View Profile RealFaction
Co-Founder of the Art-Inspired Music Contest and Pixel Day. Just some guy who loves making music, drawing, writing, voice acting, helping people, and is pretty much a mega nerd. Profile picture by Shadowcat5150.

Johnny @RealFaction

26, Male


Louisville, KY

Joined on 9/21/06

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RealFaction's News

Posted by RealFaction - 2 weeks ago

I just released a video about an album cover contest for the new Piercing Lazer concept album (and dropped a new song) I've been working on the past 4 years, "Eyes of Purgatory". I'm hoping part 1 will be done late this year, or early next year.  The album will be divided in two parts, and is a tribute to my musical inspiration and wonderful friend, @Back-From-Purgatory.

If you're a photographer or artist, and love metal, check the contest out:

Fun fact: I started making this song 3 years ago for a boss fight in the secret second level of Newgrounds: Zero Hour (I STILL hope I get to finish that game but I need a programmer), and then it turned into something I wanted to expand on the new Piercing Lazer concept album I've been working on the past 4 years, "Eyes of Purgatory".

PS: Dustin from the first album is coming back to Piercing Lazer on this album.


Posted by RealFaction - 1 month ago

Happy 10 years Castle Crashers (on August 27th)!

For the 10th anniversary of Castle Crashers, don't know if The Behemoth or Newgrounds is doing anything, but thought I would.  I answer questions about the Necromancer Theme (my song in the game), giving the full story, how the game changed my life and music career, and there's 2 new songs from the new upcoming Piercing Lazer album I snuck in there somewhere.  Thank you @DanPaladin & @TomFulp <3 love you guys.

Here: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/821082

I also made a video version: https://youtu.be/GCVzUoeBi0Q and below is a text version if you want to read a hell of a lot of text (plus a bonus question not in the video).

PS: If you're a fan or a friend, here's my official Discord Server: https://discord.gg/Yancg4f


How did you get the offer to have a song in Castle Crashers?

When I was 16 in 2008, I was making music for 2 years, on a website called Newgrounds.com I was visiting since 2003.  It was one of the only websites for underground musicians back then before soundcloud or youtube existed, and legally free music period.  It was a great community of artists.  I used to think I was a nobody, dealt with depression, but, when I got featured in the top 5 weekly audio on Newgrounds.com, it saved my life, it changed me.

I believe it was Tom himself who emailed me in around April or May of 2008, shortly after my first big hit Clearing the Sky, got in the top 5 audio, and it was an email from The Behemoth.  He asked if they could use my song, Simple Sight, which I had already made at that point, for their game Castle Crashers, within a short few months before the game was finished to launch on Xbox Live Arcade for the 360.  I couldn't believe it.  I was 16 years old, getting a video game deal.  

Naturally, I was excited, I believe I was crying in tears, yelling in my house in joy, jumping around, I mean how could you not?  

Was the song composed for the game?

Actually, no.  Apparently, there was a Newgrounds music contest, where you made a song for the game, and if your entry got picked, it would be in the game.  I didn't even know about the at all, didn't enter, so I was shocked.  Tom must have looked through my music and said "Hey, I like this guy's music" and saw that piece and emailed me about it.  I would love to hear his side of the story regarding that, I still don't really know, but I imagine that's what happened.  So that was probably one of, if not the only song that wasn't composed for the game, but was picked.    Which is really cool, I feel honored.  

Most of the artists were already well-known and I was already a fan of, so to be on a game soundtrack with some of the artists I was a big fan of already like @ParagonX9 @cornandbeans @Waterflame it was awesome.  Before that I wasn't really known and that helped establish my career, my first big outing.  

I was doing Piercing Lazer for a year with my friend Dustin, but the second album that song came off of was just me at that point, I had already made it in January, working on a version with vocals for the album.  

The Behemoth sent me a contract through email to print out, me and my parents had to sign it, and I was debating on signing it as my main artist name, Real Faction, but I wanted to get Piercing Lazer, my newest electronic rock side project at the time, out there.

What inspired the style of the song?

As far as the sound goes, that's a Piercing Lazer staple, experimental electronic industrial metal sounds spread across songs from the first two albums.  That song was a mixture of inspiration from Celldweller and Slipknot.  That agressive heavy fast energetic metal, mixed with electronic slime and grime over the top to smooth out the sound, it all was meant to sound synthetic but also different.  I was a big fan of synths and any band that used them like Rush, and still am, so I guess that was a progressive rock piece of inspiration.  

Do the lyrics have anything to do with the game?  What are the lyrics?

Some people have been asking me, when I recently just posted the remastered version with the vocals of me singing, where the lyrics were, what they were because you can't understand some of them, and if it related to the game in any sort of way, but sadly the truth is, it doesn't.  I've changed computers so much over the years I wasn't expecting it to be a smash hit, so I didn't really save the lyrics, sorry. I can't understand some of them earlier, I had a crappy mic, and I can't really remember some of them.  

But from what I DO remember back then, it's basically about how some people are narrow-minded, closed-minded, don't see the truth, how we're basically tearing each other apart, dealing with depression, lies, so how they see things is simple, simple sight.  

In my earlier years, I already saw the lies and fake facade that is the pop music industry with a lot of artists and didn't feel that organic, soulful, honest stuff where the artists put their own heart into the lyrics and everything, just felt wrong and off.  So, that's where that song came from.  Sorry guys, it doesn't relate to the game. 

I wish there was a Castle Crashers sequel as many people do, don't know if it'll happen, but if it does, I'd love to compose the next necromancer theme song, I'd be down for that.  

Is Piercing Lazer still making music?

(this question is really stupid on Newgrounds since you all know I'm active, but some people outside of here think I'm dead or cease to exist or aren't making music still)

Absolutely yeah!  I actually just released the remastered version of both versions of the song with and without vocals on the 10th anniversary remastered re-release of Parallel Universe, that Piercing Lazer album the song is on, and it's for sale on my Bandcamp.  

I'm still going with Piercing Lazer, released a couple new albums and remastered anniversary re-releases in recent years, and for 4 years, been working on a 2-part metal concept album, which will be my hardest yet.  I'm doing things I've never done before with metal, and also bringing some of the old sounds back the fans knows me for.  I want to use my music to help people, spread positive messages, because I'm far from done, I want to keep going.  I'm also working on my hiphop side project, this will be the second album for that, coming soon.  

A Word of Thanks

To this day, Tom Fulp is the reason I kept going with my music, and that helped my life a lot.  He's been a great friend to me, we talk every now and then, amazing guy.   He's inspired me in a lot of ways, and we've collaborated on a handful of projects together, like contests such as Pixel Day that I pitched to him, and the Art-Inspired Music Contest I pitched to him, going on for many years.

It went beyond the song, the video game, he believed in me and my ideas which were inspired by him, and it's because of him those ideas gained so much support and became loved annual events by himself, and the Newgrounds community, just large numbers of people loving the contests.  I never imagined I would come this far in my life or on Newgrounds, meeting the man himself and him becoming such a great friend of mine.  Knowing he's a fan of my music and my work in general, having supported me as much as he has, he's like family to me.

He even commissioned me to make Pico's School Soundtrack!  That's two games he's worked on I've made songs for.  It's awesome.

So, thank you to everyone who has supported me, my fans, friends, family, thank you so much, it would mean a lot if you keep supporting me and my new music, I promise it will not disappoint if you want to subscribe to me and ring the bell. 

Happy 10 years Castle Crashers! <3




Posted by RealFaction - August 7th, 2018

I'm going to talk about the Newgrounds Midwest Meetup I'm planning, about the finished Reinvention autobiography podcast series (with bonus videos of when I was 13 in 2005), and an update on the progress of Venturescape episode 7, and the Kickstarter Campaign.

NG Midwest Meetup

The meetup will be November 13th, Tuesday, at 6 PM Eastern Time (EST), in Louisville, KY, at Recbar (an arcade bar)!  It's the day before my birthday.   If you want to go, let me know.  We'll be going to an arcade bar, and a bonfire party at my mom's afterwards.  It'll be fun! 

Comment below if you want to go!


Quick update on Venturescape.  Episode 7 is now currently being edited with all the lines, it's been a hurdle since November since I had to recast Noel twice.  Things should be pretty steady from here on out!  It should be done in around a month, maybe less.  It depends, me and a friend are working on a Kickstarter campaign to pay all the people working on this wonderful project with me.  Stay tuned!

Watch Episodes 1-6 in the meantime: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM_ItXF6mgdqiGdjmP1ZpepTf3BjRgwIN


Reinvention: The Audiobiography (autobiography) of Real Faction COMPLETED!

