8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer, the dynamic duo of the Chiptunes music scene, have announced their new concert tour. The Feed got the inside bloop from these artists about the tour, what fans can expect and how they can pitch in to support it. We even have some tuneage for you enjoy while you read. Hit the jump like an 8 bit Mario already, would ya!
The Feed: Thanks for taking the time to talk with The Feed. What can we expect to hear from you on your upcoming tour?
8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer: You can expect new music from 8 Bit Weapon's "SILO64" album that’s about to be released as well as songs from ComputeHer's forthcoming release "Modemoiselle." Both albums could be out as soon as mid-May. We have the tour theme of Disko Apocalypse, so expect a disko beat married to a phat throbbing lo-fi digital bass under chirpy computer synths. We expect the overall sound to be "The Bomb!" ;)
The Feed: What kinds of your unique instrumentation are you bringing on the road?
8 Bit Weapon: We're highlighting our new Apple II Digital Music Synth! Its software we developed with MJ Majon to turn a classic Apple II into a live musical instrument with digitized sound. We'll also be using the Midi NES and Messiah Commodore 64 midi cart for the tour.
ComputeHer: I'll be bringing my Game Boy, Commodore 64, Omnichord and my laptop with me on tour. I might also play my electronic drums at some of the shows depending on if we're flying or driving to gigs.
The Feed: What are the challenges to playing these instruments in a live setting?
8 Bit Weapon: The perils are many, haha. The Apple II disk drive is glitchy at the moment, and the Commodore 64 likes to cut out mid performance from time to time. These are old machines and were not designed to tour ya know? We just turn the power on and hope for the best!
ComputeHer: The only challenge I have is the fear that my equipment won't work because it's so old or got messed up on the road! I wrap all of my gear in blankets so it doesn't break during travel - Haha! If you see me banging on my equipment, there's a problem...or maybe I'll make that part of the show! Otherwise it's not that hard to play live.
The Feed: How about the visuals? Apart the coolness of seeing you both manipulate your rigs, what can we expect to see from the stage?
8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer: Since this is a post apocalyptic theme you'll see us performing in a kind of military/wasteland/fallout style garb and our set design will reflect that theme as well. Some shows will have guest VJ's and some will be us doing our own Apple II visuals or a mix of C64 classics from the Demo scene in the 80's/90's being projected.
The Feed: Are you going to have a fully stocked merch table, complete with shirts and CD’s for fans to purchase?
ComputeHer & 8 Bit Weapon: Yes, we'll have merch at all stops on the tour. People can get CD's & T-Shirts from both bands for $10 each item.
The Feed: Now when a guitarist breaks a string, it’s pretty easy to fix on the fly. What happens when a computer crashes or a GameBoy fizzes out?
8 Bit Weapon: The good thing is that when a unit dies on stage, it forces us to get more creative with the other instruments on-hand. This makes for a unique concert experience for everyone, even us. ;)
ComputeHer: Luckily for me, I haven't had that happen. I usually have a backup plan just in case something like that happens so I bring an old Casio keyboard and another Game Boy.
The Feed: Are people surprised when they hear your music and they realize it is played on game systems and computers, but isn’t game music in the strict sense?
8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer: The reaction is a mixed bag. Some people know what’s going on from the start and are fully enrolled in what we do. Another set of people have an idea of what we do, but never realized we actually play these instruments live like a guitar or piano till they see us live. Then there are the people who don’t get it at all, but are still loving the sound! ha-ha.
The Feed: Who is your audience? Is it a younger generation of gamers or do you get a good mix of young people and fans who actually grew up in the 8-bit sound era?
8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer: Our audience has a wide spectrum of people. We have kids who have never heard the lo-fi grunge of 8 bit music. To them it’s an undiscovered pallet of sound that they like to explore because it’s like nothing else in this 128 bit sound world. Then you have the people who grew up in the golden age of computers and game consoles that know the sounds and love the new direction we've taken them. The last category goes to the people who just like good music for music's sake.
The Feed: So keeping with the DIY aesthetic of your music scene, you are crowd sourcing your fans to help fund the tour. This might be the first time I have seen something like this. What was the inspiration for getting fans to “chip-in”?
8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer: Once we started booking the shows across the country we had to start making travel and accommodation arrangements as well. The economy being what it is has affected what venues and promoters alike can offer us to cover our tour expenses. Since we have a great fan base, we knew we could turn to them for support. Kickstarter.com is sort of a medium for people to get their Art/music/science/literature/etc projects funded by people online. Our Kickstarter project just launched and we offer some great perks in return for peoples generous donations. Perks like: getting one's name and url put on our main web sites, offering unreleased albums from both bands, tshirts from both bands, a new top notch cell phone, and even a personal concert from us among other things. It's basically buying merch directly from us and knowing exactly where your money is going. Check out our kickstarter fund raiser project here.
8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer are hitting these cities during the summer with more dates to be added soon. Hit their websites for the full sched.
May 22: Pulsewave
Pulsewave / The Tank
354 West 45th Street
New York, NY
June 3: 8 Bit SF
375 11th Street
July 31: Classic Gaming Expo
Classic Gaming Expo
The Tropicana Hotel
Las Vegas, NV
August 1: Classic Gaming Expo
Classic Gaming Expo
The Tropicana Hotel
Las Vegas, NV