Ever wondered what goes into getting a song into a video game? We did so we chatted up Free Dominguez the lead singer of Kidneythieves about their contributions to Final Fantasy’s Dissidia 012’s and a few other games.
For those who aren’t familiar with the band can you give us some background on the band, the type of music you play, and the origins of the name of your band?
We have 3 full length albums out, Trickster, Zer0space, and Trypt0fanatic, Zer0space being a breakthrough with “Crazy” on the film “Bride of Chucky” and “Before I’m Dead” being on Queen of the Damned. We have had some great video play of the single, “Zer0space,” and have had many of our songs featured in the video game “Deus Ex: Invisible War,” as well as me being the voice of NG Resonance... and most recently, Final Fantasy’s Dissidia 012’s feature track, “God In Fire.” The name came from me and Bruce shooting the shit in the studio one day, talking about the Urban Legend of waking up in a bathtub of ice. I had loved the logo I designed with a K and T, and the rest is history.
Do you consider yourself a gamer? Could you talk about your gaming background (first game you ever played, favorite of all time, what you’re playing now)
The first game I ever remember playing was Galaga, actually. There was a 7-11 store right by my house, and i actually stood on a plastic crate to play it. I liked the “pew pew” sounds, but never got far in the game. I’ve never said this--but me and my friends snuck a game called “Leisure Suit Larry” that was so raunchy, our parents would have had a fit--but fun and strategic--i was addicted... I wish I were good at video games. Maybe I have not had the right teacher, but I either get over "adrenalized" or killed in the first 30 seconds. I am a fantastic spectator, and am in AWE of people who can pummel through so many sophisticated games.
How did the deal to work on the soundtrack for Dissidia 012 come about? How many songs did you contribute to the soundtrack?
Square Enix approached us to see if we wanted to work on a song they composed and put our stamp on it. We were so excited, and jumped at the chance! It was such a great experience, working with them and Takeharu Ishimoto. We are really happy with the way it turned out. After the release, the Japan tsunami/earthquake disaster happened. Our thoughts constantly go out to all of those in Japan....
Were you given complete artistic control over the songs or did you get some parameters to work within? Did you just turn the songs over or was there some iterations of the songs?
We did one song and it was a collaboration, but they really let us go for it.! We certainly wanted to keep the integrity they intended for the game. It is in a crucial part of the game.
You had contributed to the the Deus Ex:Invisible War soundtrack, could you compare the two experiences?
Deus Ex: Invisible War was also fun. They licensed our songs. So we didn’t record any. Plus, I did a voice in the game, which was awesome. I’d love to do more of that!
Have you had a chance to play the game yet? What do you think of how your music was incorporated into the game?
We just got the game and Bruce is looking into us pulling it up one day at the studio. We are in full live mode right now with our first LA show June 3, plus an upcoming EP release, called “The Invisible Plan.”
Is there any stigma within the musical industry about contributing songs to games?
Hell no. Video games are awesome.
We'd like to thank Free for taking the time to answer our questions as well as Angela for coordinating the interview.