In April, I started an autobiography podcast series on the past 12 years of my music career, and some personal stories about my life and how Newgrounds has changed it for the best.  Weekly (most of the time) I released episodes talking about different years.  Well, I just put out the last episode, and you can download the completed series for FREE!

Newgrounds: https://www.newgrounds.com/playlists/view/f741fd1df5772e6b5a5e5285ca2d01a5
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM_ItXF6mgdq5gZiSvHhk9hnrZeo8vC9Q
BandCamp: https://realfaction.bandcamp.com/album/reinvention-the-audiobiography-of-real-faction

PS: Before you listen to the first episode, just for context, watch episodes 6 and 9 (or at least 9) to get an idea of around the same time I talk about in the podcast, and you get to see my best friend Jayson who I mention in the first episode, and see how awkward at was at 13 years old.  Yeah, here's awkward videos of me at 13 years old, when I had a part-reality, part-scripted show from 2005-2012 called JKTV.

I actually brought JKTV back this year though, and went on a trip to Indiana where I got drunk.  Videos below, ciao!




Posted by RealFaction - July 18th, 2018

The Art-Inspired Music Contest results are finally here hot off the press: https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1433783

Here's the AIM album: https://artinspiredmusic.bandcamp.com/album/art-inspired-music-2018-vol-5

I had a great time this year, but also was kinda overwhelmed since my life is picking up in many ways.  I'd like to thank @MetalRenard for breaking the tie, judging the top 3 was hard this year.  Also thanks to @ADR3-N @ChronoNomad and TaintedLogic for all their hard work being amazing judges giving great reviews.

Today we remember @Phyrnna for being half of this beautiful whole of a contest, she was the one who said I should make this idea into a contest 5 years ago, and helped judge it from time to time.  Thank you for inspiring me in many ways.  With that said, my time with AIM has come to an end. 

5 beautiful years is a good number, but I will pass the torch to someone to keep the flame going, I want this tradition to keep on.  I don't know who yet, but will let you know next year.

Also, been uploading more songs from the 2008 Piercing Lazer album "Parallel Universe", which "Simple Sight" (the Necromancer Theme from Castle Crashers) is on.  So check out my latest songs, and latest autobiography podcast episode of Reinvention, where I talk about the origin of Pixel Day, going to school for mixing, NG Zero Hour, the new Pico's School soundtrack, and more.

I've been sleeping terrible lately, kinda scaring me.  I'm exausted.  I'm just overwhelmed and getting this off my plate will probably help.  I won't be able to do anything until I get sleep, good time to take a break.  Going on a roadtrip to Indiana next week with my best friend, will probably help to get away from it all for a couple days. 

Soon I'll be working more on my new albums, and Venturescape.  Can't wait till Reinvention is done, only 2 episodes left, then that's off the plate too haha.  Besides working 2 jobs (yuck) that's about it.  Later y'all, more music from the 2008 album, and demos of old songs, to come.  I swear after this year I'm swearing off albums forever.

NG Midwest Meetup?

Sort of an idea proposal, nothing set in stone yet, but what if I hosted a meetup for you guys here in my city of Louisville, KY?  It's a great place with lots to do, even has an arcade bar, which we will definitely be hitting up.  If I did a meetup, I would want it to be in the Fall, either October or November. 

Would anyone be down with that, and what dates of those months would you be free if so?  I will need at least 5 definite names to make it happen.  I reccomend bringing your allergy meds too, we're the #2 allergy spot this year (though most of the year it isn't so bad, but also depends what you're allergic to). 

Let me know, thanks!


Posted by RealFaction - July 3rd, 2018

Been a while, eh?  Well, here's your newest newsletter about everything I've been up to and currently working on music-wise, and other stuff.  Before I get into it, The Art-Inspired Music Contest is almost over (Sunday is the deadline OMG), so don't miss out: https://realfaction.newgrounds.com/news/post/1011869

You can still buy physical prints of the official A.I.M. artwork @Nalem made for us this year!

Buy Artwork with Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8d4cmx8
Buy Artwork with NO Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8bm6f23

Simple Sight Remastered (and the Album it's on, too)

I always planned on making the remastered version of Simple Sight (as well as the rare version with the 2008 vocals) and the album from 2008 it's on, so you're getting something a bit more rare and not as seen for the 10th Anniversary, "Parallel Universe".  It's on my BandCamp, and both versions of Simple Sight are sold seperately!  Your support means a lot, so check it out if you want.  PS: This will be the last time I mention Simple Sight, ever.  This is the nail in that coffin.

Also you can sample the album here if you want an 8-minute preview skimming through the tracks, I'll eventually upload a version to NG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8IJZ69zzNo

Get the album: https://piercinglazer.bandcamp.com/album/parallel-universe-10th-anniversary-remastered-edition
Get Simple Sight (Remastered Instrumental): https://piercinglazer.bandcamp.com/track/simple-sight-instrumental-remastered
Get Simple Sight (Remastered Vocals): https://piercinglazer.bandcamp.com/track/simple-sight-vocals-remastered

Enjoy a picture of 16-year-old goth me with the original album artwork (besides the "remastered" part, duh).


New Albums on the Way: Kid Projekt, Piercing Lazer (Progress Update)

For the past 4 years, I've been working on a Piercing Lazer album as a tribute to @Back-From-Purgatory, an amazing musician, rolemodel, and friend, who has inspired my music.  It's a concept album that will be divided into 2 parts.  No title yet, but hoping for a December release.  I'll be looking for a female singer for some of the songs, if she can sing like Amy Lee, or just is a strong singer in general so it doesn't have to be that.

Besides that, currently I'm in the process of finishing instrumentals, talking to Carmen Harris again about taking photos for both album covers.  She did the photo for my album The Box Vol. 2: Regeneration, and the Clocks EP with Zoozbuh, so I love her amazing work and working with her.

I recently released a preview of one of the new songs from Part 1, called Set You Free, check it out: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/813403

Also have a visualizer version on youtube, cause it looks cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPOp-q5L_Es

I'm also working on the second Kid Projekt album.  I want to say that'll be done this year, may come before that other album, we'll see how my workflow goes.  It's going to be more personal, and @ForgottenDawn is making a beat for the first single, he makes beautiful music.  We're working together with ideas on it, though mostly his.  I can't wait to hear how it turns out in the near future, not sure when yet. 

This album will be more personal, I'm still working on the instrumentals, and lyrics.  I want this to be more hard-hitting, more impactful to anyone who hears it.  I might be featuring a rapper friend or two on the album.  I'm also seeing if my "step-sister", Kaci can sing on a song, and maybe my friend Jackie if she has time.  I want this album to uplift people, spread positive messages.  It also will feature a song about my grandma, Dana, who passed away a couple years ago.  I still miss her.

Venturescape Update


As some of you know, the last episode came out in November of last year, and for months, I have been trying to get lines for Episode 7, and have been waiting too patiently.  I've had to recast twice, but I think this time we've got it.  Please welcome Beth Martin as the new Noel Rae, I think you all will love her performance, I certainly do.  7's lines are being recorded as we speak.

7 has been a real hurdle, but once we get past this, most of Season 1's lines are recorded, so I'll be able to breeze through a decent chunk of the next episodes.  I'm also looking for a Kickstarter Manager who has experience with a successful campaign in the past, so I can pay everyone for their wonderful work.  Here's to hoping.  Will keep you posted about that.

Reinvention: My Music Career Autobiography Podcast & Text Series


If you're curious about the history of my music career, and some of my personal stories from my past about what influenced and inspired my music, Reinvention is the podcast series for you.  I'm nearing the end of this series as it has about 4 or so episodes left, around that.  Maybe 3.  We'll see. 

If you want to keep up, here's the playlist: https://www.newgrounds.com/playlists/view/f741fd1df5772e6b5a5e5285ca2d01a5

Episode 9 (just posted): https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/813583?updated=1530623137

Part 2 of the text version of my Reinvention series has been majorly updated in a certain part where I forgot to add a few details, in the 2015-2016 section about Pixel Day, NG: Zero Hour, school, and other things.  So check that out, I added some stories.  I'll be recording about that the next episode of the podcast episode of Reinvention sometime next week. 

For now, here's the text version updated: https://realfaction.newgrounds.com/news/post/1010653

That's all for now, and on a side note, I'm shocked at how my views of past Talking Real episodes are still climbing, like woah.  The season 3 episodes haven't gotten as much traction, so I'm wondering why, but I might start doing more topics with the series once things cool down a bit.  Next post will probably be about the AIM contest results.


Posted by RealFaction - May 21st, 2018

Hey!  So, I've been posting a handful the past few days regarding the AIM contest and other podcasts, so don't miss out!  I'll explain below!

Before I get into that though, there's 2 artists you all should follow because they're really talented!  Firstly, there's @ShadowCat5150 who made my newest persona artwork, she's a good friend of mine and I think one of her pieces should be frontpaged ( this one: https://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/shadowcat5150/meow ).


