Since the kids are also defined by their musical tastes, co-creator and co-showrunner Rick Remender gave each of the actors a playlist of tunes to help them get into character, as we learned during a visit to the Vancouver set of Deadly Class. Liam James, who plays Billy, was prescribed a lot of punk, such as the Damned, the Descendents, Minor Threat, and the Misfits. Benjamin Wadsworth, who plays Marcus, was loaded up with the post-punk sounds of the Smiths, the Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, and others. For Luke Tennie, who plays Willie, it was a trove of O.G. hip-hop, like N.W.A., Run-D.M.C., Kool Moe Dee, Eric B. and Rakim, and Too Short.
"The first song on mine was something about how the world is on fire, hate the world," said Lana Condor, who plays Saya. "It was really angry!" Accordingly, most of the Deadly Class soundtrack consists of deep cuts from the bands on the playlists. And in another nod to John Hughes, deep cuts from his film soundtracks, such as New Order's instrumental "Elegia," used in Pretty in Pink, also find new homes here.
"One of the things I wanted to do was a Mad Men-style snapshot of the authentic '80s underground," Remender said. "That means a soundtrack of oi punk, skate punk, thrash, goth, and hip-hop. We get into all these various subsets that defined us so much growing up in the '80s. You basically found your ideology and you found your tribe through the music. You could see somebody in a Dead Kennedys T-shirt, and you knew your politics and your philosophies on life would be similar-ish. You start talking about music, and you're off to the races."