LEVEL 6 FUNDED!!! Info & Interview inside!
WE DID IT!!!!!!!!
For the 4th time in-a-row, Video Games Live has successfully funded another project!
Over the weekend we received our 2nd $10,000 backer! A couple of really great guys from Canada! A big shout out to Josh Leslie and Ravi Supaul (AKA Team Poutination). I spoke with them over the phone earlier today and they are interested in putting even more money into the project to help with the stretch goals! They have a really cool project/company they are starting that is going to bring gamers from around the world together... while celebrating all of the amazing artistic achievements that come out of Canada! Check out www.poutination.ca to find out more. But a LOT more info about their project will be coming soon (and how it will tie into Video Games Live as we start our Canadian tour next week!). So please give a round of applause and standing ovation to Josh & Ravi for helping us all to achieve our goal and take us (literally) "to the next level". :) Please feel free to leave them a comment here so they can read all the kind words.
Now that the project is officially funded... this is a GREAT opportunity for everyone to let people know about the project! Something super simple like...
Video Games Live: LEVEL 6 is now funded! Check it out HERE: https://tinyurl.com/ya5662z8
Imagine if everyone here did this today and got 1 more person to come aboard? That would DOUBLE our current number and put us past the first 2 Stretch Goals! It really is that simple. Just bring in one more person each. Please help us spread the word!
And finally... I recently did an interview for the biggest German video game magazine all about the Kickstarter project. It's not coming out til next month... but I wanted to share all my answers with you all as I hope it will give you more info and insight about the project.
1. Level 6 is – as the name suggests – your sixth Video Games Live album. Can you tell us which games will be featured this time?
This is going to be our best album yet! I’ve been taking notes from all around the world about what people want to hear us perform and record next. Here are the ones we’ve confirmed so far…
POKEMON - "GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL!" from the Pokemon TV series (featuring original Pokemon TV show singer Jason Paige). A lot more guitars, orchestra & vocals will be added!
UNDERTALE arrangement with input from creator/composer Toby Fox. We want to interpret the incredible music to a new and unique symphonic & electronic level.
"TO ZANARKAND" from Final Fantasy X. Completely unique Video Games Live arrangement. There are a few elements that I always wanted to interpret into the melodies... acoustic guitar and CHOIR!!
DESTINY - "The Union" written by Marty O'Donnell, Sir Paul McCartney (YES! THAT Paul McCartney from The Beatles!) & Mike Salvatori. Arrangement & Recording input with Marty O'Donnell. The Video Games Live "The Union" arrangement is a never before fully released song from the unreleased "Music of the Spheres" album.
TOMB RAIDER SUITE - Never before performed or released song arranged specifically for Video Games Live by original Tomb Raider composer Nathan McCree.
METAL GEAR SOLID – Although we’ve been performing it since our very first show at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2005, we've never released or recorded our original Metal Gear Solid "Main Theme" & "Encounter" arrangement put together by the original composers and arrangers.
EARTHBOUND/MOTHER - One of the most requested franchises to add to Video Games Live.
2. Out of the 10 album tracks, only 7 have been confirmed so far. Can you reveal 1 or 2 others perhaps?
The backers are going to be deciding what the final tracks on the album are… so at this point I’m not sure! As we hit more stretch goals, we’ll be adding MORE tracks to the album. So I’m hoping to get the album up to 12 or 13 songs! That being said, as I watch and interact with the project and social media, a lot of people are leaning towads games like Hearthstone, Suikoden II, Fire Emblem, Heroes of Might & Magic, Katamari Damacy, Secret/Legend of Mana, Shenmue, Starfox, Guilty Gear, Nier, Kirby, Cuphead, Ori & The Blind Forest, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. PHEW!! We have enough to do LEVEL 7 & 8 already! :)
3. Working on your sixth VGL-album, is there anything you have done differently this time? Anything you have learned and adapted to from the previous five recordings?
From a production standpoint, I’ve given myself more time to edit the individual tracks before they go to the final mix. I always felt I was always rushed because I would only give myself 4 or 5 days up at Skywalker Ranch to edit. But this time I’m doing 7 or 8 days of just editing and also giving myself an extra 2 days to mix at Skywalker Ranch with the multi-Grammy Award winning engineer Leslie Ann Jones.
From a Kickstarter Project standpoint… I always give the backers at least 3x’s to 7x’s the Reward Value for each amount they spend! I believe it’s a huge reason why they are always so successful. I don’t see Kickstarter as a way to just sell someone an album. They can do that already on iTunes or Amazon. But this amazing platform allows me to give away SO MUCH to our biggest fans who love supporting us. It’s a great opportunity to share with them a ton of new and unique material that no other platform allows me to accomplish. Some of the cool Rewards for this project include visiting Skywalker Ranch, customized voice recordings by original Ash Ketchum/Pokemon voice actor Veronica Taylor, a completely unique Donkey Kong Country piano album with help and input by the original composer David Wise… and so much more.
4. You are combining different styles of music for Video Games Live – have you changed the formula for Level 6 and incorporated new stylistic elements?
For me, I LOVE dynamics. I felt we really nailed that on LEVEL 5. Having a 100 piece orchestra and 60 person choir is HUGE!! But combining guitars and electronics on top of that REALLY bring it to another level entirely. Not for all of them… because it’s also important to just be slow & beautiful sometimes as well. Again… all about the dynamics.
One thing I’m doing differently and taking a new approach to is the Earthbound/Mother arrangement. I’m a fan of the way they approached the “Moulin Rouge” and “The Greatest Show” movie music. I wanted to do something very different like that for one of the tracks on LEVEL 6. Earthbound seemed to be the perfect choice. One of my arrangers (Wayne Strange) translated some original lyrics written by Earthbound/Mother game designer Shigesato Itoi and translated/adapted/interpreted them to English. We want to have unique lead vocalists and famous Italian Opera singers. Something VERY different than every arrangement out there! We put together computerized demos of the first 7 songs right on the LEVEL 6 Kickstarter campaign page. You can hear it HERE: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1916334303/video-games-live-level-6-album-and-movie?ref=51ttfn
5. On your Kickstarter-page you are listing a lot of song ideas for the missing tracks. Is there anything you haven’t listed there but that you would love to work on some day?
That list is pretty complete… but some others I would like to add are one of my songs from MDK, maybe a unique Skyrim arrangement, Bloody Tears from Castlevania, maybe a take on Sanctuary from Kingdom Hearts II. So many things! There is an endless supply of incredible video game music! Even though we already have created over 175 unique arrangements… we still have a big “to do” list.
6. You are doing video game music now for almost 30 years. Have you ever thought about branching off into other musical genres? Movie scores for example?
A few big movie producers have approached me to potentially work with them on their films… but frankly… my passion is video games and video game music. So I’m not really interested in doing big Hollywood films. It’s just not something I’m passionate about. I mean I LOVE movies… but I would be doing it more for the money and/or notoriety. It was never something I was interested in. My 2 greatest loves growing up were always video games and music. And the fact that I can do those 2 things every day of my life is pretty incredible and very special to me. No reason to branch out to other things because I don’t care as much about those other things as I do for video games.
7. Being so busy composing, do you actually still find enough time to play? If so, what are the games you personally enjoy at the moment?
Well, it is very tough when you’re on the road all the time and traveling. But when I’m home I play the Formula One game in my theatre on my PS4 (I’m a big Formula One and Ferrari fan!). I’ve also been replaying Shadow of the Colossus in HD. So incredible!! One of my favorite games to come out over the past 10 years.
Thanks for the support everyone! And thank-you for helping to make LEVEL 6 a success!!!!!!!