Brian: Yeah, I got involved with a website called www.gamemusicradio.com. It's a free 24/7 streaming video game music site that plays all video game music. We have two original programs on there that I host. One's called Reloaded. It's a composer interview show, so I interview video game composers. It's a lot of fun. And I co-host a show with a good friend of mine, Becky Young called The Next Level and that's more of a gamer community show where we interview musicians, video game cover bands, recording artists that do video game music, as well as just interesting people in the video game industry, gaming icons and such. And we play music on the show. We have musicians come in and actually perform live. It's a lot of fun and it's been a really cool opportunity to do some fun stuff in the video game industry. I do a lot of work in the video game industry. I compose music for games and work with an agency that represents video game composers and stuff. It's a really fun way to compose music and it's a different avenue to express music.
G&C: Jon, you're next.
Jon: Well, I also play in a Depeche Mode cover band as well. That's pretty fun. We do a lot of gigs, play a lot of '80s clubs around Los Angeles County but we also do the old casino circuit too, occasionally. And actually, some recent news on that which is kind of cool, the singer of our band, Chris is now singing for Information Society, so if you live in South America then go check them out because they're gonna be there this summer.
G&C: Where is Information Society based out of?
Jon: I guess from Minneapolis, originally, but now, the remaining members are out here in California.
G&C: Which Depeche Mode guy are you?
Jon: I'm the random drummer guy that they never usually talk about. We do have a Martin Gore and a Dave Gahan but we don't get super shtickish with the whole thing. Our guitar player/keyboardists guy doesn't wear that weird feather thing that Martin Gore has or anything like that but they kind of play those roles in some ways.
G&C: I know you have a really loyal fan base in different cities. On your previous tours, what has the experience with the fans been like?
Jon: We started touring right from the get go. As soon as we rounded the live band together about three years ago is when the live incarnation of MKIO formed. We immediately started doing small tours, maybe just a week long. The fan base, definitely with the advent of Myspace and word of mouth and just general Internet chat rooms, you name it, the name has gotten around. Each tour seems to be a little bit more successful as far as numbers, as far as people coming out. I mean, the booking process is still always difficult because it just is. I don't really understand that one but I book a lot of the shows myself.
G&C: It must be a strategic nightmare.
Jon: Yeah, it is. It's a lot like... I'm a big fan of games like Risk and Axis & Allies and it feels a lot like that. This tour has been really complicated because it's just huge. I mean, the largest tour we ever went on as a band was close to three weeks and this one is nine weeks so it's been a real challenge. I started booking back in January and I'm still trying to book dates.
G&C: What cities will you be playing in on this tour?
Jon: We're gonna be starting off in Flagstaff and we'll most likely end in San Francisco I guess on August 26th, I believe. A few places that I personally enjoy hitting, and I know the band probably feels this way too, El Paso's really cool, Phoenix is always really nice. I mean, the fans there and the people in general and the promoters are all really good people to work with and they really enjoy live music in some of those towns. Holbrook, Arizona which is a Navajo reservation always puts on a festival every year and they've been inviting us back each year. The fans out there are extremely appreciative of the bands that play there and have shown a lot of support. And I'm looking forward to playing more shows on the East Coast and our first international appearance in Canada as well.
G&C: It's usually a nightmare for bands dealing with Canadian border crossings. Did you get that sorted out?
Brian: Well, I'm basically gonna jump out and run as fast as I can with a hood on and a giant cape
Jon: I'll just gun it with the van pretty much right through. We'll nail through any barricades. We'll have machine guns and will be wearing ski mask and we'll make sure to take off our license plates when we do it.
Brian: We just got a new van, actually. The Vanawar is what we call it. It's kind of cool because, this is another advantage to seeing us live because you can check out our van afterwards, because it talks. When it backs up it, you know...
Jon: Can you imitate it for us?
Brian: Basically, what does it say? "Attention, please. This vehicle is backing up." But it's in a female. It's more soothing because it's female, right. Actually, our van came from a middle school so they sort of like pimped it out school-style, so it had to have all these safety features.
Jon: Equipped with lots of boogers and really bad graffiti as well on the inside.
Brian: But the seats are plastic covered, you know.
G&C: Yeah, that's important when you're in a band.
Jon: You check underneath the seats. That's where the good stuff is.
G&C: Natasha is cringing.
Jon: Yeah, we pretty much gross her out because there's a lot of testosterone in this band.
Natasha: The funny thing is that after three years you'd think I'd be used to it. But you guys continue to gross me out, so congratulations. That is quite a feat.
G&C: Remember, Natasha, the tour is only nine weeks.
Natasha: This is true. No, I do love my boys. We are definitely a family.
Brian: We're gonna totally pimp out our van though. We're sort of like the hi-tech/lo-tech band. Because we're DIY, we don't really have a lot of money to afford a lot of this crazy insane-o equipment.
Jon: What are you talking about? We've got sweet rims on the van.
Brian: But it's cool, we've all got laptops and we're gonna get the extra car battery action going on. It will be a van with a trailer and like five or six people with all laptops going at the same time. And we're gonna write on the road as well. We're gonna have mini controllers and soft synths running on our laptops because we really want to keep that inspiration going. Because when you play live, those of you that are in a band, I'm sure you can agree to this, that when you play live it's so inspiring that you just wanna go home and write. So we want to have the capability to compose on the road.
Natasha: Oh, yeah, you're in so many different environments, I mean, you're meeting people from all over. They have so many different backgrounds and cultures. It is very inspiring to be on the road.
G&C: Besides your upcoming tour, what are you future plans?
Brian: We see a very, very bright light, I guess.
Jon: There's no light at the end of the tunnel.
Brian: Oh, there's light and it's bright, baby.
Natasha: I guess it's always difficult to really say what will happen in the future. I mean, it's OK for us perhaps to plan six months in advance. So, for instance, that's why we have the tour that we're planning, and writing new songs. I think it's just so much easier to just work on what you have at hand and so I know that in the moment, right now, the band is completely focused on the tour and writing the best material that we possibly can.