I’m not a huge music guy most of the time. Sure, I’ve been to a few gigs and I often have music streaming or playing in the background but it’s not one of the things that fires me up. Art and reading – after gaming – those are my things.
Music does become more important when playing and when writing though. My regular group I play with in Reading hardly ever plays without music playing and something appropriate too. Lots of film soundtracks, game soundtracks, ambient music that builds mood without getting in the way. My other regular group, we do without music and that’s alright too. It has its own advantages – less distraction and more effectiveness of descriptions.
When I’m writing a game though, then music becomes more important. It’s part of the way I establish the right mood, get the inspirational juices flowing and help shape the ol’ noggin into working in the right aesthetic.
For ’45 I was listening to a lot of rockabilly, psychobilly and gothabilly music.
For Agents of SWING I made a playlist of all the top 10 singles (that weren’t crap) from 1960 to 1979 along with a few TV themes.
For Machinations I’ve been listening to the kind of metal and prog rock I haven’t listened to since I was a kid, along with concept albums across other genres and 70s and 80s film soundtracks.
It really does help.