Tag: Interview

Rounding out our exploration of Chiptunes for the month of October, we speak with Circuit Bender, Modder, Artist, and Chiptunes enthusiast Anthony Hom.

Anthony is responsible for the hardware setups for a number of working chiptunes artists and numerous lesser known & up and coming chiptunes artists and hobbyists. Anthony modifies Nintendo Game Boy units to work with backlit screens, and put out professional quiality audio for live performances. He is also incredibly well-connected in the scene and shares a little about the current landscape and possible futures for the chiptune community.

Music from BananaSan!

Music Featured in this Session:
Track: Save Me

(Thank you Anthony!)

Intro Music:
Provided under creative commons license. 
from www.FreeHipHopBeats.com
Produced by The Passion HiFi

Outro Song: 
License: Public Domain
Seaboard Stomp
Blind Blake

For the foreseeable future, our existing posts will no longer be available as a podcast but are hosted on Soundcloud.com


Chiptunes3It’s safe to say that at this point, the 8-bit culture/VGM movement/Chiptune scene is still a relatively small subculture (although, perhaps gaining momentum).

But, there seems to be a common denominator among everyone we’ve spoken with in connection with the community, and that is a passion for honest exploration.

8 Bit Heart | Justice Bleeds on Deviant Art

There seems to be a huge pull for integrity in the chiptune scene, which may be common of an emerging subculture, but it makes it easy to differentiate between someone who is genuine and someone who is here with ulterior motives.

That is not to say that talent and hard work go unrewarded.

The best part about the chiptune community is, as Will and Jesse discuss during the interview, that due to the nature of artists using retro hardware and homespun software, it is almost necessary to have an open source community.

Ellen Wong as Knives in Scott Pilgrim VS The World
Ellen Wong as Knives in Scott Pilgrim VS The World

Industries like technology, fashion, and even the automotive industry (as we saw recently with Tesla), have begun to return to open source information.

In a TED Talk on Fashion, Johanna Blakley explained how fashion has never had the luxury of copyright, but those limitations have propelled designers towards constant innovation and has forced them to continually rethink their approach and everything they create.

If trendsetters like Tesla are paving the way by sharing more and more of themselves, perhaps it only makes sense that a community like that of 8-bit/chiptunes, built on teamwork, networking, and sharing can thrive in a time like this. As the global community continues to destroy outdated walls and dogmas of exclusivity from years gone by, it is interesting to see if such freedom of information will lead to accelerated growth.

An Interview With 1000 Needles

1000 Needles: Will Gresch (left) & Jesse Avila (Right)

For our third chiptunes interview, we talk with Jesse and Will of the ChipBand 1000 Needles, out of Los Angeles, who use Logic, an Audrinoboy, an original Nintendo Game Boy, an NES, live instruments and vocals. Jesse and Will give us an insider’s look at what is perhaps one of the most authentic artistic communities today, and share a little about their passion for 8-bit, chiptunes and everything nerdy.

Music Featured in this Session:
Track: Cloudy Face – Album: Hearts of Gears (Not Yet Released)
Track: Ghost/Hack – Album: Hearts of Gears (Not Yet Released)

Find the Music of 1000 Needles on www.1000Needles.Bandcamp.com

(Thank you Will and Jesse!)

Intro Music:
Provided under creative commons license.
from www.FreeHipHopBeats.com
Produced by The Passion HiFi

Outro Music: 
License: Public Domain
Don’t Sell It, Don’t Give It Away
Oscar Woods

For the foreseeable future, our existing posts will no longer be available as a podcast but are hosted on Soundcloud.


I’m going to go into this assuming you don’t know what chiptunes are.

Although the scene seems to be growing, it’s most likely that most readers won’t.

Chiptune(s) normally refers to a composition created on game consoles from the 80s and 90s. Chiptune artists generally create music on hardware such as the Nintendo Game Boy, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Atari 2600 running souped up software. The term Chiptune can also apply to music made to copy this sound (depending on who you ask).

4x Modified DMG-01 Nintendo Game Boy’s – Modified by Anthony Hom

It really gets messy trying to find the lines where elements of a thing blur into itself. But that is always a good marker of a growing subculture; more to talk about than language is prepared to present.

Chiptunes are written on hardware such as the Nintendo Game Boy, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Atari 2600.

Programs like LSDJ and Nanoloop, arguably the two most widely used softwares, allow artists to utilize the sound capabilities of these machines turning them into digital instruments.

The Madness that is LSDJ

One thing you’ll notice as you explore the scene, is that the aesthetic draws an amazing community of people.

You definitely get a different experience at a chiptunes show, or especially when you talk with some of the people in the creative space. It’s kind of a breath of fresh air

Mike Bleeds fills us in on how people support one another [Next Session], going as far as to explain their setup and techniques.

I’ve found it is rare to find a chiptunes artist with an unreasonable ego.

An Interview With Kory and Keaton: Directors of The Players’ Score

Podcast1Our premier interview is with directors Kory Coldwell and Keaton Clansky who are currently filming and editing a documentary on video game music called The Players’ Score. They join us from a similar perspective, exploring the VGM culture as outsiders and share a little about what draws people to the music and what they plan to accomplish with their film.

The conversation presents a good picture of what the chiptune/VGM scene is like and why it looks like the scene keeps growing.

The introduction song, ‘Disco Text’  was provided by RobOctopus and the outro song, ‘Lost in Elk City’ was provided by Mike Bleeds

For the foreseeable future, our existing posts will no longer be available as a podcast but are hosted on Soundcloud.