My interests are many, and in case you could not tell, I am quite the nerd.
Sean and I have been reading comics since we were kids. Most of this knowledge was considered “garbage” by society as a whole until around 2008, when the age of Marvel was beginning with Iron Man and the Dark Knight became one of the biggest critical successes of all time. There, I noticed a sea change. What people didn’t notice is I had been walking to this particular beach with a board under my arm my whole life.
While in my youth comic materials were expressly hidden (even resorting to tactics such as reading with my head down on a table so my peers could not see the novelizations of comic characters and teams I would read as a high school student) in my adult life it has proven a boon rather than a burden. So much so, my girlfriend came up with the idea of a podcast based of conversations we have between each other and with friends regarding our “geek” interests. Thus, Geek in the Streets was born!
We have about 20 episodes in the can, ranging from Harry Potter to Spider-Man (which features Sean too!). But why am I posting about it here? Because, of course, I wrote the theme song for the podcast. At the time I had just gotten my Björn Gelotte (In Flames - Metal Band) Epiphone guitar. It’s is black, beautiful (Sean has the white one, aptly renamed “Jotun”) and I wanted to use it. I have size 12 strings on it and it’s tuned down to C standard (two steps down from the normal “E” standard tuning). At the same time, I did not want to make it a completely Gothenburg metal opus, but rather a quick catchy tune that would attract a listener. So the key would be C Minor, the guitar would be used, and it would incorporate some 8-bit vibe. My creative process went like this:
- I want guitar to be the rhythmic driver, but the stuff around it to be reminiscent of 8-bit music
- The main melody/harmony should be on the synth, but the guitar can harmonize the chords in the background
- Melody should be tonal AND chromatic. Spooky vibe, but not scary or dark. I really liked “Hecate’s Nightmare” by Children of Bodom in creating this kind of vibe and had it in my head when I was writing.
I wrote it over the course of an afternoon probably in about 30 minutes. While I wrote the melody and realized the harmony on the guitar, I realized it on my M-Audio keyboard midi controller plugged into Garageband for tones. I spent the next hour and a half tinkering over the sounds. In my tinkering I discovered my harmony (using mainly contrary motion) acted as a counter-melody and gave a cool effect that I could completely DROP the main line and it would seem as if a second melody was there, but it was there before! The end result is when Arielle (my co-host/girlfriend) and I begin speaking, the main melody drops and the harmony becomes the less “in your face” melody for the moment. I did the classic In Flames style rhythm, big low power chords focusing on the off-beat. I had recorded a bassline, but found a Garageband “canned” synthesizer bass line that I thought thickened it up better than my electric bass plugged in. I’m a player, but I have to admit it just worked better so I stuck with it. I showed it to my girlfriend with the expectation that it would need to be redone (because let’s face it, I like it, so obviously she wouldn’t?) but much to my surprise she thought it worked. We listened to it at least 5(0) times in a row.
Here it is without our voices over the top for your listening pleasure:
My goal was if someone heard this intro, they would be put in the right mindset for the discussion of the geek and nerd topics you love as if you were part of the conversation. Whoa, did I just slip into my intro script? Maybe. See, the music clearly does put me in the right mindset for geek topic discussion. Does it do it for you?
PS. If you want to actually listen to the podcast:
…or wherever you get your podcasts!