Secondly,  Hyperlamb/LNTRNGRL (https://lntrngrl.newgrounds.com/ ) is a talented musician you should follow!  @lntrngrl also, your music wouldn't go in Synthwave btw, the new stuff I heard on your NG page would go in Chipstep or Nerdcore, some of your stuff is house too.  Look around the portal in those genres and you'll see what I mean. 




Firstly, besides my personal podcasts (one episode of Reinvention that talks about the origin of the contest below), I have made a couple podcasts on the AIM contest, and some people haven't been reading the rules again...like people posting discussion in the submissions thread.  Please don't do that. 

I explain the rules in one podcast, while my latest FAQ podcast clears up some grey areas, some confuding things about the rules I shed light on. PS: Ignore the 18+ rule in the podcast, it's 13+.

AIM Rules Podcast:
AIM FAQ Podcast:

PS: Go buy the artwork by @nalem

Buy Artwork with Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8d4cmx8
Buy Artwork with NO Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8bm6f23


It's been a while since I've done an episode of this series, but basically brings you up to speed as to all the projects and stuff I've been working on and involved with, such as landing the lead role of Darnell, in the upcoming Newgrounds Audio Portal's 15th Anniversary Collab, and making some music for it.  I mention a few other things like going to Nashville, TN next month, where I was born.  It's going to be an eventful year.

TR Season 3 Episode 4 (the new episode):



This is my autobiography series following my music career the past 12 years, sharing stories about past albums, the process behind my music, and life stories as well.  It actually follows a couple long posts I made that took hours to write, it's a lot to read though, this would be easier to take in, plus it has extra details I didn't put in the posts.  So, if you're curious about my past regarding my music and life, this podcast series is for you.

Episode 5: 2012 Part 1: Art-Inspired Music Contest and Persona Birth:


So this isn't a podcast, but a playlist of stuff I worked on that never saw the light of day until now.  With that said, I had like almost 60 demos I found, but I'm not releasing all of them, as some I weren't happy with, and a lot of them are one-minute chunks of things I didn't finish.  I will, however, be releasing at least 30-40 more demos over the course of the year.  Some of them I wish I could have finished and I am happy with.


That's about it for now, Talking Real is really all the updates of what I'm up to besides that.  Love you guys!  Good luck in AIM!


Posted by RealFaction - April 28th, 2018

NOTE: IGNORE the 18+ rule, it's now 13+ instead.  Reviewers selected by @ADR3-N, message her for the discord server link.

The Art-Inspired Music Contest 2018 has now officially started!
  If you're a musician (18 or older) and want to make music inspired by artwork on newgrounds, check out the contest!  It starts today, and the deadline for submissions is July 8th!  For more details, go to the official contest forum page below if you wish to enter!  Also, for music listeners, it'll be good to follow to hear the submissions along the way!

FORUM POST: https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1431735

I did a couple new things this year, one being that @Nalem, the artist who did the amazing AIM artwork this year, has made the art available to buy online at her RedBubble store!  You can buy it with or without text below!

Buy Artwork with Text:  https://tinyurl.com/y8d4cmx8
Buy Artwork with NO Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8bm6f23

Also, other new thing, if reading isn't your thing, you can listen to the rules in the AIM podcast, but I do highly reccomend reading, and double-checking before you start and finish your submissions: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/803144

Here's the promo video, good luck everyone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xqrb9mDKUQ



Posted by RealFaction - April 25th, 2018

AIM 2018

The 5th annual Art-Inspired Music Contest is almost here!  It starts this Sunday, April 29th, and ends July 8th!  The promo art/album cover was done this year by my friend @nalem, and she did an amazing job!  I made a cheesy promo video this year for kicks and to promote it on youtube, and you can also buy the artwork as a shirt, a poster, and many other formats from Nalem's shop on RedBubble!

As always, thanks to @TomFulp for frontpaging the event every year!

Buy Artwork with Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8d4cmx8
Buy Artwork with NO Text: https://tinyurl.com/y8bm6f23


Promo video: https://youtu.be/3xqrb9mDKUQ

My Last Year of Making Music

As some of you know, this is my last year of making music, so I decided to do a few things. 

1. Be a part of the Newgrounds Audio Portal 15th Anniversary Collab (making music and voice acting).
2. Release 2 or 3 more albums under Kid Projekt and Piercing Lazer. (I'm working on new material and finishing unfinished/unreleased songs)
3. Reflect on the past 12 years of my career by talking about my making an autobiography podcast series called "Reinvention: The Audiobiography of Real Faction" (which currently has 2 episodes so far) going year by year, I'm trying to make it a weekly thing.  I already wrote the whole series out as a text post, so look through my posts if you want to read something dreadfully long, or wait for the upcoming episodes.

Episode 1: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/801209
Episode 2: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/802592

I want to go out with a bang.  Now, I'll STILL be around on Newgrounds and still help run contests like Pixel Day, A.I.M., and organize NGADM, and do everything else I'm doing like Venturescape (still waiting to continue that this year), plus I'd love to eventually get back to finishing the game Newgrounds: Zero Hour with the right team, but mostly I'll be working on writing and comedy stuff for my other account @ZolutionsTV

Good luck with the contest everyone!  More details to come on April 29th, I changed a few things this year!


Posted by RealFaction - April 12th, 2018

EDIT 7/3/18: Hoping this is the last draft, forgot a few things regarding 2016-related stuff about school, Pico's School, Pixel Day, NG: Zero Hour, etc.

This is Part 2 of Reinvention: The Audiobiography of Real Faction.

Part 1 is here: https://realfaction.newgrounds.com/news/post/1010652

2013: Clocks EP with Zoozbuh

So, I was actually doing music for a while now for a developer called Coded Emotion, still in the works with a few games over the years, been a long work in progress.  Not sure when my songs will ever see the light of day for that, but we'll see.  They pointed me to an awesome youtuber named Zoozbuh who has an amazing voice, suggested we should collab.

I got in touch with him, and we actually worked very well together, it was a more poppy album, but I liked it.  He did some of the instrumentals, but I did most of them.  We both wrote lyrics and I also sang on it as well.

2014-2017: Flareheart Studio

For about 4 or 5 years, I actually did commissions for people, but 3 of those years, I got a bit more organized, and made a business with an official name: Flareheart Studio.  I had a studio built specifically for me to go over there and mix on monitors my friend Jayson sold to me, we had it soundproofed with foam, painted, it was a nice space, but small.  I had my friend Brandon aka "Day Dreamer" come over there a few times to record vocals for his rap songs, nice guy.  I also made beats for him sometimes.

I learned a lot over the years about running a business with the experience, it taught me a lot actually, I'm glad I learned all the stuff I did.  I learned about the psychological stuff behind it as well, and started doing sales.  I started getting a lot of work, and money in the hundreds, I was amazed people would pay me that much to get me to write something custom for them, it was great.  Most of my work was being asked to write themes for youtube channels.

A few of those channels were big names in the video game youtube channel world like The Autarch of Flame, RabbidLuigi, The Fiery Joker, and people within their network.  It helped me get views, to an extent.  It was nice.

However, it got so much, I had no real time to myself, and it became stressful.  I started tossing and turning not getting much sleep at night, and I was dragging, getting behind on everything.  It got so bad, I was a month or so behind on work.  I realized, it was mentally damaging me, and I had no time for friends or fun, made me depressed.  So, in 2017, I eventually got burned out, so around November, I stopped doing commissions. 

Originally, when I started this business, I think it was around 2012 or 2013 that I wanted to challenge myself more to make more genres of music, because I love a LOT of music genres, and there's only a few I really don't like.  So, I wanted to challenge myself to see how many styles I could pull off right, and it ended up being around 30 (including subgenres).  That is quite the achievement.  Dubstep I sorta pulled off, but was probably one of my weakest genres.

If you're wondering all the genres I've ever done, here's your guide: I've made Drum 'n' Bass, Liquid Drum 'n' Bass, House, Trance, Techno, Dance, Electro-House, Electro-Swing, Jazz (both smooth slow jazz and Swing, and normal Jazz I guess?), Rock, Metal, Progressive Metal and Rock, Rock, Folk, Tropical House, Chillstep, Dubstep, Nu-Metal, Industrial Metal and Rock, Power Metal, Ambient, New Wave, Synthwave, Hip-hop, Modern Rap, Trap, 8-bit/Chiptune, Cinematic, Orchestral, Classical, Punk Rock, R&B, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Big Beat, Funk, Downtempo, Comedy, Doom Metal, Death Metal, Groove Metal, Power Ballad, and Country (regrettably, but was more of a joke). 

