By Ozone 16 Comments
So, if you watch the Big Live Live Show Live, you notice something crazy happened toward the end of the show. No, not Norm almost killing everyone with a giant sword, but Buckner & Garcia's brand new song, about Giant Bomb!
My name is Owen Douglass, and I am the owner of Ozone Entertainment. Last December, I revealed that Ozone Entertainment was working with Buckner & Garcia to bring the Pac-Man Fever album to the Rock Band Network. This was to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Pac-Man, and 2011 would be the 30th anniversary of the title song's debut. Jerry and Gary were very open to the idea, and helped get me everything I needed to get started.
Halfway through creating the Rock Band tracks, I came to the conclusion that trying to release eight song simultaneously was absolutely insane. I highly doubted I could get all of them fully tested and reviewed in a timely fashion, and then expect people to buy all of them right off the bat. So I split the album into two tracks - each with two songs from side A and two songs from side B. I settled on making sure the first set all had harmonies too, because singing with friends make it even more ridiculous to play.
When preparing to promote the first set of songs, I approached several sites. Rock Band fan sites, IGN, even Harmonix themselves. But the most enthusiastic of the places I contacted was Giant Bomb. As you may be aware, the Bomb Crew are big fans of Pac-Man Fever, with Jeff being a huge fan of the whole album. It was brought to my attention that a Pac-Man Scrub League was coming up, and I thought what better opportunity would there be to have Buckner & Garcia come on and talk about the album!
Jerry Buckner & Gary Garcia are extremely nice guys, and were up for ANYTHING to help promote the album. Written interviews, phone calls, allowing me to make videos, whatever helped me out. So when I asked them to appear on TNT for the Scrub League, they enthusiastically agreed. And so, they went on and discussed the album's creation, why Rovio are a bunch of assholes, and that a new mobile game was in development (EXCLUSIVE!). I can tell you that before then, I got to hear the full Angry Birds song. And it is the most bat-shit crazy song I've ever heard from those two. I mean, I was on the phone with them as it played and I didn't even have a reaction to give them. It was unlike anything they've done before. It's a shame you'll never hear it, especially since I don't have a copy of it. Maybe one day, if you guys pester Rovio enough to give them permission.
A few days passed, and the Bombcast came out. On it, they discussed how great it was to have Buckner & Garcia on and how much Rovio sucks. Then, Ryan let something slip.
"I want... I want Buckner & Garcia to write a Giant Bomb song. I want them to write a song about this stupid Web site."
The second I heard that, a lightbulb hit my head. Obviously Buckner & Garcia still have what it takes to make great songs - I heard it in the Angry Birds song. Since people can't hear that, why don't we do this for Giant Bomb as a thank you for being so nice to us and allowing us to be on TNT. I emailed Buckner & Garcia, explaining the situation, and I persuaded them that it was a great idea. I then sent an email to Ryan saying that were going to do this, and he pretty much brushed it off. Yeah, like Buckner & Garcia would do this.
Except, they're working with me now. And I tend to pull off some incredibly stupid things.
So I buckled down and went through the site. Buckner & Garcia songs are well-known for their silly references to the subject manner, so I had to make sure this song had plenty of them. We were on TNT, that's a big thing. The Bombcast and Quick Looks are their most popular features. That was easy. But Giant Bomb has some crazy memes that would be perfect. I sent Buckner & Garcia quite a few of them. The "I'm a Wizard" and "Uh uh uh uh uh" ones stuck out most, so that's why they ended up being prominent in the song. Unfortunately, we didn't end up using "BatmanBatmanBatman" , "Rider Meet Horse, Horse Meet Ride", and "Pulling a Brad". Maybe in the seque... I mean, what? No, we're not doing a second song!
Buckner & Garcia did their magic, and put the pieces together, making the lyrics crazy and finding the perfect work-around to making the wizard reference work without needing explicit censoring. They laid on a bluesy jam on top of it, making sure to incorporate all of the Rock Band instruments, and sent me the initial mix. I was blown away by how good it was and the next morning passed it on to Ryan. To say he was excited was an understatement.
We decided to keep the song a secret until the Big Live Live Show Live (which was a month away) so that I would have time to produce a Rock Band Network version of the song to show off, since just playing a song with no visuals on a video stream would be... weird. Buckner & Garcia added an extra guitar solo, some more keys, and then I got to work. In a short period of time, I got it all together and was just about ready to do for September. Except... it needed a little something extra.
I decided to make the band look like the Bomb Crew! This was surprisingly more difficult than you'd think. About 10,000 people were going to watch this. If I didn't create decent versions of the people they've been following for years, I'm pretty sure they'd be pissed. So I grabbed headshots of all four of them (sorry, Patrick), and meticulously re-created them as best I could. Rock Band has pretty limited tools I quickly found out. For example, I wanted Jeff to be in a full tracksuit, but I couldn't find pants in there. I also had trouble capturing Vinny's full badass-ness in a video game, so I just went all out on him with a sweet spiked-shoulder leather jacket. I do think I got Jeff a bit too well, as it sort of creeps me out to look at it.
So the week of the show, I sent over the video of the Rock Band track, the final mp3, and the details on how Gary would call into the show and they gave me the time on the schedule. Going on in the final half hour of the show? Madness! We somehow pulled it off though and didn't get too out-shined by the other insane things during the show. People seemed to enjoy it, and now we just have to get it into Rock Band.
We're aiming to have it out on Xbox 360 along with Pac-Man Fever Set 2 later this month or early October. Pac-Man Fever Set 1 is available now on the Xbox 360 AND Playstation 3. Will this song appear on the PS3 too? Well, just pester John Drake about it. He totally controls that.