A new Crush 40 compilation album, “Driving Through Forever”, comprising a CD and DVD set, is due for release next month!
If you aren’t already feeling ancient at the prospect of Sonic the Hedgehog turning 28 next month, here’s a fact that’ll age you; it’s been 7 years since SEGA Sound Director Jun Senoue led the creation of a Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack (Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, for those who can’t remember!).
Senoue’s absence has been by no means a sabbatical, having been involved in several other SEGA titles – as well as peripherally with most Sonic games – and regularly performing with a multitude of live acts across four continents. Those who have taken the reigns in the meantime have accomplished some phenomenal feats, particularly Sonic Mania composer Tee Lopes who pulled a rabbit out of a hat with a perfectly blended score of old and new material, while simultaneously tipping the hat to the synonymous tones of the 90s titles. But with the classic itch well-and-truly scratched, many have longed for the return of Senoue and his trademark rock sound, in the context of a modern Sonic game.
As such, the anticipation for MAXIMUM OVERDIRVE, the Team Sonic Racing Original Soundtrack, reached fever pitch. Expectations have flown high based on the calibre of the tracks that had been drip-fed to us via Sonic the Hedgehog’s social media channels over the last few months. Now that the full OST has been released, we can firmly say that it does not disappoint.
During this period of vinyl resurgence, it is great to see seminal Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks are receiving LP incarnations, and as such, following on from 2017’s Sonic Mania vinyl soundtrack released through Data-Discs, Japanese record label Brave Wave have produced both Sonic Adventure 1 and Sonic Adventure 2 soundtracks in 12″ vinyl format. Continue reading TSS Review: Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 Soundtrack Vinyl Editions
Early last month we reported the release of the Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 soundtracks on vinyl through video game soundtrack record label Brave Wave.
Pre-orders have just commenced for the limited edition versions of the soundtracks (each containing 2 x coloured 12″ vinyl records) which can be purchased individually at the cost of $40/40€, or $100/100€ for a box set containing both soundtracks totally 4 vinyl records and a certificate of authenticity signed by Sonic Team sound director and composer Jun Senoue. The box set is to be strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide.
Orders from Europe can be made through French music purveyors Bigwax as of publication of this article, with US, Canadian and Latin American sales going live at 12PM PST today through Fangamer (links below).
2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the seminal Sonic game, Sonic Adventure – and what better way to celebrate the event than through the music of the series!
Following a successful funding, Summer of Sonic announced a stretch goal and it was smashed after just a few hours by generous fans. Confirming what many had suspected, fan favourite Johnny Gioeli will be returning to this years convention! Continue reading Johnny Gioeli Coming to Summer of Sonic: Stretch Goal 2 Announced!
International Superstar and Crush 40 vocalist Johnny Gioeli has announced the launch of a Pledge music campaign to fund what will be the first solo album of his career. Among many Crush 40 releases, Gioeli’s career spans 4 decades and includes more than 30 albums (most notably as the lead singer of the anthemic rock bands Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell) and no doubt hardcore fans will be excited at the prospect of this debut album and an EP of the long awaited Colorblind.
The driving force behind the funding drive is to raise support for a family friend:
A tragic story of our friend’s son who had a horrific accident, leaving him paralyzed. He’s a high school student fighting for movement as simple as moving his finger, and I want to find a way to “pay it forward” and use the good things happening to me, to help someone else. The average cost of rehabilitation in the first year, far exceeds anything they can raise on their own. Let’s all help keep the music alive and help my friends too.
Backers of the campaign can not only look forward to receiving a copy of the new album (with the option of a signature from Gioeli), but will have options to access to a boatload of exclusives such as a streamed live acoustic performance, original (and rare) Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell memorabilia and handwritten lyrics to some of the songs in his extensive back catalogue.
Check out the Johnny Gioeli Pledge Music campaign here, or check out the Johnny Gioeli facebook page for more details.
UPDATE: Following the publication of the article, the post on the Facebook Page has since been removed.
Original Story: It probably isn’t far-fetched to guess that SEGA have a Sonic the hedgehog title lined up for the 25th Anniversary this year, however Crush 40 lead singer Johnny Gioeli has given a very strong indication that one is in the pipe line…and that Crush 40 could potentially contribute material to it.
Via a Q&A on the Official Johnny Gioeli Facebook Page today, Gioeli gave the following response to a question regarding new Crush 40 material in the works:
When will there be news about the Crush 40 album?