I think that's all of them?  So wow....okay, that's like 46 styles of music, way more than I expected haha.  I'm kinda proud of that, and impressed.  I tried doing Reggae once, but god it's hard, and I don't have the proper stuff to make it good, when I attempt something, I want to do it right in my eyes, or ears rather.  I don't want to half-ass it, I want it to feel right, sound good.  Also, Glitch-Hop is hard, I love it, but it's one of the genres I can't pull off very well, so I haven't got a song out there in that genre either.

I've kept a playlist of almost all the work I've been commissioned to do on my youtube channel on my page, called "Themes/Commissions".  Some of the stuff I mentioned in all this before and after, was also commission work.  Eventually FlaheartStudio.com became http://www.realfaction.org, my official website for my fans.  It'll tell you all the albums I've released and been a part of, plus the other things I do.

2012-2016: The Box Series, Reviving Piercing Lazer

So, I was in love with a girl for 7 years, and I was hurting for many reasons in my life fighting depression.  The Box Volume 1: Dark City was a concept album that was symbolic for me opening my eyes, starting to wake up and realize what things really were, to try and run away from my self-abusive nature, to fight my depression.  There were also songs about the things my friends were going through.  I wanted it to be like a comic book story, but in audio form, hence why the album art looks like that.  I started writing material for it in 2012, and was released the year after.

So, the concept was, there's this girl named Farrah (the character on the album cover), who lived in Dark City, a cruel, demented, filthy place, full of the worst people with mean intent.  Think of Gotham City, but much worse.  She was abused physically and emotionally, never really knew her own identity, had no sense of who she was, just trying to make people happy, in hopes she would be loved.  She hated herself, never feeling she was good enough for anyone, stepped on and treated like a zombie doll.

So, "zombie doll" it was.  That was the basis of her look, she's not literally a zombie, or a doll.  But, she was dead inside, she felt that way, because of the pain.  I know people who went through so much, including myself, they felt numb inside, feeling like they lost that spark, and didn't have the energy to have hope anymore.  The girl was inspired by that girl I was in love with for 7 years, she was always getting into these abusive relationships, and I believe for a time, she sold drugs. 

Her boyfriends abused her, and used her, pretty much treating her like a doll that felt dead inside.  So, Farrah's look was symbolic.  The blonde hair looked better, and I didn't really want it to resemble her.  I told her I loved her, it made her happy, but when she told her bf about me, the manipulative piece of shit who controlled her and didn't want her hanging out with guys, stole her phone and cussed me out over text threatening to come over to where I live. 

I was terrified at 17 years old, so I lied said I didn't love her, but it broke her heart.  Down the road she forgave me, but I was nice to her, made her smile, she always gave me this look no one else gave me, twinkle eyes, and a smile, tight hugs.  Like, she felt safe and herself around me.  I'll never forget that. 

In 2014, I was already writing music for The Box Volume 2: Regeneration, which was a heavier, but more emotional album.  The concept of this album was, Farrah escapes her abuser, and Dark City, to venture out in the countryside to find herself, to see her reflection, to finally see the beauty within herself she never saw before, discovering who she really is.  It was my hope that this album would wake the girl up so she would escape her abusive relationship, and see someone loved her, cared about her, that she was more than she thought she was.

In September, I had a chunk of money to pay my friends, and their friends, a small crew of people to make a music video to the single, "Into the Sun", which I consider to be one of my best songs (even though the mixing wasn't the best on my end, I needed help from @SkyeWint, wasn't cheap).  I put hundreds of dollars into this song with the mixing and the video.  It's still on my youtube channel if you want to look it up. 

I wanted to do something different with the artwork, so my friend Carmen gave me an interesting photo she took and edited, after I gave her my ideas of the concept, she gave me photos she took, so I picked that certain one with the water, and asked @Aki-Carlito an amazing artist, to blend art with reality, making a hybrid picture, she also did the title.  It looks badass, and is one of my favorite album covers to this day.

But, eventually, she pushed me away.  When I tried showing her the music video on Facebook via tagging, she untagged herself and never spoke to me again, yet she didn't block me, it was weird.  She wasn't straight with me.  I had done a lot for her, and eventually she just became a different person I didn't know anymore.  I can't tell you how much it hurt for many years.

My friend Jenny voiced the intro, a poem I wrote.  I thought it would be a nice, cinematic type of way to open the album, giving Farrah a voice, since that was basically what the theme of this album was, her speaking up for herself and voicing what she wanted most.  The album came out in 2015.

I should also mention in 2015, I met my biological father, Todd.  He and his family were great, got to meet my half-brother Michael.  I still haven't met my half-sister Amber, but someday.  We talk online sometimes.


2015: Self-Titled Album

To be honest, this one was...more of an evolution of my electronic sound, experimenting.  But, not much else.  I wanted to experiment with dubstep a bit.  A couple of them are commissions.  Really, it is just a compilation of songs I made that year and prior, so there's no real theme.  That's why I didn't know what to name it.  The art is by @Animattronic and Seco Pro.

2015-2016: Self-Discovery, School, The Other Side EP, 10th Anniversary

For a while, in 2015 I went to school for Audio Engineering, to improve my mixing.  I already had failed college once some years back, but when I heard about this school from a girl I dated, I decided to go.  It really helped me improve my sound dramatically, but my grades sucked, so I dropped out from feeling not good enough, defeated.  I hated myself and my failure. 

Along the way, I was interested in bringing Piercing Lazer back by remaking Risen From the Deep that year.  It was the first song I made for what would be The Other Side EP.  I wanted to reinvent my sound, and try new sounds.  It was a personal album about fighting depression and emotional abuse, it was a spiritual succesor to The Box series.  I originally thought of doing The Box Vol. 3, but with the stuff I was writing, sounded more like Piercing Lazer, and was better suited, though is sort of a sequel to that.

Rainbow-haired girl?  Not Farrah.  That's more of an embodiment of me.  The album cover I had asked @SeafoamPanda to make, it was finding a light on the other side of the darkness, and like a tribute to Pink Floyd's "Darkside of the Moon" album cover, they were one of the bands influencing me, and I love them.  I'm wearing a brown Pink Floyd shirt as I'm typing this, not kidding. 

This album was more of me facing my inner demons and trying to see the value in myself as a human being, and realizing how I've been treated like I'm less than a human being by past employers, which is where "Nothing to Sell" came from, I wrote lyrics to it because I originally wanted to sing over all the songs, but just wasn't feeling it.

The Secret was a concept of me having two sides arguing with myself inside my mind.  There was the child, and the father.  The father was the abusive side, telling the child, my true self being afraid to express who I really am and believe in myself, being told to sit in the dark room.  The father yelling at the child represented me everytime I tore myself down for messing up, imagining I was shouting at someone else the way I shouted at myself, and it broke my heart.  And yet, I still did it to myself because it was so hard not to, because of my anxiety and depression, because of what I dealt with growing up.

So, it was a very human album, being in touch with your humanity, your self-worth.  The sound was a mix of new bands and old, I wanted to experiment with new sounds, as well as revisit some of the old Piercing Lazer sounds, but most of the songs were more light, more emotional.  I wanted to make Simple Sight (part 2), because for so many years, I was trying to prove I wasn't a "one hit wonder" to the thousands, millions who listened to that song, wanting them to see I make other music like it, and better.

Nothing I ever did worked.  I kept getting asked to make another version after version of the same song, instead of people simply clicking on my youtube channel to see I had better stuff out there.  I was trying to draw their attention, which leads to a point I'll get to later on in the next chapter.  So, I made a song with that good ol' Piercing Lazer sound from the second album like Simple Sight, and basically just slapped Simple Sight (Part 2) on as a title just to draw people in, it was BS basically haha.

But, it's what I had to do.  Granted, it did start to pull some thousands of views, which I was happy about.  Though, I was hoping more people would buy the record.  I kept talking about a deluxe edition with vocals, but it just never happened.  I still want to do a version with vocals, but I'll get to that in the next section.  It was probably my best-selling record though to date, and it got a decent amount of attention on youtube.

2016 was also my 10-year mark for making music, and on Newgrounds with this account.  In 2015, I started working on Roots Canal, the 10th anniversary album.  It was revisiting my original styles in my earlier years, but also experimenting with new styles.  I gotta say, a couple of the songs got quite a bit of attention.  I guess officially, that was my final Real Faction album, under that name, anyway. 

The album cover was by me, it's an edited photo of the colorful musical tunnel in the Detroit Michigan airport, probably the most amazing airport I've ever seen.  It was during my transfer on my way to Philadelphia for Pico Day 2016 at the Newgrounds Office.  I made a video documenting that, by the way.  @Animattronic did the sweet logo for me.  Over the years I've had new logos and new art but I can't quite remember everyone who did what.

