Интервью для ShogunGamer в 2010 г.
COREY: Okay, so let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Your band’s name is HADOUKEN! Who in the band is the huge Street Fighter fan? Or are you all big gamers?
HADOUKEN!: Well it was James who came up with the name but we’re all fans of Street Fighter and gaming in general. We just picked it because we thought it sounded unique and would set us apart from other bands.
COREY: So which Street Fighter characters do you play?
HADOUKEN!: Dhalsim ! Yoga flaaaame!
COREY: On the Wikipedia site (the most reliable source of information on Earth), James Smith and Daniel «Pilau» Rice met at the University of Leeds. If this is true, do you mind me asking what areas you were studying? Were you in the same classes, or just the same school? How did this lead up to starting not only a band but the label Surface Noise Records?
HADOUKEN!: That’s true, we were in the same accommodation building, James was studying art and I was doing philosophy. The label came before the band. There were a lot independent labels and DIY artists at the time in Leeds & as music fans we wanted to get involved on some level.
So I started putting together a single release for a band and got James on board to contribute a lot of the creative stuff like artwork and web design. James had always been recording and releasing his own tracks under various names but when he started writing the tracks that would eventually become Hadouken songs he wanted it to be a new project. So we put the band together, gave it a name and went from there!
COREY: Speaking of your own label, when did you make the jump to Atlantic Records?
HADOUKEN!: We signed to Atlantic after our first single, That Boy That Girl and they released our first record.
COREY: Anyone who says they wouldn’t sign to a major label if given the chance, is certifiably crazy in my books; however, with some of your lyrics seeming to comment on the commercial appropriation of underground music, was this a hard decision to make as a band, or did it just make sense?
HADOUKEN!: It’s a really hard decision to make and it’s hugely different situation for every band. Although we respect a lot of fiercely independent and DIY artists we were never outright anti-major labels, you only have to look at some of their back catalogue to see that some incredible music has been released on major labels as well as independents and there are plenty of good, passionate people working for them.
For us, we kind of had to make the move to a major label because we needed the infrastructure to get our music out there because our fan base had grown really quickly online. Looking back at the experience now I think there are a lot of things that we regret about it and a lot of things we would have done differently, but at the end of the day nobody told us what music we could or couldn’t make so that’s the main thing for us.
A lot of people ask if we would recommend a new artist to sign to a major label and it’s not easy to say. For some artists it works out great and is an amazing platform for your music to get out to a lot of people, but others really struggle with it. They don’t get treated properly by the label and it end s up doing them more harm than good.
COREY: Early in the bands life, you released a limited edition vinyl with the songs «That Boy That Girl» and «Tuning In.» As a Dj who spins and collects vinyl, I’d love to know: what your thoughts are on pressing vinyl in 2010? Despite a few vinyl junkies like me still kicking around, is it still worth pressing vinyl in the big scheme of things?
HADOUKEN!: In a crude business sense no it’s not worth it for us anymore, a lot of our fans are really young and a lot of them don’t even own CD players never mind record players. It’s a shame as James and I are both vinyl collectors and have a lot of love for the format too but you have to move with the times. At the end of the day the kids that are downloading mp3s are still getting the song itself and that’s all that really matters. We can get nostalgic about big artwork, surface noise or the smell of vinyl but so long as they are enjoying the music none of that really matters to me.
There will always be a market for vinyl for people releasing the hottest underground tunes as there will always be DJs wanting vinyl to play out, but for a more mainstream artist like us it’s definitely CD and mp3 for now.
COREY: In November of 2007 you released your «Not Here to Please You» mixtape on USB and digital download format only. I like the idea of releasing on a USB. You get the songs and perhaps a really cool branded USB stick. What was your experience like with a USB release? Is this something you would do again, or will you stick to CD and digital download?
HADOUKEN!: It was an interesting experiment but to be totally honest a bit of a failure in our eyes. We had a lot of trouble with the USBs not working properly on all computers and a lot of older fans just totally bypassed it. It’s a shame because there are some interesting possibilities. We had some interactive artwork built that popped up when you stuck it in the computer which you could navigate through to find videos and other extra content. That kind of stuff is fun but I think for now it more suitable for massive bands like Muse, NIN etc to release that kind of thing as collectibles for hardcore fans than it is for a new band like us to make it the only format for a release.
COREY: What’s your take on getting your music in video games as a band or artist? Was this a big deal when compared to traditional mediums such as TV and Radio?
HADOUKEN!: It’s a really big deal for us because it’s a way of introducing our music to people that may not have heard of you before. Anyone who reads NME or listens to the specialist new music shows on Radio will probably already have heard of us because we’ve had quite a lot of coverage over the years in the music media but if you’re a gaming fan first and spend your time reading gaming magazines and blogs etc . there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of us.
With the gaming industry growing so fast and reaching out to a wider audience than ever, it’s really cool for us to be getting involved in a small way.
COREY: What do you feel the conversion (people actually buying music after hearing it) is like for a game vs. radio or TV?
HADOUKEN!: I really don’t know. There are obviously people who will just enjoy the music on the game for what it is, a soundtrack to the gameplay, which is totally cool but hopefully some people will look up the bands they enjoy and pick up an album or come down to a show.
COREY: I know EA TRAX has featured some of your existing work, but have you ever considered writing an original score for a video game? Would you want to if given the chance?
HADOUKEN!: We’ve never considered this but I think it would be a really interesting challenge for us.
COREY: If you had your pick of the litter, which game/series would you be most interested in scoring, or suit your sound best in your opinion?
HADOUKEN!: I couldn’t pick a specific game but I think any racing game or first person shooter would be fun to work with, anything with a lot of energy!
COREY: Have you ever been asked to perform at PAX (Penny Arcade Expo)? If not, someone should get on that.
HADOUKEN!: Nope, but yes someone should get on that! We love to play live so any gaming events looking for bands, get in touch & we’ll come and bring the noise.
COREY: Finally, what’s the band got planned for the rest of 2010?
HADOUKEN!: We’re getting started on summer festival season right now so we’ve got
one or two shows every weekend for the next few months. After that we’ll decide whether or not to tour more later in the year or whether to concentrate on recording album 3.
So there you have it! Big thanks to HADOUKEN! for taking the time to sit down with us, answer our questions and give us some product for the fans!