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.
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