I’m not sure what got me thinking about it, but this morning I was wondering what musical genre (or even just song) really defines post-apocalyptic cinema. In the 1980s, when post-apocalyptic was synonymous with “bitchin’ nuclear mutant party”, New Wave was king. It seemed like every apocalypse movie had some Devo knock-off (hell, or sometimes even Devo) on the soundtrack. As a HUGE New Wave fan (and “heavy” New Wave musician in Volumen) really enjoyed that, but it didn’t feel authentic to me. I mean, something tells me the end of the world (despite everything REM has told us) isn’t going to be fun.
So… if not New Wave, then what? Maybe late 80s/early 90s industrial? There’s definitely something bleak and dark about industrial music. Or.. maybe that’s because I’m not a huge fan. I could just never get into Skinny Puppy and Einsturzende Neubauten. Although, it’s been a long time, so I should give it another shot, I guess. (NOTE: for some reason, I like to “discover” music after everyone else has moved on. I never like it at the “right” time.) The musical aesthetic of Industrial definitely fits… hmm… even the goofy fashion aspect of early 90s industrial makes sense. We might be onto something here, but where are we going to get all the sequencers, drum machines and whatnot?
Hmm.. with that in mind, maybe the apocalypse would be better scored with Pierre Schaeffer’s Musique concrète? That makes sense in many ways. I mean, I guess we aren’t going to have a whole lot of instruments to work with. Hell, we’ll be lucky if we have anything to record our jams onto. I’m assuming that computers and hard drives will be fried from all the magnetic energy of the nuclear explosion (err… something like that anyway). Back to analog, I guess. I probably should go bury a reel-to-reel in my backyard, just to be safe.
Oh crap, I just followed this thread a little further and realized what we’re probably going to be dealing with, musically, in the post-apocalyptic age. I’ll help you visualize it. A bunch of dirty dudes in tattered filthy clothing, coming together around the bonfire to celebrate and connect with music. They don’t have guitars, keytars or saxophones, but they do have empty trash cans, buckets, rocks and sticks. So, they just let it all hang out and really get their jam on. What does that sound like to you? Yup, you guessed it. Freaking drum circles. Draaaaag. Make sure and hide some hacky sacks in your post-apocalypse cache.