So, my awesome song about how much I miss Rockstar's modern classic Red Dead Redemption was featured in The Guardian today, which reminded me that I'd wanted to make some kind of visual for it, if only so that it could have a life on Youtube, where most people seem to go to listen to their music these days, so I balanced my phone on my tripod (the phone hasn't got a screw-in thing like a proper camera would) and filmed myself singing the song whilst playing the game, which was particularly tricky during the shot in which the game is being projected onto me... I had to play whilst looking in a mirror, which only reflected a tiny sliver of the wall, and anyway, have you ever tried playing a computer game in a mirror whist rapping? That shit is harder than trying to unicycle drunk on a plank of wood, and I should know cos I've tried... Oh yeah, I got the game fixed. Did I mention that? Turns out you can take a scratched disc to one of those GAME shops, and they'll fix your scratched disc for £2. Amazing.
ANYWAY! As mentioned, I filmed myself on my phone, then I chopped it up with some of my favorite footage from the game, and I rendered that shit, and uploaded it, and voila! You can now enjoy Lord I Miss Red Dead Redemption on them there Youtubes for all time. You're welcome! And you can look forward to a proper music video made by some proffesionals in the next week or so. Hooray!
(Speaking of videos, Lizacrunch Crunch just let it be known on Facebook that I'm Youtube's #87 most viewed musician this week! PARTAAAAAAAY!)
Now, Keith Stuart, who wrote the Guardian article actually asked me a whole load of questions reagrding the song, and the game, but as is the way with such things only used one of the answers, so I figured I might as well share the whole thing with you, since you're intered enough to have come here in the first place on this glorious day. So here you go:
1. Can you tell me how the track came about - and how the game influenced you?
Well, the song is an entirely true story, like all my songs. I was literally finding myself looking up in the sky, seeing a bird, and subsequently having a deep impulse to take out a winchester rifle and shoot that bird... I'd be right back in Red Dead Redemption world in an instant. I found I really missed it, as if it were a real place, and that it had forever altered my personal filter of what I take to be reality.
I also found myself singing "lord I miss Red Dead Redemption" to myself over and over in the shower, which is how a lot of my songs start. So I got out of the shower, sat down at my desk, and went to the Red Dead Redemption website, where the first thing I saw was their music video for Jose Gonzales' Far Away, which was used to such emotive effect in the game. I press play, and within four bars I found that the "lord I miss red dead redemption" refrain I'd been singing to myself fit over it perfectly, so I sampled it, looped it, played some drums over it, took a load of music from the game itself, changed the pitch of that so it fit with the song, and put the whole thing on loop for half an hour, at the end of which I had written completed song and dropped a tear because it was such a fucking incredible journey, and I went through it all again when I wrote the song.
2. What do you think it is about Red Dead that has caught people's attention in this way - a lot of gamers I know have had a really emotional reaction to it.
It's a lot of things... The story is deeply engaging, the characters are genuine and excellently acted, and just awesomely realized. But outside of all that, you can just roam off into the sunset on your horse, your horse which feels so real, so lifelike. The game itself is just fucking beautiful, and almost limitless. You can roam, helping people along the way, which you're happy to do because you're playing John Martsen, the greatest computer game character of all time, who's deep goodness cannot help but infect the player, so strong and pure it is... I found I didn't want to do bad things, because that's not what John Marsten would do. Like I say in the song, I could have cried when I accidentally killed my horse for the first time. It made me nauseous. So I helped all the people I could, and tried to live my life within the game in as exemplaray a manner as I could, out of respect for John Marsten.
3. What have been the responses to the track? We often see artists who namecheck games, but I don't think I've ever seen a song reacting to a game in this way - almost like a love song, I guess?
Yeah, it's a love a song. I fucking loved that game. Like I said, all my songs are true. They're either the truth of something that happened to me, or the truth of how I feel about something. But it's not often I can tell how effective my translation of that truth has been, because its mine alone. In this instance I was describing something that thousands of other people experienced, and that so many of them have been letting me know that my song perfectly described their own emotional experience has been incredible, because it means I am actually achieving what I set out to with this music, and it means I'm connecting with people on a raw level, which is a fucking swagged out and beautiful thing.
4. Have you heard from Rockstar about the track?
Yeah, they actually cosigned it. They put it on their blog and Tweeted about. I was full of joy. Hopefully they keep me in mind when choosing music for GTA5. That's one of my biggest ambitions, having a song on a GTA game. The idea of taking out a police helicopter or something whilst listening to my own music makes make grin till my cheeks are sore to just think of it.
5. And have you been influenced by other games?
I think we're influenced by everything we experience on some level, including computer games, but the effects of some are more pronounced. GTA, for example, taught me to drive. When I had my first driving lesson with my girl she was amazed at how well I steered, and that was all GTA. The game also to this day has built into me an urge to steal motorbikes, but I never actually do, obviously, because I can tell the difference between the computer game reality, and the human experience reality. I just wonder about the level of reality outside of that more nowadays, and I have computer games to thank for giving me the context within which to envisage such a concept.