Sup y’all? =) Hoodie here with a special BONUS interview for this month! A Kickstarter for an EXTRAORDINARILY AWESOME project has recently gone live, something that you need to be informed about and given the chance to support. So I took the initiative
and interviewed/enjoyably chatted with/endlessly pestered the creator to learn more about it, and him in general. The project in question is Band Saga, and its creator is the one and only Roger ‘Rekcahdam’ Hicks! Enjoy!
Hoodie: Quick crash course on Rekcahdam, annnd… GO!!!
Rekcahdam: Yo! My name is Roger Hicks but most people know me by Rekcahdam. I was given that name back in High School because I used to try to hack into the school’s “iBooks.” I was the worst at hacking and reverse engineering among my friends but I eventually become the only one who kept up with it so I surpassed them.
I was always into music and video games. I started playing drums when I was 7 and my dad bought me a Nintendo, Game Boy and a Sega Genesis, so I’m very familiar with those sounds.
Hoodie: Wow. Damn. And already I’ve learned a couple things about you that I didn’t know! hahah
So, your programming bent & musical exploration started up around the same time, ay? (i.e. both EARLY).
Rekcahdam: Well music started pretty early. I started playing drums at my church when I was 7 years old. It wasn’t until High School that I started getting into “hacking”, which is different from programming. I never looked at the actual source code. I would always look at the ASM or byte code and change that to bypass certain key checks and stuff. I didn’t start really writing my own programs until after I graduated from High School and was on my way to college.
Hoodie: Gotcha. While the interest in at least a related field started early, actually programming came later. Would you say they’re both pretty intertwined at this point (music & programming), or more complementary I suppose?
Rekcahdam: Yeah, both programming and music are a huge part of what I do these days. Although I have to say that I love music much more than programming. Actually, I HATE programming! LOL I’m only a programmer of necessity. And I’m only good at programming because I want to see the end result in a timely manner. It takes me a couple hours to write a song, maybe a month to write an entire album. It can take me a month to 3 years to finish a program/game depending on the complexity.
Hoodie: hahaha A necessary evil for you then. I can see that I reckon. ;)
Rekcahdam: The fact that I’m good at it doesn’t help either. haha Imagine being good at something that you hate to do, so everyone keeps asking you to do more of that thing you hate and you have no choice but to do it because that’s your bread and butter.
Hoodie: I understand. It’s hard for me being sexy as hell all the time, but -shrugs- I manage, yanno? Just gotta keep pressing on & shit. 8-)
YUP FOLKS IT’S THAT KINDA INTERVIEW. #SryNotSry 8-)
Rekcahdam: Let’s make a trade. My programming knowledge for your sexiness……
Can we just, like, swap them back and forth on occasion? That’d be useful. :3
Plus teleportation powers. Because I need that. #InstantTransmissionFTW
Rekcahdam: YO! Better yet, Rekcah Hoody Fusion!
THEY AINT READY!!!
Hoodie: OH SHIIIII-
Nah, man, you’re right: the world ain’t ready for that yet. ;)
Rekcahdam: ROFL But yeah, even though I hate it being able to code is an awesome skill. I love music and I love video games. I also love crazy sci-fi stories about space and exploration. Being able to program allows me to combine all of those things into one package. I just wish I didn’t have to spend the better half of my life staring at a computer screen to do it, but I think it’s worth it. I wanna leave some good works behind before I die *the most emo way to end any sentence*
Hoodie: HAHAHA This interview is the best interview! XD
But yeah, it’s definitely working for you. And that’s what matters most, man. Props for owning that shit.
Before we get to the hot topic at hand — the one that everyone who has a clue is buzzing about! — I’ve gotta talk live music with you first. My first exposure to you was via some awesome live shows. Not sure if I first encountered you jamming out at MAG or PAX East, but it definitely made me go, “Whoa. Who the hell is THIS dude?” hahah There is something magical about a good live show, both experiencing one and being part of one. Especially among a group of true kindred spirits at something like MAG or PAX, yanno?
