Rock Band - interview

We sat down for a few moments with Greg LoPiccolo, the Vice President of Product Development at Harmonix on all things Rock Band. Here's what he had to say:

Can you name a few of the artists and songs that you've managed to sign up so far?

LoPiccolo: One of the fun challenges of working on Rock Band is getting to pick songs that showcase great sounds for every player in the band. Each song we've picked for the game has great drums, great bass and guitar parts, and great vocals - so everyone in the band can have a good time! A good example of this is "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who; every part is totally fun to play. We'll also be including Nirvana's "In Bloom," Weezer's "Say It Ain't So," and Black Sabbath's awesome, timeless "Paranoid." These songs really make the band experience something "real."

Which artists have you got the master recordings for?

LoPiccolo: Rock Band will feature several master recordings including "In Bloom" by Nirvana, Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" and "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who. Whether it's a cover or a master recording, all the songs are carefully tuned to play beautifully in Rock Band, but since we're going for maximum authenticity in every area of the game, there's something magical and irreplaceable in having the master recordings from these artists. Hearing those parts as they were originally played and recorded gives you chills.

The Guitar Hero games tended to focus on classic American rock. How modern does Rock Band go, and will more British bands be featured this time?

LoPiccolo: The UK has been such a great bed of growth for rock n' roll with bands like The Who and The Rolling Stones, and there are some really great British bands out right now like Arctic Monkeys and Muse that we dig here at Harmonix. Just trust me when I say Rock Band will have its fair share of great British bands - new and old.

Luke Albiges is a veteran video game journalist, having worked in the industry for over 20 years. In that time, Luke has been the Editor of Play magazine, Associate Editor of Retro Gamer, and Games Editor of games™. He contributed to countless gaming books and bookazines in that time as well, but he decided to leave the glamorous print journalism life behind to take on the role of Editor for TrueAchievements.