We return for the second half of our interview with Alex Makhlouf of Cash Cash!
We’ve talked about your history in Cash Cash, so lets move on to Sonic! What is your VERY first memory of Sonic the Hedgehog?
I can’t recall the first memory exactly. All I know is the first Sonic game I played was Sonic 3. After playing that, I back-tracked and played Sonic 1 and 2. In my first Sonic years I dreaded “MARBLE ZONE” in Sonic 1. I swear to this day that level is harder or equally as hard as “Scrap Brain Zone”. Sonic 1 was truly the ultimate recruitment for fans. Those who couldn’t surpass Marble Zone were left behind. Those who could were hooked for life!
Who is your favourite Sonic character, and why? What is your favourite game Sonic the Hedgehog game?
Hands down, my favorite character is Princess Elise from Sonic 06…..
Hahaha, sorry I had to do it. In all seriousness my favorite character is Metal Sonic. His overall design and concept are really cool. I just wish he was featured more in the story lines. I guess fans like me will be pleased with Sonic 4 Episode 2! My favorite Sonic game would be Sonic 3 and Knuckles. I feel like this is the Iconic Sonic game that defines the series at it’s finest. Everything about it was epic. The Death Egg, the epic Doomsday space battle, and the Knuckles vs. Mecha Sonic fight are all things Sonic fans will never forget. They painted the best story without the use of extensive dialogue. That game is timeless.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS_aS3mfGA0&list=UUE4Qz27gKHV8_RrKn5xL8Pw&index=6&feature=plpp_video[/youtube]
Which Sonic the hedgehog videogame soundtracks are you most fond of?
I love the Music in the Sonic Adventure games a lot. I think those songs work great with Modern Sonic. As for Classic Sonic games, it’s hard to pick one. I really love the music in Sonic 1 and 2. Those basslines and chord progressions are amazing!
Are there any other videogame franchises you enjoy?
I like the Zelda and Mario Franchises a lot. I just recently bought a 3DS and got Ocarina of Time and Mario Land. Both of which were amazing. I also am a huge fan of the Halo series. I hope the next installment stands up to Halo Reach.
When were you first approached by SEGA to produce music for Sonic Colours?
We were approached before the game was even announced which was pretty cool. We basically got a 2-page sheet describing the basic premise of the game as well as overall lyrical content they wanted to cover in both of the songs. Writing those two songs was very different than anything else we’ve ever done. We were given instrumentals with melodies already mapped out, so it was tough to fit the lyrics with the melody. We usually write the melody and lyrics simultaneously so this was trickier than usual. I think both songs ended up fitting the game quite nicely though.
What elements did you focus on when reworking tracks Sonic Generations?
For City Escape I knew I had to keep it kind of light and fluffy. I knew putting any heavy electronic sounds would stray too far from the light-hearted vibe of the level. I think I ended up with a very good Classic representation of the song. I kept the synths and drums very poppy and simple. It sort of ended up sounding like 80s synth pop mixed with Daft Punk. As for Speed Highway, that remix is way heavier than City Escape. I knew I had to use way more aggressive drums and a dirtier bass tone to exemplify the high-speed element of the level.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzN7kazWq_g[/youtube]
How have your experiences differed from performing with Cash Cash to performing with Crush 40?
Performing with Crush 40 seemed like too crazy to be true. Like I mentioned before, I was huge Crush 40 fan as I kid. I would literally burn mix CD’s with songs like Live and Learn, and It Doesn’t Matter and play them on the school bus for my friends. When I was on stage with them I kept having those “Is this really happening?” moments. I’m looking forward to hopefully playing with them again this year.
Can you tell us anything about what to expect at Sonic Boom this year?
I definitely cannot reveal anything Jun and I have up our sleeves just yet. I can guarantee three things without a reasonable doubt though: 1) Something in the venue will be blue. 2) Justin Bieber will be somewhere in the crowd in a gorilla mask holding a sign that says “Salmon Masters Anonymous”. 3) I will be at Sonic boom doing something.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoYjHfzotjs[/youtube]
Haha…in that case, can we expect any albums or tours from Cash Cash in the near future?
We are in the process of writing and recording our 3rd full length record. This record is going to be very different than our previous 2. There will obviously be some “radio friendly” pop jams because that stuff runs through our veins. But there will also be a lot of songs that break that pop mold on this one. We’ve been experimenting with a lot of remix style influences -lots of synth breaks and instrumental stuff. Also the sounds are going to be a lot less fluffy and dinky. We’ve been messing with lots of heavier grittier synth sounds this time around. I don’t want to give too much away though, so ill stop. :p We are touring Japan this summer, but I’m not positive on the dates yet. We will make a big announcement soon though.
Thanks for answering all of our questions Alex!
See Alex and Jean-Paul perform later this year with Crush 40 at Sonic Boom in San Diego!
More details on the event and tickets can be found on the SEGA blog
Keep up to date with future Cash Cash Tours:
Cash Cash Official Site