Rekcahdam: I feel you 100% man! It’s one thing I will never stop enjoying. Being able to perform for people and seeing them enjoy it is the best feeling ever. And what’s cool for me is live performances and jamming is like one and the same for me. I never play a song the same way twice. I always add some extra shit here or there to keep myself from getting bored. When I drummed for Disasterpeace I really appreciated him allowing me so much freedom. I know sometimes he probably though I was crazy… well he was right: I am crazy! hahaha But that made for a good show I think. Even if I fucked up I made it fun somehow. Performing for me is less about perfection and more about just having fun.
Hoodie: Definitely. That’s the heart of the whole damn thing really, to me at least.
And that *WAS* a solid pairing. Saw you and Rich jam out at least a couple times. Worked really well!
Got any other live music projects happening and/or on the horizon? Or are you just playing those as they come together organically in-between all the other craziness you’re currently engaged in?
Rekcahdam: Yessir of course! My next show is on the 21st in Tokyo! It’s called the “Band Saga: Tokyo Game show After Party“. I’ll be drumming to my tracks as well as DJing along with some artists from Tokyo!
Hoodie: Annnnnnnnnnnnnd we’re right back to me needing teleporation! Damn. :O
Rekcahdam: LOL After that I have nothing planned. Ive been trying and trying to get MAGFest to let me perform but its been tough. I applied for a spot but it seems unlikely. Earlier this year I did a Band Saga: GDC after party and it was sold out! An0va played the guitar to my tracks while I drummed. It was badass.
Hoodie: I heard about that party. Sounded like it was a helluva time as well!
Rekcahdam: Maybe next year we can do a Band Saga: After Part Part II. Other than that, if you have any other events going on please let me know. I’m 100% out of the loop for these things. Like I said before, I’m practically locked in a dungeon coding, forced to ignore most of social media until I have to whore my next project. haha
Hoodie: DUDE GO TO SQUARE SOUNDS FESTIVAL TOKYO.
Rekcahdam: OH YEAH. I lied. HAHA I’m playing at the Square Sounds Pre-party. I forgot.
Hoodie: hahaha Good. Was about to say, you’ve GOTTA get out to that jam, programming dungeon be damned!!
Rekcahdam: I played at the pre-party last year so they asked me again this year. haha
Hoodie: Nice! That’s one I REALLY wanna make it out to eventually. Traveling across the pond ain’t cheap, but that party looks like it’d be worth it.
Rekcahdam: And then after that I’m playing at an event called 1H1D in Kyoto October 3rd. And then after that I’m DJing hip hop in Tokyo October 4th. So yeah, I guess I do have some things lined up, but mostly everything is small. The pre-party is small, 1h1d is hella small; the DJ thing is pretty decent but it’s literally just hiphop, so I didn’t count that at first.
Hoodie: What is jamming in Japan like, especially at such a variety of shows? Seems a bit like an off question, but I have caught concerts in different parts of the world. It’s still live music, but feels different to me in different places I reckon.
Rekcahdam: Well for me, it seems just like anywhere else . The biggest difference is that the venues are much MUCH smaller in Japan. The Square Sounds pre-party can probably fit 80 people max, but even 50 people leaves hardly no room to move. Everything is just so small! But the people here have a extreme love for music. They might know all the lyrics to your song before they even understand what you’re saying LOL
Hoodie: haha And THAT’S the kinda thing I’m talking about. That’s awesome.
Alright. Time to get to it. BAND SAGA: talk to me, man.
Rekcahdam: It’s a FM sequencer, it’s a Space Action Adventure game, it’s a collaboration tool; it’s even more than that but if I told you your brain would explode. And my brain would explode because I would start to remember all the shit I still have left to do to finish it! ROFL
Hoodie: hahhhahhahaha I’m not gonna lie: my brain DID asplode after checking out the Kickstarter! It’s… A LOT! Pretty ambitious project for sure. And AWESOME.
Rekcahdam: Yeah. This is that game you wanted to make when you were a kid, or at least me. I would make shit up like “YO IT WOULD BE COOL IF YOU CAN DO THIS. AND THE CHARACTER COULD ACTUALLY DO THIS. AND THE WORLD WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THIS.”
This is that game that does all the things you ever wanted it to do.
