included it in the playlist to make Servant of Rage feel half as badass as Mad Max: Fury Road. Oh, and also because of its killer drums. And guitar riffs. And, well, there’s a lot of reasons. Then again, maybe it is just because I secretly want to chase someone through crowded town streets while this blares in the background.
“Wrong Side of Heaven” by Five Finger Death Punch
Heavy, emotional rock is my guilty pleasure. Can you tell? This song is all about regret and looking inwards. Considering Subei is experiencing both in chapter thirteen, well, it’s a match made in heav—er, hell? I particularly love the lines: “I’m no hero and I’m not made of stone / Right or wrong / I can hardly tell / I’m on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell.” That feels exactly where Subei is at this point.
“Shot from a Cannon” by Chevelle
Chevelle is my jam. Grunge on grunge on grunge. They’re coarse, they’re guttural, and they absolutely rock. All attributes I was aiming for in chapter fifteen. Sometimes you just have to let go. Sometimes you just have to give in. Sometimes you just have to let the bloodrage take control and splatter the treetops with the viscera of your enemies. Like I said, grunge.
“Enemies” by Shinedown
In this chapter, Subei and Bataar get to strut their stuff…in the most murderous way you can imagine. The lyrics of this song are perfect for that, and the general tone of the song also matches all too well. This is an important fight, but Subei and Bataar don’t enter it afraid. If anything, they’re looking forward to it. “Enemies” feels the same to me.
“Everything You Ever” by Neil Patrick Harris – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Yeah, I get it. This one seems out of place in a list of hard rock and grunge. But listen to the lyrics. Really listen. And read the chapter. Particularly the very end of it. Then match that up with the song at 03:03 and ride it out to the end of the song. “And I won’t feel…a thing.”
“45” by Shinedown
“What ever happened to the young man's heart? / Swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart.”
“A Warrior’s Call” by Volbeat
This song never fails to get me pumped. It’s great for drowning out the world and firing yourself up. Sort of like Subei in chapter twenty-four. He’s tired of feeling sorry for himself and ready to do something about it. He’s becoming a warrior again. Except, a warrior of a different sort.
“Goodbye Forever” by Volbeat
I mean, hopefully this chapter isn’t truly goodbye forever for our two brothers. I’m not that sadistic of a bastard, am I?
“Blood Bag” by Junkie XL – Mad Max: Fury Road
Tension, drama, and a fair bit of action. This song was written to be paired with chapter thirty-one of Servant of Rage. Pay no mind to that silly movie or whatever that it was originally made for. “Bloodbag” features much of the drums and guitar that endear me to it’s companion song, “Chapter Doof.” I listened to these a lot while writing Servant of Rage.
“Jekyll and Hyde” by Five Finger Death Punch
Chapter Thirty-Two, part one
“There’s a demon inside / Just like Jekyll and Hyde.” Yeah, I’d say so. Second to last chapter of the book? I’d say it’s time to let that demon out, wouldn’t you?
“The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed
Chapter Thirty-Two, part two
This song is clearly meant for the death of an important character. I wanted to keep the moment realistic in the book – quick, brutal, and merciless – but said character deserves better. And so s/he will get it. Put this song on, close your eyes, and let’s think fondly on our fallen friend. Or don’t. I don’t know you. Maybe you hated him / her. Maybe you’re some sort of monster.
“Dead But Rising” by Volbeat
Chapter Thirty-Two, part three
That’s right, chapter thirty-two gets three parts. It’s a long chapter, okay? And some important shit happens. Anyway, I’ve always envisioned this song as the “comeback song.” Subei has some ass to kick, and by goodness, he’s going to do it to the rockin’ tunes of a killer song.
“Failure” by Breaking Benjamin
You did read the book before reading down this far, didn’t you? If not, this is your own damn fault. Way to blow the ending, jerk. I kid, I kid. But really, this song could be playing on loop in Subei’s cell and I think he’d be unable to do anything but agree with its lyrics. And maybe wonder where this unholy, ethereal music is coming from. “The dark before the dawn / The war will carry on / Look for the light that leads me home.” Servant of Rage doesn’t exactly end on a high note. But Subei’s not giving up. And you shouldn’t either. After all: “Life will come our way / it has only just begun.”