~We are planning a few performances for 2016 to commemorate the anniversary of Sonic. We “might” participate in writing new songs for the anniversary game…stay tuned…
Although some caution should be exercised with the key word in this response is “might”, the fan anticipation for a new Sonic game announcement will no doubt be further escalated, irregardless of game or new Crush 40 songs.
Stay tuned for more 25th anniversary announcements!
CRUSH40 fans who follow the official Johnny Gioeli facebook page will have noticed a recent surge in activity as Mr. Gioeli has become more involved its running.
During a recent Q&A post, Johnny hinted that a new Crush40 album is being worked on, and is due for launch next year. The album will be the band’s second studio album (and the first in over a decade), and would follow the band’s recent success through the release of two live albums, a “best of” and an EP in 2012.
In the wake of several live shows in the US, Japan, and Mexico, Johnny alluded to potential live shows in 2016. Although it is currently unclear as to whether or not any of the tracks featured on the new album will be connected to future Sonic the Hedgehog titles, it has lead many to speculate as to the correlation of the album release with the 25th anniversary celebrations.
Stay tuned for more information as it comes to light!
Crush40-fanclub.de founder Angie Fabian had a chance to catch up with Crush 40 superstar Johnny Gioeli while he was out on the Axel Rudi Pell last week. In amongst many Johnny-oriented queries, Johnny fields questions on Crush 40, including their future direction, and hints that 2014 will yield new Crush 40 material.
Johnny also answers questions about his favourite films, his artists, how much Chinese chicken was consumed during the recording of the Crush 40 album and his favourite ice cream (also my favourite!) Want to know the answers? Check out the video of the interview below!
(Warning! Some swears and lewd material…but it is Johnny!)
The Crush 40 Facebook page recently revealed the release date for the Crush 40 Live album (currently untitled) as October 3rd 2012, with a release through the Wavemaster record label. The single-CD live album contains tracks recorded at the Crush 40 Live performances in Tokyo in March with the full band ensemble of Johnny Gioeli, Jun Senoue, Takeshi Taneda on bass and Toru Kawamura on drums.
The track listing as stated on the facebook page is listed as:
01. Sonic Youth
03. His World
04. Sonic Heroes
05. Open Your Heart
06. Knight Of The Wind
07. I Am… All Of Me
08. With me
09. Never Turn Back
10. Fire Woman
11. Revvin’ Up
12. Watch Me Fly…
13. Into The Wind
14. Rise Again
15. Sonic Boom
16. All Hail Shadow
17. Live & Learn
18. One Of Those Days
19. What I’m Made Of…
The CD is currently up for pre-order on CDJapan for the cost of ¥2,500 ($32 / £22).
First up in the 3-part series of Summer of Sonic interviews, we have two legendary guys – Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli! Together this duo makes Crush 40, but I’m sure you all knew that already! Without further ado, let’s get on with the interviews, shall we?
[EDIT: Apparently the songs are available now! Go get them! – T]
If you really can’t wait until Sonic Boom or Summer of Sonic to get your Crush 40 fix this year, new songs from their upcoming EP are available for download.
iTunes currently has Rise Again and Sonic Youth listed for a 4th of July release (although you can download them right now), for the not-so-bank-breaking cost of 79p each. As of this moment, One of Those Days is not listed for download.
You may also be interested in the physical CD release of their Rise Again EP, which will contain Song of Hope (also available through iTunes) along with the three new songs. The CD will likely be a Japan-only release through Wavemaster Entertainment, retailing at 1,260 yen (approximately £10/$15). This is due for launch on the 1st of August, and can be ordered online through HMV Japan; anyone outside of the land of the rising sun will have to import in order to get hold of a copy.
A lucky handful of Japanese fans got to experience the full tenacious force of Crush 40 in Toyko over the weekend just gone, with two shows over two nights at the Shibuya GUILTY venue followed by a meet and greet session on Sunday night. Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue were joined by Takashi Kaneda and Toru Kawamura to create a full-bodied ensemble to present a history of Crush 40 tracks covering three decades.
After announcing development on three new tracks back in January, Crush 40 released a two-and-a-half-minute preview of Sonic Youth, One of Those Days, and Rise Again on their YouTube channel this morning, granting fans and listeners a quick sample of what to look forward to once these tracks are available in full.
On the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages, Jun Senoue teases that they will perform all three tracks in Tokyo for the first time this week, and advises fans to stay tuned an iTunes release in the near future.
Check out the sample after the jump!
