As Far As Souls Go was heavily inspired by music, some parts literally, some merely in spirit. While writing, I found playing music helped to keep the process going, but some songs had a far better effect than others.
I’ve taken the liberty of providing a little list of songs that should improve your reading experience. A few you can find simply named in the story, others just inspired certain phrases or paragraphs.
The following assumes you have already read As Far As Souls Go, so there will be spoilers.
Take Judas Priest’s I’m A Rocker, for example. Eddie is a rocker indeed, as am I, because the adage “write what you know” holds true. And with inspiration drawn from another Priest song, it quickly became apparent which band would be Eddie’s favorite.
If there’s one thing that can drive a man to suicide…
In a surprise plot twist I didn’t even know I was writing, something happens which results in a funeral. One which Eddie isn’t allowed to join because he’s held responsible. Nevertheless, after everybody has left and evening has come, Eddie goes to the fresh grave to say his own goodbyes. For a proper goodbye, he plays Safety Dance, which they forgot to include during the funeral, and personally I love the contrast it gives to the weight of the situation.
When Eddie arrives in the Underworld, just about the first thing he does is start a riot in Processing, as you do. Some time earlier, he promised to come in guns blazing, and it seems only fitting to have Judas Priest underscore him following through on that threat.
Of course, there’s a pretty obvious mention of John Denver’s Country Roads and that is the version that’s referenced in the story, but because I want to give a little shout-out to Leo Moracchioli, and because his version sounds more like a Underworldly version of Country Roads, I’m just gonna give him the big link. Check out more of his work, he does some brutal covers.
Try singing Angel Of The Morning off the top of your head. I’m willing to bet you’ll screw up at least one word. Maybe it’s because I was writing and singing along at the same time, I’ll grant you that.
Toby can’t do it either, especially not with elevator muzak throwing him off, and it seemed funny to let him sing about angels.
Almost overlapping with the next one, Eddie has an excellent opportunity to recreate the very start of Van Halen’s Runnin’ With The Devil. It doesn’t exactly result in running with the Devil, but any excuse to push a bit of Van Halen on people is a good excuse.
The very first lines written for the story came to me when I heard another Priest song while I was writing something entirely different.
Ram It Down features some metal AF lyrics, but the very best ones—the ones that grabbed my attention and latched on like sweaty velcro — go like this:
Thousands of cars and a million guitars
Screaming with power in the air
That painted such an awesome picture I had no choice but to write about it. If you look somewhere towards the end for the escape from Hell you’ll probably find it.