When we look at the long history of gaming soundtracks, it is obvious how connected music and gaming really are. Let’s take Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater as an example for now, when people talk about the game, they talk about the phenomenal soundtrack in the same breath, or then, what would be Doom without its legendary soundtrack, that keeps people talking about the game even years later.
Today, Trivium shared their new song “The Phalanx” and frontman Matt Heafy’s cover of “Reach Witch Chant” as part of The Elder Scrolls Online soundtrack. To celebrate the new collaboration between the metal band and the online MMORPG, Heafy, ZeniMax Online Studio Director, Matt Firor and Audio Director, Brad Derrickhosted a short roundtable interview. The band is not new to the fantasy world, as fantasy often finds a place in Trivium’s songs and lyrics. About his new collaboration with the fantasy game made by Bethesda. “I still don’t know how I was so lucky,” Heafy says. Throughout the interview, the frontman explains how video games formed his early childhood when growing up in the US coming from Japan.
One of the first games he played was the famous Doom. “When I first heard the 8-bit music, I thought, ‘this is metal! I wanna do this.’” The singer remembers. “It’s been a life-long dream to do Doom.” He also reveals that he would love to do more than just one song for a game, “To paint the entire canvas of what a game could sound like, that has been a dream of mine.” For Heafy, this soundtrack could be a mixture of neoclassical/baroque themes and traditional Scandinavian death metal. He points out that the Scandinavian metal scene often inspires him even with his band Trivium. Now, for ESO he took this inspiration from two musical legends, the Swedish Death Metal Ammon Amarth and composer Hans Zimmer.
“Reach Witch Chant,” the cover of one of the original soundtrack songs, shows the audience this very connection between classical music elements and the hard shreds of metal. It’s melodic death metal, but we could see it in a medieval setting. “It starts out in the ESO space and then goes right into all the different genre influences and then it comes back,” Firor says about the reimagination of the bard song. “We love when people take our stuff and kinda reimagine it in their own different styles.”
Heafy has a pretty big following on his Twitch channel, where he regularly live streams and interacts with his fans. But his love for video gaming goes beyond his channel. Heafy explains he grew up playing Bethesda games. “I think one of my first streams was a PS4 Stream of Fallout 4,” he says. “I think it was in front of 3 people, communicating throughout the game.” He goes on to explain that throughout the live stream, the people supported and helped him find various items in the game.
The singer also talks a little bit about his experience in the gaming and streaming world, and how he noticed that many people who play games and stream them on Twitch often don’t see the contention between Metal and Gaming, “It blew my mind.”
Since then, Heafy made it his mission to educate the people on the great relationship between the two worlds. “I feel like Gaming and Metal are the two things that should go,” the singer indicates. “Other genres get enough love from other things, but Metal culturally is very similar to gaming.”
Starting today, people can enjoy another example of the great relationship between metal and gaming by listening to “The Phalanx” and “Reach Witch Chant” by Trivium in collaboration with Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls Online.