My Favourite Game Trevor De Brauw


TPel­i­can’s lead gui­tarist on the pres­sures of par­ent­hood, In­di­ana Jones’ videogame legacy, and Dead Space 3’s sound­track

revor De Brauw is a busy man. Per­haps best known as the gui­tarist for, and a co-found­ing mem­ber of, Chicago post-metal band Pel­i­can, he has also found the time to play in Tusk, Bee Con­trol, Teith, Let’s Pet and Pel­i­can off­shoot Chord. On top of all that, he works as a pub­li­cist at in­de­pen­dent mu­sic PR firm Biz 3, re­cently be­came a fa­ther, and be­gan play­ing live shows un­der his own name again last year. We catch De Brauw just be­fore a record­ing ses­sion to talk about the games he en­joys in his limited free time, and why Raiders Of The Lost Ark hasn’t changed with age. With so many projects on your plate, and now a son, how on Earth do you find any time to play games? [Laughs] I would say gam­ing was my hobby un­til my son was born, but since then there’s been a ma­jor drop off, un­for­tu­nately. I did down­load an Atari 2600 em­u­la­tor last night, how­ever, which I man­aged to spend ten min­utes with! I down­loaded it be­cause I was think­ing about this in­ter­view, and my his­tory with gam­ing, and that was the sys­tem I had my ear­li­est gam­ing mem­o­ries with. I was try­ing to re­mem­ber how Atari’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark played. Turns out it is as per­plex­ing now as it was when I was a boy; I still can’t get past the third screen. Was Raiders Of The Lost Ark the first game you played, or at least started? I can’t re­ally dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween which games came ear­li­est dur­ing my time with the Atari. My older broth­ers had the sys­tem in the house, and so it was just some­thing that I picked up grad­u­ally over time. But I loved As­ter­oids and Su­per­man, and the 2600 ver­sion of Don­key Kong. Your track, Ephe­meral, rounds off Dead Space 3. How did that come about? It’s as sim­ple as [EA] ap­proach­ing us. If I’m to­tally hon­est, we hadn’t heard of the game be­fore that point. But we looked into it and played the game, and it was pretty cool, so we went for it. Did be­ing on the game’s sound­track gain you any fans? It def­i­nitely seems to have ex­posed us to a dif­fer­ent au­di­ence, which is re­ally cool. That’s some­thing that you hope for when you place a song some­where – whether it’s a film or com­pi­la­tion CD – that you’re reach­ing people who wouldn’t have heard your band other­wise. It cer­tainly seems to be pay­ing off. We keep hear­ing from people now [who] heard of our band through the game. Pel­i­can’s mu­sic lends it­self well to sound­tracks. Have you ever con­sid­ered scor­ing for films or other games? Yeah, I would say ab­so­lutely. It’s some­thing we used to talk about a lot years and years ago, but we just never re­ceived any of­fers! Now we’re sort of at a phase in the band where it’s not full time any more and we all have jobs out­side of the band, so it would prob­a­bly be a lot more dif­fi­cult to do some­thing like that these days, but we’re def­i­nitely open to it. When we were hav­ing our early suc­cesses, we were like, ‘It’s in­ter­est­ing that this band is in­stru­men­tal; I won­der if people are go­ing to con­tact us about putting our songs in movies and games?’ Un­for­tu­nately, un­til Dead Space 3, no­body did [laughs]. What’s your favourite game, and why? This is a tough one, but what I’ll say is that my favourite game of all time is As­ter­oids. But if I were to go play a game right now, I would want to play one of the Kata­mari games. I find those games com­pletely, mind-fud­dlingly awe­some and orig­i­nal. There’s some­thing about them that cre­ates al­most this com­pletely dif­fer­ent view of gam­ing. It’s some­thing that’s so in­no­cent and weird, some­thing com­pletely bizarre that takes you into an­other world. But then also the fact that your sense of scale changes as you play the game I think is a re­ally in­ter­est­ing pro­gram­ming feat as well. When you be­gin a level, you’re tiny, and there’s this overwhelming world all around you. But as you con­tinue to move through the level, you be­come this overwhelming thing and ev­ery­thing around you is sort of small. It’s just great.

“There’s some­thing about Kata­mari that cre­ates al­most this com­pletely dif­fer­ent view of gam­ing”

With its slow builds and huge crescen­dos, you could al­most make a com­par­i­son be­tween Kata­mari’s level struc­ture and Pel­i­can’s mu­sic. [Laughs] I’d never made a con­nec­tion be­tween Pel­i­can and Kata­mari be­fore, but thank you for tak­ing me there!

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