Bands often take inspiration from the unlikeliest of places. Here’s our list of the Top 5 bands inspired by video game music:
5: The Protomen
The Protomen are a Tennessee based rock band founded in 2003. They are most well known for their concept albums ‘Act I’ and ‘Act II’ that are heavily inspired by the video game series ‘Mega Man’. The band fuse elements of heavy metal music with distorted 8 bit synth sounds to create a futuristic dystopian feel that serves as the soundtrack to their own twisted take on the Mega Man world. They have also sighted Ennio Morricone, Bruce Springsteen and Radiohead as major influences.
4: Video Game Orchestra
The Video Game Orchestra (VGO) are a project created by Japanese born Shota Nakama during his time at Berkelee College of Music. The orchestra is comprised of some of Boston’s best young musicians and aims to give video game music a classical spin. The group play mostly at the Boston Symphony Hall and in 2013 launched a kickstarter campaign that raised $30,000 towards a live album.
3: The Black Mages
The Black Mages are a rock band founded in 2002 by Square Enix employed composers Nobuo Uematsu, Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito. Nobuo Uematsu had been responsible for composing the music of the ‘Final Fantasy’ series and decided to give his compositions the live treatment recording 3 albums between 2004 and 2008. The band have since gone on to gain huge commercial success in Japan and have built a large fan base as a consequence of their elaborate live performances often involving a full orchestra.
2: The Advantage
One of the pioneers of the ‘Nintendocore’ movement, The Advantage were formed in Sacramento in 1998 and have gained popularity with their cover versions of a huge range of Nintendo game soundtracks. The band implement a number of musical genres to recreate some these compositions, playing everything from heavy rock to jazz funk. Their last album ‘Edits’ was released in 2013.
MegaDriver are a Brazilian heavy metal band who almost exclusively play rock covers of game soundtracks released for the Sega Megadrive (also known as the Sega Genesis). They are most well known for releasing albums usually based around one or two games in a series examples include: Metal Beast (a reworking of ‘Altered Beast’), Metal Axe (a reworking of ‘Golden Axe’) and Sword, Shurikins and Fists (a tribute to Sega composer Yuzo Koshiro). The band have even gone as far as fashioning a guitar from an old Sega Megadrive.