My Favourite Game
Musician Flying Lotus on GTAV,
Titanfall and The Last Of Us
FThe LA-based music producer on being terrified of PT, how he came to host FlyLo FM, and finally clicking with The Last Of Us
lying Lotus, AKA Steven Ellison, is the great-nephew of jazz legends John and Alice Coltrane, but his dazzling electronic music has carved out a reputation all his own. He’s also partial to some PlayStation time – assuming his PC isn’t taking precedence. What was the first console you got your hands on? I had a NES with the Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt combo. And that existed in a wonderful time of childhood myths. You’d be at school, and someone would tell you about how the first jump could take you to the top of the pole, and if you made it up there, you could see Princess Toadstool naked. That was funny. I sort of miss that stuff. After that I had a Genesis, and can remember seeing Sonic for the first time. That seemed so cutting-edge. If you had to choose between Mario and Sonic today, which mascot would you side with? I’d go with Mario now, but then I’m not sure what he’s up to. I don’t know what Sonic is up to, either. I think Nintendo should stop doing consoles, and begin expanding those characters onto different systems. I don’t think Wii U is doing too well, is it? It’s a bit of a failure for them. PlayStation 4 won out for me. Why not Xbox One? I was a hardcore Xbox person until the One came out, and I do have one, but I never use it. When I want to play Titanfall, I do so on my PC – I just got a new gaming PC, and it’s so much better on that. So my Xbox is just sitting there. Are there any games from your past that have influenced your music? The music from Final Fantasy VII, that’s the one. That was so epic. I play some of that soundtrack in my set sometimes, and just flip it a bit… I’ve sampled a bunch of videogames – Silent Hill is one of my favourite series, and I’ve sampled that a few times. Have you played PT? Yeah, I played it and beat it. It’s so cool, but it did scare me – I could not play it alone. I called a friend over, and that helped a lot, because honestly that shit is frightening. I passed the pad over a few times: “You do a lap. I’m not doing this lap – you deal with that shit.” But you’re into scary games? I saw Alien: Isolation demoed for the Oculus Rift, and I’ve ordered the second devkit. I mean, I’m a gamer – I’ve got to have this stuff. I played a demo of Isolation and it’s mind-blowing. The design of it – all this old-school tech – is amazing. It’s total fan service. It’s going to terrify me, I know it will, but I’m so ready. You finished playing through The Last Of Us recently, right? I played it when it first came out, but I found it really difficult, and gave up. But I saw people constantly talking about it, so I bought the remaster. I’ve played it all the way through, with the Left Behind stuff, and, yeah, I understand now why it You worked on another big game of 2013, Grand Theft Auto V. How did that come about? Rockstar got in touch with me when I was at South By Southwest. One of their guys came into where I was playing, and said how we should do something together. They asked if I had a song, or any music, that I might be able to put into Grand Theft Auto V, and I thought, ‘Yeah, maybe.’ But then they asked: “What would be your ideal situation here?” I was like, “Shit, I’d like my own radio station.” Everything came from that. But I almost messed it up. I was super faded at a gig in Atlanta before the game came out, got on the mic, and said: “All right, guys, I’m about to drop some new shit that’s gonna be in a game I’m working on. You drive around shooting cops and shit…” And of course they’re like, “GTA!” And you try to say no, but it’s all over Reddit by then anyway. Rockstar told me that I might not be able to do the game any more. I was in trouble over that. It’s amazing, though. I really would play that even if I wasn’t involved; I was that blown away by the experience.
“I could not play PT alone. I called a friend over, and that helped a lot, because that shit is frightening”
won all those awards. It’s brilliant, man. And the way they ended it? It’s perfect. Which game would you pick as your favourite of all time? Final Fantasy VII. I want them to remaster it, so I can play it again. They’ve got to do it, haven’t they?