And i cry every night thinking about how much work has gone into it and how no one will probably play it because i’m a nobody….
BUT IT’S OKAY! You’ll play it right Brandon!? (☉ε ⊙ﾉ)
Hoodie: FUCK YEAH I WILL.
Hoodie: And I KNOW I’m not the only one. I’ve seen other brains being completely explode-i-fied on the internet about it, especially when they take a moment and discover everything that’s involved in the project. The trick is exploding WAY more brains about it. And, of course, that’s one of the goals of the Kickstarter: to bring the brain s’plosion to more folk.
Rekcahdam: Yeah. See that’s where the sexiness comes in. If I were as sexy as you that trick wouldn’t be a problem.
Hoodie: HAHAHA Dude, srsly, STFU. <3
Fortunately, you have me as a friend, so you’re good. WACHOW, BBY~ 8-) #RandomSamuraiJackReference
Rekcahdam: LOL!!!! Brandon, you’ve exceeded my nerdy expectations.
Hoodie: Dude, I go WAY back with the nerdiness. So many levels upon levels of it. And the best part of it is that I OWN that shit now. Life’s way better when you own it, nerdiness and all.
…although I’m DEFINITELY preaching to the choir on this topic. hahaha
Rekcahdam: HAHAHA I’m a closet nerd. I need to learn how to own it more.
Hoodie: It’s honestly really easy for me. I simply don’t have a choice. heheh :3
Rekcahdam: Quick thing i forgot to mention about Band Saga!
Hoodie: Yes please! Mention away! Fun goofiness aside, this project NEEDS to be sold to people. It’s too fucking cool!
Rekcahdam: <3 If you listen and look at the Band Saga LP song titles it’ll give you hints about the story of the game.
Rekcahdam: PLUS if you buy the LP on Bandcamp you get a full blown 22 page digital comic! And this ain’t no half assed shit bruh bruh. Heres a page from the comic:
Hoodie: WOW. DAMN. You literally do it all, man. Just… What the… I don’t even. I… can’t word. o.O
It also completely annihilates my brain that this project is all you and one other cat (Hillmon Ancrum). I mean, I feel like I do a lotta things, but in comparison to something like this… HOLY SHIT MAN. :O It really just is your baby, isn’t it?
Rekcahdam: Yeah. This is a big ass baby too. It’s been way over past 9 months. Nearly 3 years now!
Hillmon wasn’t the first artist I’ve worked with either btw. The game has gone through like 4 different art direction changes. Partially because most of the artists really weren’t feelin’ my idea and couldn’t see my vision. Also partially because this type of game has to keep evolving while you develop it and I needed someone who could bear with me while I try new things. It’s such a unique concept that you have to do a lot of trial and error, which basically means you might have to scrap some artwork you did earlier because it just doesn’t fit the new design anymore. Which means you might hate me forever because you did work that no one will ever see. haha
But, that is the price of making a good product. There are tons of prototypes of Band Saga that no one will ever see, and I’m okay with that because I want to put my best foot forward. But, don’t get it twisted; all the artists I worked with previously I actually paid for their work, so if anyone lost it was me because i paid for work that I can’t even use! haha
Hoodie: Makes sense to me. Just part of the evolutionary progress of a project, especially something of this scale.
Any further thoughts before we wrap this sucker up?
Rekcahdam: EVERY BODY FUND THE DAMN BAND SAGA KICKSTARTER SO I CAN FINISH THIS GAME PLEASE!
Hoodie: I SECOND THAT. AND THIRD IT.
Hoodie: Seriously, Roger, thanks for taking the time to chat with me. It’s been enlightening, and a blast as usual. We really need to hang out more IRL. haha I have been meaning to visit Japan at some point after all. ;)
Rekcahdam: Fo sho!
Hoodie: Best of luck with all of your crazy awesome endeavors!
Rekcahdam: Thank you sir. I’ll try to include you in one of them crazy endeavors one day!
Hoodie: hahaha Looking forward to it already, dude! Rekcah Hoody Fusion FTW!! 8-)
Band Saga Kickstarter <– THROW MONEY AT THIS GORRAMIT!!!