Credit: Clay Enos

The trailers for Suicide Squad have featured music from Queen and Sweet, but it’s another ’70s rock icon who partially influenced the film’s banging, unexpected score: David Bowie.

“Guitar was always my first love, and it was something I never really got into my writing work,” Oscar-winning composer Steven Price (Gravity), tells EW about his Suicide Squad score, which features horns, strings, and guitars to make up its soundscape — a departure from the musical fare typically associated with superhero movies. “With this, the moment I saw it, there was something about the way it looks that made me feel like there was a sleazy ’70s sort of thing, and that made me think of David Bowie records, and Station to Station. I ended up doing a lot of stuff with feedback and guitar stuff that was bent out of shape. These things became part of the texture of the score, and when you start combining that with the orchestra, it started to feel like something a bit different.”

Directed by David Ayer, and starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne, and Jared Leto as the Joker, among others, Suicide Squad brings together a rogues’ gallery of evildoers who band together to fight greater villainy.

“There’s this neon quality to the whole thing,” Price says of the film. “When I started on the music, I was trying to work on what this blend of instruments would be that would have this swagger and this epic scale, but that would equally allow you to feel the relationships and how they developed in the film. It all had a sound to it that felt rough around the edges. I just kind of knew when I first saw it what it should sound like; it was just a matter of chasing that in the year that followed.”

Price, who previously collaborated with Ayer on the score for Fury, said it’s the Suicide Squad contradictions that spoke to him most while writing music.

“It’s the first time our heroes are the bad guys. Some of them are iconic — Joker and Batman — but you’ve got these people who haven’t been on the big screen before, so it felt like an opportunity to do a different sort of score to go with a different sort of film that David was making,” Price says. The result is a score that relies on melody and gives each major character his or her own theme.

“David and I discussed them as being outsiders; they all exist in their world, whatever they’re doing. They’re all outsiders until they become the squad,” he says. “Musically as well, I tried to give them the identity that they exist on their own terms but they made a different sort of sense when they were together with the rest of the squad.”

Listen to what happens when the team squads up with the soundtrack’s lead song “Task Force X,” available exclusively below.

Suicide Squad is out in theaters on Aug. 5; the Suicide Squad: Original Motion Picture Score will be available Aug. 8, and can be preordered starting Friday at iTunes and Amazon. See the full track list below.

1. Task Force X

2. Arkham Asylum

3. I’m Going To Figure This Out

4. You Make My Teeth Hurt

5. I Want To Assemble A Task Force

6. Brother Our Time Has Come

7. A Serial Killer Who Takes Credit Cards

8. A Killer App

9. That’s How I Cut and Run

10. We Got A Job To Do

11. You Die We Die

12. Harley and Joker

13. This Bird Is Baked

14. Hey Craziness

15. You Need a Miracle

16. Diablo’s Story

17. The Squad

18. Are We Friends Or Are We Foes?

19. She’s Behind You

20. One Bullet Is All I Need

21. I Thought I’d Killed You

22. The Worst Of The Worst

23. June Moone *

24. Did That Tickle? *

25. You Know The Rules Hotness *

26. Enchantress In The War Room *

27. Introducing Diablo and Croc *

28. Task Force X Activated *

29. Can Everyone See This Trippy Stuff? *

30. I Promised My Friends *

* Available on digital configurations only

Suicide Squad
  • Movie
  • 130 minutes