Composer, arranger, performer, health nut, net streaming personality.
Quite the character, Ben has been composing and producing music for the past decade in an effort to achieve super stardom. Starting out at OverClocked ReMix, he moved up the ranks of remixers with an impressive collection of re-imagined video game tunes; sometimes collaborating with fellow artists and creating new bands in the process.
Yes, Ben has been around for quite a while. Having worked with the guy in the past and coming to know him as a great friend over the past 2 years, I can certainly tell you he was determined about one goal throughout the years, far above the others: being a video game composer. Ben has picked up quite a lot with his time spent in FL Studio. Utilizing his abilities to create originals and video game remixes alike, his skills grew exponentially. When he had told me he got a gig as a video game composer, I knew one of his lifetime achievements was met.
Star Clash is sort of a weird mix between anime characters, a turn based RPG, and Tetris Attack. It has a cool mechanic where you point at the objects you’re supposed to hit and you either swipe to attack enemies, gain health, or regain time on your time limit. Ben creates a wonderful atmosphere implementing plenty of chip textures and crisp drums. There’s such a constantly catchy feel to each of the tracks, it’s easy to appreciate the groove going on here. I spoke with Ben about the soundtrack asking him how he got the opportunity along with how his touring is going.
DjjD: So, how long have you been doing music now?
Ben Briggs: I’ve been making electronic music for the last ten years, but I’ve been playing piano and other instruments since around the age of 9. So that would be…17 musical years in total.
DjjD: How did this soundtrack come to be?
Ben Briggs: A great friend of mine, Doug Perry– also known as DrumUltimA— met up with me at MAGFest 11 and asked if I was interested in video game soundtrack work. Naturally I said yes, and a few weeks later he passed my name along to Jonathon Powell, who was very interested in harnessing my particular style for his next game!
DjjD: Were there any major influences while producing this soundtrack?
Ben Briggs: Absolutely. Originally Jon had requested “Dance music mixed with Final Fantasy”, so a lot of the tracks are heavily influenced by Nobuo Uematsu. Other influences include Grant Kirkhope and Koji Kondo, but honestly their styles come through in ALL of my music. Geniuses, all of them.
DjjD: What was your favorite track to work on?
Ben Briggs: I really enjoyed creating “Sunset City” the most, simply because it was the first track that I began working on, and I was extremely focused on imitating Nobuo’s signature “overworld theme” sound. The melody and chord progressions I came up with were extremely inspiring to me, and I can still listen to Sunset City and get goosebumps. It almost feels like it couldn’t have possibly been my own creation!
DjjD: Did they ever tell you to redo a track because something sounded out of place?
Ben Briggs: Not even once. Jon was fully dedicated to giving me 100% creative control over the sound design of the game. He accepted everything I made without question, and my suggestions were invariably met with a warm enthusiasm. I cannot stress enough how amazing it was to work with Jon on this project; I’ve never felt like I had so much influence over a project.
DjjD: What is the game about and where can you find out more about it?
Ben Briggs: Star Clash is a game about a distopian future, I think? The gameplay is “tap and swipe”, with lots of upgrades, weapon purchases and other RPG elements to extend the depth. I’m doing a terrible job explaining it, so you should just visit www.starclashgame.com to find out more!
DjjD: As of right now, how many DJing gigs do you have scheduled?
Ben Briggs: I just finished up TooManyGames in Philly, and I’m literally sitting at a booth at ConBravo! in Canada as I type these answers. Next up– all these are in August– Ikasu Con in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, then I’m playing the Otakon Matsuri festival in Baltimore, heading down to Orlando Nerd Fest for a few performances, and finally another Florida show called Play It Loud. I highly recommend googling each of these events, because they’re gonna be great! So… to answer the question: a lot.
DjjD: Anything you want to tell your fans or perhaps inform them of something new you’re working on?
Ben Briggs: My first crowd-funded, full-length album is coming out within the next week! All 10 of my Patreon songs will be available for free/name-your-price on benbriggs.net very soon. I’m so proud of the new styles that I’ve been experimenting with, and it’s so humbling to be directly supported by so many generous people. So yeah, be on the lookout for that LP, and otherwise just BUY TICKETS TO MAH SHOWZ!!!
A couple of my favorites from the soundtrack:
Starting out with a mallet instrument, this progressive tune moves into a dance beat with a 4-on-the-floor feel. It smooths itself out as the the bass comes in. Despite the chippy tremolo and the very 80’s lead that come in later, the pads carry this tune. It’s definitely one of my favorites as it’s both relaxing while being considerably jumpy at the same time.
A very dark feel to this one, as if it’s a villain intro. The progression is very nice. The vibrato on the lead and the piano striking the chords in the background until the kick fills out the rest of the soundscape. Creepy yet mellow, it’s a surprisingly good combination.
This is a strong, well-crafted soundtrack and one that certainly deserves your attention. While some tracks stick out as being 80’s sounding due to their lead instruments, listening from start to finish exhibits a sound that is reminiscent of nearly all 90’s video games alike. You like games? You like chiptunes? This is where it’s at. Check it out guys, you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading!