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VGM Band Origin Stories - how did you meet?

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#1 juggahnaught

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:40 PM

Coming off the heels of an unfortunate band development, and I'm hoping to still move forward in some way, shape, or form. Looking for motivation! All of your bands in here - share your origin stories!

 

- How did you assemble your party? How did everyone meet?

- Did you power level in the forest before moving forward, or did you just go straight in?

- What was your first boss fights (gigs) like - was it awesome and did you slay, or did you limp home wanting to reset your game?

- Are you still working with the original party members? (Sometimes, there's a hired gun, like Shadow from FF6, who will cut and run after a period of time.

 

If there's already a thread like this, I apologize. I'm passionate about VGM and right now, I need to share that camaraderie with like-minded people with whom I have that passion in common - and this hopefully is the place.

 


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#2 Guy In Rubber Suit

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:00 PM

I've been wanting to do a video game cover band for a long time but never really fully developed it. The first incarnation of my current band, the Rocket Knights, was started back in high school. My best friend at the time played bass and we would cover FFVI songs. I then met someone on here who lived in Phoenix (he doesn't post any longer as far as I know) and he played guitar and was into Megadeth which was a plus. We rocked out pretty hard doing covers of FFVI, and Bucky, and even some Ghostbusters. But then we went our separate ways.

Flashforward a couple decades and I reconnected with the guitarist friend. We got together and started jamming and it was almost like we never stopped playing together. So I felt that this was good to get the band going again and he seemed on board so we started learning Bucky, Sonic, and Guerrilla Wars. I put out an ad for a bass player and drummer on Facebook and Craigslist. I got a response back on Facebook from a bassist who was interested and has a friend who is a drummer that is also interested! I met with the bass player and we really clicked in what we want to accomplish and felt no pressure either just wanting to play some video game songs like the Minibosses.

Unfortunately my guitarist friend had to drop out due to other obligations but I decided to carry on because I had a bass player and a drummer, both with their own equipment, practice space, and were committed to play. I could not pass up this opportunity! We started working on songs and rehearsing about once a month until we felt ready for our first gig. 

Not sure what you mean by power level in the forest. We just agreed on what songs to play and I would find tabs to play to or if they didn't exist then learn by ear. Thankfully those were NES (or in the case of Shovel Knight had NSF files) so I could learn them note by note through NSF Play. We would do some light arrangement and then tighten up as we rehearsed. 

I would say that our first gig was quite a success. A lot of people showed up. I didn't screw up too much and when I did I recovered very quickly. Hopefully quickly enough that no one noticed haha.

We're still together and we're doing another rehearsal in a couple of weeks with two new songs. I don't know if we'll be able to get another gig before the year ends but we'll see and if not, there will be next year and we'll have more material to play too.


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#3 mooniniteG

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:55 PM

Coming off the heels of an unfortunate band development

 

Oh no, you guys were pretty good at the Seattle show w/ Kirby and Runaway Four. :(


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#4 Papahoodwinker

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 12:14 AM

Coming off the heels of an unfortunate band development, and I'm hoping to still move forward in some way, shape, or form. Looking for motivation! All of your bands in here - share your origin stories!

- How did you assemble your party? How did everyone meet?
- Did you power level in the forest before moving forward, or did you just go straight in?
- What was your first boss fights (gigs) like - was it awesome and did you slay, or did you limp home wanting to reset your game?
- Are you still working with the original party members? (Sometimes, there's a hired gun, like Shadow from FF6, who will cut and run after a period of time.

If there's already a thread like this, I apologize. I'm passionate about VGM and right now, I need to share that camaraderie with like-minded people with whom I have that passion in common - and this hopefully is the place.


Hope everything turns out okay! When I'm in front of a computer I'll definitely share some ups and downs. It's always a journey. Lots of leveling up, lots of losing your items and starting all over. Party members come and go, but keep going. You love this and other people do as well, you will find one another.
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#5 ShawnPhase

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 12:22 AM

tss was formed on october 18, 1997 due to my desire to combine circuit bending technology with module tracking technology, and bring forward an 8bit or fm synth sound overall. i cut my teeth along greats like bogdan raczynski, virt, ilkae, proswell, brothomstates, machinedrum, vsnares, and countless others who continue to pursue their individual blends of electronic music accordingly. fast forward to the early aughts, when i was on napster and decided to search 'metroid rock' or something along those lines to see if others were creating video game remixes with instruments or electronic elements. fast forward a little further, i meet minibosses, chromelodeon, etc etc, play a ton of magfests and help to create a healthy scene in general with a smattering of both original 8bit as well as vgm album releases.

