Music in Games / Dexter Freebish

Interestingly enough, Dexter Freebish isn’t showing up in any games coming out, though they have been featured in games like Tiger Woods and The Sims in the past. In fact, none of the songs on their new album are confirmed for release within a game. Why then are we even talking to them? Because they’ve just done a very interesting thing. They have moved away from their traditional record label to Artwerk, where games and music are handled together. It’s not something a lot of bands do, but Dexter Freebish sees the future of music and gaming coming closer together and have thus decided they want to be there when it does.

TVGB got to chat up Chris Lowe from the band and discuss why they moved over to a game/music label and about he band’s upcoming album. Of course if you’re not interested in the eventual total collision of the music and gaming industries (some say it’s already happened) maybe you’d just like to find out what it’s like to rock out in Simlish.

Also, stay tuned for this month’s contest which will net you a copy of Spore and a signed copy of Dexter Freebish’s album tripped into divine.

Matthew Razak (TVGB): How did you get involved with Artwerk? Were you always interested in bringing your music closer to gaming?

Chris Lowe of Dexter Freebish (CL): We had a relationship with a producer who signed us to Capitol Records and so he left Capital Records and went to Artwerk. And we kind of stayed in touch and decided it was time to put out a new record again and move ahead with Artwerk.

TVGB: What do you think about the ever growing connection between gaming and music?

CL: I think it’s great. Its doing what MTV was doing back in the 80’s. It’s connecting people to the music. We were in several games when the last record came out and it’s amazing — you get all this email through videogame contact and they jump on board. It’s really a great way to not only market music but hear new stuff.

TVGB: So you were excited the first time you heard your music in a game?

CL: It stoked us, there’s nothing cooler than playing a videogame and hearing your song come on. And we actually got to re-record our songs in Simlish.

TVGB: Did you have to speak actual Simlish words or did they just let you make it up?

CL: We pretty much made up words as we went along. So that was kind of cool.

TVGB: How important do you think the relationship between music and gaming is?

CL: It is very important to branch out. It’s the best way to market new music these days. Radio isn’t quite what it use to be and it’s a way to get our music heard by people that wouldn’t usually hear our music. For us it was a no-brainer.

TVGB: Is the audience base for gaming broader than your normal base then?

CL: That’s what great. You hit such a completely broad audience. With radio you have a specific style you’d be hitting but with videogames it’s just across the board and you reach just a mass amount of people. It’s just crazy how the music has changed in videogames. When I was growing up there wasn’t much music obviously and now it’s everywhere.

TVGB: I take it that you gamed as a kid?

CL: I played. I had my little Atari back in the day. I played games here and there on my PC. I wasn’t overly crazy about it, but if I had been I would never have had time to write music. Everyone loves their videogames though, including me. I remember when Dungeon Siege came out that was like the coolest thing in the world. (Note: Later Lowe recalled the game as something other than Dungeon Siege but couldn’t remember the title. It had dragons, which makes it awesome most likely.)

TVGB: Are you playing anything right now?

CL: I’m not right now because we’re writing music and we’re writing for a new record. It’s hard for me to do both. When we get done I can start playing some games again.

TVGB: What about this new record? Are you guys doing anything different?

CL: We’ve always just been a rock band that writes catchy songs. We really want to put out a record this time that we want to listen to. It’s totally different now since we’re independent and we don’t have to write a big hit single. It’s one of the cool things at Artwerk. We’re really writing cool music that we are wanting to listen to. That’s really whats been different for us and trying to write that hit single is really the wrong way to go about it.

TVGB: How close to done are you?

CL: We’re getting pretty close to being done. We’ve got four new tracks being done now and we’re planning the next ones in the next couple of months.

TVGB: Any of those tracks showing up in Guitar Hero or Rock Band?

CL: We’d love to see it in Guitar Hero. My brother in law is addicted to that game so he of course thinks it would be the coolest thing in the world if we were on that.

TVGB: Any favorite tracks off the new album?

CL: There’s a song called Walk On Water that we’ve got a lot of good feedback on from.

TVGB: What has been different about the creative process for you on this album?

CL: When you don’t have that pressure on you I think you really write a lot better. It just comes out easier now and it tends to be cooler and better than some of the older stuff we’ve written.

TVGB: Will you guys be touring?

CL: We’ll play some shows. There’s nothing definitive yet. We’ve definitely toured the country several times over in the past so I’m guessing we’ll get out there and play some shows.

TVGB: What is your favorite game?

CL: Wow. There was a period I got pretty addicted to Tiger Woods while our song was on it. Asteroids was the first game I ever played growing up as a kid — games have come a long way since then. We play StarCraft and Madden of course, whatever really catches my interest.

TVGB: As a musician are you any good at fake music? Guitar Hero?

CL: I’ve never physically played it but I’ve watched my family play it and it’s fun to watch. I’m mostly afraid I’ll get addicted to it that’s why I don’t pick it up. We’d love to see a song in there though.

TVGB: What’s next for you guys?

CL: Our plan is just to keep writing a lot of good songs no matter what it has to do with. We’re looking forward to our songs being played in some videogames and getting out there to play some shows again.