Q: For anyone who isn't familiar with who you are or what you do, give us a rundown.
A: Ah yes, the old Elevator Pitch. Ahoy chaps, broads, wenches and blokes! My name is Eric, I'm a drummer and a few years ago I decided it would be a good idea to also start producing music and making Chiptunes. People ask me which I like better, and what I like is not having to ever choose one over the other for some godforsaken reason! I continue to do and enjoy doing both.
Q: What’s the story behind Rainbowdragoneyes? The name, and the concept? I wouldn’t have thought to put chiptunes, dance and black metal vocals/technique together - but after hearing it done, it makes so much sense.
A: Of course you didn't think to do that, because you seem like a reasonably sane person and that's not something a sane person would just go and do. My first album was mostly eurobeat-influenced gameboy music with zero to no accompaniment, I've always been a metalhead so that just sort of made it's way into the fold when I began adding vocals. It's just good fun, ya know? I didn't plan any of this, this is just what happens when I write music, and I guess I get carried away.
Q: Who have been some of your biggest influences musically? Where does your music background come from?
A: Quite frankly everything is my biggest influence musically. The desire to genuinely do something completely different from how I've seen it done before is what drives this project forward. I've been playing drums for at least 16 years and I've been in lots of bands, everyone in my family plays music, blah blah blah yada yada Nintendo GameBoy.
Q: Why do you think chiptune music is seeing such a big following nowadays? The technology to make it has – sort of – always been around. What has changed recently that it is becoming so popular?
A: It's been around since the late 70s at least, and you can find chiptune compositions dating back at least that far in video game soundtracks as well as within the demoscene. The internet is a lot more popular and ubiquitous than ever before, so I think that's got a lot to do with it... It's been a growing, developing, thriving worldwide community for many years and it just continues to build up steam as it's noticed by more and more people. I can't speak for everyone but I've seen a lot of rising trends lately in fashion, design, and games going for a retro aesthetic, so chiptunes aren't too far removed from those things.
Q: What advice would you give someone looking to get into making chiptunes?
A: Read tutorials, watch videos, give it your best shot, but before you become too frustrated to carry on, ask questions! Everyone has to start somewhere, and a lot of the fun is discovering how to properly utilize a completely new method of composing music. Try not to over-think it. All the tools to do it are freely available to learn and acquire.
They may also want to check out the blog I tried to start a while ago, and plan on updating soon, learntochip.com
. Email me your questions to inspire me for new articles!
Q: You've traveled all over the country as support for metal bands, chiptunes festivals, and geek conventions. How does the experience differ between the 3? The crowds, your set, your enjoyment? Do people ever not know how to react to your unique brand of music?
A: First of all, there are only certain kinds of metal bands I can tour with... The sort of metal bands that still clearly have a sense of humor and don't take themselves too seriously. I highly doubt I could win over a Cannibal Corpse or a Dying Fetus crowd, though I welcome the opportunity with open arms if it's ever presented to me. A lot of metalheads are actually ultra-nerds in disguise, so it's all about pairing with the right kind of just-nerdy-enough band, the kind that attracts people that like to headbang, AND dance around.
I haven't played a Chip-scene show in over a year, but those are always magical. The Chiptune community has great support for one another and everyone is super positive, intelligent & down for some silly partying. There's always a lot of incredibly talented people supporting other incredibly talented people, with more and more of these events happening all over the country/world.
Typically at my shows there's always a few people who haven't heard me before, and never, ever know what to think at first, and I think that's just grand. Usually they start to get it by the 2nd or 3rd song. Then afterwards they tell me they weren't expecting that (because who would? Gimme a break!) but they enjoyed themselves so that's all I can hope for. I love weirding out new faces as much as rocking out with a crowd of people that know all the words.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable moments playing as Rainbowdragoneyes?
A: The most memorable for Rainbowdragoneyes will forever be my very first show, in NYC at Blip Festival 2009 in front of hundreds of people. The entire weekend was like something out of a crazy dream, getting to meet, interact with, hang out and party with all the artists from all over the world whom I idolized when I first discovered the craft. Not to mention it was my first time ever playing the Big Apple, and I was only there because my presence was requested... it was very surreal times. I was just some humble nerd that put an album online one time, and was blown away to discover I actually had fans and people excited to see me.
Q: But you’re not JUST Rainbowdragoneyes. You have a music resume a mile long. Can you tell the readers about some of your other projects? Specifically some of the projects you drum and compose for.
Rainbowdragoneyes conceived and gave birth to Magic Hammer, but then turned his back and left the Hammer for dead in exile. It used to be a band but I just can't be left in charge of a full band, so it's become a studio project until it can be a band again one day.
Swashbuckle is pirate metal. We play thrash/death metal and we dress like pirates. We put out a 7 minute 7"
a few months ago, and we're working on a new full-length. We've been to Europe together and hopefully we'll get to go back some day.
Vale Of Pnath is advanced melodic technical death metal. It's fast and blast beaty, with a lot of notes. There's a full-length in the works and hopefully some tours to follow.
Vimana has been around for a couple years but is still a relatively new project, just been slow-going. Until we more establish ourselves and put out an album to follow up the EP our claim to fame is we have a song placement in The League.
Thundabeats is my beat-selling business. I've done lots of market research, I invested time and money setting up the company, but before I took it anywhere I immediately shifted my attention away to focus on finishing a Rainbowdragoneyes album. I'll come back to it from time to time because it's a fun industry within the industry, but overwhelmingly oversaturated, so I have to take it in small doses to retain the part of my sanity I still have.
Q: Can we expect any new music videos from you soon?
A: The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, yes you can.
Q: How does it feel to have your music in video games like Guitar Band and Pump it Up? Is there any other video game franchise you'd love to see your music in?
A: I don't play Guitar Band or Rock Hero but a lot of people do, maybe not as much any more, they somehow found out about me through there since I apparently have two of the most difficult songs in the game to play so I think that's pretty radicool. I think it would be sweet to have my own radio station in the next Grand Theft Auto game, since you brought it up, or the next Minesweeper or the long-awaited sequel to SkiFree.
Q: If you could belong in any video game universe, what would it be and why?
A: Shenmue because I already know my way around and I could just play with all my cool vending machine figurines and have a free place to stay every night.
Q: I know you have a couple tours coming up soon – With the Dread Crew of Oddwood, and also on PirateFest with Alestorm, Swashbuckle, and the Dread Crew of Oddwood. Let’s get that info and some flyers so people can see you in person!
A: I met the Dread Crew when they came thru Denver and we made fast friends. I suggested we tour together sometime, so they said "how about December?" and I was all like "Hell yeah!" so we made it happen. I've been neglecting the West coast for a few years so it's nice getting to hit a few of these spots more than once within a few months of each other.
It's a good thing I have a hook for a hand because I fit right in with all these pirates. Swash would have done the whole tour, but unfortunately they can't make the last 10 shows so I get to take over.
Q: Where can fans follow your work?
A: You can follow me on the social network of your choice (I'll let you decide), grab my music from rainbowdragoneyes.bandcamp.com
, sign up for my mailing list if you're super cool or you can visit rainbowdragoneyes.com
which is under-construction but has show info and music. Then get your ass to a show and hang out with me!
Photos by: Matthewknowsphotos
and Max J Styles
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January 22 2015