I always wonder how many writers—in any genre, really—are wanna-be rock stars. Now, I could be nuts, yes, but I do see similarities between being on a stage and showing your stuff and writing for publication and showing your stuff. One: you’ve got to be brave. Two: you can’t fear criticism. Three: you have to love rhythm.
Knowing that Dario Dalla Lasta is a musical guy, my instincts told me that he just might think about music when he’s writing. Hell, maybe his writing is even inspired by music. I, for one, found one of his short stories from Squeeze Pants, “Game Set Match,” particularly musical, albeit mostly in its rhythmic voice and tone. But then I found myself setting music to it, particular tracks that met the vulnerability, desire, and heat in each and every scene. It was so easy to do.
I had completely forgotten about this part of my interview with Dario, but I think it’s kind of awesome. And since we both love music, I just had to link the songs that Dario selected for his “Game Set Match” playlist to the mighty Spotify. I’ll speak for Dario: we hope you enjoy it.
Everyone should know about how much of a musical guy you are: you DJ in Brooklyn and are quite possibly Rick Springfield’s biggest fan ever. And I’m thinking that music could play a part in your writing life as well. Like, in “Game Set Match,” I could hear the soundtrack playing softly in the background—at first, with Trace (a couple tracks from the Pet Shop Boys’ Very album, some Erasure [of course], and a little Morrissey), and again when the story switches to tennis heartthrob Jeremy’s point of view (some good, ol’ fashioned Judas Priest, a little Queens of the Stone Age). Do you play music when you write? And since you already know how to select music to set a mood, what songs would you pick as the soundtrack for “Game Set Match”?
I’m so happy that you brought songs and bands into the conversation. Being a DJ for 10 years has made me think of everything in regards to music; there’s always a soundtrack in my head. Believe it or not, though, I don’t write that often to music. If I do, I just play classical, motion picture soundtracks, or classic rock in the background. It all depends on my mood.
As for “Game Set Match,” I’m loving your musical references. While the story is fiction, a lot of myself went into the piece as well. I went to college in the late ’80s, so your song choices are spot on. Your mentions of Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Morrissey, and Judas Priest really hit home. As a result, I’ve made a playlist to go along with the story.
“It’s A Sin” — Pet Shop Boys (Actually, 1987)
“At school they taught me how to be
So pure in thought and word and deed
They didn’t quite succeed
For everything I long to do
No matter where or when or who
Has one thing in common, too
It’s a sin.”
“A Little Respect” — Erasure (The Innocents, 1988)
“I’m so in love with you, I’ll be forever blue
What religion or reason could drive a man to
forsake his lover
Don’t you tell me no, don’t you tell me no…”
“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” — The Smiths (Louder Than Bombs, 1987)
“In my life, oh, why do I give valuable time
to people who don’t care if I live or die?”
“One Way or Another” — Blondie (Parallel Lines, 1979)
The ULTIMATE stalker song.
“Dr. Feelgood” — Mötley Crüe (Dr. Feelgood, 1989)
Jeremy’s theme song. He’s the one that makes you feel alright. Right?
“You Give Love A Bad Name” — Bon Jovi (Slippery When Wet, 1986)
Trace is shot through the heart, and Jeremy’s to blame.
“Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion’s a prison you can’t break free
Oh, you’re a loaded gun, yeah
Oh, there’s nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done.”
Medley of the following songs, mixed to perfection by yours truly:
“Breaking the Law” — Judas Priest (British Steel, 1980)
“Devil Inside” — INXS (Kick, 1988)
“Hot Blooded” — Foreigner (Double Vision, 1978)
“Lick It Up” — Kiss (Lick It Up, 1983)
“He Whipped My Ass in Tennis (Then I Fucked His Ass in Bed)” — Pansy Division (Total Entertainment, 2003)
How else could the playlist end?!