So apparently I missed this bit of information yesterday in all the Green Day: Rock Band info that was unleashed upon us. Joe from PlasticAxe.com interviewed Green Day: Rock Band Project Lead Chris Foster and asked him a number of solid questions about the game and the franchise. In one of Chris’s answers, he mentioned this:
“One of the reasons we could do open-ended DLC for The Beatles is that it’s all tiny clips, and we could just reconfigure them for different songs as needed — and dreamscape backgrounds similarly had that.
That created a great three-album game, and also let us give each of those [six DLC tracks] unique assets, more than we could easily pack into a DLC pack. Those songs have their own video-wall assets, their own [motion capture].
With this, we’re really creating sculpted experiences for every single song; there’s an animation that plays all the way through, pretty much. That’s something that’s not really practical to do open-ended. So we decided we were going to make DLC just about finishing 21st Century Breakdown, using the DLC that was already out.”
I have a few thoughts about this, and then I’ll let you guys blast me in the comments if you wish…
Not 100% Confirmed
I don’t believe this is 100% the case, until we hear a separate confirmation from Harmonix. I’m not doubting what Chris said, obviously, but rather I’m basing this on the amount of press and outrage on Twitter and the forums that resulted yesterday. I mean… people were PISSED! Before we all overreact, remember that Harmonix is a business. If a large and vocal fanbase really want Green Day DLC in Green Day: Rock Band, are willing to pay for it, and it is beneficial for Harmonix (financially or from a long-term franchise perspective), they will do it. Let them know that you want DLC in Green Day: Rock Band, but in a constructive way. Saying things like “What the F*CK Harmonix,” “Harmonix wants no one to buy Green Day: Rock Band,” and my favorite “NO additional DLC for Green Day: Rock Band. Go f*ck yourselves a**holes” isn’t really the right way to do it. It makes you look a child with a temper tantrum, as well as it damages the brand and the community as a whole.
Green Day DLC in OTHER Titles
Even if it is 100% true, what Chris was stating pertains to DLC as it relates to Green Day: Rock Band, not other titles. He’s not saying “This is it forever for Green Day. No more Green Day in Rock Band EVER!!!” He’s saying that the game is not an open-ended DLC title. Since Green Day: Rock Band can be exported to Rock Band 2 (and 3, for that matter), the biggest issue is that we may not see a Billie Joe character sing “Walking Contradiction.” Granted I’m not a huge Green Day fan, but this is something that I can live with.
DLC Across Four Titles?
Once Green Day: Rock Band comes out, in theory Harmonix has four separate titles in which to provide mostly unique DLC content (Beatles, Green Day, LEGO, and Rock Band 2). Granted there is some overlap, but would you rather have Harmonix concentrate on releasing DLC for ONE title (ideally Rock Band 3), or splintering their resources to develop across four titles? Despite what your personal response may be, I think it’s best to that Rock Band 3 is the future.
Community Reaction All Over the Place
People had passionate and initially rather negative reactions over the idea of a Green Day: Rock Band when it was initially announced. I had gotten the feeling that the community has warmed up to it assuming Dookie was included in the setlist (which it is), and all was right with the Rock Band world. Yesterday I saw another equally passionate, yet diametrically opposed, reaction that there is not ENOUGH DLC! I guess things like this just leave me confused. Did anyone else get this feeling, or was it just me? I know this is probably the item that is going to set people off, but that’s just my thought.
Kerplunk is Not Possible, Let’s Move On
Kerplunk is not in the game. It was on a different, earlier, indie label than current label Reprise, and as such, according to Chris (per 1UP):
We wanted to get something from 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and something from Kerplunk!, but we just couldn’t get those. And we didn’t want to do live versions. We decided the studio stuff was what was important.
Would it be awesome for Green Day fans if it was in the game? Absolutely. But these are the breaks. Also, every time there is a live track released as DLC, people get upset, so we should at least appreciate the fact that Harmonix is listening to it’s fan base in some capacity.
53 Green Day Songs Isn’t Enough?
Thanks to @S1ckH4nds for reminding me of this, but with the 47 tracks on disc, and the 6 DLC tracks currently available from Green Day, let’s not lose focus that we’ve still got 53 songs by Green Day in Rock Band! The next closest band is the Foo Fighters with 25 songs. Maybe we’re being a bit greedy on this, hmm?
