Writin’ Music

This morning my man Jack Drew asked the Twitterers for suggestions for music to write to. I immediately offered up my go-to writin’ music, the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack.


I often prefer soundtracks and instrumental work. Danzig’s Black Aria is another one, or Pink Floyd’s Animals. Sometimes I’ll let the ambient noise of Ghosts I-IV from Nine Inch Nails fly. Surf guitar, like Los Straitjackets, works well. After a while I stop hearing the music anyway, and I let iTunes shuffle or I’ll pick a song and let it build a Genius playlist for me.

There are times I’ll shoot for a particular feel, though. I still adopt “Wolves & Werewolves” from The Pack A.D. as the unofficial theme song for Lie with the Dead (or even my entire Pack series), and iTunes will run with it and build me a good blues-rock mix with a little Rage Against the Machine for spice.

Time to write something steamy? I don’t always need music to get me in the mood, but one that always works is Tito & Tarantula’s “After Dark” off the From Dusk ‘Til Dawn soundtrack. Why that song? Observe:

I’ll always take a sleazy guitar riff over the old school R&B. It just works.

Am I still talking about writing? Right. Moving on.

Action scenes, I might queue up some punk or metal. Sometimes spoken word will pop through a shuffle, like something from Henry Rollins, but I have to hit skip so I don’t end up listening to it instead of writing.

Whatever the sound, having music on works. If I find myself procrastinating by surfing websites or fooling around on some social networking time suck, I will open up iTunes and just hit play. It’s almost a trigger for me. A Pavlovian reaction that goes “this happens, now I do this.” It’s not quite as effective as sitting down with a cigar and the iPad on the front porch, but it gets the job done.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time I fire up Pages and rock out.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

One comment

  1. TriMarkC says:

    When I was blogging consistently I used to use music to either block out the world, get focused or get into my theme, as well. Although I don’t recall ever needing a theme of albino boas and sexy vampires! Maybe I should change genres!!