The Interview: 8-Bit Weapon

8-bit weapon

8-Bit Weapon

Anyone who is a fan of classic gaming has to be a fan of gaming music. Even though some of the music from the 8-bit generation was simple, often it was well done and entertaining. I think most of all the music stuck in our heads and just as we wanted to push it out, we realized it was a pretty good tune.

Meet Seth and Michelle two people who loved classic video game soundtracks so much they began creating their own music and have performed across two continents. Obsolete Gamer was lucky enough to see them live at E3 2011 and even recorded a bit.

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After the event, we had to interview them and they were kind enough to answer all our questions.

What was your first computer and what got you into using computers?

Michelle: My brother is who got me into using computers because he had a C64 and would let me play games on it.

Seth: The Commodore 64 was the first computer I could call my own. My neighbor Oscar had one and I’d spend countless hours watching him play his, especially Adventure Construction Set by EA. Hearing the music and watching the graphics etc, I had to get one. I begged my Dad to get my brother and I one and he eventually did.

What do you like more, consoles or computers?

Michelle: I grew up playing games on the C64 and the Amiga and I have the fondest memories using the computers because I would play games like Zack McCracken and the Alien Mind Benders, Maniac Mansion and Little Computer People and I still enjoy playing those types of games today.

Seth: I grew up with computers (C64/IBM/Apple II) and never owned a console myself until I got a game boy in 1992. I enjoy them both equally now, however computer’s had the best RPG’s hand’s down over consoles. Games like Wasteland, Bard’s Tale, Dragon Wars, Ultima’s etc were either unavailable or watered down/changed for their console versions.

Seth-8-Bit_Weapon

What is your favorite sound platform to work on (SID, etc)?

Michelle: I use my Game Boy because it’s the most portable.  My favorite sound is the SID though.

Seth: I love working with all the chips like an orchestra, but the Commodore 64’s SID chip will always be my favorite.

Name the top 5 musicians or musical groups that inspired you to make the music you make today!

Michelle: DEVO, Depeche Mode, Gwen Stefani, YYYs, The Doors

Seth: DEVO, Vince Clarke (Depeche mode/Yaz/Yazoo/Erasure/etc), Alan Wilder (Depeche mode/Recoil), Kraftwerk, and Jean Michel Jarre. There are also chip music composers like Dave Warhol, Martin Galway, Kennith Arnold, George “The Fatman” Sanger, and Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka that inspire me from a chiptune perspective.

What do you think about people’s desire for all retro stuff (video games, as well as if you want to make stuff like movies such as The A-Team, G.I. Joe, Transformers, etc.)

Michelle: It’s cool that people are into the retro stuff, but it’s also making it harder to acquire items I want.

Seth: I think it’s fun, but yeah, ebay is getting more and more expensive as we compete with collectors while trying to acquire more gear! lol

Compute-Her

What was the old console or computer that you wish you had back in the day but couldn’t afford?

Michelle: My family had all of them, so I was lucky.

Seth: Amiga 500 I wanted pretty bad but I knew my family could never afford it. Now we have an Amiga 1200, so dreams do come true!

What is your favorite kind of music to sample from?

Michelle: I don’t use samples.

Seth: We don’t sample any music or sound effects. Everything you hear is from us controlling the chips of each computer or console directly with software to make original music with.

8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, or 64-bit and beyond… which do you like the most, and what do you like the most about it?

Michelle: 8-Bit for it’s simplicity.

Seth: 8 Bit 4 life~! It’s powerful enough to run games, graphics, and music without over doing it.

8-Bit Weapon Group

What is your favorite medium for distributing music and why?

Michelle: CD Baby because they do all of the work.

Seth: MP3 because we don’t have to make them by hand and mail them out all over the world. haha

What do you like the most about your fans?

Michelle: They are very unique people and are interesting to talk to.  They are also very supportive of my music and I really appreciate that.

Seth: Our fans our really great people! Some are fans of gaming, some are not, but they are all about the music!

You can check out their website 8-Bit Weapon and find and purchase their music here.

 

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.