Where did the idea for doing a tribute band for NES arrangements originally come from?
It actually started a few years ago when I was playing in a rock band that played 70’s rock music. Then I discovered a dutch 70’s band called Ekseption. They re-arranged classical music into rock music, and they quickly became my favorite band. I then felt that I wanted to do something similar to what they had done. When I heard the song “Dwelling of Doom” from Castlevania 2, I got the idea to re-arrange music from NES music to be played in a rock band. Then about a year later myself and Oscar Wigner (guitar) were going to do a project in school together and I told him about my idea to re-arrange NES music. He liked it, so then the band EpicNES was born.
How did you go about finding your band mates?
Well from the start it was me playing keyboards and Oscar playing guitar, so we knew that we had to find a bass player and a drummer.
The bass player Andreas Eliasson is an old friend of mine that I went to a music school with a few years ago. I had not played with him for a while when I asked him, but I knew that he was the right man for the job since he’s a great bass player, arranger and also he loves playing NES.
The drummer Hampus Olsson used to go to the the same school as me and Oscar and also the three of us took a summer course together called “Live performance”. There we played together a lot and also got to know each other quite well. So when we looked for a drummer we knew that we really wanted Hampus, and Hampus said yes without a doubt! So then we had a complete band!
What was the first song you all played together on?
Well the first song that we arranged was Castlevania, so I guess that was the first song we rehearsed together.
You’ve had a great response back from people about the first three songs online, how does that feel to know people are listening and liking?
The three songs were recorded in december last year, so they were kind of hidden for a while until we created a Myspace account and started to tell people about them. Then people started to show interest in the songs and they also sent messages telling us that they really liked the songs, and also told us what they like about them etc. At that point I did get a lot of energy to continue arranging songs for EpicNES since we were getting such good response. We are really excited about the publicity we’re starting to get now.
You’re currently making five new arrangements – can you tell us anything about them?
The new arrangements are more suited to be played live and also we’re very pleased with them. I don’t think I should tell you which songs we have arranged. It will be a surprise =)
Do you plan to play your arrangments live any time soon?
Yes, we actually have our first gig booked on wednesday next week! So then we are going to perform all eight songs live. That’s the reason why the new arrangements are made more live friendly. After that gig we’ll se if it works well live. If it does we might to go on the road with EpicNES.
Are there any arrangements you’ve not done yet that you’re dying to get to do?
I would really like to arrange the Maniac Mansion music. It’s one of my absolute favorites. Also if any of the readers has got suggestions for game music that we could do, please let us know!
What’s next after the new arrangements for EpicNES?
Well we might do some more live shows, and then we will record the new arrangements this summer to release an full length album in the fall.
Many thanks to Daniel Karlsson for his time and don’t forget to check out their myspace page!