Again, I may be completely off base here, but just a few things I observed recently. Feel free to let me have it in the comments!
One of the first people at Harmonix I ever met was Alli, known to us all more commonly as HMXThrasher. There was a Beatles convention, The Fest for Beatles Fans, being held at a hotel in Chicago by O’Hare airport, just a few miles from where I used to live. About a month prior to release, I heard that Alli, John, Sean, and Drew from Harmonix would be there, so I obviously decided to check it out. She’s super cool and a complete badass (in a good way), but don’t cross her or she’ll beat you down (don’t believe me… check out her Thrasher performance at PAX East)!
But enough out of me… check out my conversation with HMXThrasher below!
I have a feeling that if there’s one thing that she wants to convey most here, it’s that all Rock Band DLC requests go here! http://rockband.com/request
When it comes to my musical tastes, they’re all over the place. Growing up it was hair metal in the 80s, metal, rap, and techno in the ’90s, and indie and alternative rock in the 2000′s. If 2010 has been any indication of what this decade may hold, it’s that I’m in to rocking bands with women lead singers! Looking at my RBN purchases thus far, I see In This Moment, Alchemilla, and now Audio Fiction. With a self-described sound that combines the best parts of No Doubt and Garbage, Audio Fiction knows what they are good at, and does it very well. If you’re in or around the NYC area, they’ll prove it to you at a free show April 30th at Best Buy by Union Square, and again at Webster Hall on June 17th.
Audio Fiction is also big fans of Rock Band, so it comes as no surprise that they had their song “Race the Hourglass” available in the Rock Band Network upon launch. With amazing vocals, an infectious beat, and a killer guitar riff (with a kick-ass solo), this is one track you don’t want to miss. Go back and pick it up, if you haven’t!
I recently had a chance to catch up with Mark O’Toole and Darren Korb, drummer and bassist for Audio Fiction, to ask him about the band, his notoriety in New York City, and the Rock Band Network. Check it out!
RockBandAide: Tell us about Audio Fiction and the members of the band.
Mark O’Toole: Audio Fiction formed around six years ago in NYC but at that time half the band was from Ireland, now it’s just myself. The members of the band include Kristin Wilson our rocker chick singer, Charles Park on Page-like guitars, auteur Darren Korb on driving bass, and band co-founder and manager, me on drums. We have started to play with keyboards on live shows and Dennis Natal has joined us for these shows.
RBA: How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it?
MO: Well, the press have generally described us as a cross between No Doubt and Garbage, but we think we are more like the resulting bastard stepchild of both. Live we are more rock’n’roll.
RBA: What are some of your musical influences?
MO: Each of the members actually bring a wide range of different personal influences to the band from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s. For instance Charles is heavily into classic rock and guitar solos, which you can hear on “Race the Hourglass.” As a result, agreeing on a cover song to play live sometimes becomes a painful process, but it’s precisely this that helps us create our own sound.
It’s easier to write and agree on our own material. In essence, we bring all our own influences to the writing and “Audiofictionalize” the sound to create our music. Which is why I think people love the songs on our album. The constant refrain we hear is people say “Wow, you have more than 3 great tracks we love and not just one good song and the rest crappy fillers.”
Check out more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
While in Boston for PAX East, I was lucky enough to be invited to Harmonix to get an intimate look at the full game for Green Day Rock Band. I’m now free to talk a little bit about my impressions, and for someone who’s not a big Green Day fan, this game was an absolute blast to play! Check out the brand new trailer and gallery of new images released TODAY at the end of the post!
The opening cinematic was pretty amazing, and has a very unique, Green Day-esque aesthetic to it. It was created by MK12, who if you remember completed the interstitial videos for The Beatles: Rock Band. The entire design and user interface fits perfectly with the Green Day motif that’s been established over the last several albums. I’m not sure as to the extent the band had direct input, but based on the look and feel, I would say that it was a significant amount. The loading screens for each song are animated, and some include Green Day’s Drunk Bunny, who graces the stage before many live performances. (I’m surprised this made the final version, considering the game is rated T for Teen… which unfortunately means the foul language has been censored out.)