Tickets for the US Sonic the Hedgehog convention, Sonic Boom, will go on sale next Monday, 19th of March. Unlike last year’s application process, the tickets will be be distributed through Ticketmaster, from which entry can be purchased for the cost of $15 + a $5 fee ($20 in total).
Crush 40 gave us a sneaky peak at some of the track titles of the songs the band are currently working on last month, named “Rise Again”, “One of Those Days” and “Sonic Youth”. A post today on the Crush 40 facebook page confirmed these songs have now been recorded, with commentary from Johnny Gioeli on the themes of these songs.
Last year saw Crush 40 release a one-off single Song of Hope dedicated to the Japanese Tsunami disaster victims, which was the first new non-Sonic themed track since those that featured on Super Sonic Songs back in 2009. Many fans have been keen to see Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli team up once more in order to produce a full-blown Crush 40 album, the likes of which have not been seen since their self-titled album back in 2003 (which was a re-working of their album Thrill of the Feel from way back in 2000 when they went by the name ‘Sons of Angels’).
However, it looks increasingly like a new Crush 40 album may be in the works, with Senoue posting a teasing image on facebook and twitter with the statement:
“Just want to let you know the name of the songs we are currently working on. Yes, new Crush 40 songs! “
The new tracks look set to be titled Rise Again, One of Those Days, and Sonic Youth – the latter appears to give a nod to the Sonic Adventure title tracks, with the opening verses of “I’ve opened my heart, I’ve lived and learned”.
Hopefully we will have more information on any potential future releases very soon!
From today, you can now download Crush 40‘s latest track “Song of Hope” which is dedicated to the victims and affected families of the mega-earthquake and tsunami which devestated parts of Japan’s east coast earlier this year. The track is now available on iTunes and can be downloaded for a meagre 79p ($0.99).
If you were unable or could not afford to pick up the Best of Crush 40 album “Super Sonic Songs” , the entire album is also now available to download electronically for £7.99 – less than half the price of buying the physical copy.
Another video from Crush 40’s shows in Japan has been posted online from the Crush40 official youtube channel, this time it’s the climactic track from Sonic Heroes “What I’m Made Of”.
If you didn’t catch the full version of Live and Learn, you can also check this out on the Crush 40 youtube channel as well!
For those not in the know, Crush 40 have been playing a couple of gigs in Tokyo the past few nights to two delighted crowds, where the band played a whole host of Crush 40 hits from the past decade and beyond; event goers were even treated to some classic Hardline tracks including Hot Cherie. The two shows are the first Crush 40 live performances to have a full ensemble including Takeshi Taneda on bass and Toru Kawamura on drums.
Only a few videos have cropped up so far, but the one above is of high audio and visual quality – let’s hope more pop up in the future!
So now that Crush 40 have rocked Japan…who would be up for some gigs in the west? Let us know in the comments where you’d like to see Crush 40 play in the future!
One of the most frequent questions we get asked every year is whether or not Summer of Sonic would ever be held in the United States, but due to many reasons “SoSUS” never come to fruition. Unsurprisingly though there has been a huge demand for a Sonic convention state-side, and it was really only a matter of time before one materialised.
With the Sonic’s 20th anniversary around the corner, SEGA of America spearheaded plans to create their own official convention, the appropriately named Sonic Boom. Aaron Webber, the newly appointed Sonic Brand Manager took on the role of chief coordinator for Sonic Boom and got in touch with Dreadknux and myself a few weeks back, and cordially invited us both to the event.
We didn’t need to be asked twice!
The convention had been carefully timed to coincide with the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles’ downtown convention centre venue. Sonic Boom was scheduled to take place in the moody and ambient environment of Club Nokia, a versatile bar come night club within walking distance of E3; a perfect site to celebrate twenty years of Sonic the Hedgehog.
I arrived at the venue early in the afternoon with Aaron, and before we’d even made our way upstairs we were greeted by fans queuing outside Club Nokia; some of them had been camped out since 6am that morning in order to score a place inside the venue as they had not been able to acquire a ticket. If that’s not dedication, I really don’t know what is! Kellie and Julian from the American community team (who you will know from the Free Stuff Friday videos!) were running around upstairs in the venue coordinating the setup of stands, pods and making sure everything was in place – a familiar scene to anyone who has been involved in the organisation of Summer of Sonic!
