If you polled 1000 serious guitar players, instrumentalists, band members, or just all around guitar enthusiasts what their greatest “guitar” fear is as we progress further into the future, and further away from the music world as we know it, I bet 900 of them would say “That future generations of guitar players will really believe we play the guitar like a Guitar Hero controller.” I for one, know that scares me quite a bit. The thought that future musicians will not have to sweat and toil over an old six-string, build painful calluses so they can play longer, or learn the intricatcies of a good solo, but just have to push a series of colored-buttons is terrifying.
Apparently it’s also terrifying to Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, and so he decided to do some designing to show the rest of us the way. What he did, was design a double-necked guitar that is a fusion of a real, traditional six-string guitar, and a new Guitar Hero controller guitar. In short…genius. When asked, well, Why, Coyne said:
“I’ve constructed this great looking Guitar Hero double-necked guitar thing here because there’s a lot of kids out there that think this is actually how you play guitar now — that you just press a series of four or five buttons and and sort of different sort of sequences and it makes every sound that the guitar can make,” says Coyne. “So when you do this stuff, you know (strums actual guitar on the first neck), it’s not as impressive as hitting the right green and red combinations.”
Check out the video here, for further awesomeness and proof of Coyne’s unusual genius.
October 30, 2008 No Comments
The fact that Guitar Hero is one of the most popular video games to EVER hit the market should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone out there. The moment it was launched, millions of kids and adults alike were able to live out their rock and roll fantasies all in the comfort of their own homes, and all without any actual musical ability whatsoever.
Now, all of us who are STILL living out those fantasies with each subsequent Guitar Hero release, get to live it out even more, in the form of a few new “Download Packs” that are coming out in early November. All I need to say to get people extremely hyped up for these extra songs is two words: Jimi. Hendrix. Enough said. Word is, “The Jimi Hendrix Track Pack, arriving November 13, features “If 6 Was 9,” “Little Wing,” and a live version of “Fire.”” Count me IN. The cool news is that at the very same time, they will be also throwing out a Raconteurs Track Pack a week later that gives you the ability to rock on songs like “Salute Your Solution,” “Hold Up,” and “Consoler of the Lonely.”
It looks like all of this will go for the price of about 440 Microsoft Points, which loosely translates into $5.49 on the PlayStation Network. Not too shabby to Rock like Jimi.
October 29, 2008 No Comments
While the newest installment in the Guitar Hero franchise will see a release just before Halloween on October 26th (Guitar Hero World Tour), another installment has just been announced.
“Guitar Hero: Metallica” will see a release sometime in 2009. This news comes via a teaser trailer included in Guitar Hero World Tour, which can be viewed online over at YouTube. The game will feature choice selections from Metallica’s entire discography.
There is no word yet on what kind of game controllers may be available with the game. Since the band are mainly endorsed by ESP Guitars, I wouldn’t be surprised if the controllers were made after their models. A few weeks ago we reported here that Metallica had sued Fernandes Guitars for putting a picture of bassist Robert Trujillo in an advertisement, because of conflicts with their ESP endorsement deal.
Since “Guitar Hero World Tour” will be released just before Halloween and features Metallica’s classic track “Master of Puppets” (among others)…a great idea for a Halloween party would be to pick up a copy and invite your friends over to play in their Halloween Costumes.
October 17, 2008 No Comments
And who can blame them after their 2007 album, Zeitgeist, bombed? (I didn’t even buy it) It is not news that the record industry is struggling and CD sales are plummeting worse than ever. However, bands never fail to amaze me with their strategies to get people to purchase their music. Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead offering up free tracks. Beck even included a sheet of stickers so you can create your own cover for his album The Information (not gonna lie - that’s pretty cool). It’s things like this that keep music interesting to the so-easily distracted youth who can’t afford to buy anything, much less would want to buy anything if they can easily steal it.
Anyway, I think it’s kind of cool that they are making their song available in the game so that fans can play along to their songs - sorta like karaoke for guitarists, if you will. Billy Corgan will also appear as a character in the game, so you can further immerse yourself in the fantasy that you are as cool as him. Check out some cool footage of Corgan doing motion-capture and talking about his involvement with Guitar Hero:
“I think it’s cool that beyond the musical sense, it’s just the communal sense of people just getting together and having fun. And again, connecting to music, I just think it’s the best thing.”
According to the Smashing Pumpkins official site, “This marks the first time a band has recorded a new song exclusively for the franchise.” Neversoft, the company that developed the new Guitar Hero game, has mentioned the availability of an in-game music store which will make songs, including G.L.O.W, available for download shortly after release of the game on 10/27/08. While this is probably really exciting news for those of us who plan to purchase the game, it is excluding a large demographic - Smashing Pumpkins fans who don’t play Guitar Hero. But then again, the kind of people who will spend hundreds on a video game just might be willing to spend 99 cents to download the song, therefore achieving their goal of actually selling their music this time around. As for the rest of us, we can just stick to the torrents.
You can find a list of songs included with Guitar Hero: World Tour here.
And in case you haven’t heard it yet, listen to the Smashing Pumpkins’ bass-tastic new single, G.L.O.W. on youtube.
September 3, 2008 No Comments
In a world of mash-ups, tributes and sound-alikes, its hard to imagine a more insubstantial dream than the one Brett Ratner has recently revealed. Gossip about the director’s inner-geek-revealing hope of someday making a Guitar Hero movie has been spreading throughout the blogosphere over the last couple of days. His description of the movie:
“It could be about a kid from a small town who dreams of being a rock star and he wins the ‘Guitar Hero’ competition. One of these dreams-[come-true] kind of concepts.”
Can you say lame? Don’t get me wrong. Ratner has made some cool movies including X-Men and Red Dragon. But at least those movies had a reason to be made. They had a real story about or based on something tangible that matters.
Now I’m assuming that if you are reading a guitar blog, you might actually play guitar and/or care about the fact that it is a real instrument which you play to create real music. I don’t have a huge beef against Guitar Hero in general except that if half of the kids who spend hours a day playing the game actually put half that much time and effort into playing real instruments, there might be some better music emerging these days than the crap that is on the radio. But they aren’t playing real instruments. They aren’t even playing real music. They are “playing” cover songs, a lot of which suck. Now imagine a movie made about someone else “playing” fake instruments along to cover songs that suck. Unfortunately, it definitely sounds like Hollywood’s next big blockbuster to me. Maybe this could be the soundtrack.
August 31, 2008 3 Comments
It’s obvious at this point that Guitar Hero and spin-off games such as Rock Band have gotten so popular that some individual bands now have their own games (see: Guitar Hero Aerosmith). What isn’t so obvious amongst the myriad of bands featured in Rock Band and Guitar Hero is the absence of several high-profile acts.
While essential bands like Nirvana and others have recently signed on to have their songs featured in-game and in advertisements…other major acts like Metallica, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, etc… have not signed on to either Guitar Hero or Rock Band, not yet anyway. So will you be able to get out your plastic Gibson SG controller and rock out to these bands soon?
“Although rumors continue to buzz, Metallica and the Beatles aren’t headed to the “Guitar Hero” franchise just yet, according to Kai and Charles Huang, the sibling founder of game publisher RedOctane.”
Speculation abounds that Metallica will be the next band featured in their own version of “Guitar Hero,” much like the just-released recent Aerosmith-centric game.
“We’re not ready to comment about Metallica yet, but what I will say is that we’d love to work with all of the top rock bands of all time, whether it’s Aerosmith or Metallica or AC/DC or Led Zeppelin,” Kai Huang tells Billboard. “If we get an opportunity to work with those bands, we would love to do that.”
July 7, 2008 1 Comment