Hi Jim, how are you?
I’m busy but doing really well these days.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m a musician/composer living and working in Toronto, Canada. I’ve made a ton of music over the last 20 years or so and I most recently did the music for an iOS/Steam game called Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery Ep’ with Capy Games as well as the soundtrack for Indie Game: The Movie.
Do you think Canada is a nice place for musicians?
Yeah, sure. It’s hard to tour here but otherwise it’s great.
Ahah, why it’s so hard to tour there?
When touring it’s best to have a show almost every night with short drives between them. Canada is huge and there are some long distances between gigs. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
When did you start to play an instrument?
I didn’t really start until I was 16-17 years old. I got an acoustic guitar and I rented a really cheesy synth and tried to write songs (really cheesy) with it all. It was a life changing time for me though the songs I wrote at that time were really bad. Ya gotta start somewhere, right?
Yes, you’re right! What are your musical references?
I grew up on oldies and TV show theme songs. As I got older and into my late teens / early 20s I listened to anything and everything. Folk, classic rock, soul, early rap and hip hop, some metal, indie rock etc. There’s really no point in my naming specific bands though. It’s all just one big band.
You said that you’re in the music business for several years. What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in recent years?
The biggest challenge in any field is to make a living doing what you love. The internet didn’t kill anything. It created millions of new opportunities. The biggest challenge is to switch gears and adapt but it’s not even a problem. It’s everyday life and you just have to work hard.
What role has the Internet in your daily life?
I’m able to work from home and I’m either recording music on a computer or on the internet so I spend most of my days in front of a computer. I should really learn to walk away from it but it’s hard. I lived most of my life without the internet and for the past 10 years I’ve spent an insane amount of time poking around. I actually love the internet but I love a lot of things and I should get out more.
Can you tell us how did Sword & Sworcery project come up?
I’ve been asked this question so many times that I’m going to copy / paste it from an earlier interview, sorry!
“Craig got in touch with me back in the day by sending me a postcard with this amazing art on it. Way back, I had a band to do my singer-songwriter stuff, and then I didn’t have a band anymore, so I used this program to be my backing band. I was writing ambient and instrumental tracks, just letting my imagination go. I had this burn of like eight or nine instrumental songs that I sent Craig and he fell in love with it. He chose one of the songs to do this animation to.
We stayed in touch over the years. Then when this opportunity came up, he turned to me and said, “If I’m going to do the artwork for this game, then I really want for you to do the music.” On the Sword & Sworcery soundtrack are three of the songs that I gave him on that CD burn a long time ago.” (indiegames.com)
No problem, at least you told me you did copy & paste!
I’ve interviewed another musician who produced the soundtrack of a video game. He said that “movie scores are totally linear, but music in games does not have to be”. Do you agree with him?
100%. There’s player interaction with a video game so there are many opportunities to get creative. In both cases you want it to feel linear but with a game it’s just a little trickier.
What are you working on these days?
I have lots of projects on the table including another game, documentary and a new album. I also just released Indie Game: The Movie on digital and vinyl.
The interview is almost over: what are your plans for the future?
My biggest goal is to get a new album done this year. I started this particular album back in 2007 but never had the chance to finish until now so that’s a big weight on my shoulders.
Fine, thank you Jim :-) Is there anything else do you want to say to our readers?
Nope. Thanks for the chat!