Seven Questions In Heaven With 7bit Hero

Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
7bit Hero is video game and pop music combined. Some people refer to it as Bitpop music. We hug classic blips and beeps from the '80s and '90s and then punch them with a band sound.

Who are your musical influences and idols?
From the VGM (video game music) movement, we love Koji Kondo (Mario), Joren Te (Golden Axe (c64)), Chris Hulsbeck (Turrican 2), and Jesper Kyd (Assassin's Creed). From other musics, we love The GO! Team, Anamanaguchi, Flume, and Pogo.

What was the first album, cassette, or CD you bought with your own money?
Tu-Plang by Regurgitator was my first purchase. I remember taking that shiny CD home and not listening to it until I had consumed the artwork with my eyes.

I love the EP! Are any of the sounds used on the album from actual '80s video games or are they sounds you created to sound like they came from actual '80s video games? Is "Main Menu Screen" the 7Bit Hero's theme song?
Thank you! I used a tracker program called Renoise to write the EP. It is kind of a modern-day version of what people used to write all '80s and '90s video game music. I hand draw all the waveforms for the sounds, and then made sure, where it mattered, to limit myself to 4 tracks which was the restriction of the hardware of that era.

"Main Menu Screen" is the 7bit Hero theme song. Like all video games, we needed main menu music that gets you in the mood. So we wanted to create something that communicates the idea of what we do. It has a bit of everything. It's a bit silly and then goes to a really heavy place, but then it comes back with more fun and a nod to K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing.

At your live performances, attendees have access to a phone app that lets them control people on a screen behind you. Can you tell us more about that? You don't feel that distracts from your live performance at all?
These days people experience life through their phones anyway--taking photos, tweeting, checking in. Instead of letting that be a distraction, we're trying to make it something that contributes to everyone's total experience.

We're creating an app which allows people to create their own hero icon. Then at different points in the show, they are able to join in on a game with other people in the audience, and the phones become the controllers. Thirty-two people are able to play at a time, and the games are simple enough that people can join in without needing too many instructions. Each of these games are really like visuals for the song, so it is no more distracting than what other bands are doing with projectors. If you are one of the 32 people in the game, then you'll be staring at the screen behind us while tapping a button to control your hero. But others can watch the game and the band at the same time.

Since you're a game designer by day and the creator of the Penny Time app, tell us what makes a video game a great video game. What are your current five favorite game apps?
Personally, I think a great video game is one that conveys a feeling. It's one that allows me to come away with new knowledge or ideas about the world around me. I am loving Year Walk, Sword And Sorcery, Temple Run 2 (I know right? O_O), Bastion, and Puzzle Retreat at the moment!

Finally, you're the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Which five do you choose and what song do you all perform as the final jam?
At The Drive In, Flaming Lips, Royksopp, The Knife, and MuteMath. The final jam would have to be a Kate Bush cover of her song "Morning Fog.

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