The people at Arkham Asylum asked Claudio about his inspiration for the song, “Deranged” and how it related to the Batman franchise… Here’s what he said.
How did you approach writing a piece of music inspired something as iconic as Batman? What were you trying to accomplish?
I think Batman’s greatest strength is in his villains; take them away and you lose a great deal of depth to the character. My motivation with ‘Deranged’ was to champion and honor that dynamic relationship. As a comic writer, I’ve toyed with ideas for Batman stories before, and one concept I’ve always wanted to explore is the lonely existence Batman might endure when losing his wildly maniacal counterparts, particularly The Clown Prince. When I started on the song, a few visuals resonated at the back of my mind, but one screamed out: The moment at the end of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke when the characters share a laugh at the story’s end. It’s a beautifully ambiguous moment shrouded in dark silhouette, a moment where your glass, half-empty or half-full, has spilled. You realize love and hate are one and the same with these two. After reading the game’s treatment, I questioned the Joker’s absence indefinitely, and came up with one answer: No one could take his place at the top.
Are you a gamer yourself? If so, did your experience as a gamer directly influence the song you contributed to the compilation?
I am, and it did. Usually, I find when comic book properties move into the gaming world it’s more of a push, where they fall very short of their true potential. That was not the case with the original Arkham Asylum. I think a lot of attention, care and respect for the mythos and its fans went into that game’s development. It was great and I wanted to be a part of any extension of that.
How does the songwriting process differ on a project like this compared to when you’re writing for your own albums?
I tend to write in a very conceptual format with the stories that surround Coheed & Cambria, so in that sense, there’s not that much of a difference; The Amory Wars is very young mythology and mine to shape. Batman, has a much larger, defined history that has it’s rules. That said, we have seen a very flexible Batman through the years in comics, tv and movies. I think when approaching something like this, for me, I need it to thematically and sonically work with the visual it’s accompanying, while finding universal themes from the existing history to help give the lyrics legs and dimension to help them live within the new world it’s created for.