May 2, 2007 - Music in games has come a long way since the simple blips of Pong. Whereas it used to be easy to distinguish game audio from most commercial music, those lines have been blurred and we're now playing along to soundtracks every bit as compelling as film scores and the latest CD releases. Developers often outsource their music needs to professional recording studios that specialize in providing high-quality audio for games. One of those studios is 3volution Productions, and one of its secret weapons is Jeremy Blair.
3volution Productions (pronounced "three-volution") is a Los Angeles-based audio production company providing content for videogames, TV, and film. Co-founded by Fear Factory drummer Raymond Herrera, the studio has worked on games such as Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 1 and 2 and JAWS Unleashed. The newest member to 3volution's staff is producer Jeremy Blair, who has engineered albums for Guns N' Roses, Coal Chamber, and his new boss's band Fear Factory. His first offering at the company is a cover of Iggy Pop's "Gimme Danger," with Frank Black (Pixies) on vocals, which can be heard in GRAW 2.
3volution's Jeremy Blair
We recently caught up with Blair to talk about what it's like creating music for games and how he got his start in the biz.
IGN: How long have you been working with 3volution?
Jeremy Blair: It was one of those things where I was still doing music production on records at the same time I was starting to help Raymond [Herrera, of Fear Factory, co-owner of 3volution] out a little bit. He's been a friend of mine for many years and I've worked with him on past records. He wanted to get me in on it and it was something I had been looking into for quite a while. We put everything together and here I am; we made it work.
IGN: How did you originally get your start in the music business?
Blair: I've been a guitar player since I was a little kid, and a piano player. I performed in many bands and wrote a lot of different songs and never struck the big deal. So I did some touring and it led me more into the production side of things. I started doing my own records and then I wanted to know more so I went to school for it. I graduated from the biggest sound recording and engineering production place out here in LA [Sound Master Recording Engineer School] and immediately landed some jobs at some big studios, and it went from there.
IGN: What would you say are your main musical influences?
Blair: I've got tons of 'em. I loved all the classic stuff like Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. And then I got into Metallica and Fear Factory, the harder stuff. But, I mean, that's a hard question for me to answer because I like so many different things. Funk, soul, some of the rap stuff… I like it all, really. That's a tough one.
IGN: Do you consider yourself a gamer as well as a musician?
Blair: Oh, yeah. I like Halo a lot, I play a lot of Guitar Hero lately. Ghost Recon, Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto… And then the sports stuff, I really like Madden and Fight Night, Tiger Woods…
IGN: What brought you to the videogame business?
Blair: Raymond's always been a good friend of mine and he started this company. I helped him out here and there through the last couple years, and after doing a couple productions with him I decided it was the route I wanted to go. Plus, I'd like to see the videogame industry going more audio-focused as well as video. You know, for a while there it was so video oriented and the audio was kind of lacking. But now it's really become something special. I'm even hoping to see it awarded at the Grammy's, which I've heard may be coming in the future. I really want to see the gaming industry get audio up to par.