Interview with VG inspired folk pop punk band Elfonso

This Month I had the opportunity to ask a few questions from the amazing UK performers known as Elfonso (elfonso.co.uk). This band is one very close to my heart, as they have been great friends of GM4A's since almost the beginning of the site (and have been on many GM4A compilations no less). They are also the first VG inspired band I ran across that was impossible to categorize under older VG monikers like VGremixer, or VGrock, and led me to come up with the term "Video Game Inspired Music" which I know use as an all encompassing term for the music I cover here.

Elfonso is also a band I have great respect for and consider one of the most original, fun, and all around great bands around today in any genre. I myself am definitely a big fan of theirs and have no qualms mentioning it to anyone I meet. So I gladly present to you fine readers our February interview with the video game inspired folk pop punk band Elfonso.


How long have you been performing music as Elfonso?

Alex: Rory and I have been playing together for about 10 years but it wasn’t until 2004 that we released anything under the name of Elfonso.


When did you come up with the idea of performing original songs about video games?

Rory: playing video games was always something very communal that brought us together as friends, and as we were all musicians it was a natural progression.

You both seem to play multiple instruments. How many can you individually play, and what are your favourites to use live and create songs with?

Alex: no one in Elfonso has a defined roll, we all just mix and match whatever is lying around, my favourite to play is definitely the ukulele.

Rory: we never have a definite line up when we play live; whoever’s about joins in with whatever instrument suits the individual song.

Alex: basically I’ll play anything with strings, except the violin and the harp and the cello and the piano.... well not everything with strings.

Rory: bass is my first instrument but I mostly play the banjo, it’s much more enjoyable.

What games would you love to work on that you haven't had a chance to yet?

Alex: were currently recording our new album and we'd LOVE to do another song about Shining Force 3.

Rory: it’s a game we both grew up with, that and Guardian Heroes on the Saturn, that’s an awesome game!

Any new songs or projects you are working on? Any games you are covering that we can look forward to?

Rory: As mentioned before were recording a new album and it’ll have a whole host of new games across multiple platforms.

Any plans to possibly tour America? Any bands out here you would want to perform with?

Alex: Yes, most defiantly, were trying to sort something out at the moment hopefully for summer 2010, we seem to be better received in America.

Rory: we'd love to do a tour with the skull kid, he’s not videogame inspired but awesome none the less.

Alex: Were always up for playing with other videogame bands, it’s not something we get to do often

Rory: there’s always such a good atmosphere when game bands play together.

What are some musicians you are inspired by, both in game music, and in more mainstream music?

Rory: the sound track to ocarina of time was one of the biggest influences in forming Elfonso, that game pretty much has the best game music ever

Alex: also twilight princess. We’re all huge fans of the Zelda series!

Rory: outside of game music, our influences are vast; we listen to a lot of folk music and a lot of punk rock.

Alex: check our myspace for the full list of all our favourite bands.

How would you describe the music you play?

Alex: video game inspired folk pop punk!

Rory: were just a bunch of friends who get together and play music and what comes out comes out.

Alex: playing in Elfonso is just a huge amount of fun!

Any chance of you guys providing the lyrics to your Tako wa chikyu o suku album (as well as your song Great Sword)?

Alex: no problem, ill post them up as a blog on our myspace page. Maybe some artists might like to cover a song...that'd be epic.

Rory: I feel slightly ashamed about great sword, it was only recorded as a joke at the end of the recording session.

Alex: great fun though, no one had learned that song when we recorded it we just all piled in the studio and had a laugh.

Rory: monster hunter is one of my favourite games of all time; undoubtedly well revisit it as material.

What are some of your favourite games? Anything you are currently hooked on or looking forward to?

Alex: the whole Zelda series! There are no finer games! everything about them is just perfect, the creators never disappoint!

Rory: we both grew up on Lucas arts adventure games and still love them today.

Alex: we also both own switched Sega Saturns, some of our favourite games ever are on the Saturn, guardian heroes for one. The sonic the hedgehog games were a huge favourite of mine, but the less said about sonic today the better.

Rory: retro games are our favourites. Whereas chip tune artists are influenced by retro titles, were more influenced by consoles of the 90's, hence why we tend to stay away from chip tune

Alex: also I tried creating chip tune once...it didn’t work out.

When you start on a new song, do you have a specific game in mind?

Rory: we normally have a specific theme in mind but usually the music comes first.

Are there any artists you would want to collaborate with?

Alex: we’ve already collaborated with the Casiokid, that was fun.

Rory: were always up for collaborations and covering peoples songs, music is about bringing people together.

Alex: I love hearing what other people do with our material, it's a little vein but I love to hear other peoples take on our songs.

Anything you would like to mention that I failed to bring up? Anything or anyone you would like to plug?

Alex: we’ve been a little quiet this last year due to us all living far apart owing to educational commitments but come this summer, we'll be back together for good.
We'll be recording our new album in July so if any bands/ artists want to play a show with us after that, we are happy to travel.

Rory: During our time apart we both started side projects, there not game related but check them out anyway.
myspace.com/historicalfiction
myspace.com/mrneedlemouse

Alex: we need more friends in the world of game music! We are currently really enjoying the music of Parry Gripp though; defiantly check out his solo stuff, its genius.

Any words you have for folks who are looking to create video game inspired music?

Rory: game music can seem quite daunting what with learning how to create chip tune, but game music can be anything game related really.
Alex: we need more game inspired artists in the UK; it’s really hard to play shows over here what with the lack of game artists.

Alex: thanks Anthony, if everyone would be so kind to check out our new website at www.elfonso.co.uk that'd be lovely.

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I would like to thank Alex and Rory of Elfonso for taking some time to answer my questions, and once again implore you to check out their music. I also want to mention I am really looking forward to that American tour!

I would also like to end with the awesome video for Elfonso's new song Retirement from Hyrule.