1. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    What music would my Meth-head...?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by DueNorth, Dec 23, 2016.

    I need some help from those who know music better than me. I have a character in my novel who is a mid-20's meth-head, low-life drug dealer. What sort of music would he be listening to as he's heading down the highway in his beatup old car? Artists? Song titles? Genre? Appreciate the help.
     
  2. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    Is he white, black, or Latino?
     
  3. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    White guy, rural, midwest. History of growing up in and out of juvenile corrections (where he would have been minority as a white kid). In midwest U.S. there are more blacks and native americans in the system. He is a small-time dealer. I think I have the "type" down pretty strong--just wanted to add some detail about what music he had on and wasn't sure what would be realistic. Do these kind of guys listen to Country? Thanks!
     
  4. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    There is a subset of white males in that lifestyle who try there darnedest to be black thugs, affectionately called, "whiggers". They would listen to hardcore rap, as opposed to thrash metal. Though I doubt any of them listen to country. Even Meth-heads have some standards.:)
     
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  5. footbeat

    footbeat New Member

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    Country doesn't sound realistic to me. Although I'm not from the Midwest, I see your character listening to sludge metal. It is aggressive and the subculture that gravitates toward it is not averse to drug use. I would imagine the song "Chlorine and Wine" by the band Baroness as an example.
     
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  6. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    Thanks--appreciate both suggestions. Being of the 70's rocker-era I'd never even heard of "sludge metal," so like this kind of detail. This is a small scene, but want to get the detail right. :)
     
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  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I like Baroness. Met the band. Been at their shows. I think this is a misconception about the fan base. For marijuana users -- yeah, probably works. Meth? Doesn't fit for me. Also, listen to the red album.
     
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  8. footbeat

    footbeat New Member

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    I also like Baroness. I haven't been to one of their shows, but would like to some day. I'm not suggesting the fans are all drug users, but if someone lit up a joint during a show, it wouldn't be out of place. Nobody would tell such a smoker to leave. And if a drug dealer was listening to them, I wouldn't see it as out of place either.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I wouldn't see it as out of place for anyone. I think maybe the question that started this thread is bad. When I lived in the Midwest, a lot of people busted for meth were rural, red-neck types (to paint a picture). Country or Lynyrd Skynyrd would fit perfectly. I knew some people who I suspect (but don't know) had a problem with meth, and they were all over the board - rap, metal, country, whatever. I don't think you can put a musical preference on them and say "it's because they're meh heads." They're still individual human beings. They could like anything. And that's more interesting than running with a stereotype.
     
  10. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

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    Rather than going for a stereotype, maybe it would be more interesting
    if he was into sophisticated music; or music that you just wouldn't
    expect him to be into. I would find the juxtaposition of low-life and
    high culture very fascinating. Creates a kind of tension. Suggests
    an inner conflict. Gives the character more depth.

    Just ideas. Could be wrong for your project.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    A lot of people who are into speedy things whether that's meth, normal phet or coke tend to like the insanely fast tempo music you get from techno or acid house (although that's a bit dated now) , or he could be into rap , or you could go with the typical shit kicker stuff like skynrd, CCR and so forth.

    or you could go for someting different like may be he likes to listen to beethoven because it helps him with the come down :D

    ETA wouldnt a real hard core meth head be listening to the radio because portable stuff like CDs would've been sold to fund his habbit
     
  12. texshelters

    texshelters Active Member

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    As many have implied, it depends on the character. The first thing I thought of, however, was "Head like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails.

    PS: an easy choice would be Disturbed as well. They are very popular, slightly edgy, but accessible for white trash midwesterners.

    Peace,
    Tex Shelters
     
  13. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    Thanks for the ideas of this small (in the context of an 80,000-plus word novel now in 3rd draft) detail I was adding. Here is the paragraph where it appears, from the POV of the girlfriend of my antagonist:
    The drive was mostly quiet. Jessi pretended to sleep. She kept her head turned away from Nate, watching out the window. He kept the CD player turned up high, listening to his collection of sludge metal with the variety of an occasional Lynyrd Skynyrd. Every so often he’d turn the volume down, shake Jessi by the shoulder until she turned and looked at him, then he’d go on a rant about needing to get his shit to a safe place before his damn PO came snooping and ruined his chances of making a living for the two of them. She’d nod like she understood and half-smile like she cared. Once he ramped the volume back up she’d turn towards the window and imagine life without him.

