Feature: Music & Gaming: Chris Spicuzza, Chimaira
Written Thursday, May 07, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
There was a time back in the 90's when music and gaming wouldn't be seen dead together. My, how times have changed. Now they practically share a room together on the Upper West Side and are as inseparable as Alvin & the Chipmunks.
On the day that Activision announces a whole load of new musical titles, we start our new feature, Music & Gaming, where we speak to the people that are currently sat with a finger in each of the pies.
In the first of what we hope are many behind-the-scenes looks, we turn our attention to Chimaira's keyboard and FX wizard, Chris Spicuzza, where we discuss the band's Guitar Hero debut, his awesome Xbox 360 rig and even delve into the world of achievements. An entertaining interview if I do say so myself, and who'd have thought that a thrash metal band member would be so charismatic?
The band made its debut on Guitar Hero World Tour today with “On Broken Glass” ... how did this opportunity come about? Did you have to approach Activision or did they seek you out?
It’s not very often that free tracks are thrown out into the Guitar Hero marketplace, did you see the track as a perfect way to promote your new album and raise the profile of the band with a new audience?
I’ve got to ask ... free content; your idea or Activision’s?
Chimaira's "On Broken Glass" is a free download for Guitar Hero World Tour today.
Have you had chance to give the song a go yet?
Do you actually get any sort of input in terms of the note chart for the song or as soon as you make the deal, it’s out of your hands? I mean, do you get chance to say, “we don’t like this bit, can we try this?”
Are there plans for any more of the band’s content to be seen on Guitar Hero in the near future? Or maybe even Rock Band?
Now we understand you’re a bit of a serious gamer as well, and because you’re on the road a lot, you’ve had a custom rig created for your gaming needs. Can you tell us a little about it? Was it expensive? Is it as heavy as it looks?
Seeing as you are touring a lot, do actually get much free time to game? Are you alone or are there other band members, not necessarily of Chimaira that you game with whilst touring?
What about favourite titles? Got any titles that you simply must play every day to get your fix? What are you looking forward to most?
I love the entire EA Sports catalogue. My favourite FPS games are Dead Space, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and Bioshock. I spent a good amount of time on the Skate games and Guitar Hero as well. I’m looking forward to the Ghostbusters game. It’s my favourite movie of all time.
Seeing as you’re a pretty hardcore 360 gamer, do you find yourself as a bit of an achievement addict as well?
At first I didn’t understand it. My buddy Wookubus turned me onto gamerscore playing Gears of War. For two years it sprung out of control. Instead of spending time with my beautiful girlfriend I was wasting hours of the night boosting garbage achievements in games like Splinter Cell. I’ve worked my gamerscore up to 40,000. Recently it hit me that I wasn’t even having fun doing some of these achievements. The whole point is to enjoy yourself. I am no longer an achievement whore. Unfortunately, Wookubus is still playing games like Yaris and Quantum of Solace.
Being as someone who is deeply invested in the music industry and a serious gamer, do you think that the bands that don’t have the deep roots in gaming are starting to see the potential for growth by the use of their songs in music games like Guitar Hero?
We are seeing bands like Metallica make a video game. I doubt those guys have even turned on an Xbox 360. They realized the growth of gaming and the potential for revenue. Either that, or they say their kids playing it.
Thanks for your time Chris, any closing words you want to throw out there?
We want to see videos of people playing “On Broken Glass”! If you enjoy the song please pick up our new album, The Infection. You can find it at Best Buy or on iTunes. If you’re bold enough to leave your Xbox, we’ll be on tour till next summer, come check us out. You might not get an achievement for it, but you'll at least get your face melted. Thanks for reading this, time to game!
Check back next week for out continuation of the Music & Gaming feature, but in the meantime, check out Chimaira's Guitar Hero World Tour debut, available for free on the Xbox Live Marketplace now. Yes, I said free.