Interview with composer Shoichiro Hirata!
Posted October 4, 2010on:
Hi everybody it’s Masa KING again.
We have another interview for you, this time with Shoichiro Hirata, who headed up the iPhone Arrange BGM for Dodonpachi Resurrection!!
Some people probably already know, but this is not Shoichiro’s first work for CAVE. He has also worked on “CAVE no uta Black Label”, alongside Kenichi Maeyamada and others.
Alright then, let’s get started!
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Shoichiro, and last time we talked we were imposing on him for remix work.*
*(We’ll save the details for another time…)
It was an honor to work with him again.
With Resurrection, Shoichiro wound up remixing his junior composer Kenichi Maeyamada’s work.
Let’s find out how that went!
■ I was floored when I first heard their arrange tracks. I thought to myself: “Wow, these are complete originals! Great work!”
Which parts of the Resurrection “iPhone Mode” soundtrack are you really proud of, or want people to listen to in particular?
＜Shoichiro Hirata (SH)＞
Basically I took “overdoing it” as a theme for the soundtrack, so please keep that “too much” vibe in mind while you’re playing.
This soundtrack is definitely “overdoing it” (in a good way).
■ Did you have any memorable moments while you were composing the tracks for the soundtrack?
To keep myself hyped up, I bought a digital photo frame and had 1000 pictures of Gravia models on heavy rotation while I worked!
Ack, sorry that’s not really a memorable moment per se!!
1000 pictures of Gravia models?! I think you’re out-doing yourself. f(o_o);
■ Were there parts of the soundtrack that you struggled with?
Giving it a “hype” sound.
It’s a shooter after all, so it was a challenge to make it mind-melting enough.
Your Stage 3 music was great work on a tough track. It’s got a nostalgic and fun retro sound that I really dig.
You’re very well known around the game industry and I’m sure you’ve been asked this question a bunch of times, but I’m going to go ahead and ask anyways (hehe).
(Actually, I’m not so well-known anymore)
Of course you are! (lol)
■ What was your initial motivation for becoming a music creator?
I always liked using synthesizers and pounding away on the keys, so I was looking for a job that would let me do that. I also thought I’d be popular amongst the ladies, however that did not happen at all.
Yeah right, I’m sure you’re very popular with them!!
■ Are there any places or times where melodies come to you?
Yeah there are…when I’m in a car, on a train, in the bathroom, hmm… but most of it comes to me in my workspace.
Timing-wise, melodies come to me a lot as soon as I go to bed, and when they do I should really jot them down on music paper, boot up the machines and record them, but most of the time I succumb to sleepiness (lol).
Hit tracks composed in the bathroom!
Works for some people…
■ What jumps out at you as fun when you’re making music?
Well, when I create a good melody (of course). It’s also a lot of fun to build up my own original drum kits.
Building your own drum kits…sounds like something to hunker down and concentrate on.
■ What is your favorite instrument?(Are there any synth styles that you tend to use, etc.)
Up until recently I had been using a Rhodes electric piano sample a lot, but recently I like anything with a fat and garish synth sound. I use those all the time.
You used a fat synth sound on the iPhone soundtrack.
Next time I’d like to hear you use that Rhodes electric piano sample…
I’ll see if we can make that happen.
■ What music (or which musicians) influenced you the most?
YMO was big. I’m a typical offshoot of their style. Other than that, 90′s soul and R&B producers probably.
■ Tell us about your favorite composers.
Composers hmm…in terms of favorites, pretty much all of them are favorites. Recently someone that’s impressed me was a guy named Beardyman. I saw him on USTREAM and he gave an amazing performance using vocal percussion and a Chaospad. It was seriously incredible. I watched all the way to the end. He had some great ideas.
I saw him on Youtube as well. He really is amazing!
■ Do you have any favorite (recommended) pieces of gear?
Well it’s a pretty old piece of gear by now, but I like the Roland XV5080. It’s the machine I’ve made the most money with (lol), and I really depend on it.
The gear that I use most besides that is the Korg Electribe MX. The sounds have a good volume to them, and it’s one of my favorites to use.
Soft synths are very popular nowadays, but hardware gives a really solid sound doesn’t it?
We heard that you used to work at a game company…
■ Which game genres do you like or are you good at?
Controls in games nowadays are so hard to get used to…(lol)
I really like shooting games. Or I used to. Lately, puzzle games that I can take time with I guess…sorry, that’s lame.
Oh!! Shooting games you say!
Here’s hoping you give some bullet hell shooters a try!
■ Do you have a favorite game?
It’s really old, but the game I spent the most money on was Starforce (lol). Oh and maybe R-TYPE? Hmm…now you all know how old I am (lol).
＜MasaKING＞I’m pretty close to that…Xevious, Starforce, definitely R-TYPE too (hehe).
■ Tell us about your favorite game music.
＜SH＞There’s a lot of great game music out there so it’s hard, but I always really liked Sega’s “NIGHTS“.
I also love Miki Higashino’s work on Gradius.
NIGHTS! And Gradius too…that takes me back!
■ What are you up to on your days off?
I like taking walks around some of the more traditional areas in Tokyo, and walking aimlessly through the shopping areas.
I love shopping areas too, especially ones with cheap stuff for sale…ok nevermind (lol)
■ Do you have any special ways of getting a breath of fresh air?
Nothing really special, but I like saving up laundry and then doing it all at once. Just to take a break, I like the feeling of getting my hands wet and washing dishes.
That’s one way to get a breath of fresh air.
■ Do you have anything that you really treasure?
My family and those around me who have helped me out.
Those folks are the most important.
■ Do you have any news which you would like to let people know about?
I don’t have much news to speak of, but I’m going to keep making good music in different forms and in different fields!!
Thank you for your time. We’ll do this again at some point, so please check in again!
Looking forward to seeing what you’re up to in the future.