Even more familiar faces were up on stage as Jun Senoue, Johnny Gioeli and Alex Makhlouf (from Cash Cash, the band involved with the Sonic Colors soundtrack) were performing a dry run of the tracks they were going to be playing later on that evening. After a warm reunion with the guys I sat back to take some snaps and enjoy the privileged position of being an invited guest backstage at an event. I must have looked pretty dumb, but nevertheless I could not get rid of the huge grin on my face as the guys blistered through their fresh new set list, which included a brand new version of Sonic CD’s “Sonic Boom” and Sonic R’s “Super Sonic Racing”. What’s more, Alex’s accompaniment on synthesiser added another layer of ecstasy to the already monstrous set, and took the lead on the funky fresh new version of “Escape from the City” which will be gracing the in-game soundtrack for Sonic Generations!
I got an opportunity to briefly catch up with Johnny after rehearsals, and as always was up for a bit of laugh, as you can see from the picture (although I don’t think SEGA will be taking him on as their new mascot – stick to your day job, Johnny!). Another act rehearsing on stage before the doors opened was the cast of Needlemouse the musical. American fans will remember this bunch as the winners of the 19th anniversary competition last year, and were the lucky recipients of a trip to Japan to play Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode One. These guys were fantastic and incredibly animated on stage, so much so most of us assisting set up had to pause to watch and laugh at the jokes they were cracking. AJ and the bunch came to talk to me after their run-through, and were even kind enough to let me have my picture taken with them – an absolutely great bunch of guys and gals and well-deserving of the incredible ovation they received later in the evening (watch their performance here!).
By 5 o’clock the venue was taking shape, with the merchandise stands set up (each entrant received a Sonic hat, a special edition Sonic Generations T-Shirt and badge set) and nearly twenty gaming stations were primed and ready to give the throng of rabid Sonic fans outside a chance to play the demo of Sonic Generations. A number of photo booths had also been established to allow fans to record photographic postcards and video messages for Sonic’s birthday (you can check out Aaron and my postcard here, Dread’s postcard here and Yuji Naka’s here). Outside a huge queue of fans had formed, eagerly awaiting entry into the venue. Aaron and I went outside to rattle the crowd up a bit, and got to shake the hands of a few fans that had recognised Aaron and me.
At 6 o’clock sharp the doors opened and the mass of fans piled in. I took a brief trip upstairs to the VIP lounge, where the likes of Iizuka-san, Oshima-san and Naka-san were meeting other industry members at an exclusive VIP event. Unfortunately I was not introduced to Naka-san, but I was reintroduced to Iizuka-san, who smiled courteously as we had already met that week! Dreadknux appeared at the venue after his busy day at E3 (and was fashionably late as always!) and we proceeded downstairs to the main event floor.
A heap of guys came to greet Dread and I (there are far too many of you to mention!) and it really made our day – so if you came up and said hi, thanks loads; it really a pleasure to meet you all! TSS staffer, Sonic Retro writer and Sonic Show star Brad Flick was down on the time trial competition station hastily jotting down top scores on Green Hill Zone – you will have to keep an eye out for some hilarious pictures of Brad and Dreadknux in their bronik poses! Similarly to Summer of Sonic, there were a massive variety of cosplayers at the event too, including SSMB’s own mikeblastdude who came in an awesome Metal Sonic getup, and an excellent Charmy the Bee cosplayer. We also caught up with Scarred Sun from Retro and Shayne representing TSSZ news. I’ve never met either in reality before so we got to have a good chinwag and posed for a few photos for posterity – both are fantastic people and I certainly hope we get to all meet again in the near future.
Aaron appeared on stage to welcome all of the guests to Sonic Boom, and it wasn’t long before Jun, Johnny and Alex were on stage blowing the socks off all those in attendance. A lucky few spotted Naka-san on the event floor and managed to grab his autograph and a photo before he disappeared backstage once more. Jun, not one for passing up the opportunity to meet fans, came down off stage with the legendary Sonic guitar to sign autos and pose for pictures with a handful of fortunate fans.
Following Needlemouse: the Musical, the best of the cosplayers were invited on stage to participate in the cosplay contest, and Iizuka-san, Miyamoto-san and Senoue-san were all invited up to wish Sonic a happy birthday and to sing him a happy birthday song…and of course, Sonic was present too, along with his birthday cake! It wasn’t long before Dread and I found ourselves up on stage, telling the Los Angeles crowd all about Summer of Sonic. I had been really nervous beforehand about how the crowd would receive us on stage (especially considering the acts we were following!) but the audience were really receptive, and cheered us on – thank you all for letting us talk to you briefly, and hopefully we’ve enticed some of you to come to Summer of Sonic!
Naka-san and Miyamoto-san, along with Oshima-san joined the cast on stage at the end of the show once again and were presented with the graffiti artist’s drawing of classic and modern Sonic which had been created over the course of the evening. I’m sure most will agree the evening past all too quickly, and before long it was time to close up the evenings proceedings.
