Indie Games, where the heart and soul is!

He’s Saved by the Musical Bells: Interview with Zack Parrish


Zack Parrish

We here at VVGtv try to bring you the most variety possible in indie games. We actually have a special treat for you, not only is he a friend of VVGtv, he is also a well-respected in the community. Some of you may not know who Zack Parrish is, but he is one of the persons responsible for the Indie Games Summer Uprising trailer music, as well as games (A Turtle’s Quest,Antipole, CosmosX2, Battallion: Nemesis, Eternal Eden, and the new Xbox Indie Game that certainly has been quite the hit, Cute Things Dying Violently). We sent over an email to Zack Parrish, in hopes t

o get to know him just a little better. We do hope you all enjoy what he has to say, I would highly recommend working with this gent for your future game releases. Feel free to follow him on twitter Zack Parrish or visit his Soundcloud account and give some of his stuff a listen, he is for hire. Well let’s get on the interview shall we?

VVGtv: Zack, you have quite the library of music you have composed, can you give us a run around of your history and what got you into video game tunes?
Zack: When I was around 12 years old, I received a Playstation for Christmas, and initially video game music did not appeal to me, as I was constantly playing sports games, fighting games, etc. I had never played a Role Playing Game before, and one of my friends let me borrow “Final Fantasy VII”. Needless to say, I was blown away by this game. I remember listening to the soundtrack over and over again, and I began trying to replicate the same style as Nobuo Uematsu using a sequencer called MIDISoft Studio. From that point onward I just kept writing one MIDI after the next, eventually plunging headfirst into the RPGMaker communities such as Gamingw.net, Rpg2knet.com, etc. The more I wrote music for those games, the more I needed to continue writing for more.

VVGtv: What is your main inspiration when creating your tunes?
Zack: Honestly, I’d have to say the experience of hearing something in my head, and the desire to make it come to life inspires me the most. I get so deeply involved in the creation of a song at times, that the mood being portrayed in the music will start to affect my own mood. Say for instance, in the creation of Cute Things Dying Violently’s OST, I was pretty hyper the majority of the time. When I wrote the music for Indie Games Summer Uprising’s release trailer, I wanted to grab a weapon and start slaying epic beasts.

VVGtv: Besides making game music, have you ever played in a band or performed live?
Zack: Whenever I was in my preteen years I had participated in Choir performances for Church, a couple of solo/duet performances for voice as well, played piano for recitals and for Church talent shows, etc. As I grew older I gradually drifted from practicing and performing to trying to improvise my own creations on the piano. Several times I tried being in a band as a guitarist and/or vocalist, but found my own interests limited by my peers and would always depart from the bands in a rather short amount of time. The longest I participated in an ensemble setting was playing Alto Saxophone in the school bands, but even then I was always trying to break away to do my own thing.

VVGtv: What are you currently working on?
Zack: Currently I am working on a small country theme tune for a youtube commercial, finalizing the music and SFX for A Turtle’s Quest by Saturnine Games, and actively looking for more projects to write for.

VVGtv: How many games have you made music for that are published?
Zack: The only ones that I can confirm were published are Cosmos X2, Antipole, Cute Things Dying Violently, and Battalion: Nemesis.

VVGtv: What was your first gig, and how did it work for you?
Zack: I believe the first serious gig I participated in was for a game called Lucitoth: The Uprising. It was an ambitious project by a team originally called Evil Genius Games, later renamed to Exile Games due to legal issues. The project was initially intended for RPGMaker but as time progressed the project lead decided to try and port the game to GameBoy Advance. He assembled a team of several talented individuals including Saturnine Games CEO, Edward di Geronimo. The project started out with a bang, and ended with an avalanche burying it indefinitely.

VVGtv: Answer honestly, out of all the games that you have made music for, what is your favorite track you’ve made?
Zack: Well… I thought I would have to think about this really hard, but my favorite track still remains as “Train of Intertwined Fates”. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and it never gets old…

VVGtv: What is your opinion on retro music (bit tunes)?
Zack: I can like just about any genre of music as long as it retains enough musicality and ingenuity to keep my ears dancing. The quality of sound will always be trumped by the quality of the actual music to me.

VVGtv: Do you have a favorite Video Game Music Composer, if so, who and why?
Zack: ME! Really though, I would have to say… it’s still Uematsu, through and through. He’s the one that opened my eyes to a whole new world of music.

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