 

august 2005 or so its decided that tss should go from a live solo outing to me focusing on the drums and bringing shizz stalwarts housethegrate, kirby, and spookmeister c into the mix, along with a wide range of other shizzies and vgmixers, most notably cacomistle, shnabubula, eddy from chromelodeon, alex mauer, pieness ...and you. shawn phase of temp sound solutions of north america has appeared on over 999 albums and performed on 3 continents, with acts such as the fucking champs, trans am, a minor forest, the minibosses, strike anywhere, david cross, tons of electronic and 8bit and mathrock acts from all over the world. as of today, the last 510 or so days in a row have been a continued trek of 'stock reports', or daily practice take recordings where songs are learned on the acoustic drumkit with a large wide-array pa. c&s stock reports has run for 10+ years and temp sound solutions will release an astonishing 300th release on its 22nd anniversary this october, with an indefinite number of vgm outings lined up for the next 22 years.


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#6 juggahnaught

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:46 AM

Oh no, you guys were pretty good at the Seattle show w/ Kirby and Runaway Four. :(

 

Thank you. I was really excited about moving forward.

 

 

Hope everything turns out okay! When I'm in front of a computer I'll definitely share some ups and downs. It's always a journey. Lots of leveling up, lots of losing your items and starting all over. Party members come and go, but keep going. You love this and other people do as well, you will find one another.

 

I think that's a takeaway from this. We always had personnel issues - for the show we did with Runaway Four and Kirby's Dream Band in Seattle, we actually used two subs; both the drummer and the keyboardist weren't actually in the band. But I thought we had a strong core group (bass, guitar, violin), and I began to invest - I bought gear, we started working on a small EP, I bought a domain, started getting into lighting setup. We were moving forward! It turns out that we can't work with our violinist anymore, and on the heels of that it turns out that our guitarist's musical passions lie elsewhere. The core group has split and so I'm the only thing left, cradling my broken dreams. (Hah! So emo! It's 1999 all over again! :P)

 

I think I've learned that I need to find people who share the same mindset, dreams, and goals that I do. In hindsight, the band members I played with didn't share that - they were music school students, talented, and dedicated to their craft, but ultimately on a different track.

 

I'm finding it hard not to be bummed about this. I don't intend to spill band drama all over these boards, but I guess I wanted to be able to talk to people who understood the passion and the drive to do this. We were moving forward and we put work into this - I invested in this project - and now, I've got to try to start over entirely.

 

I guess at least it's a New Game+ instead of fully starting from scratch, so there's that.

 

Definitely looking forward to reading more origin stories! Keep 'em coming!


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#7 ErichWK

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:52 AM

Kirby's Dream Band, 3 of the members were buddies in a pirate band. They met me and knew i drummed and was a weeaboo nerd so they asked me to drum for it. Which is cool cause i always wanted to play VGM. We found a guitar player through Craigslist i think..and the other guitar player was his friend. :)


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I play drums, Make Video Games, and eat Hamburgers.


#8 angry_polar_bear

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 12:26 PM

I’m sad to hear all that, and I hope that there’s a possibility of a New Game + for you! You’re always welcome to come up to Vancouver to jam if you want an outlet of some sort!

Our origin story (Runaway Four) is somewhat funny, both myself and the bassist have geology degrees as well as the same first name and we ended up working in temporary positions in the same office at a hydrogeology consultant in 2009. We obviously got to chatting and realized that we both played music and liked games, and ended up having a casual jam at my place where I played some Super Mario World tunes I had picked up to play as “party tricks” over the years. Within a few months we both moved on from that company and had sporadic contact for several years before getting back in touch when he and a friend who played guitar had been doing some acoustic open mic stuff playing crazy prog and then slipping in a Mario medley from time to time (I don’t know the entire story of how that got started). I was into VGM in a somewhat limited way by that point and not really doing any serious keyboard or piano playing otherwise. Eventually in 2013 they got asked to put together a set for a nerdy event run by another friend, and they decided to beef things up with drums and keyboard. So, we did our first show under their duo’s band name and it was awesome. I had never played in a band for a paying audience before, though I had lots of experience singing in choirs and vocal groups. I was so dedicated to my task from my “classical piano” mindset that I actually made a midi version of our entire set to figure out my parts and practice. I had printed sheet music for myself but didn’t realize that stage lighting might be pretty dark... fun times. We wanted visuals but weren’t able to get anything set up for the show. Because we basically played 45 mins of solid tunes with no break, I got into my habits of having lots of patch changes to create the necessary sounds for the tunes. We recorded and filmed the whole thing and put it on YouTube.

A couple months later I broke my collarbone playing hockey so keyboarding was out for a while. We reformed in summer 2014 to prep for the next edition of the nerdy event we had premiered at, and decided that this VGM project should get its own name and logo, etc. After that the shows just kept coming along and we gradually refined our purpose from just trying to cram as many tunes as possible into our set time with no breaks, with a completely fresh set every show, to trying to segregate some particular themed medleys so it was easier to plan set lists. Made some recording plans, got some show videos uploaded... got connected with people in the US... and now we’re in 2019 and still doing the same thing!

