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Every element of the forthcoming 3D sci-fi project THERMONUCLEARTANTRUMTIME has been crafted in such a way that audiences will be completely immersed in its thrilling and educational story.
Described as a digital graphic novel with a nonlinear narrative – that’s been captured and brought to life through a 360 camera, drone and graphic design – one aspect that Creative Director Craig Dent has placed a lot of effort into is its original soundtrack.
With THERMONUCLEARTANTRUMTIME’s theme song by Assume Crash Positions recently being released on triple j Unearthed, as well as through Distrokid on Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms, we caught up with Dent and musical collaborator Leigh Unger to gain more insight into the exciting project, which Supa-Fans will become acquainted with next year, and the music behind it.
Dent is also the lyricist of the songs featured on its soundtrack, while Unger composed the theme, contributed a second song (instrumental Twenty First Century Flux, which is a reworking of the theme) and plays guitar and bass on several other songs.
CRAIG DENT (CREATIVE DIRECTOR)
Tell us about the story told through this project and the inspiration behind it…
The project gives the audience the opportunity to investigate the virtual story of two astronauts sent to deep space in the year 2052 to explore a signal coming from planetoid AXA-026.
The sub-text of THERMONUCLEARTANTRUMTIME (TNT2) is that the two astronauts are betrayed by Mi-X (the Mi-Complex) Space Agency in their orbit of AXA-026 when they make a shocking discovery. Their minds are altered beyond return as they morph from astronauts to anti-heroes.
Tell us about Assume Crash Positions and the music that’s been created for the project…
Assume Crash Positions is a musical collaboration of singers and musicians between Albury and Canberra, and currently has three songs from the TNT2 soundtrack on triple j Unearthed as well as through Distrokid on Amazon, Spotify, and other platforms.
Where did the name Assume Crash Positions come from?
The act name is taken from the movie, Flying High, when the pilot instructs the passengers to “assume crash positions”, which seemed perfect for the crash-landing concept of the two anti-heroes back on Earth.
What role does music play in THERMONUCLEARTANTRUMTIME?
This theme song is part of the payback narrative as the end game to the project, which will be launched and revealed at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming (Supanova) at Melbourne Showgrounds in April 2024. The display there will also allow fans to engage in a Parallel Wilds workshop to create their own speculative universe on the future of wilderness set in the year 2050. The display will have a dual role of promoting TNT2 as modelling for the Parallel Wilds workshops.
What were you hoping to convey with the theme song?
The song conveys the chaotic maelstrom of payback rendered on Mi-X by the anti-heroes on their return to Earth. The techno style befits the graphic novel feel of the visuals, and the project will be accessible on virtual reality headsets and on-screen at the display.
How many other songs can expect?
There is a nine-song soundtrack, and two other songs, Atom To The Planet, and You V Other Crazy Things I Dream, are currently on triple j Unearthed as pre-event promo of the 2024 launch.
What’s the plan from here with THERMONUCLEARTANTRUMTIME?
It is envisaged that TNT2 will be shown with Supanova in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane in 2024 with accompanying workshops for Parallel Wilds, with Gold Coast, Perth, and Adelaide for 2025. The 3D immersion is expanded in the website accessible by QR code at the event, and an accompanying graphic novel with further expansion of the story will be available for purchase at the event: Three Worlds Collide, a story within a story within a story.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We are absolutely delighted to be on board with Supanova 2024, for which we have the highest respect, and which is supportive of regional creatives such as us, and the young people who are part of the Parallel Wilds workshops here in North East Victoria and Southern Riverina.
LEIGH UNGER (MUSICIAN)
Unger told Supanova his first impression of THERMONUCLEARTANTRUMTIME was a “science fiction glimpse into a futuristic vision of a gloom-tinged society”. The concept and story aligned with his love of sci-fi. In describing the music he’s created for the project, he used words like ‘techno’, ‘gloom’ and ‘trance’.
Tell us a little bit about the collaborative process with Craig Dent…
I liaised with Craig closely during the writing process. He provided me with the lyrics and imagery that would be attached to the music, and the production was aimed towards that result. The [theme] began as a ‘heavy metal’ style production using multiple guitar tracks but progressively it was decided that a more upbeat sound was required. The track gradually transformed into a trance-like mood but still retained a heavy feel thanks to the drum track, eventually resolving into a heavy outro.
What were you hoping to convey with the theme song?
I was aiming to utilise the gravity of the lyrics combined with the supplied imagery to create a sound that was futuristic but with a powerful undertone.
What do you hope people take away from the songs you’ve created?
It is always hoped that the song(s) serve their purpose in enhancing the visuals.
ARRON GRAINGER & CARLA KLEBER
Additionally, Arron Grainger, who voices anti-hero Trip in the project, told Supanova that recording THERMO with incredibly talented and fun people was one of the best music sessions he’s been involved in. Carla Kleber, who plays the other anti-hero and ends the theme song with a cheeky ‘proceed to check out’, says, “Playing Astral brings out my naughty side and I love being around the other talented and mad artists involved.”