It has literally been almost a year since my last Rising Stars of Geek Rock post. Since then, a lot has developed for Chicago's geek bands. Time Crash played in New York. Emporium Arcade Bar hosted a show featuring several of my previous interviewees. I take no credit for these milestones, of course; I just think I have good taste. ;) Tonight, I'm finally introducing a new act to my readers.
Geth Prime is a heavy metal band with music inspired by the Mass Effect video games. Yep. Every single person I tell that to flips out.
Now, Mass Effect is a Geek Girl Chicago staple. My household is on its fourth playthrough. I just got a Mordin action figure to go with my Tali. Metal isn't the first genre I'd associate with the trilogy, though. I'm glad I eventually got on board. This music has to be heard to be believed; it's harder than Serrice Iced Brandy.
Derek, Tony, and Josh of Geth Prime offered to answer a few questions. The band is actually playing at The Elbo Room RIGHT NOW (the venue where I first heard of them). So, send the boys some good vibes as you read this!
(WARNING: The following contains a bit of harsh language and potential Mass Effect SPOILERS. ...but seriously, if you haven't finished the games, why are you even here??)
Geek Girl Chicago: "Hey, gents. How did you all meet, and what sparked the desire to start a band?"
Geth Prime: "Tony and Derek had been in bands on and off for a few years when Derek asked Tony to join a Megadeth cover band. Tony said 'No,' but suggested that they start working on original stuff. After gutting a few of our old songs and writing a lot of new material, we lost our first bass player due to time issues, and dragged in Josh to the project."
GGC: "Why Mass Effect? Tell me what you love about the game series, its characters, and why ME makes for great music."
GP: "Who the hell doesn't love space travel, aliens, lasers, robots and RPGs where you can get headshots? We got sucked into the story. We cried when Wrex died, and then started over to save him. We laughed when we got to make Shepard dance because we were embarrassed for him. And we rejoiced when we got to kill off Kaidan because fuck that guy.
The series is an amazing back drop for all genres of music. You can make a love song, a battle song, a party song, or a song about the black void of infinite space. There's inner struggles, exterior struggles, and giant robots. You've got a lot to work with."
GGC: "How much of the Mass Effect sub-canon are you all familiar with? I just got the first comic compilation, and it's rad."
GP: "We've collectively read about one of the comics. We're too busy playing ME3's multiplayer to care. Reading is hard. Honestly, we're practically illiterate. What are those pop up books about farm animals? Those are awesome."
GGC: "How do you feel about the ending of Mass Effect 3?"
GP: "We were sad, because it was such an emotional journey, but we never got mad at it like so many fans. We didn't want it to end. The extra 15 minutes was nice, but the extreme downer was such a great way to end it in our opinion. And we're willing to bet money that everyone's first move was to shoot the kid."
GGC: Who are some of your inspirations in the metal genre? Favorite bands?"
GP: "STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. They're awesome, Alas, they no longer exist. Catchy, sweet hooks, but lots of insane musicianship and unnecessary shredding. Oddly, the only metal album the three of us can agree upon is Megadeth's Symphony of Destruction. We're constantly listening to new stuff and old stuff, but we never really rest.
We honestly hate answering that question because it changes so damn often. Today for instance, Tony was listening to Upon a Burning Body, I was listening to The Prodigy and Josh was listening to Lawrence Arms."
GGC: "What is the best Chicago show/concert you've been to?"
GP: "Nine Inch Nails, Zappa Plays Zappa, Dillinger Escape Plan, Apocalypse Hoboken."
GGC: "There are several geek bands in Chicago. However, I've never come across one that commits so strongly to both a musical genre (metal) and a fandom (Mass Effect). In this light, how do you write your songs? How do you make sure each piece stays true to both of these facets?"
GP: "We say 'inspired by Mass Effect' because not every song has a direct link to the game. Some songs are really direct; Kroguard, for example, is all about the Genophage. Hour Glass, however, is an interpretation of a scene and the images and feelings that it stirred in us. Some songs are in the middle. We come up with an idea and see where it takes us. Sometimes it turns out how we planed, and sometimes it gets changed along the way.
GGC: "Would you consider playing at a sci-fi/gaming convention?"
GP: "Oh hell yeah."
GGC: "What is your dream gig?"
GP: "To play on Mars. With the Red Hot Chili Peppers."
GGC: "Your Facebook fan page is super entertaining. How much of your 'Band Interests' section is true, vs. just comedy? ...I assume most of it is fictional, but man, I wanna believe someone is sculpting cheese!"
GP: "All of it. Josh really has a falcon named Henry."
GGC: "What's coming up for Geth Prime? Tell me about your next show, any upcoming albums/projects, etc."
GP: February 13th is our next show at the Abbey Pub. We're working on recording a full length album, and eventually want to shoot a music video around summertime. Other than that, we enjoy melting faces, and we plan on finishing Borderlands 2, beating Tomb Raider again, and have pre ordered Watch_Dogs.
Geth Prime (w/ Shifting Totem). Thursday, February 13th, 9PM. Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace. $5.
Sadly, the "Shepard Shuffle" is not appropriate for this genre of music. My thanks to Geth Prime for the interview, and for inspiring me to get back to writing about geek rock. Keelah se'lai.
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