So in short, we started with geology, which led to rock in the form of jams and live shows. We’re working on more recordings and trying to figure out how to have a better online presence on YouTube and Spotify and the like. Also super grateful that we’ve had so many cross-border opportunities thanks to MagWest/Fest and most recently, KDB.
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#9 pingosimon

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:10 PM

juggahnaught!!  Good to see you here.  I'm the bassist in Kirby's Dream Band

I have such a long version of Erich's story.  From my point of view, it started with theshizz, and MetalBishop, who knew Sparky and zangderak.  Maybe I'll write it out later.


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#10 raubhimself

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:36 PM

Armadillo Tank started in the parking lot of Too Many Games 2008 or 9, I forget which. Pieness was performing there and afterwards in the parking lot while talking to pieness, cetera, and darmock, we said "We should start a VGM band" and then we did.


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#11 ErichWK

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:39 PM

juggahnaught!!  Good to see you here.  I'm the bassist in Kirby's Dream Band

I have such a long version of Erich's story.  From my point of view, it started with theshizz, and MetalBishop, who knew Sparky and zangderak.  Maybe I'll write it out later.

You should! But make sure you do it in the proper 15/16 time signature 


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#12 universal_justin

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:12 PM

Basically Tetsuoooo and I were huge VGM and Minibosses fans back in 2002.  Mostly we were just close friends from high school who were in the right place at the right time.

 

We had a group of mutual friends who were just starting to get into playing instruments, and were experimenting with various originals, mostly covers, in each others garages.  We lived in a tiny mountain community, and all of us were still in high school.  We threw a lot of shit at the wall to see what would stick, had a few different bands, members, and styles.  Tetsuoo and I had enough VGM influence in us to start learning some VGM covers, and it seemed to stick.  We eventually learned enough VGM tracks and gave the project a name, Quarter Circle Jab.  We all dabbled in our free time until we had enough practice to start small time gigging at parties, and eventually recording (7 years later).  

 

It was off and on for QCJ throughout the years, lots of moving parts, lots of logistical problems, all your typical band problems.  I'd say the biggest issue with sticking together was just location of the members.  Everybody wanted to do it if they were around, it just wasn't paying the bills, and there was opportunity to be had elsewhere.  Typical band problems.

 

I'd suggest if you were thinking about getting a VGM cover band going, the #1 thing working in your favor would be to live in a big city with a big talent pool with lots of musicians with similar tastes.


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quartercirclejab.bandcamp.com - VGM Cover Band

goodrich.bandcamp.com - Synthwave


#13 Guy In Rubber Suit

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:15 PM

Yeah, definitely put out ads on local Craigslist and Facebook music groups. 


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#14 ShawnPhase

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:25 PM

ehh, i dunno if you'll get much luck thru cl. not to be a pessimist but you want some personalities to mesh and be friends with people first to truly make members in a vgm band work. doesnt mean you shouldnt try placing ads, but this kinda music in particular, if you want it to work, you need people who are invested in truly making it work for the collective effort and be the best it can be. cl has no shortage of screwballs who dont know how to even read ads properly, and if they cant read, whats the chances they're gonna be receptive to working diligently to make a vgm band work when its not their own thing they start... again, not sayin to not try, but if you can form a band with people who might live a lil further away than people local who are invested vs a guy you meet off a classified ad lookin to join a band who can meet up once a week, i'd go with the former.

 

its not like it once was where if you wanted to be in a band and record that you had to go to a studio, home recording is at an all time level of ease to get ideas together and see if you can mesh with other people's styles. use that to your advantage when looking to work with people, even if its in a local capacity. from there you can make it into a bigger thing. hell, look at loincloth. those guys did 2 albums and a demo over a period of like 15 years and when they got together, it was a couple times a year to flesh out song ideas and each of em drove 150-200 miles to one central location. i consider em the tightest band that ever laid music to disk.


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#15 universal_justin

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:41 PM

its not like it once was where if you wanted to be in a band and record that you had to go to a studio, home recording is at an all time level of ease to get ideas together and see if you can mesh with other people's styles.

 

If you can find some band members who can telecommunicate, that's awesome.  There are probably a lot more musicians out there who can these days too.  It's a whole new set of logistical problems, but even if the real life meetups don't workout for whatever reason, you still at least have some tangible groundwork ready for when it can workout.

 

It's probably a little less exciting, not having that in person/in studio magic, and not being able to gig or practice without a lot of organization, but probably a hell of a lot more productive and focused.  Maybe a little less instant gratification, but a lot more long term satisfaction.  And imagine how cool it would feel to finally get together after such a long time.

 

Online banding is something I've always wanted to do.  Maybe we should just start one with everyone in this thread?  It would make a great origin story later.


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quartercirclejab.bandcamp.com - VGM Cover Band

goodrich.bandcamp.com - Synthwave




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