Monday, 8 May 2017

Five (AFI) Songs for Tristesse and Lola

On Friday night I got to see my all-time favourite band play live for the first time since 2003. AFI have been an instrumental and vital part of my life and writing process since I discovered them back in the dim, glory days of MTV2. Every album they've made has had an least one song (and usually several) that has become a theme song for a book or character of mine. That's just as true for Imperial Demons as it was the first novel I ever wrote (which we will never speak of again), and since I'm still riding the emotional high of seeing them live again, I thought today would be a good day to share some of the AFI tracks that have woven themselves into Lola and Tristesse's world.

1. So Beneath You

If Tristesse has a theme song for Imperial Demons, this is it. The lyrics are the perfect words of rebellion and pride that will carry her through the story:

I won’t kneel. I won’t bow.
If you’re there now
Strike me down, strike me down, strike me down.
Oh, you’ve got nothing.
There is none higher than this blood,
And I won’t serve anyone.
No there is nothing above.
And I don’t serve anyone, anyone.

2. Love Like Winter

Warn your warmth to turn away. Here it's December every day.

This is a pretty good description of Gehenna, where Lola and Tristesse find themselves trapped during Imperial Demons. This song's chorus also strongly evokes both the women and some of the overall motifs of the series for me.

It's in the blood, it's in the blood.
I met my love before I was born.
She wanted love. I taste of blood.
She bit my lip and drank my warmth from years before.

3. Torch Song

I think if Lola could write a song about Tristesse, it would be this song.

I saw you. Angels came to light your path.
I heard you keep their wings pressed under glass.
Now am I so enthralled that I might die?
I saw you, sweetly smile, and say "do try".
I'd tear out my eyes for you, my dear
To see everything that you do.
4. She Speaks the Language

And I think if Tristesse could write a song about Lola, it would be this one.

Little drops upon my cuffs
Let me know this must be love.
Red, red drops upon my cuffs
Let me know this must be love.
Now I know this be...
This must be love.

5. Endlessly, She Said

And finally, because a bit part of Imperial Demons is two lovers separated and fighting to get back to each other, this song just seems perfectly appropriate.

I returned to you but found,
My empty home.
The radio told me to stay.
As it burned down
I sang alone...

"I will wait for you," she said,

This is a really quick trip through some of the musical inspirations for the book and the ladies, but I hope you like it! You can also check out the Blood Canticles playlist if you're on Spotify (see it at the bottom of this page) for more of the bands, songs, and instrumentals that have helped build the series. Enjoy!

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