Based on my limited musical knowledge and forum chatter of Green Day tablature , I expected the guitar and bass charting for the game to be nothing but a small handful of chords, but I can now say that this is not always the case. Make sure you get your alt-strumming techniques down for a number of these songs, because as previous games have focused more on note accuracy, this game’s guitar (and all other instrument) charting focuses more on endurance. (“Jesus of Suburbia” clocks in at 9:08 and “Homecoming” is 9:18.)
I was very pleasantly surprised at the bass charting while playing. When playing, I usually default to playing guitar, but while going back and listening to the bass in Green Day songs, I think all you bass players out there will really love these tracks.
As for drumming, I don’t think it should come as a surprise that quite a bit of songs are pretty intense. The glowing note highway in The Beatles is gone and replaced with the more traditional overdrive activation for drummers.
And as much as I make fun of Billy Joe’s faux-English accent vocals, it was fun as hell to sing alone or with others on harmonies. I have to admit that I was pretty unaware of any vocal harmonies that Green Day used in their catalog, but while playing the game, I realized just how important they are to their music.
While watching the in-game band members perform, I was told that Green Day Rock Band features complete
motion capture LINEAR motion capture, the capture of a complete performance of every song. Previous songs have used mocap, but sliced up into loops, or short clips. This enabled the on-screen band to interact with each other and with the venues differently than in previous games. (Thanks for the clarification, Chris!) Another cool thing to note was that the venues’ video-walls include imagery taken directly from their latest tour. More than 100 collectible images can be unlocked throughout the course of the game, as well as over 40 minutes of rare and unreleased video from interviews, outtakes, and performances.
As we saw on Friday, there are no tracks in the game from Kerplunk, but I got the feeling while at Harmonix that the rights to secure tracks from the album from indie label Lookout! were next to impossible. Green Day themselves have had significant issues with Lookout! as well when re-releasing Kerplunk on current label Reprise. I don’t have any details on DLC, but I wouldn’t expect any pre-Dookie DLC. (In case you missed the setlist announced on Friday by Entertainment Weekly, feel free to check it out in its entirety.)
I can now officially confirm that all 47 tracks from the game can be exported and played in Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and the forthcoming Rock Band 3, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Also, the six Green Day DLC tracks currently available can be seemlessly incorporated into the game with added vocal harmonies, unique performance visuals, and exclusive archival material!
The game features three different venues:
- The Warehouse – A fictional venue that captures the feel of early Green Day shows and performances. Tracks from “Dookie” are performed here.
- Milton Keynes – The concert and tour made famous in Green Day’s 2005 video for “Bullet in a Bible”. Tracks from the albums “American Idiot,” “Insomnia,” “Nimrod,” and “Warning” are performed here.
- The Fox Theater in Oakland – The place where Green Day performed an intimate show for the band’s most recent album, “21st Century Breakdown.” Tracks from this album are performed here.
And if you missed the pricing details announced earlier, the game retails for $59.99 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, and $49.99 for the Wii. The export feature is an additional $9.99, and available only for the Xbox 360 and PS3. You can take advantage of a pre-order promotion through Gamestop.com and get a free export token. There is also a “Plus” edition available for the Xbox 360 and PS3 (US/Canada only) for $69.99 that includes special packaging, export token, and all six currently available Green Day DLC tracks.
The game will be released worldwide (North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) on June 8th for the Xbox 360, Sony PS3, and Nintendo Wii.
Final impressions: If you are a fan of Green Day, this is a no-brainer must buy! It’s an amazing game featuring 47 tracks from one of the most iconic bands of the last two decades. If you don’t like Green Day, then admittedly this game will probably not be the best game for you, as it’s featuring only songs by Green Day. But I will say that as a fan of Rock Band, at least check out the game in some way. Harmonix has been hard at work on this game for some time, and like previous games, no attention to detail is spared. All you Green Day haters out there, give it a shot, you might be surprised… I sure was!
I’m sure there are many things that I inadvertently passed over or accidentally left out, so if you have any Green Day questions, drop ‘em in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to answer them!