    Those who suggested using music as a way to give this character an interesting twist made a great point--I just don't choose to do that in this particular place. Point well taken, though. Stereotypes have their limitations. Thanks for the help!
     
  14. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    I don't think people under fifty have cds particularly...

    also, he's listening to heavy metal which is...frankly...well...it is 'square's music' for want of a better expression, so I won't buy the book if he's spotty and headbanging to Iron Maiden compilations in his bedroom.

    I see your protagonist as a more modern creation - all the world can be found on the fm frequency, you know - or perhaps on the short wave....

    ...he tunes in and out of pop stations, or classical with a wind-up radio - given away free of charge at that Christmas hostel, but definitely does not listen to heavy metal, or any sub-genre of said genre...then does the drugs...roams the hypermarket [on drugs] in his long anorak.
     
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  15. David Lee

    David Lee Member

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    Well, when I was a low life meth head (circa 1990's), we used to listen to Motley Crue, Nirvana, Guns N Roses, NIN, Van Halen (pre Van Hagar, with Roth), Ozzy... and anything else that was fast and pounded hard.
     
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  16. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    Good points. Thanks Mat--maybe just ditch the whole CD idea and use the radio--course he is a rural midwest where FM doesn't tune in very well and AM is mostly country and Bible thumping stations.
     
  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    I dunno @DN ...just got in from work when I posted that ramble...and currently tend towards position of Mr @David Lee...tho' serious a moment:

    you write,

    ...prose which requires unravelling...

    If it was Lynard Skynard you might make a reference to 'the needle and the spoon' or 'freebird' or the fact they were killed in a plane crash...so a trip to wiki and 5 minutes on youtube for them boys...for authenticity. Y'know, when I pen the military epic, write about shiny plastic medals on my fingers - I expect complaints from readers.

    So, perhaps re-draft the sentence - have woofers pounded, tweeters terrorised at the feet [and hands] of Tungsten Yeti, Finnish axemen guitarists, make it more visual. {Think it's a 'show/tell' kind of thing, sozzy :)}

    Still typing crap since 2012
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  18. Daniel I Russell

    Daniel I Russell Active Member

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    Reminded me of something from years ago. I was writing a story about a guy on hallucinogens seeing things in his apartment, and had this really trippy scene planned wherein he watches the music seep out of his stereo. I just needed the right song...

    Me: I'm writing this story and my main character is tripped out all the time.
    My friend: Sounds cool.
    Me: While we're talking...what bands are you into?
     
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  19. Olaf

    Olaf New Member

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    I knew a young man that shares a similar description to your character. Except he had a job and his vehicle was fairly new as well. I also had no idea he was smoking meth at the time.

    He had dreams (one of many dreams) of becoming a DJ one day and once upon a time he had a mixtable, but he sold it (drugs must've been more important to him.) He loved his techno and electronic beats, anything that was loud, repetitious and had the occassional lyrics of sexual nature or heart break. He was a pretty miserable dude. I guess musical taste varies from druggie to druggie--meth doesn't decide which music the user listens to. But I see that point's already been made. I wonder how your character would react if a gospel tune played while he's fiddling around with a radio? Would he start crying, get angry or switch up the lyrics a little bit? "this little point of mine... I'm gonna let it shine." or something of that nature. It would be a nice detail to add to what your doesn't like and how he reacts to it. Just my two cents.
     
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  20. BillyxRansom

    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    my first thought was something like black metal, or hardcore rap. or the group that does the Squidbillies theme song.

    you want something that your character will identify with. so something that has an intense edge to it. something that completely discards any notion of any desire of accessibility, so that, when you engage the meth head, they're not going to have any sort of hint of accessibility to their nature. so the tendency of their musical taste will match that.

    the Melvins' first album 'Gluey Porch Treatments' would be a good pick, for sludge metal particularly. or anything from Eyehategod
     
  21. BillyxRansom

    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    hell, try some Negative Approach, even. go for whatever music that seems to come from the depths of nihilism.
     
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