Me: What was your music scene growing up in Germany and what was it that pushed you into composing music?
Kevin: I always listened to a vast variety of music (Pop, Metal, Classic, IDM, Hardcore, Jazz, Rock, Punk, Hip Hop...) so I can't tell if there was one big influence. I think the first bands I listened to were Linkin Park and Rammstein along with some more less famous German metal bands. At the same time I heard a lot of T-Rex, 2Pac, Stevie Wonder and Prince because my dad is a fan of them. Through Eminem I really became friends with hip hop, haha, the 'Slim Shady LP' was awesome. At the same time I fell in love with the melodies of different pagan and black metal bands, listened to a lot of Ensiferum, Finntroll and stuff. But Blink 182 was great, too. And don't forget Aphex Twin. And the soundtrack of Legend of Zelda and the Final Fantasy series and Super Mario and Secret of Mana and....You see, I always listened to almost everything. Maybe my biggest influence was good music in general.
I never was extremely interested in school. I preferred being at home learning to play the guitar or doing stuff with friends. Thanks to my mp3 player I survived most of the boring class hours. One year I had this music class where we wanted to perform some kind of musical at the end of the year. So I wrote the entire music for this together with a friend of mine. In the end the teacher didn't seem to be interested and most of the students weren't motivated to perform anything because they would get good grades anyway. But the main point is that me and my friend had a lot of fun, haha.
Me: ‘Glee’ is, by far, the best example of your ability to enter into multiple genres of music.Going in to create Chiptune, and ‘Glee’, was there anything special you did to prepare for the shift in recording styles?
Kevin: There wasn't something magical going on as I created Glee, I guess. I decided to experiment with chiptune what seemed natural since I'm working on becoming a video game composer since this year. I composed a lot of rock tunes, so I was more familiar with those elements. So I was like, OK, first record, some driving, punchy drums. This resulted in the soundcheck-like intro of the song. Then I added some typical rock bass lines and the base of the song was ready. Next I loaded up some chiptune plugins and synths and just went crazy with the melodies. That's how I created the other songs, too, haha. Glee was the first 'chiprock' song I wrote so I put it on the beginning of the album, it influenced all other songs.
Before creating ‘Green Pipes’ I listened to some old school Kirby and Super Mario soundtracks. I wanted it to be more Chiptune and less Rock, so it's the most 'classic' sounding tune on my album, I guess. No real sounding drums and bass here. I think I worked roughly two days on this one. Most of the time I work really fast, several hours in a row. I like to work hard to get where I want.
Me: What are you doing in-between compositions?
Kevin: At the moment I'm just a regular student, but the university isn't my priority. I just really want to create music and get my stuff out there, it's my passion. So I'm really happy when someone buys my music or else I wouldn't be able to upgrade my equipment.
Kevin: I think “GameMakers”, and such things, made it easier for many people to pursue their hobbies. The same goes for new music software, too. So chances are higher that some really quality games appear on the net and hobby Devs can become professionals some day. We all want to be entertained so there can't be enough games out there. And the good ones will always stand out.
Me: What’s your opinion on the sudden influx of Indie Devs and their many creations vs. the very well-known Big Indie Devs of the last decade?
Kevin: Devs shouldn't see the whole game developing thing as a big competition. For me it's not about overwhelming each other. It's about working together, helping each other out and releasing a great game at the end of the day. Who really wants to be involved in the scene has the chance to get on the internet and contact a lot of like-minded people to launch some great projects. Most of them won't bite, I guess.
The indie scene really grows bigger and bigger. So many great indie games appeared on the internet in the last few years and even big game corporations noticed that. There's no denying that big industries are already influenced by the growing indie scene. Indie games on next gen consoles? How cool is that? I would love to hear my music played on some Xbox One games, there are just so much opportunities now!
Me: What do you think about blurring the lines between Big Game Corporations and Independent Game Developers? Can there be one big happy family, or is there always going to be that line of demarcation?
Kevin: Sounds like a nice idea that some day people won't keep to their inner circles, but at some point it's always about profit and making things easy. People tend to build up these circles and structures to feel safe and make things more manageable. I'm not too optimistic about that, but who knows?
I think the line between big game corps and small indie Devs won't blur too quick. There's a big difference between developing for an established franchise which has much more resources and relies on making profit to keep things ticking over and small indie game Devs who are free to be more experimental. But I expect more awareness of the fresh and new ideas indie Devs bring into game development.
Me: If you could choose any game project to work on, new or old, which would you choose?
Kevin: I would have loved to make the soundtrack of Minecraft so I just could sit back and relax a little and finally buy new equipment, haha. But seriously, I'm in touch with some really great Devs at the moment and I hope they will let me throw my music on their games. Can't imagine to get a better start into the game Dev scene. I'm really looking forward to be a part of these fresh and interesting projects!