Also, I believe it was 2016 when I started making music for a game that @OrangutitanGames is still working on.  Hoping it gets released, I made 18 songs for the game, it's looking good so far.  I can't really talk about it much until it actually comes out.  I also made a song for another game they're making.  If either pop up, I'll talk about them.

Also, my "step-sister" visited with her boyfriend at the time, they were known as Pennyworth.  We collabed and made a song called "Over", inspired by 21 Pilots, and Nine Inch Nails.  The result was pretty dope, not gonna lie.

This is also the year I started attending school off and on for 6 months, until I dropped out from failing so much and being so far away.  I had to drive an hour and a half there, hour and a half back, twice a week.  Wasn't good for me fuel-wise, but also the distance just sucked in general.  I will say it wasn't a wasted experience and because of it, has immensely improved my mixing, a lot.  It was a fun experience.

2015-2016: Pixel Day, Zero Hour Game, Pico's School (The New Soundtrack)

In 2015, we celebrated Newgrounds' 20th anniversary with collabs.  I came up with the idea to make a tribute video but also doubling as a special contest video for what was the Newgrounds-Inspired Music Contest.  It was a variant of the Art-Inspired Music Contest, so A.I.M. didn't happen that year, call it a spin-off contest.  Basically, it was centered around the idea of making songs inspired by anything original from Newgrounds, but also having a "game theme", sounding like a video game soundtrack.  This was a fun contest.

The tribute video featured pixel art of the judges of the contest, being ScepterDPinoy, Samination, JohnnyUtah, MindChamber, Phyrnna, and me.  All of the art was by the lovely JinnDEvil , and animated!  There was a "story" as if it was the opening to an old platformer video game, about the "Zero Faction", the judges being the bad guys, and you beat them by winning the contest.  I thought, "what if we actually made a video game out of this?" and basically did.

I wasn't sure who to contact to make the game, but then an awesome game came out that year called "Project Dimentia Bodhisattva", made by a guy named TwinBlazar (go play it, it's a masterpiece https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/660664) made in 3 years, by himself!  Art AND programming!  That's impressive.  When I stumbled upon the game, I spend hours trying to beat it (and I did), I knew he was the guy for the job, so I asked him, he said yes.

I called upon the Newgrounds community to find artists for the project.  This consisted of many, including TwinBlazar himself, me (for a couple assets), Xavy-027, Gatekid3, DemonQueen402, Otone, StevenNG, and MisMash.  We also involved MindChamber as he drew concept art/ideas for a boss fight in the game.  The game would be called Newgrounds: Zero Hour.  The demo was released late 2015, with a high average rating, and now around 70,000 plays I believe?  It was to help advertise Pixel Day, and many people enjoyed it, it was inspired by games like Metal Slug, and Megaman X, presenting challenging boss fights.

The story behind Newgrounds: Zero Hour, takes place in an alternate timeline based after Pico's School (funny, I ended up doing the new soundtrack for the game, I'll get to that later).  1 year later to be exact, on Pico's birthday.  It opens with the school being on fire again, putting Pico in almost the same situation in the events of Pico's School, but something's different this time.  The bad guys have stronger powers now, and Cassandra is wielding a spell book found in the basement by the mysterious "Orange Wizard", who's identity is unknown, other than he was a normal NG citizen in Flash City, until something unknown happened, and he revived Cassandra and her minions, to destroy the good guys, and bring back the Blammed from the dead. 

In this game, Tom Fulp is Pico's father, and they live together.  There's more to the story, but I won't spoil it, I was basically the main director, designed some of the level structures and gave basic concepts, and the writer for story and dialogue.  I added a couple original characters of my own, and one of them was supposed to show up in the secret level 2 accessible in the demo, but that part wasn't done yet.  I eventually uploaded a walkthrough of the 90% complete level 2, with a certain user as the boss, I made an original boss theme just for the fight, and I still love that song.  Still not released, but will be a new song finished this year for the next Piercing Lazer album.

Game: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/664782
Secret level walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTcG4R-0wwQ

I came up with the idea for Pixel Day, since Tom's theme for Newgrounds according to him was basically a "video game world theme", it's supposed to feel like a game interface.  I said basically, "what if we brought that to life by taking what we did for the anniversary contest, and turning that into a full-blown holiday with a contest?", and he loved the idea.  I felt NG needed another original holiday, but one that really reflected what it was about, but also good for pixel artists.  Anything before 3D gaming was celebrated with pixel art, chiptune music, pixel games, and pixel animations!  PIXEL!  Tom and I judge the contest every year with the ocassional extra help from Luis.

Tom Fulp has even updated the NG history page recently, going on to say it's his "favorite annual event on the site".  I cried when I saw that, I feel really honored.  See for yourself: https://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/about-newgrounds/history#wiki_toc_23

Me and the team worked on the game until...the programmer (TwinBlazar) and I had disagreements, but ultimately I could have communicated better, I wasn't the nicest back then.  I was rushing the full game for a January 23rd, 2016 release date (For Pixel Day), like the jerk I was, and we were only almost half done.  I still feel bad for my unrealistic expectations.  I still want to finish the game, and BomToons has shown interest for later this year.  I haven't heard back from Luis, but I would love him to be involved too somehow.  I plan on finishing the game, eventually, somehow.

Pixel Day was a success, and is still an annual event to this day.  Tom is cooking up big plans for 2019's Pixel Day, and I know for the most part what's going down, and will be the biggest one yet, hopefully. 

Later in 2016, Tom was cracking down more on copyrighted music to not be used in submissions, so a lot of songs got replaced or the submissions got taken down.  Tom decided to upload a new version of Pico's School with the new soundtrack since it had copyrighted music samples in the game.  He wanted me to recreate the feel of the old soundtrack, but also something of my own flair too. 

I made 4 original songs for the game, and it's such an honor, because I made the soundtrack to one of NG's most iconic games that I ended up playing as a kid.  What are the chances, you know?  Tom's offered me a lot on this site and I've left a lot of history here thanks to him.  We talk every now and then...actually I'm going to message him right now!


2016-2018: The Underground Collective, Kid Projekt

The Underground Collective is something @ForgottenDawn and I came up with, it's basically a group of us underground musicians, an open group where musicians can come and go, making variety albums.  The first album, Vol. 1, was really just us doing whatever, making music for the record and getting us out there as a group.

The next effort was a tribute to our own @I0TA who keeps changing his damn name...haha.  It was called m0lecular: Soundwaves of Liberty, and released the next year.  He's done a lot for the NG community, and for my contests, he's a generous guy.  He makes good music too.

Vol. 2: Sounds of the Future was an idea pitched in the forum, a concept record.  It was released this year.  Basically, a fun project which challenged us to make songs about what we thought would be what music is like in the future, or our interpretation of futuristic music, what we wanted it to be.  Our next endeavor will either be a side album for fun, or Volume 3, which could be another concept album.  It's a fun project that promotes creativity for underground music.

Kid Projekt is basically well....the idea of me pursuing my rapping skills further than I normally have in the past.  But, it's basically representing me being wacky and childish sometimes, but also Kid is an acronym for "killing inner demons", facing my fears and such, but this project was representing also that I'm working on myself constantly, and wanting to spread positivity to the world, instead of this garbage rap promoting negativity and BS, everyone copying each other, mumbling, and putting no real identity in the music.  I want my identity, my personality in these songs.  There's too much hate in music and not enough love, REAL love.

I had started working in late 2016 on this record, I ended up making at least twice as many songs to start out with, but I didn't finish a lot of them.  I wasn't sure what I was using and not, I just wrote down lyrics, made beats, and wanted to keep a central theme.  I wanted the first record to not be too serious, except in a couple songs that are personal, but more of a fun, upbeat album to dance to, with positive messages.

Fun Fact:  I did all the artwork this time, I'm proud of myself for that.

The second album I want to finish this year, which will be more serious, and deep.  One song is about my grandma who passed away in 2016.  She inspired me.  It'll be a more personal album for me, and one of the last albums I ever make.

2018 & Present: What's next?

(EDIT: I'm not quitting music anymore, but I might cut down on it due to many other projects, instead of albums next year I'll be releasing more singles in the future, but we'll see what happens.  Below is what I felt before now.)

So, you might be asking, with as much fun as I had, and everything I've done, what made me want to quit making music?  I'll tell you.  Part of me did have fun, but I also realize it's not been a passion, but a hobby for me.  I was doing it for the wrong reasons, I guess.  I mean, half-wrong, half-right. 

I kept feeling so down that I kept getting "one hit wonder" shoved in my face, and people complained that I was complaining about it, like the people of youtube didn't really care.  I kept getting thousands of subscribers, but my view count didn't change at all.  Averaging 200 views per song, unless it was Piercing Lazer-related or Necromancer Theme-related.  They didn't care otherwise. 

