Guest Blog – Tim Lebbon

Posted: April 8, 2020 in Guest blog
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Having read Tim Lebbon’s brilliant Eden, I always find myself intrigued to learn a little more about the author and their writing process. Tim Lebbon has very kindly written an article on the music that he listened to while creating this thrilling survival horror. Now, I can’t wait to get my hands on more of his books…

Eden Soundtrack

Music makes the world go around. I’ve been a huge music fan since my teens. Back then it was heavy metal all the way, and I’ll admit I was pretty blinkered in my tastes. Bands I loved to listen to and see in concert included Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, Metallica, Anthrax, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath … the list goes on. I still listen to a lot of those now, but the older I get the more varied my musical tastes. I’m delighted that both my son and daughter have grown up listening to a huge range of music. One day I’ll pass their rooms and hear them listening to Green Day, AC/DC, or Dropkick Murphys, and next day it’s Billie Eilish, Stormzy, or Mumford & Sons. My daughter even introduced me to Frank Turner, just about my favourite singer/songwriter of all time.

​Which is a roundabout way of say that music is very important in my life. It’s because of this that I try to listen to it as much as I can, and as I spend 5 or 6 hours per day writing, it’s more often than not to musical accompaniment. Which music I listen to when I’m writing depends on lots of factors––the intensity of the writing, the theme, my state of mind, how settled my surroundings are. And very often, a novel or story will develop some sort of theme music as I’m writing it, particular albums or artists I’m drawn to at that particular moment. I wrote Eden a couple of years ago now, but I do remember a small selection of the music I was listening to as I worked on it. Take this as recommendations if you like. Or maybe when you’re reading the novel slip some of this music onto your turntable/cd player/steaming provider, and maybe you’ll get into the same headspace!

Instrumental music is great for moments when I’m writing a really intense scene, or if I’m feeling a little distracted and need to really concentrate on getting the words down. I occasionally listen to classical, but more often it’s movie or TV soundtracks, and these are some of my favourite:

Dredd original motion picture soundtrack –– heavy, repetitive, sometimes beautiful, there’s a hypnotic element to this great music that suits certain scenes perfectly.

Dunkirk original soundtrack –– I love all of Hans Zimmer’s work, but this is probably my favourite, especially the staggeringly brilliant and tense Supermarine. There’s an urgency to this theme that sets the heart pumping, and sometimes I actually find my writing speeding up! 

Sacred Spirit –– not a soundtrack, but Native American chants put to modern music, That might sound weird, I admit. But I love it. Calming, moving, it certainly suits those quieter moments of a story.

Sometimes, though, I need something a bit more rocky. When working, I tend to go for music I’m very familiar with, as it blends more easily into the background. If I know the lyrics well, it’s easier not to hear them at all, if that makes sense? So, whilst working on Eden there were several albums I had on virtual repeat.

Soundgarden –– Superunknown. I love all of their music, but their is probably my favourite album of theirs. Cornell was one of my favourite singers, and the range of musical style is wonderful.

Faith No More –– Angel Dust. One of my favourite albums of all time, and I think  Mike Patton has one of the finest voices in rock. Their newest album Sol Invictus is almost reaching classic status for me, but this album holds a weight of nostalgia. Sublime from beginning to end.

Skunk Anasie –– Stoosh. What can I say? Skin’s voice is like being sliced open by a feather. One of my favourite bands I have yet to see in concert. 

Life/Live –– Thin Lizzy. Recorded on their farewell tour, and though not as respected as Live and Dangerous, for me this album has a greater selection of songs, and a feel of a band truly at the height of their powers. Also the first CD I ever bought, it was £13.49 almost 30 years ago! Wow. 

Frank Turner –– Positive Songs for Negative People. Frank’s quickly become my favourite singer (along with his band the Sleeping Souls), and the best live act I’ve ever seen. I change my mind often about which of his albums is my favourite, but this is the album I really discovered first, and Get Better is one of my favourite songs of all time. Honestly, this album was on more when I was editing the book than initial writing, because I can’t listen without getting rolled up in the lyrics and singing along.

So that’s just a selection of what I was listening to whilst writing Eden. Who knows, one day I might be able to put an Original Soundtrack Album together for a screen adaptation!

  1. […] blog tour links. The first covers the music Tim listened to writing Eden and can be found at The BookBeard’s Blog, while over at MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape you can find an interview, […]

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