Duncan Sheik on the 'Electronic' Sound of American Psycho & Why Rock Shows Have Jumped the Shark

Composer and singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik is heading in a new direction with his musical adaptation of American Psycho, according to Gothamist. While American Psycho will feature a score of both new songs and classic rock covers, the new retelling of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel won’t sound like a typical rock musical, Sheik insists. Instead, he’s opting for a new, more “progressive” style that may be a departure from his Tony-winning hit, Spring Awakening.

"The music is all electronic,” Sheik said of the new project. “You have Broadway musicals, and you have the sound of the Broadway musical—Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Cats—and then in some way there was a transition away from that. Spring Awakening happened, you had American Idiot, Next To Normal, Memphis...This whole set of things using more contemporary, guitar-oriented rock music. For me, I feel that's a shark that's been jumped. So the idea of doing a score that's completely electronic, that's exciting to me.”

The musical will reportedly feature new songs, including “You Are What You Wear” (set in a Barney’s-esque clothing store), “Cards,” “I Am Clean,” and the musical's finale, “This Is Not an Exit.” Additionally, Sheik plans to incorporate cover songs that were referenced directly in Ellis’ original novel, as well as songs by artists that “would have been ubiquitous in that culture movement,” including Phil Collins and Huey Lewis.

American Psycho tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a successful New York City businessman who also happens to be a serial killer. In 2000, the book was adapted into a feature film starring Christian Bale. The musical will premiere later this year at London's Headlong Provactive Theatre. No casting or exact dates have been announced at this time. 

If American Psycho is well received, Sheik hopes the musical will live a long life after the London run. “One crosses one’s fingers that it will come to New York,” he said. We’ve got our fingers crossed, too!

Watch Christian Bale get bloody to Huey Lewis and the News' "Hip to Be Square" in the (very violent!) American Psycho movie below!