I was never really given a fair chance on YouTube.  I don't consider those people my supporters, except those that actually watched my videos and listened to my songs.  But you know who DID give me a chance and supported me?  You guys; Newgrounds.  What didn't get thousands of views on youtube, some of the songs got a lot more attention here.  I had a fair chance.  Thank you for that.

12 years is a while.  But, when I realized the "one hit wonder" thing made me feel so down, and making music alone wasn't making me truly happy, that's when I realized, that's not what was making me happy, but my mindset was all wrong, but now that I realized that, I'm enjoying it more.  I began to question what I wanted for my life, what I would be passionate about, that's been a tough one.  I'm passionate about writing, I know that much, I love bringing stories to life, maybe I'll pursue that, like I have been with Venturescape.

I realized a lot of what I did was because I was trying to reflect and recreate things I like, for attention, and in fear of not having a stable future, also.  This year is the 15th anniversary for the Audio Portal, it's a big deal.  There's a big collab involved, and I'm making music for it, potentially voice-acting, maybe?  I got the main lead role as the main character, Darnell.  I'm pretty proud of that.

I also have a lot of songs finished I haven't ever released, so old music in the vault to release.  Also, unfinished songs I plan on finishing for the final Piercing Lazer and Kid Projekt albums.  This year I released The Other Side pt. 2 which I started work on in 2016 parallel to the Kid Projekt album.  It sounds more spacey, and has somewhat more of the old Piercing Lazer sound.  The artwork I did which is actually an old photoshopped photo of me, mixing it with space.

The single is once again, a Simple Sight-related song...but it'll be the last.  But, it was fun to make I have to say, I wanted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my big hit for the fans, and put a twist on it; make a happy punk rock version, AND mash it up with melodies from my first hit, Clearing the Sky.  I thought it was a cool idea. 

Another thing I did for the 10th anniversary is release Parallel Universe on my bandcamp page, the album Simple Sight is on, but was rarely seen online due to the hacker incident, but thought i'd wait until now to remaster it for the anniversary.  Every song is remastered, and the rare 2008 vocals on Simple Sight, that version is there too.

I've been looking for singers, mostly now a female singer for the next Piercing Lazer album, which will be a 2-parter.  Now, this one is special, because I've been working on the songs off and on since...I want to say 2014, at least, maybe before.  I've been really nesting on this one.  It's a tribute album dedicated to @Back-From-Putgatory, heavy inspiration there.  It's a concept album telling a story.  I don't know what it'll be called yet, but hoping it'll be done by the end of this year, we'll see.

I'm not sure exactly what I'll pursue with my life, there's lots of room, I'm thinking maybe writing, maybe more, we'll  have to see where my life goes.  I've finally been getting Venturescape going again, I wanted to reinvent myself, so now there's a new story to be told, a new me.  I'm in pursuit of my happiness, and though I haven't found it yet, I'm happier than I was now that I realized all this.

Talking Real will still be a thing, so that'll still be my life-update podcast series, I'll still voice act and be doing Venturescape, not sure what else though after I finish the unreleased material and release it all.  I'll still be running the contests like the Art-Inspired Music Contest, organizing NGADM until someone else takes over, and Pixel Day, so no worries!  I won't be as active, but I'll still be active and around doing things.  This is just a preview of what's to come for 2018.  Love you guys! 

It'll be fun when I get to record audio versions of these entries, that's why I titled it as an "audiobiography" instead of autobiography, clever right?  Well, I like it.  It'll be my new podcast series, not sure when I'll start releasing them though, probably closer to later this year, not sure.  I need to take my time to think on this.  See you guys soon, coming up next is unreleased songs, and Castle Crashers gameplay (I hope)!  Later!

- Real Faction


Posted by RealFaction - April 12th, 2018

Well, my friends, it has been a long 12 years for me, but some things must come to an end.  No, not this account, and actually, not most of the things I already work with on Newgrounds.  I'm not stopping everything I do on NG, but the thing I am mostly known for is soon coming to an end: making music.  With that said, below I will list what I will be doing, won't be doing anymore, and the reasons why.

The short version of this is in my newest Talking Real podcast episode titled, "What Do I Want?", so if you don't care to read all this, check that out: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/800316

Basically, I realized recently why I've been so unhappy.  In recent years, I've been facing my fears, learning what's causing my anxiety, and instead of burying my problems and running away like I always used to, I've been embracing myself and facing them.  I've been getting to know myself to try and take care of myself and learn what makes me happy, what I want to do with my life.

I would always get mad about not feeling good enough, and always being labeled as a "one hit wonder", but a thought struck me, "if I loved music, wouldn't I be happy making it without this affecting me?" and that said it all.  I realized then, music is not my passion, but a hobby I've enjoyed.  However, I don't enjoy it as much anymore, and is coming to an end.  I've actually done nearly everything I've wanted to do with my music, which is great.

However, I also realized I was trying to do things to please people, and mimic the things I enjoyed.  I was obsessing over hobbies trying to turn them into passions for the attention, because I doubted myself as a person, hiding behind my creations, wanting that love and attention, wanting to be interesting enough to people, wanting to be somebody, when I felt like nothing and no one, without an identity.

So, with that said, this will be the last year of music.  I WILL however be finishing the albums I started working on, so the next Piercing Lazer and Kid Projekt albums, will be my last.  That will be my final work.  In the meantime, I will be uploading songs I've never released publicly, after I finish them, and ones I've finished but were stuck in the vault.  I'm going to give you guys some gifts.

It's been a long 12 years, a good ride, but I need to figure out what I'm truly passionate about, what I could lead my life with as a career, what I truly want to do, what would make ME happy, instead of me always trying to please people anymore.  Music was fun for a while, but I'm ready to say I'm done after I finish these last efforts.  It'll be great, I promise.

With that said, part of my gift is my very own Autobiography, well....audiobiography rather.  I will also be recording these in a new podcast series by the years, simply titled, Reinvention: The Audiobiography of Real Faction.  I'm going to have a lot of fun talking about the past 12 years, so probably what, like 12 episodes?  Talking Real will still be a thing, but probably not for a while until after that.

So, really I'll still be uploading music for a good number of months until later this year.  With that said, I'll still be running AIM and organizing NGADM and being a part of Pixel Day, so really nothing else I'm doing is changing.  I just had to question what I wanted to do, now I know.  Thanks for your support guys, but like I said, still ways to go before the music stops.

Below is the long version.  And now, I give you...

Reinvention: The Audiobiography of Real Faction.


12 Years: Making Music

When I was 13, my best friend (and basically my brother, we grew up together), Jayson, inspired me to start making music.  He played the guitar and introduced me to a lot of the bands I listen to today.  So when he introduced me to Celldweller's debut album, I was inspired to also be a "one-man band". 

Like any kid, I grew up trying a lot of different things to discover what I wanted to do in life.  Baseball and soccer for the YMCA, BMX, gaming, writing, voice impressions, playing drums and piano, making stop-motion Lego films, making videos, and then I stumbled upon FL Studio thanks to a friend named Matt, at the time, had been one of my Halo 2 gaming buddies on Xbox live at the time.  He told me about it over an early version of Skype (which was better than what it is now by the way, in 2005). 

I finally managed to figure out how to use it (thanks to Jayson teaching me, sometimes he came over to make songs too) in 2006 when I was 14, and for months I practiced and experimented with many things.  I made videos a lot back then, as some of you know JKTV, so the first song I made was the JKTV theme song, at the time for that season. 

It wasn't until September of that year when I made a Newgrounds account.  I had been going since 2003 for the animations, games, and music, under another account, but I felt I needed a different name as an artist.  For years, I was so sick of the crap I heard on the radio, it all felt so fake, so lacking to me, always about the same things, all the industry-fueled pop music.  It made me lean more torwards metal and rock. 

So, I wanted to tell the world I was making "real" music, something from my heart and soul, something organic, and I wanted people to call me real because I felt like a lot of my life was a life and everything surrounding me, but I wanted to be myself.  The second half of the name was simply because the whole thing was like a legal name to me, and real wouldn't be enough to define me.  Faction, I actually didn't know it's popular meaning.  To me, it was a cross between fact, and fiction.  It complimented the first word, but also I loved writing fictional stories.

I drew a crappy logo that was basically supposed to represent soundwaves.  Over the next two years I would make literally hundreds of crappy generic experimental breakbeat loops, and Liquid Drum & Bass loops, due to my inspiration from video game soundtracks like Bomberman 64, Bomberman Hero, and Kirby 64.  Game soundtracks heavily inspired a lot of my music in the early days.

