Last week, PlayStation University had the opportunity to dive a little deeper into the gaming world by going beyond the gameplay and story and into the music that helps drive a game home — literally. This time around, we dove deeper into Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and talked to one of the bands featured on its soundtrack known as Hadouken!. Hadouken! is a band from Leeds, West Yorkshire and was formed in late 2006, early 2007.
They’ve released several albums to date and are currently in production of their third album. While the band consists of several members, we had the chance to talk to the lead guitarist Daniel “Pilau” Rice. One thing to point out about these guys, is like us, they’re hardcore gamers. They care about the same things we do and love playing the same games we do and that’s always an awesome thing to help bring people together. For those of you interested, I suggest you check out their latest EP, entitled, Oxygen. You can purchase it on iTunes.
PSUni: Several bands that have premiered in Electronic Arts’ titles. Has the exposure provided by video games given your band’s exposure the type of increase you expected or has it over-delivered on that account?
To be honest we didn’t really have many expectations going in to it. We know that the gaming industry is huge and that games are bought by huge numbers of people, but it’s hard to know exactly how many people who hear a band they like on a soundtrack then look up who that artist was, pick up an album or come to a show etc. We’ve definitely heard from a few fans who say they’ve discovered us through certain games which is cool, but it’s not changed things drastically for us.
PSUni: A lot of your music isn’t rooted to one genre — in fact, you mix a lot of sounds and styles of music throughout your songs. How would you classify your music to someone who has never listened to it before?
I think it’s easiest just to say dance music with rock influences. There are probably far cooler sounding micro-genres that we could make up but it’s a bit pointless at the end of the day. Basically we like british dance music like Prodigy, Chemical Brothers & Leftfield as well as bands like Rage Against The Machine and Queens of The Stone Age, if you do to do, you might find something to like in what we do.
PSUni: Judging by your previous albums, it would seem that as each album has been released, Hadouken! has taken it to the next level in terms of hard-hitting rhythms, sounds and production levels. How do you guys always manage to be bringing your music to the next level at each release?
We’ve always had a pretty simple mentality that we don’t ever want to make the same record twice or retread old ground so we’re always looking to move in a new direction and make the best music we can. It’s just a case of staying interested and excited by music and discovering new and old artists that can inspire you as well as getting better technically as musicians and on a production level.
PSUni: Speaking of next levels in music. What kind of gamers have you guys been this generation in terms of consoles and what has been the couple of games that have taken up the most of your time?
Well to be honest we’ve got all bases covered, we have a PS3 on our tour bus and Xbox and Wii at home. Fifa definitely gets played the most both at home and on the road by a long shot but we’re also playing Dead Rising 2, Battlefield Bad Company and of course, Need For Speed.
PSUni: What games are you currently killing time with? I know you’re featured in a lot of solid EA titles, like Need for Speed Hot Pursuit — does that change your decision on what game you’re going to throw into the console?
Only in the sense that if we’re on the game we’ll probably get sent a promo copy which means we’re definitely going to give it a spin. We are genuine fans of Need For Speed though, it’s one of the most purely fun racing games I’ve played in a long time.
PSUni: Have any game soundtracks influenced the way you create your own music at all? If so, which games have you pulled that influence from?
I think in a subtle way games have influenced us. If you listen to our first record there are some 8-bit lo fi sounds that are kind of reminiscent of old game soundtracks, but this was never something we did consciously, it was more just a case that having grown up with those games those sounds sounded good to our ears I guess.
PSUni: What have been some of your most memorable moments in gaming over the years?
Probably just sitting up all night at mates houses playing multiplayer Goldeneye on the N64 as a young teenager.
PSUni: What upcoming EA title would you like to see your music featured in next? Do you have a particular title that you’d love to see your family’s reaction on when they realize that’s your band in the game?
We’re open to anything really but we would love to be in the next Fifa just because we’re big fans of the game and all our mates who love football but don’t care about music would finally think we’ve achieved something worthwhile.
PSUni: Overall, what’s next for Hadouken! in this crazy world?
We’re hoping to release our third album before the summer then head out to all the festivals and eventually do our own headline tour later in the year. This is the most frustrating time to be in a band as we have music coming together that we’re really excited about but we can’t play it to anyone just yet, won’t be long now though!