[Winners announced: Blackhawk375 and hesmanes. Both winners need to email me at dave.wales [@] psu dot com in order to supply me with your address. Both of you have won a copy of FIFA 2009 bundled with a 'DELUX' Copy of the Chromeo album. If I do not hear from you within one week, your prize will be defaulted to the next random winner.]
Welcome to the second installment of Beyond the Game. Last time, I took you out of this world and into the orbit of Jupiter One and Burnout Paradise. We not only got to look into the music behind the title, but two of our lucky readers took home copies of Burnout Paradise and Jupiter One’s album.
This time, I sat down to talk with P-Thugg, who is half of the electrofunk sensation known as Chromeo. There is something you need to know about Chromeo though before I go on, because I honestly feel everyone should know this: P-Thugg and Dave 1 claim to be "the only successful Arab/Jewish collaboration since the beginning of time.” I know what you’re thinking: “How could this be?” The two have been friends since childhood. Now they’ve taken their act on the road and are willing to go beyond the game with us today.
Chromeo is more than just an unlikely duo, however; they also feature slick synthetics, talk box brilliance, funky electronic sounds, out of this world lyrics, and strong musical influence from the talk box God himself, Roger Troutman. When I sat down to discuss the music and gaming industry with P-Thugg, we both made it a priority to discuss the things that matter most. From Taco Bell to early gaming achievements, we cover it all.
The biggest advantage of being featured in a title like FIFA 09 is the worldwide recognition that comes with a game of that magnitude. As many of you should know, FIFA is one of the highest purchased titles each successive year, partly because soccer/football has always been considered "the world’s sport." What type of effect does that have on a musical group like Chromeo?
“It has had a great effect on me, personally, and has actually put me onto the game. I wasn’t playing many sports videogames until that point. When they put us in FIFA 09, I realized how much I liked playing soccer videogames. It’s hard to gauge what it did for Chromeo, but it obviously opened up a lot of people to our sound. It was also really cool to get calls from our family members who play the game and heard our music while playing.”
It’s great that both artists and gamers can be introduced to something new through the medium of videogames. The videogame industry likely rivals the music industry itself in artist exposure, which is rather ironic. How often do you hear a song on a game you play and get the itch to find out more about it? I know it has happened to me a significant number of times. With my interest sufficiently piqued, I asked P-Thugg if he saw the industry as a bridge from an artist's perspective.
“Not until about three years ago. Playing Nintendo, it wasn’t exactly easy to get music exposure. However, now that I’ve gotten back into the mix of gaming, especially through Grand Theft Auto and Guitar Hero, I started noticing how big of an impact this industry can have for our music careers. Guitar Hero pulled me back into gaming specifically. I’m currently stuck on hard mode and it’s a $%@$% to move up to expert because of that damn fifth button, but I’ll work my way up there eventually. I also love to play NBA Live 09, that’s my favorite game.”
With P-Thugg's new found love for videogames (and the music within therein), I thought it would be cool to know what titles he’d like to see Chromeo’s tunes featured in most.
“Guitar Hero and Rock Band are probably the two coolest games we’d want to be featured in. We’ve already done a Grand Theft Auto tune, but that was like one song out of a hundred. Being Canadian, hockey games would be amazing to take part in. However, FIFA worked out great because of the Fancy Footwork track fitting perfectly within the entire framework of soccer.”
From games he plays to games he’d like to be featured in, P-Thugg shared it all, but what surprised me most from this conversation was how he answered the question: “What gaming moment sticks out the most for you?” I never expected to receive the answer I did, but I was suitably impressed when he told me.
“I spent a lot of time on Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and the Legend of Zelda. I was crazy on Zelda. I made hand maps of the entire game just to be able to finish it in like half an hour. I bought graphing paper to build these maps that were replicas of the ones found in the game. I was only 13 and I was redoing maps with all the secrets and where everything was placed. It was crazy. I was making my own walkthroughs, we didn’t have the internet to look this stuff up.”
That’s crazy, right? I couldn’t even imagine doing something like that myself. Once I had all of my gaming-related questions answered, I wanted to know how P-Thugg first got into the art form known as the talk box and who influenced him the most.
“Roger Troutman. He was in the band Zap & Roger. He was pretty much my one and only influence in regards to the Talk Box. Computer Love was a song I heard when I was 15 and I knew I had to play it. I started shopping around for it, but it was really hard to find, but I finally found one in Montreal. It was in the corner of a store, full of dust, it was a rare find. I took it home, shined it up and got to it."
"My favorite talk box songs are by Roger Troutman, Zap & Roger, DJ Quick, and Blackstreet. So many guys like Teddy Riley and DJ Quick are like me where they grabbed their inspiration from Roger Troutman. California Love is one of Roger Troutman’s best songs. Troutman is pretty much a legend and has inspired a big portion of the music industry.”
As a last blast (be forewarned, this may sound a bit odd), the best part of the entire discussion I had with P-Thugg was hearing about how he and his buddies used to make the late night drive to my hometown in order to pick up Taco Bell. Apparently Montreal wasn’t home to any of those tasty taco treats, so they were forced to go 45 minutes to satisfy that hunger.
I want to thank P-Thugg for taking the time to answering these questions for me and for providing an awesome feature for our readers to enjoy. Some of my favorite tracks of theirs include Momma’s Boy, Bonafied Lovin’ and Fancy Footwork. All three tracks can be found on their latest album, Fancy Footwork. For those of you who want to hear more of what Chromeo has to offer, now is your chance. Much like with Jupiter One, PlayStation Universe is proud to give away two copies of FIFA Soccer 09 bundled with a 'DELUX' copy of Fancy Footwork (features a two-disc compilation of videos, remixes and the entire album).
This contest is open to EUROPE ONLY (as I promised in the last Beyond the Game). Enter by leaving your comments below, and we’ll announce winners by Friday night at 11:59 PM EST. As with the Burnout Paradise giveaway, I’ll be using a random number generator to pick this feature’s lucky winners. Good luck everyone.