I would burn CDs and give them to my friends, and back when I used to be religious and go to church, I'd bring my huge CD player stereo carrying it around to show them my newest tracks on a weekly basis, they loved it.  When I heard of YouTube through MySpace in 2006 back when it was underground, I started uploading videos and songs under jktvman (until it got hacked and suspended in 2008). 

Also, one of the first genres I made was also Hip-Hop.  In highschool, I was inspired to become a rapper.  People said I was good at freestyling, and it was fun.  I made beats, and I would hand out CDs of that too in highschool.  I friggin drew "Trixsta" (my at the time rapper name) on the sleeve of my grey hoodie...and I still have the damn thing haha.  People liked what I had to offer, but I never pursued it seriously for most of my life, was just for fun.

Back then I just considered making music a fun hobby, but then came 2008.  But let's rewind a little before we get to that part.

2007: Piercing Lazer is Born

Back in the beautiful days of scene kid trends, and MySpace, I somehow made friends out of state on the site, and to this day, I still miss customizing my page with a music player and custom backgrounds.  One of those friends was Dustin Dean.  He was one of my very first penpals on MySpace, and eventually he showed interest in wanting to learn FL Studio (known as FruityLoops Studio 5 or 6 at the time before it got abbreviated, yes that's what it stands for), so I taught him.

Eventually, we decided to collaborate, and that was one of my very first collaborations, if not THE first.  We formed Piercing Lazer, the project known for Simple Sight, the big hit.  I came up with the name because I wanted to stand out, and make it something akin to a hair metal band name, something funny yet fierce, so my teenage mind thought, "What's the most powerful, unstoppable force?  A piercing laser!  But, I'll replace the s with a z because everything sounds cooler with a z!" So....yeah haha.  I'm pretty sure inspiration came from Homestar Runner's Limozeen.  I watched Homestar Runner a lot back then, went to the site every week.

In 2007, we released the first album (I have the remastered version on my BandCamp if you're curious).  I was 15, my voice kinda sucked at singing, but I was in choir at the time in highschool, so I was learning.  We would pass songs back and forth through AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) I believe.  I can't remember if we did it another way or not.  Back then, sending files like that to someone else was NOT as easy as today.  I want to say maybe we used file sharing sites or email.

The logo, as you can see on the debut album on my BandCamp page, is a crappily designed logo with laser beams.  Jayson and I sometimes made Star Wars fan films (horrible looking ones) with this image editing software that was designed to let you put lightsaber beams on your sword for cool effect, and it was free, so I decided to use that on the album cover.  Yes, Star Wars inspired the album cover. 

We made a whopping 18 friggin songs (though some he didn't work on), and so I wanted to pass the album around in highschool.  I had like 4 or 5 friends sell the album for $5 in the hallways of the school, I told them any money they made off it they could keep.  I got a decent reception, believe it or not, I think we sold at least 20 copies or so.  My friend had a CD cover printer or what not, so he made copies of the CDs with the album art on it.

I actually showed my sophomore Chemistry teacher, and he absolutely loved it, especially the last song, "Risen From the Deep" (which I later remade for the 2016 EP, The Other Side EP).  I started getting more inspiration from bands, artists, including those on Newgrounds.  I actually listed in my 10th anniversary newsposts back in 2016 who inspired me specifically.

2008: Breaking Out

I was 16, and my depression was getting much worse.  I felt like I hated most of the people I came in contact with, or was really just scared of them, and being homeschooled most of my life plus having Autism (Asbergers Syndrome specifically) made it wayyyy worse, way harder.  I had some serious anger issues, I held grudges and didn't like to be teased, I was sensitive and insecure.

I wanted my life to have meaning, I felt like a nobody.  I didn't feel like I had much of an identity, or that my life had much substance.  I was bored, sad, and didn't know what to do.  There were few people I trusted.  However, a handful of things that happened that year changed my life, and @TomFulp was one of them. 

One of my best friends, Megan, at the time, changed my life, helped me start to see I cared about people and wanted to help them, brought a lot of good out in me.  I transferred schools that year due to how bad things got, but eventually she found me and we kept in contact.  In April, during Spring Break week for the schools here, my song, Clearing the Sky, was featured in one of the spots on the Audio Portal for the weekly Top 5 audio (back then NG got WAY more traffic, thousands looked at that page, I want to say it hit 10,000 plays in a week, maybe more).

I was overjoyed, that week I was sad and didn't go to church one night due to my depression, I thought I didn't matter to anyone there, wondered if anyone would miss me, and this youth leader named Darren called and told me about his struggle with suicide as a teen.  I cried, and I felt the compassion, it was very inspirational, that dude cared about me.  I knew him a decent amount at the time, nice dude.

Anyway, the same week, after I saw my song get the Top 5, I was shocked, and amazed.  It wasn't too long after when Tom Fulp (I believe it was him from the team?) sent me an email, asking me if The Behemoth team could use Simple Sight for "one of the last boss fights".  I gladly said yes, and he sent me a contract to print out.  My parents had to sign, and since Real Faction was getting attention, I wanted Piercing Lazer to get attention.  Simple Sight was from the 2nd album I hadn't finished yet, but it came out later that year, titled Parallel Universe (I'm remastering that to release this year for the 10th anniversary).

Little did I know, there was actually a contest on newgrounds (no idea how I missed that) to compose music for the game specifically.  My song was one of, if not THE only song, hand-picked outside of the contest to feature in the game that WASN'T composed for it.  Weird, huh?  But, hey, I'm definitely not complaining, I was thrilled.  I played the crap out of that game on my Xbox 360 for months until I got burned out.  Red Knight was my guy, still is, on my current playthrough of the game on my YouTube channel.

My friends for a while were poking at me about the song, and Jayson one day said, "Hey, guess what I got as my ringtone!", held up his phone with a grin, and played...you guessed it, my song.  I was like "but wait, how did it get on an mp3 ringtone website?" and I wasn't too pleased about it, considering I wasn't credited on there, but I eventually got over it.  I made a nice yearly royalties check for some years.

So yeah, Tom changed my life.  This site did.  However, I feel the mistake I made, was feeling my identity, feeling my worth, was in my music, rather than myself as a person, so I hid behind my work.  That year overall was an amazing year, I won my first contest ever in anything, because I won the 2008 Madness Day Audio Contest, Hank's Return won 1st place.

2008-2010: The Hacker/Battle for the Net, First Album

However, 2008 was eventually a dark year.  Because of the attention my song got, it lured in a stalker/hacker.  Who I thought was a friend who was a fan of the song, was actually the hacker I had to end up fighting against for 2 years.  Imagine one night on AIM (again, AOL Instant Messenger), an instant-messaging program, talking to your programmer friend, and he asks you, "hey, I'm working on a game, want to test it out for me", then you say yes and download the file and open it.  You think nothing happens, he says it might be glitching.  So, you think nothing of it and continue your night.

Now, imagine this.  All of a sudden, the next day, you're working on your computer, and all of a sudden, your computer just shuts down, out of the blue.  You restart it, and nearly all of your programs, and files, the HUNDREDS of songs you made, the video files of JKTV, all gone.  You sit there in shock, shaking, tears forming in your eyes, devastated by it all.  Somehow, AOL Instant Messenger is one of the remaining programs.  You open it, and a random user messages you that you don't recognize.  They claim to be a government agent doing a test.

Now, being as gullible and naive as I was, also open-minded, I wasn't sure what to make of it, but I believed it.  Little did I realize, that this piece of shit, was the "friend" who sent me the program.  Not only that, but he said he would help me fight the hacker, and I stupidly gave him remote access to my router.  What ended up happening next over the next two years is too long to explain, but I'll narrow down the damages.

Eventually, I found out soon after, that he went on my newgrounds account and deleted nearly all of the songs from 2006-2008, the only ones that he couldnt delete were in submissions.  That's why a lot of my old work will never be seen.  Just when I was rising in popularity, eventually I got locked out, he changed the password.  I had to made RealityVictim, a different newgrounds account, uploading on that. 

Eventually, I started to see my Myspace account dirtied up with porn, and newgrounds forums being made with explicit photoshopped images of me (not originally, just he threw like sex toys and dicks in there).  He even posted my street address, phone number, Megan's email adress and yahoo messenger account (i eventually switched to that after AIM), the works.  It was a living hell, very traumatic. 

Down the road, the bastard started wiping more hard drives, and corrupting them with a virus.  I had to buy new hard drives, but eventually I had to disconnect from the internet, making 5-minute sessions then unplugging, so I got out more and watched a lot of TV for the next 2 years.  If I left it on overnight, I would see my computer wiped.  I had to start backing up my information to data CDs, so every time he wiped it, I could start where I left off.  You can imagine I had a lot of CDs backed up.  I made a lot of music offline.

