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Interview: Matt Cannon for JAM Live Music Arcade

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MS: According the FAQ on the game’s official website, there’s potential for artists to get their music into JAM via DLC. Do you expect just mainstream artists to approach you, or do you see this as a viable option for smaller acts to gain exposure?

MC: In the end we want to provide the best content and sometimes that might come from lesser known names. We’ll potentially be running open contests to give anyone a chance to get their music in the game, and I’m looking forward to seeing people get creative and listening to what they come up with. We have a lot more connections in the music industry than when we started, so we do have the goal of continuing to provide some well-known stuff too. Either way, we definitely encourage discussion on our Facebook or through fan feedback on what they want to see next and whose music they want to remix!

MS: You’ve said no experience is necessary to play but it helps. Can you elaborate on this? Is there anything we may want to read up on to get the most out of JAM Box Live Arcade?

MC: We really can say that people with no musical experience will be able to jump in and start performing right away. If you’ve played a rhythm game before, you can make music with JAM. If you’ve got any musical background you’ll have a bit of a head start as far as understanding the way the songs are broken down, how to best make transitions and use the right timing, and really just have a perspective of how deep you can take it. Even for a beginner though, the more time they spend playing, the better they’ll get and it comes pretty naturally. I wouldn’t say you need to do any homework, just jump in and start experimenting with the sounds, and it will come from there. If you do want some more background, there are definitely some reviewers out there that really understood what we were trying to do with JAM, so I’d recommend reading up on what some of the pros had to say as well.

MS: JAM  uses guitar controllers that were designed to work with other games. Are there any plans to make a controller of your own?

MC: Yeah, while the guitar controllers are never going to be actual guitars, they really were groundbreaking peripherals when they came out. We still think they provide a really visceral connection when making music with them, so it worked out well with our format. Since most fans of the music genre already spent $100 bucks plus on guitars, we felt pretty good that we were offering a new music experience for under $10, without requiring a new peripheral purchase. With that said, we do have some pretty cool sensor technology that could be implemented into a sampler like peripheral, and we have all sorts of cool music making prototypes around the office that have been built for other projects. It could be that our next version is designed around an innovative new controller/instrument of our own… we would have a lot of fun doing that!

MS: I was a big fan of DJ Hero; are there any plans to include compatibility for the DJ Hero turntable controller?

MC: We did think about that, especially with our game being heavily based around a mixing aspect, but JAM just wasn’t designed around the turntable peripheral from the start so we didn’t want to just force it in there. However, we see the potential for a derivative play mode or product that could make use of it, as that was really a cool peripheral as well.

MS: If JAM ends up being a big enough success, could we see a sequel or re-release available at retail?

MC: We definitely have plans to expand the JAM format. We had a lot of extra ideas that could easily fill out a full retail version, and we have high hopes that fans will see the potential of this kind of a music experience. We’re looking to get as much feedback as we can from fans so we can continue to evolve our products and keep pushing the music gaming genre forward.

MS: Is there anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t already covered?

MC: It’s been a pleasure giving some insight into JAM… for the fans, make sure to turn the speakers up loud, and let yourself get into the flow of music creation… you’ll get out of it what you put in!

Read our review for JAM Live Music Arcade here. The game is available now on PSN for $9.99

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Comments (1)

  • Reneid Klein

    Nice review, Animal Man. Congrats on getting your first interview as well. I’m sure if the first of many. You guys make me want to pick this game up. Unfortunately, money is a bit tight right now and all my free gaming time is going towards Dogma, but I will keep my eye out for this and the Walking Dead game you guys reviewed as both have tickled my fancy.

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