Original Music Inspired by Sonic, Interview Inside
Many musicians in the Sonic community express themselves by looking to existing Sonic tracks and creating remixes. Others use the broader spectrum of Sonic music to inspire their own original compositions, and this is exactly what we have to show you this week. Skye Meredith is an independent musician from New Hampshire, one that produces and releases content through his solo project Rocket Ship Resort, a name you may have seen around our site a few months back. His music features airy synths and driving guitar riffs among other varied elements, and he draws considerable inspiration from Sonic and various other Sega franchises. In the sample tracks we have provided below, it’s easy to recognize how key elements of the Sonic franchise’s music have influenced his lyrics, music, and instrumentation.
We interviewed Skye about his music, and you can read our talk in full at the end of this article. You can find out more about Rocket Ship Resort on its Facebook and Tumblr pages, and if you enjoyed the sample tracks, you can listen to more of Skye’s music on his BandCamp page. As always, we’re on the lookout for fan works to spotlight, so if you have a project you want the world to know about, let us know at email@example.com!
TSSZ: What inspired you to create Rocket Ship Resort?
Skye: Sky pirates, spirit, adventure, sad songs with upbeat melodies, lighthouses, and love in the air and the sea. Also, Child of Eden, sweet goggles, scenery, FLCL and the wild spirit of a certain blue hedgehog.
TSSZ: What programs and tools do you use to create your music?
Skye: Mixcraft 6, primarily. As far as workstations go it’s a little outside the norm – most people in this field use Reason or Protools to lay out their tracks, but with some practice and a little creativity Mixcraft can be extremely versatile – and ultimately it all comes down to the VSTs anyway. Nexus is definitely my biggest go-to, haha, but I’ve built up a pretty sizable collection of synths, effects and field-recorded sounds over the years to play with. That and an array of preamps and pedals and mics for any situation I might need. It’s always growing. Every time I bring home some junky echo box from the 80s I feel like a kid with a new toy, and I’m always a bit in love with that feeling.
TSSZ: Can you describe the creative process you undergo when creating a song?
Skye: I always draw from ideas. I know how lame that sounds, but – concepts, rather. I don’t usually write very literally – I’m a really conceptual person, I see everything as a string of connected bits of imagery and meaning, and so if there’s something that tugs on my spirit a bit, or leaves me out in the cold wondering, or staying up wrought with insomnia replaying something that strikes me as profound – that’ll probably end up as a song. I’ll almost always create the music first. If something affects me a particular way, or looks like it could be an interesting string to pull, be it a sound or a certain kind of progression or riff… after a couple verses it’s usually pretty easy for me to tell where I want to go with the vocals and lyrics, and so I go forward on that. I probably put at least 10-15 hours into each song, and being that I create all of this on my own, the amount of intricacy and detail in each song has taken a tremendous amount of work. Ultimately, I could work on something for weeks and months, but I don’t consider them “complete” in a sense until there’s something about it that gives me chills. At that point, I know I’ve got something I want to put out.
TSSZ: Directly or indirectly, where within Sega do you most frequently draw your inspiration?
Skye: I totally grew up with Sega – I’m an INFP, and with that I was naturally a lonely sort of kid. For someone my age I spent hardly enough time studying and working and more time daydreaming and finding my own adventure in the world. Sonic was the first “anything” I connected with when I was little, and that later brought me into coming into possession of a Genesis, a Saturn and Dreamcast, with which it will always be 9/9/99 in my heart. Sega – even now, but especially when concerning the DC era – is such a unique company in that their games are absolutely flush with an unmistakable blue-sky spirit. You could always make the case that Nintendo games “play” a certain way, but Sega has always and still as far as I’m concerned has a distinct, incredible, poetic, surreal air to its worlds, characters and ethos, and if Sega games themselves aren’t direct influences on the subject matter of the songs, that “soul” that was prevalent in everything that did has absolutely been one of the biggest inspirations behind Rocket Ship Resort… though my recent replaying of Skies of Arcadia during the recording of my new album does shine through in tone here and there.
TSSZ: What was the first Sonic game you ever played, and which one is currently your favorite?
Skye: First Sonic game of mine was Sonic 2 on the Genesis, of course. I died like crazy, and it felt great and did this thing where it sort of totally changed my life. I absolutely love how Generations turned out, but the daytime stages in Unleashed are probably my favorites among the series. I’ve been playing Sonic Pocket Adventure on my NGPC a lot lately for no reason other than that it’s awesome and Dimps actually cared. And for Tweaker’s record – Megamix rocks socks.