Exclusive Interview: Bang Camaro
PSXE: With games becoming more and more cinematic, do you agree that music is more important than ever in the industry?
"I do think music is far more important in games than it used to be; six or seven years ago; all soundtracks were just these weird little electronic songs made in-house and now, you'll find your favorite bands in games. We’re definitely going to have more songs in games. We just signed a deal with Artwerk and they’ll be placing our songs into a bunch of games from EA this year; the Sims 3 will have 'Revolution' (the song we performed on Conan), but besides that, nothing is really for sure yet so I can’t really talk about it."
"Gamers still rage against archaic stereotypes. Do you guys encounter colleagues who just think you’ve produced music for kids, or do you come across fans who think they can play music because they can play your song in Rock Band 2?
"These days, most people now know how important gaming is for music; maybe way back we would’ve had a different response. One thing I want to point out, though: what I’ve noticed when we play shows and I might meet someone standing in the front row; they’re embarrassed they discovered Bang Camaro by playing Rock Band. It’s just really weird because more often than not, somebody will come up to me and apologize for seeing the band in a video game. I'm like, why?
Yeah, we'll get kids who come up to us who think they can play the music because they played it in the video game, but they're all like 9. The 19-year-olds don't do that; they understand the difference."
PSXE: Do you see more bands following in your footsteps, and will you keep touring and going out on the road?
"Oh yeah, there are a number of other bands that deal with Harmonix; like Freezepop [a band that has appeared in the likes of Amplitude], for example. A lot of indie bands have gotten into the games because of Harmonix; and games have definitely bumped up the notoriety of all the bands involved. Across the board, these games have helped all bands.
Touring is something we’ve done for the past year and a half and we will continue to do it. I’ve found that when we get the Rock Band fans out to see our show, they’re not necessarily big music fans. A lot of times, we’ll greet them and talk to them, and we realize it might have been their first rock show ever. The gamer audience has been crossing over to check out new music; there hasn’t been that much cross-pollination between those two groups in a long time, or ever. Sometimes, Bryn would go up for big solos and we'd catch fans; they’d be air-guitaring along with him, but they’d actually be mimicking the notes from Rock Band.
What I do see, and I think it’s really cool: a lot of people who have started loving this kind of music because of these games. They played something like Rock Band, and then they went out and bought a real guitar."
To learn more about Bang Camaro, head on over to the band's official website, and don't forget to find more of their music on places like iTunes and YouTube. They may also be coming to a venue near you soon, and they mentioned a new radio initiative is underway. Pictured here is their new CD, which just released in stores on January 13; it's "Bang Camaro II," and you can always snag it over at Amazon.com. If you're looking for something fresh and intense, look no further, and for more information on EA's new Artwerk studio, check out this great interview with president Steve Schnur. Video games and music...such a wonderful and promising companionship.
For my part, many of our readers are probably aware of my history interviewing musicians in the past, so this was kind of a walk down memory lane. Bryn and Alex did remind me of one thing above all else, though: it's always much more fun to interview guys on the rise, who haven't yet become tethered by the red tape of agents, managers and other "handlers." They may soon be forced to take that road if they continue to rise, but for now, let's just say it's very cool to talk to a couple guys who simply love music and wanted to try something new. I applaud ambition in all forms, and to stay grounded in both your passion and personality is a rare thing to find in the world of media interviews.
So, we appreciate their time and we wish them the best of luck in the future. We're getting Guitar Hero: Metallica this year...who's to say that in 5 or 10 year's time, we won't see Guitar Hero: Bang Camaro?
1/28/2009 Ben Dutka