They may not be active anymore, but you can currently hear four Arizona bands from the '80s in a film-worthy setting. Nicolas Cage and John Cusack's new film The Frozen Ground is set in 1980s Alaska, and classic AZ groups including New Wave band The Jetzons and power poppers Blue Shoes have cuts in the movie.
The music was provided by local label Fervor Records, which has been around since 1990 itself and distributes music to TV and films, as well as manages several local acts.
"All the Fervor selections in this film rose to the top of the pile because they were a legitimate part of the actual soundtrack of the era, bringing a visceral, palpable feeling to the period piece," says Fervor Records co-owner Jeff Freundlich. "Landing music in a film soundtrack is one of the highest compliments that can be paid to our artists. It tells them that their music holds meaning, not only to them, but to a larger audience."
The movie focuses on the true story of the search for serial killer Robert Hansen, who killed more than 20 women and buried them in the freezing Alaskan outdoors. While the premise is creepy and disturbing, Freundlich says Fervor is proud to be a part of the project.
"(Fervor co-owner David Hilker and I) have seen the movie and are proud we could help add that extra bit of authenticity to what is a serious, chilling true story," Freundlich says. "Clearly, the producers went the extra mile to bring the story to life in detail and give the audience a real thrill. It reminds you that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and makes for a heck of a film. You just can't write that stuff."
Beyond what you can hear in the movie, Hilker says '80s Arizona tracks are worth checking out in general because of the diverse styles you'll hear from 30 years ago.
"The early 80's Phoenix music scene was incredibly vibrant across a multitude of musical genres, including punk, New Wave, metal and hard rock," Hilker says. "Think about it. You had Doug Hopkins, who wrote all the Gin Blossoms hits, experimenting with his craft in various outfits. You had The Jetzons, which featured one of the best pure songwriters I know in Bruce Connole and an incredible musician in Brad Buxer, who went on to play for years with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson."
"You had Blue Shoes, Loosely Tight, The Schoolboys, The Psalms, The Feederz, JFA, Meat Puppets, Killer Pussy, Trout Fishing In America, and Flotsam and Jetsam, all gigging in great venues like Merlins, The Devil House, Dooley's, The Store West, The Mason Jar, Madison Square Garden, Mr. Lucky's, and The Profile Room. Plus, great radio support of local music from stations like KDKB and KUKQ."
For more information on the film, go here, and check out "Real Time," by The Jetzons, which is featured in the movie, below.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.