[WINNERS] Beyond the Game: Burnout Paradise
Welcome to PlayStation Universe’s first edition of Beyond the Game. This inaugural feature will look beyond the gameplay of Burnout Paradise and into the game's soundtrack. A year ago, EA partnered with Nettwork One to form a new record label entitled Artwerk. It is through this label that I am being given the opportunity to discuss music and gaming with bands like From First to Last, Chromeo and today’s featured group, Jupiter One. So without much else to say, let’s jump out of this world and into the atmosphere that is Jupiter One.
Are you a fan of the 1960s TV show, Lost in Space? If so, you’re going to recognize the name Jupiter One as the failed starship from said TV show. The band, which was formed in 2003, started off as just your run-of-the-mill instrumental group but quickly changed direction when their keyboardist Zac Colwell found out that their lead guitarist Kaoru Ishibashi could sing. It was from this moment that Jupiter One would take that step forward to begin producing their infectious sound for listeners worldwide to appreciate.
The road to success within the music industry is a long one, and is usually filled with influences both past and present. I had the chance to discuss this with Ishibashi to find out which bands influenced the sound of Jupiter One the most.
“We always liked the Beatles and other old bands which survived like David Bowie and Pink Floyd. We kind of started off when instrumentalism was strong, like the late 90s,” states Ishibashi. “It took us awhile to really look deep and figure out what we wanted to do. Therefore a lot of our inspiration really comes from way back. Like we’re into The Police and we’re also always checking out present contemporary bands as well.”
If you’ve ever listened to any tracks from Jupiter One, you’re able to hear the influence some of these bands have had on the group. Their music seems to be a nice mixture of these influences combined with the ability to lay down some nice instrumentals alongside it. However, I was curious how Ishibashi defines the band in terms of genre. From listening to their album, it’s hard to pinpoint them to a single style.
“Well, I guess we’re kind of in a strange place because our songs are very accessible to all kinds of people. This can be contributed to the fact we are kind of poppy. However, we really don’t know of any other bands that really sound like us because we have a lot of new wave elements,” Ishibashi admits. “…We’re definitely a lot of rock ‘n’ roll but the synthesizer has kind of put us in this 'New wave of the 80s' sound which isn’t really intentional on our part. We’re just really not afraid to bust our keyboards out to create a funky sound. That’s probably why our shows are always filled with people dancing and just having a good time."
As many of you have probably already said in your heads, 'Electronic Arts is at it again.' The reality is that EA has given Jupiter One a bounty of exposure, with the chance to have their music heard in the likes of Madden, FIFA, NHL, and Burnout. Obviously with a major company like EA supporting your music, you’re going to be able to go places you never really dreamed of. This peaked my curiosity - I wished to know what being produced by EA (in a sense) has done for their careers.
“EA has really helped open up our music to a lot of fans that perhaps didn’t always recognize us by name. Like a bouncer at a club we’re playing at may say, ‘I know that song.’ probably because he plays video games and has heard us through that medium. EA has definitely brought us a universal exposure. Whether our fans our hardcore or not, there are definitely millions of people out there who’ve heard our music and that’s something we’re really grateful for.”
Admittedly, Ishibashi says he is a video game nut, thus he hasn’t had the chance to sit down and enjoy Burnout Paradise himself. He attributes this tragedy to the fact that he has an addictive personality and it may take away from his music. Ishibashi feels it could lead to him just playing video games all day long. I’m sure most of us here can relate to that happening.
“Burnout Paradise has truly opened a lot of doors for us though. We find out that when we’re playing smaller venues that people are more excited because of the fact that they’ve heard us through their games. It definitely allows us to approach new venues, opportunities and to get in touch with other bands as well.
Ishibashi did go on record saying that he feels the Wii is pretty cool and probably would be his console of choice. Despite that, he mentions that the entire band is really big on Guitar Hero regardless of the fact that they get schooled by anybody remotely decent at the title. Obviously that’s a tad embarrassing, but it happens.
I’d like to personally thank Kaoru Ishibashi for his time and Artwerk for this partnering opportunity. For many of you, Burnout Paradise is the first time that you’ve heard Jupiter One. The blockbuster hit from Criterion paved the way for Fire Away to hit the mainstream gaming world and etch itself into the minds of thousands. If I’m being honest, Fire Away hooked me on their unique sound and led me on the way to discovering other amazing melodious tracks such as my personal favorite, Unglued.
Finally, we’ve gotten to the part you’ve all probably been waiting for, the giveaway. Thanks to EA, Criterion, Artwerk and Jupiter One, PlayStation Universe is proud to be able to give away not only 2 copies of Burnout Paradise, but a Jupiter One album with each game. This way, not only will you be able to play one of the hottest titles for the PlayStation 3, but you’ll be able to check out the music behind it as well.
In order to enter, just leave a comment below. It's as easy as that. I'll be utilizing a random number generator in order to find out which one of you lucky readers will win the prize. For the Europeans out there, don't worry. We'll be doing a similar giveaway for you guys featuring the upcoming title FIFA 09. This contest is exclusive to North America only. Contest will end on Monday, September 1 at 9 PM EST.
Winners Announced: Alright, the winners chosen via the random number generator are below.
I've sent a Private Message to both of you with the information needed to claim your prize. Private Messages can be read through the forum. You can sign in to the forum with your PSU account.