Get ready to rock out to one of the newer VGM cover bands from Melbourne, Australia: Technodrome. If you expected a modest rendition of Mario and Zelda with some distortion, and maybe a good Pokemon cover to top it off. Well… you got it! But that would be understating these guys, so I’ll not only pull up their videos from youtube, but I’ll even give you an interview to show you all they have to offer.
The first word I got of this 4 piece band was via someone posting their righteous Pokemon B/R/Y Battle Theme Cover, which like all of their other videos is sonically spot on. This video just hooked me right away, not only because you can watch them shred in realitime, but also because the sound quality is solid too. But to the actual song, they just nailed all the changes parts and sections so well you could play your game to it – and I think not without some fun of their own on top of it, but I won’t keep describing.
If that’s not enough for ya, they have two more videos up. One of which is a medley of Nintendo songs and the other is the Trigun theme. I won’t say anything about the nintendo medley to keep with their description which encourages everyone to guess what they mashed together. As for the Trigun theme, I don’t actually watch the anime, nor have I heard the theme, but if it’s half as good as what they jam around to on here, I better get watching.
Then afterwards you can quiz yourself on the Nintendo Mix:
But now to the meat and gravy of this article: the interview. I asked these guys a handful of important questions regarding the band and their own thoughts on other topics.
1. What was the first gaming system you guys had?
Chris – original Gameboy, clear! Then later on got a 64 for a birthday one year. Like Alex, I’m definitely a Nintendo fan. Though there was the gap between having a Gameboy, then missing all the awesome SNES games till I got my 64.
Danny – I remember playing a lot of old DOS games when I was really little, but my brother and I got an original Gameboy-Fat (Classic grey!) and a SNES for Christmas in the early/mid 90s.
Alex – I had SNES when I was a kid and eventually a GameBoy Colour when they were first out. I was, and am, very much a Nintendo fan. Also, I was a big fan of arcade systems whenever I could find one that wasn’t a crap game, or broken.
Julio – Atari 2400. Fuck yeahhh.
2. What Game/Moment did you finally notice Video Game Music?
Chris – I think I was always pretty aware of the music having started playing music even before I started gaming, but some early moments that I can remember the music impacting me would be Kirby’s Dream Land 1 and then later Super Mario 64.
Danny – The first time I can remember actively paying attention to music in videogames was when I was playing Chrono Trigger for the umpteenth time. The Chrono Trigger soundtrack was definitely the first that I went out of my way to listen to outside the context of the game itself.
Alex – I must have really enjoyed the music when I first started playing games as a kid, but I never realized how much I liked it until I heard it again with more musically experienced ears, and not only remembered how much I loved the game, but how well the music was composed. For me, the music from Super Mario Kart really stuck, very cool stuff.
Julio – When I went to a friends house, and he’d just bought Warcraft 2. After a couple of hours playing, I’d memorised one of the battle songs and was able to sing it like two weeks later. I hadn’t played it since.
3. When did you all pick up your first instruments?
Chris – I started piano when I was 7. Best decision I ever made lol!
Danny – Being Asian, my parents made me learn Piano when I was eight or nine years old. After giving that up, I picked up guitar when I was about 13.
Julio – I picked up bass midway through the first semester of year 10, in 2000.
4. Did Han shoot first?
Han always shoots first. Cause that’s how he do. But seriously, that’s not even a question.
5. How did you all meet?
We pretty much all met at university, as we’re all studying music degrees, Julio and Chris are housemates, but strangely have never met.
6.These days are you just jamming and making excellent youtube videos, or do you guys do gigs too?
At the moment, we’re still just jamming out new stuff. We’re quite a new band, and we wanna do it right for all the people that are interested in our work. Also, we’ve booked some gigs at a couple of nerd conventions coming up, so hopefully we can spread the Technodrome love in a little bit more of an intimate way.
7. If so, any plans for a big tour, say even world tour?
Wow, yeah sure, a world tour would be absolutely ridiculous haha. We’ll most likely do the local thing first, and play it by ear as we go.
8. Have you guys done, or thought about doing an Album?
We are currently thinking about the logistics of recording an album and making it available through iTunes. There’ll be news in the coming months so stay tuned to Facebook.
9.Favorite Ninja Turtle?
Danny – Raphael. A bit of a predictable answer, but what’s not to love! Raphael does not give a f**k!
Alex – Raph. He was a bit of a hard-on, pardon the French, but he kept it real. Every group of crime fighters needs a badass, and he was the badass-iest
Chris – Mikey. He loves pizza. I love pizza. He wears orange. I…also own orange things.
Julio – Shredder is way more badass than any of the Ninja Turtles.
10. What do you guys think of video game music these days? Is it getting too orchestrated, or is it just the new frontier?
Alex – It’s hard to critique one way or the other. I grew up listening to 8-bit tracks, so there’s an immediate nostalgic value to the older stuff. On the other hand, the newer games demand a higher degree of realism, as far as sound goes, to match the gameplay and the more complex graphics, and that’s cool too. When it comes down to it, good VGM is good VGM, and if it’s good, I’ll dig it.
Chris – As a composition major, it’s fascinating watching how the trends change. I think though, that because of the massive limitations of early videogame technology, we’ve seen games become more and more orchestrated simply because it can now be done. Comparing the scores of a NES game to a game of today, or even something from as far back as the 64 is in a way unfair. If they were given the room to move back then, that they have today, in regards to music implementation technology, who knows how they would have scored their games.
11. Will we see you guys at any gaming conventions in the future?
We’re currently in talks with a couple of the bigger conventions around our city (Melbourne, Australia). We hope to play at similar events around Australia and the rest of the world.
12. Favorite video game album/soundtrack?
Chris – wayyy too hard to answer with just one, but in my top would be Halo 3: ODST, the Assassin’s Creed series and Ocarina of Time.
Danny – Maybe it’s just because it holds a special place in my heart, but I think Chrono Trigger! The Brink of Time arrangements are awesome too. Honorable mentions go to the Black Mages first album, Guilty Gear XX soundtrack, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Halo 3.
Alex – Ahhh there’s so much to choose from. Ocarina Of Time had so many great themes, and the 600 AD theme from Chrono Trigger is probably one of the best compositions in any video game ever. But my earliest memories of VGM are the DK Country and Super Mario Kart soundtracks, and they’re both awesome.
Julio – Interstate ’76, Donkey Kong Country, the Street Fighter series, and the Zelda series are definitely my top rated soundtracks.
13. Are you guys familiar with Dwelling of Duels or OCremix? Would you consider submitting on either?
Danny – I’m familiar with OCRemix, though I hadn’t heard of Dwelling of Duels before you mentioned it. At the moment, I don’t think what we do is really in the spirit of either website. Once we find our footing and get a little more interpretive with the music then yeah, sure, I’d be all for it!
Alex – I’m personally not familiar with either of those, but I’m not opposed to submitting our work anywhere. I want as many people as possible to hear our stuff; I’m really proud of what we’re doing.
Chris – Ditto what Alex said!
Julio – *shrugs*
14. What can we expect from you guys in the future?
More covers, more videos on YouTube, some gigs and hopefully several albums. All of that should be happening really soon, actually, so, again, keep an eye out for updates!
So if we can draw anything from this interview about this promising band, it’s to stay tuned and see what they turn out next.