On" is a tribute to video game music, why have you decided to release an album
like that at this stage of your career?
Vangough - I like to think of it as a re-imagining of video game pieces, rather
than a tribute. The reason being the tracks sound so drastically different than
the original arrangements. I remember reading reviews of Manikin Parade that
compared us to this and that band. I'm not one to fit into a little neat box. I
wanted our next album to go against all the critic's expectations.
of hopes and expectations do you have for 'Game On!' - Some might see this album
as a sort of intermediate album before the next (real) Vangough album...
Vangough - I hope people link it to their childhood and all of the wonderful
memories they had of playing video games. Each Vangough album plays on a very
distinct emotion and this album plays on nostalgia, which I believe to be a very
the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?
Vangough - Originally it didn't start as an album but just a couple of songs to
satisfy my desire to play video game music live. Eventually I saw the value in
having a collection of songs that represented my history with video games. Of
course the most important aspect was what we could bring to the original
arrangements and I think thatís what is so special about Game On. Each track
could stand alone as a true Vangough song even without its video game roots.
Is this album
made for metal fans or for gamers?
Vangough - It's made for music fans! I honestly want our music to appeal to as
wide an audience as possible and Game On was my effort to extend our hand to
those outside of traditional prog rock. I do think that video game fans will get
the most satisfaction though.
was it to choose which games you wanted to pay tribute to?
Vangough - I always knew what songs I'd start with. Of course I left a lot of
songs on the cutting room floor but it was a time and energy issue more than
anything. I wanted to include songs that you typically don't hear in fan
remixes. That was my main goal. The other goal was to offer some token fan
favourites like Punch-Out and Mega Man but with a unique Vangough texture.
When can we
expect the next 'real' Vangough album, and in what direction do you expect to
take us compared to 'Manikin Parade'?
Vangough - Game On is a good indication of our attitude towards producing
albums. I want to make sure I always push myself both stylistically and
technically. Manikin Parade was perfect for what it was and I don't want to
revisit that sound for our next studio effort. I'd rather surprise listeners
with something they never expected and continue to do that. To me rock and roll
is more about expression and exploration of ideas. I promise our listeners will
never expect what is coming with this next release.
just begun, but which albums impressed you in 2009?
That's hard to say. I listened to a few good film soundtracks. Most notable Moon
and New Moon. I also really really enjoyed the first official Metroid Metal
album Varia Suite. The new Banjo-Kazooie game Nuts and Bolts had a brilliant
soundtrack as well and was composed by a good friend of mine Grant Kirkhope. I
encourage everyone to check it out!
very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our
Vangough - Thank YOU for inviting us to this interview. I'm hoping metal fans
will give Game On a good listen even if they're not familiar with the original
Interviewed by Kenn Jensen