Why The Smiths music came to be used in The Killer?

The Smiths music - why it came to be used in The Killer?

One of the seminal and most influential bands of the 1980’s was The Smiths fronted by Morrisey whose witty yet incisive lyrics were easy to relate to for many a teenager and combined with Johnny Marr’s music made them one of the the defining songwriting duos of the era. Their songs were defiantly British but here is why The Smiths music came to be used in The Killer.

What the character chooses to listen to – whether through the earbuds of his MP3 player, or in his hired vehicles – also provides an opportunity to give the audience a sense of who he is as a person. “We went through a whole process of vetting The Killer’s taste,” says sound designer Ren Klyce. “Because we know so little about him – he barely speaks, aside from the voiceover. Who is this guy?

David and Andy [screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker] really wanted to figure out a way to inform the audience about him.” Various options were considered – from Bach to Dusty Springfield – but eventually the idea solidified around having all the songs be from one particular, bleakly amusing and aurally infectious ’80s British rock band. “We tried a whole bunch of stuff,” confirms Fincher. “We needed something that fit the nature of our lead character and The Smiths were the requisite mix of sardonic, harmonic and nihilist. What songwriters have as much fun with sinister concepts as Johnny Marr and Morrissey? We just kept coming back to The Smiths.”

You shut your mouth, how can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does.
— “How Soon Is Now?” The Smiths

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