Queen, The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, and other popular music artists largely define the sound of Suicide Squad. But holding the movie together in between the rock “n” roll and rap is the film”s score, composed by Steven Price.
When Price visited the anti-superhero movie”s Toronto set, director David Ayer talked to his composer about the characters a lot.
“He described them all really strongly, individually, as these outsiders,” Price recalled, talking with HitFix this morning on a phone call from his native U.K.
He created individual character themes that “all relate to the main Squad theme. They would find their home musically as their characters did.”
A lot of the score is rather traditional orchestral movie music that sets itself apart from the radio-friendly tunes of the rest of the movie.
Price didn”t want his score “to feel like it was coming from a different planet” from the rest of the movie”s music, but he also recognized that it “was going to be doing a different job.”
So he brought some electric guitar into the score, playing around with feedback to add in some edgy texture.
“There”s this very high sort of chiming pluck that was associated with the Joker, which is kind of a guitar string tuned way too high to the point of snapping and played really off the fingerboard,” Price explained of his sound for the iconic villain. “It made this sort of really weird, tense noise, which we then processed afterwards. The sound is like this is something that might snap at any moment, which is kind of how the Joker always appeared to us.”
For the Joker and Harley Quinn”s shared themes, Ayer directed Price to capture “this broken, doomed romance,” the composer said.
You can hear some of Price”s sound for the Joker and Harley Quinn, along with the 40-person choir assembled for the score recorded at Warner Bros., in the exclusive track below, titled “Arkham Asylum.” It”s from a scene in the film when Dr. Harleen Quinn meets with the Joker while he”s imprisoned at the famed DC Comics psychiatric hospital.
Listen to the HitFix-exclusive track below.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. The motion picture score album will be available to download and stream on Monday, August 8.