He managed to steal $1000 from my parents, basically.  He stole money from us.  He posted porn on my accounts, he posed as me and verbally attacked my friends harassing them trying to ruin my relationships, he exposed a 12-year old girl (a friend's sister) to porn.  Eventually, he stopped.  But, the "friend" after being away so long, not talking to me, came back in an email and said a different last name, he slipped up thinking I wouldn't remember.  I tracked his IP to Charlotte, North Carolina.  I made a video on youtube stating I caught him, and if he would leave me alone, I wouldn't out his location, so he left me alone.  I felt that was fair, even though I wish I could jail him.

In 2008 (or 2009, I forget), I managed to make songs for my first album, Party Enhancers.  That's a bit of a rare gem, but some of the songs I believe are still on here.  I'll end up reuploading some of those.  I collabed with my friend JaylinSapphire on a song or two, and he made the album cover.  The hacker called the album Penis Enhancers.  As messed up as the situation was, as much as I wish I could put him in jail to this day, I'll admit, that was actually pretty clever and funny.

Offline, in the summer of 2009, I managed to make a nifty cover of Sandstorm that my friends loved.  It was the first song, for what I considered my first official public album, even though it was technically the second.  I called it Beatilicious, because I considered myself to be a "human music factory" with as fast as I pumped out music, I pumped out a LOT of music. 

I wanted to mix the words ear candy with industrial factory, and that was my inspiration for the sound, and album art, what I told the artist RedWingX.  Down the road, @FrozenFire actually asked to use my song in an awesome song called Symphonic Tower Defense.  It was an original idea, I'd never seen anything like it.  Rhythm/Tower Defense game hybrid.  It's fantastic, go play it.  Eventually, I asked a friend to help me get my account back, then I returned, but a lot of people knew I was hacked, so my rise to fame was no more.  I had to start over.

In December 2008, I got to meet my half brothers on my mom's side, Dennis and Jacob.  It was great, I talk to them every now and then.

2009-2011: The Third Piercing Lazer Release That Never Was

What really caused the hiatus of Piercing Lazer for a number of years was two things.  Mostly, due to losing songs I had started writing in 2009 for the third record over and over again.  It was going to be really different.  Part of it was experimental and more light-hearted indie rock, believe it or not, but some of it was more aggressive like the second album, but I was going in a screamo direction....yeah. 

It was going to be called Observation;Exploration, an experimental EP that was more poetic with the lyrics, when I experimented more with symbolism with my writing.  Some of the songs are actually still on the MySpace page, and I want to find a way to rip them off to release them here.  There was Insects, Ghost Eyes, Benedict Arnold Had a Daughter, Alien From Earth, and a couple others I can't remember.  I actually have one or two of those still.

That's some of the unreleased stuff (technically) that I want to put out, that stuff is like from 2010, and 2011, and I think one from 2009.  I was listening to a lot of Sky Eats Airplane back then, used to be my favorite band.  After that record got scrapped, somewhere around 2011, I started working with a concept album with a guitar player, until that fell through.  It was going to have Chapters as the titles.  Eventually this would later become the concept for the Real Faction album, The Box Vol. 1: Dark City in 2014.  It wasn't quite Piercing Lazer to me.

Oh yeah, in 2009, I got to meet my biological mother, Amanda.  That was really nice.  I shaved my head bald for the first time, it was funny because my adoptive mom freaked out (I was adopted).

Somewhere around 2012 or 2013, I tried to get Dustin back into the project and my friend Garrett on guitar, but Dustin got busy with his bands and that fell through.  Eventually I just gave up on Piercing Lazer, thought it was done for good.  I believe in 2012 I started running a Necromancer Theme cover contest, that's when I started making contests, and lived in my dads house for a bit from 2011-2013, that was a living hell I don't even want to get into.

2011: Exoticland

So, in 2010, I started working on my second album, Exoticland.  Originally, it started out as a joke.  When I made the terrible first song, "I'm Mad", a parody of all the terrible pop noise on the radio, a friend told me it was great.  I laughed.  But, then I thought, "what if I started rapping over my electronic songs", and the concept was born.  That, plus I wanted to challenge myself.  Most of the synths in most of the songs, are ONLY x3 Oscillator in FL Studio, to get 8-bit sounds. 

@Jaxxy got me into 8-bit chiptune music more than I already was, but when I started getting into Game Jams when that became a thing, and we made the game Dravalanche (that's still in my submissions, I made all the music for that and helped with the game ideas), she got me into making chiptune music. 

Smilecythe made the album cover, can't remember his newgrounds name sadly.  Part of me likes some of the songs, but I want to say that was one of my weakest albums, as cool as some of the songs were, as cringy as some of them were.  It was way different than the sounds I was known for, something totally different.

Around this time, @Fierra (at the time, known as DJ-BrixX or something), gave ne sine very helpful advice along with @Phyrnna over the years on how to improve my mixing and different methods to use in FL Studio, which also heavily influenced the album's sound, it affected how it was made.

2012-2013: Art-Inspired Music, Planet Pulse, Contests Basically

I believe it was 2012 when I first got my trademark persona with the creepy grin, that face everyone knows, that I recently got new artwork of.  It was by @SplendidDevil, and the new one is a tribute to his interpretation of me with that persona. 

This was during my 8-month fight with Asthmatic Bronchitis.  How I survived it all was beyond me, I could hardly breathe.  I couldn't go up and down stairs without gasping for air, I had to learn to breathe under low oxygen, it was terrifying.  I started experimenting with music inspired by artwork.  I made a song called Retro Specs inspired by artwork by @MagicalNekoLenLen, also inspired by Daft Punk.  I also made a chiptune piece inspired by artwork by @Deathink.

One of my good friends, @Phyrnna, who since 2008, was giving me pointers, had the idea of making a contest out of it, and boom, the Art-Inspired Music Contest was born.  We both judged the contest.  @TomFulp loved the idea when I talked to him about it, every once in a while we talked via messages, ever since 2008.  The contest was front-paged, and had a way bigger turnout than I expected, and the music that came out of it was some of the best music I've ever heard, same goes for every year.  It was to be an annual tradition for years to come.

In 2012, I was working on yet another album (titled Planet Pulse, named by my friend Tom who did the art), as every year I tried to pump out at least one.  Eventually I pumped out multiple albums in a year.  I think it was the first time I got someone to sing on my music, it was @VGSongbird, and I featured a friend of mine at the time by sampling something from our Skype conversation in Cananada.  I wanted to try Electro-House, and experiment with many different styles, sounding spacey.  Due to my Asthmatic Bronchitis, I made a song called Sedatephobia, which is the fear of silence. 

I believe it was around this time, if not a little before, I started messaging @Back-From-Purgatory, who became a great inspiration to my music, and a great friend to me.  I entered a contest, he was one of the judges, and I thought he was interesting, so I started talking to him.  There was a couple years we didn't talk (my fault), but now we are again.  I won't get into that, but over the years I wrote a handful of songs inspired by Purgy.

Also, I started working with @Saminat @Schulles and @deathink on a tribute game of The Thing (the 1980's movie), and it was really looking promising, I was making music for it, and I believe sound effects?  I also helped with the ideas for the game, and man...it's a shame we didn't get to complete it.  But, I did release the soundtrack on my Bandcamp, at a later year.  It was a chiptune soundtrack, never had a chiptune album before until then.  Carried into early 2013 until it was cancelled.

In January of 2013, I moved into my current home, I live alone.  It got really lonely, got to me sometimes, made my anxiety worse I would say.  It's a nice place though, at least no more parential fighting, I'd rather have that.  But, we have a good relationship.  Though, for reasons, I keep my distance from them.

My friend Tom (whose name on here I totally forget), made the artwork for Planet Pulse.  I made a contest for the album art for the deluxe edition of Planet Pulse, getting a decent chunk of entries.  @O-Tone was the winner, his art rocks, and so did the album cover he drew.  The album had reimagined covers of some of the songs, and a couple new songs.  I ended up asking him to do the artwork for my next album.

I should also mention, the same year, I had some weird dreams, and made a small EP called Echoes in My Sleep, which was a very experimental effort, and took a couple songs from a couple years or so prior.  I don't really know what you call it, but it was experimental for sure.

I also ended up experimenting with ambient music for the first time that year, was making a soundtrack for @VOEC 's "Fischer", another cancelled game.  I ended up uploading the soundtrack to my BandCamp for free a later year.

Also, random, but it was either 2013 or 2014 I started doing work for Soul Jump.  Look it up on youtube, it's an animated show my friend Tom has been working on with animation and writing.  I was doing music for it for years.  I made a handful of songs for them, but I left in 2017 after I stopped doing commissions.  Speaking of...

Read Part 2 here: https://realfaction.newgrounds.com/news/post/1010653