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[Exclusive] ‘The Devil’s Candy’ Director Sean Byrne Provides Soundtrack Commentary

Who’s ready to rock out with the devil?

Not only is The Loved Ones director Sean Byrne’s heavy metal horror flick The Devil’s Candy (read our review) headed to VOD and select theaters this Friday, but it will be released alongside a soundtrack that features music both from and inspired by the movie. The ass-kicking soundtrack will be digitally available tomorrow, and we’ve got a fun exclusive for you today.

Byrne took some time out of his busy schedule to write up some liner note-style commentary for the entire J2 Music/Ingrooves soundtrack, which features performances from an all-star metal lineup that includes such notable bands as experimental legends Sunn O))) and thrash titans Slayer. Machine Head, Ghost, PJ Harvey and others round out the brutal soundtrack.  

Why did Byrne pick the tracks he picked? Read on for the exclusive commentary and don’t forget to check out The Devil’s Candy this Friday, coming our way via IFC Midnight!

The Devil’s Candy Soundtrack represents the rare opportunity to shine a light not only on songs from the film but those that inspired it. As much as possible I’ve remained faithful to the film’s storytelling arc, guiding the listener from the light into the dark. So without further ado, here’s the track list:

  • 01 Sunn O))) – Belürol Pusztit

The films begins with a sleeping giant, Ray, tapped on the shoulder by the forces of darkness. No other band captures darkness like Sunn O))). Their sinister drones and Lucifer voices are a waking nightmare. Listen with headphones alone in the dark because at almost sixteen minutes Belürol Pusztit is not a song, it’s an experience.

  • 02 The Wanton Bishops – Shake

This howling blues band sound like they live next door to The Black Keys but were formed in Beirut. I needed a song to capture the exuberance and optimism of an atypical rock n roll loving family and Shake best exemplified that. So after the hell of Sunn O))) get ready to stomp your feet and clap your hands because this is as happy as it’s ever going to get!

  • 03 Spiderbait – Conjunctivitis

Like so many Australians I grew up with Spiderbait. They’re a unique mix of sweet and heavy. As cute as the Juno soundtrack one minute, the next bleakly reminding us we’re “Already dead… Already dead… Already dead.” And that’s exactly what I needed for the montage of our lovable family moving into their new house with a compromised past: a way to tell the audience, “You might be having fun now but things are about to change…”

  • 04 PJ Harvey – The Devil

Thanks to PJ Harvey my daughter’s middle name is Jean. That’s how much I love her! So it’s no surprise The Devil is the first of the album’s “inspired by” tracks. It has a timeless gothic quality that underlines the inescapability of Ray’s plight. No matter how hard he struggles against the darkness it will find a way in. Always has, always will. The opening line says it all, “As soon as I’m left alone the Devil wanders into my soul”.

  • 05 Ghost – From The Pinnacle To The Pit

Another “inspired by” track and the beginning of the metal section of the album. I chose this song because it’s as slick and polished as Satanic metal gets, which sums up how our hero Jesse, a struggling painter, initially treats the darkness when it comes calling – as a muse to be embraced all the way to the bank. Ghost’s genius lies in disguising the Satanic within the commercial. Jesse rides this wave, distracted by the catchy melody, not paying enough attention to realize he’s about to fall “from the Pinnacle to the Pit” and take his family with him.

  • 06 Goya – Blackfire

For Jesse dropping his daughter Zooey off for her first day at a new school I needed something that captured their shared love of metal, had a great Seventies driving-with-the-window-down groove, while also implying Satan’s along for the ride. I was struggling to find something that ticked all the boxes until a friend recommended Goya and I’m so glad he did because not only was Blackfire the perfect head banging fit but I ended up discovering a new band I now can’t get enough of. If you’ve ever been into Black Sabbath then you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out Goya. Stoner doom with glorious riffs and serious groove.

  • 07 Slayer – You Against You

It’s an honor to have thrash metal legends Slayer on the soundtrack. You Against You was chosen because it somehow reminded me of the crossroads mythology. What would you sacrifice to be the artist you’ve always dreamed of being? This is the question Jesse faces when he pulls up to the Gallery with a new piece he deep down knows didn’t come from him. He feels darkness clawing at his soul and knows this obsession is fracturing his family but he also has a burning ambition to be noticed. He confronts his reflection, forced to choose between the metaphorical Angel and Devil on his shoulders. Ultimately, as with any choice, it’s You Against You.

  • 08 Machine Head – Sail Into the Black

Another “inspired by”, chosen because the characters in The Devil’s Candy do indeed sail into the black. The structure of the track mirrors that of the narrative, starting with space then deepening, darkening and tightening until we’re in hell on earth by the climax. The heavy power chords that kick in to signal the transition from melancholy to menacing were a big influence on Ray’s guitar sound, or as I like to call it his death march.

  • 09 Alessio Randon, Aurora Surgit – Dies Irae (Sequentia)

This is the hymn playing on PBS TV while Zooey is tied up in Ray’s bathroom staring death in the face. Zooey represents the light and Ray the darkness so at this pivotal juncture I wanted something hauntingly beautiful and somewhat grandiose to represent the age old battle between good and evil. Dies Irae is about the day of judgment and the summoning of souls. Thematically it felt like the right fit.

  • 10 Sunn O))) – Decay2 (Nihils’ Maw)

We bookend the soundtrack with Sunn O))) and the voice of the Lucifer still calling. Every time I engage with this track I feel like I’m falling into a never ending velvety black void. Conjuring a deep, foreboding sense of doom, Decay2 (Nihils’ Maw) is an appropriate way to end. Because ultimately that’s what The Devil’s Candy is…

A Doom Opera.

In the film…

Jesse, a struggling artist, moves with his wife and daughter into their dream house in rural Texas, the price driven down by the property’s dark past. Their lives soon begin to unravel as the demonic forces lurking in the house take hold of the young family. Jesse’s paintings take a satanic turn while the family is plagued by Ray, the deranged son of the former owners. Soon it becomes clear that Jesse and Ray are both being influenced by the same dark forces and that Jesse and his family aren’t safe from its former inhabitants or indeed from the devil himself.

The Devil’s Candy, written and directed by Byrne, stars Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Kiara Glasco. It was produced by Keith Calder and Jessica Calder for Snoot Entertainment LLC (Blair Witch, You’re Next, The Guest).



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