Noisia have just put the finishing touches to the DmC: Devil May Cry soundtrack so we chatted to one third of the Dutch electronic collective, Martijn Van Sonderen about the game, having their own record label and playing festivals.
You’ve just completed the soundtrack to the new Devil May Cry game, tell us a bit about your involvement and how you went about creating the soundtrack…
Well it was quite a complicated process, actually. Even though the music director was a fan of our work we had to do a tester to show the producers that they liked it too, so we did an early version of a song for a cut scene as a demo. We were given it, but we didn’t work from start to end, even though some of it was chronological we had to follow in the steps of the developer, so working on certain chapters. Then the music director would send us pieces of video and motion capture with long briefs with what kind of atmosphere they wanted and what it should represent and then lots of talks with the team from Ninja Theory mainly on Skype to get feedback, then we’d try and use that in our kinda way. So lot of back and forth.
Was recording a soundtrack different to doing your own thing on an album?
Yeah, I mean first of all obviously it wasn’t dancefloor music which we usually make, that was a key difference, you’re writing on spec so you’re working for someone while trying to keep your own integrity and style and use your own creative abilities to the fullest. But it was also a way to show that we can do other stuff too, that we can bring a flavour to something not just based on impact. It’s definitely different cos you’re writing to images mainly so it has to complement the visual stuff that’s going on. It also has to complement characters and the storyline so there’s a lot going on that you have to account for. Generally you just write a track and if you’re happy with it it gets a pass. It’s not just the producers either, there’s a different context, we knew we couldn’t just write cool tunes, we have to write to the images. And with the context of the game, we started writing different stuff from our usual stuff.
Are you guys big gamers yourself?
In a way, I mean we don’t have a lot of time to play a lot of video games but yeah we do like to play games.
Are you a classic MarioKart or COD kinda guy?
I personally play a lot of Call of Duty but that’s not a Noisia thing.
You already have tracks on the SSX and Gran Turismo soundtracks, is it cool to hear your music when playing on them?
It’s really cool! It’s nice to play a game or see a trailer on TV/YouTube and hear your music, obviously these are big brands and it’s a huge compliment when people use your music like that, but it’s the same with Devil May Cry. We had the last game in the studio when we were writing this and were playing around a bit on it, but I mean just to show that it’s not just something we’re approached to do, it was quite a big deal and it still is for us.
You opened your record label Vision in 2005, eight years on, what’s the plan for 2013?
We have a couple of things lined up from other people which we initially avoided, but we think that the label is established enough now to come out with music that we like. Plus the artists that we have always liked are interested in releasing their music on our label. We have an album from The Upbeats who are from New Zealand they got an album coming out on Vision in 2013. Then we have a Dutch more eclectic dubstep/electro/weird stuff producer called Posij coming out on Division which is our sister label.
Another couple of things are coming out on InVisible which we started to release other people music on, it’s weirder kinda stuff a whole range of other artists coming out on that. We’re also working on an album with Foreign Beggars which will should come out next year but we’re not sure yet, but we’re talking to a couple of labels and thinking about releasing it ourselves too.
Maybe some UK tour dates with Foreign Beggars?
Possibly yeah, we have a couple of dates in February but that’s just us.
You had a huge schedule last year with Coachella and your Noisia Invites: shows in Amsterdam – what’re the particular stand out moments for you?
Coachella was hot – ridiculously hot and dry – unbearable almost. But also super-cool cos we got to see the Tupac hologram. The really sick fests in America are like the Electric Daisy Carnival ones. I mean Coachella is really nice and it’s huge in terms of the fest itself being very well known, but we were one of the smaller artists on that so Electric Daisy Carnival it’s generally a slighter better fest for us. Personally I really like the club shows and festivals just cos of how intimate they are.
DMC: Devil May Cry is out 15 January 2013 on PS3, Xbox 360 and later on in the year on PC.