Tommy Tallarico on Video Games Live: Level 3

The applause dies down. Tommy Tallarico stands on stage under a spotlight. An audience member whoops, and Tommy grins before teasingly announcing the developer, composer, and game the next piece of music to be played comes from. After a pause, the words ‘One Winged Angel’ fill the room, and the crowd goes wild. The orchestra explodes into a wave of sound that so many have a connection to. The atmosphere is one of pure joy, and the feeling of belonging that comes when those that truly love gaming gather together in one place is incredible.

It’s difficult to take in a Video Games Live concert without a huge grin on your face. Founded in 2005, by game music composer Tommy Tallarico, the award-winning team have performed sell-out shows all over the world, and are now looking to release a third album. With record companies not convinced that music from games is something that will be profitable The Video Games Live: Level 3 Kickstarter has been set up to raise enough money to produce “a top quality product that we and the entire game industry can be proud of.” The album is set to contain 15-18 tracks, will feature never before released tracks, and a remix by DJ BT.

We caught up with Tommy for a chat, and to get a few more details.

Tommy Tallarico
CEO & Founder at Video Games Live.
For those unfamiliar with Video Games Live can you explain the show for us in just five words? 

Explosive Symphonic Rock VideoGame Concert. I HATE when people use “videogame” as just one word… but in this instance I shall use it to my advantage so I can sneak the word EXPLOSIVE in there!

In the past Video Games Live albums have been exclusively live performances, why the switch to a studio recording?

Actually, our first album with EMI was a studio recording!  We recorded a portion of it in the famous Abbey Road Studios (Beatles).  For our second album we did it live because it went along with our live show, PBS Special & DVD/Blu-Ray.  The live one was cool because you could hear the excitement and energy from the crowd.

But the reality is, from a “musical” standpoint, a studio recording is more high quality and easier to listen to for symphonic type music.  My goal in the future would be (like most bands) to put out both studio & live versions.  That way I’m catering to both audiences… the ones who love studio recordings and the ones who prefer to hear it live.

Do you feel more at home on the stage or in a studio?

Definitely on stage for me!  To feel the excitement and energy and instant feedback from thousands of people in real-time is pretty spectacular.  Totally beats sitting in a dark room by yourself at three in the morning deciding on which chord progression should come next.

You have some fairly unique backer rewards on offer. Which one are you most excited about?

The whole concept about at least QUADRUPLING the value of what people pledge is pretty amazing and unique!  Even at levels like $35 you’re getting back over $175 in value!  Including six digital albums, our first Blu-Ray/DVD, and exclusive posters and Earthworm Jim artwork.  It’s really amazing.  My goal was to give back as much as possible while still breaking even with the project.  We’re literally giving away everything in order for this project to be funded, but more importantly to get as much video game music in the hands of people as we can!

That being said, a tour of Blizzard Entertainment and lunch at Blizzard with the composers is pretty amazing… as well as having David Hayter (the original voice of Solid Snake) create a 30 second personalized message for you!  Or how about Tron Light Cycle blue-prints SIGNED by the actual creator, executive producer and special fx supervisor of Tron!  You can’t get those kinds of things ANYWHERE else!

Across all the albums and live show which is your favourite segment to perform?

From a guitar performance stand-point, Chrono Trigger/Cross segment is pretty high up there!  As well as Castlevania and Street Fighter II.  But from a musical standpoint I love Final Fantasy VIII (Liberi Fatali), the Warcraft stuff, Shadow of Colossus and Skyrim.  Really powerful and amazing stuff!

Lastly, and most importantly, when will we be seeing you back in the UK?

Our agents tell us that we’ll definitely be back in 2014.  We’ve been absent WAY TOO LONG!








Leave a Reply