Dread and I pitched in to assist with the clean up, and ended up collapsing in the dressing room to have a chin-wag with Alex (who is also a massive Sonic nerd by the way!) After moving a precious cargo of guitars, we emerged on the street next to the Nokia theatre and ran into our good friend Richard Jacques, who was just as surprised to see us as we were to see him! Exhausted, we crashed for a few drinks at a local bar as well as a few last photographs of the day, and toasted the success of Sonic Boom.
I’d like to end by applauding the fantastic job Aaron and the team at SoA did putting together an event of this magnitude in such a short period of time, and all those involved in the stage entertainment over the course of the evening. America has now had a taste of a Sonic convention, and I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear of Sonic Boom. I’d also like to thank Aaron on behalf of Dread and myself for sponsoring our trip to Sonic Boom; I’m sure I also speak for both of us by saying we are both honoured and flattered to have been considered during the creation of this event to represent Summer of Sonic; we’ve had the time of our lives, and I’m sure I speak for hundreds of other fans when I say…
SONIC BOOM ROCKS!!!
Due to the current circumstances surrounding the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that has lead to the humanitarian distaster in Japan, Crush 40 have cancelled their two conert dates, which were set to go ahead on Saturday, 2nd of April and Sunday, 3rd of April in Tokyo and Osaka. I’ve been in touch with both Jonny Gioeli and Jun Senoue this week, and after careful consideration they have decided this is the most appropriate action to take at this time.
Wavemaster Entertainment and Crush 40 extend their sympathies to all of those affected by the events in the north east of Japan, and apologise to all of those who had bought tickets to the two sold-out shows.You can read the official statement on the Wavemaster Crush 40 Concert page.
We will keep you updated here at the Sonic Stadium when dates for the rescheduling of these dates is due.
A double whammy of music updates today!
First off, tickets for the Crush 40 Live In Tokyo gigs will be on sale tomorrow from 10am Japanese time (2am GMT). The band, consisting of Jun Senoue, Johnny Gioeli and the first live appearance of bassist Takeshi Taneda, will be playing two dates at the GUILTY LIVE STAGE on the 2nd and 3rd of April and will be playing a host of classic Crush 40 tracks…and possibly some surprises too! You can follow this link to the Japanese Wavemaster Site to book your tickets should you be lucky enough to live nearby! Tickets are priced at ¥5,500.
Secondly, it looks like the Wavemaster, the record label on which the majority of Sonic the hedgehog soundtracks are now released under, are gearing up for some serious 20th anniversary releases with a placeholder page now online. Although nothing has been announced yet, it is likely fans will be able to snap up some nifty OST releases this year!
Stay tuned for more details in the future!
Ok, ok, bad puns aside – if you want to hear a small clip of Crush 40‘s version of “Free”, the title track to Sonic Free Riders, pop over and see our friends at JunSenoue.com and have a little goosey. Its very good.
The track will be available on the Sonic Free Riders Album, “Break Free”, due for release on the 8th of December 2010, for the handsome sum of ¥1800.
Welcome to my pictorial roundup of Summer of Sonic 2010! Here are a collection of photos from the day, taken by my sister, who was there as official Summer of Sonic photographer (do go check out her website!) If you stopped and posed for a photo thank you; being busy on stage meant I didn’t get an opportunity to take photos for myself, so these are all fantastic captured moments of what was a fantastic day for all.
Over breakfast the day before, Johnny Gioeli leaned over the table and asked me how many people were coming to this little shindig he would be performing at tomorrow. I proceeded to explain that we were expecting between eight-hundred and a thousand people to show up, travelling from all corners of the world, and he was simply staggered. Although I knew the numbers myself, the reality of it all didn’t sink in until the countdown began on stage, and looked down onto the vast throng of people. It still seems like another lifetime to me when Dreaknux, AAUK and myself were huddled around a little table in a Nottingham café fantasising about the prospect of a Sonic convention, yet not four years later we have accomplished a third successful Sonic event.
First off I want to thank all of you guys; you all showed up for starters, supported the event, and behaved impeccably. I didn’t hear one complaint on the day that you had to wait an extra half an hour outside of the venue (an unfortunate setback because of the thefts of electronics), You all waited patiently in queues for Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament, in some cases for over an hour. Although we managed to get over twelve pods on the day, more than twice the number we had last year, we could have done with more – the popularity of the games available was incredible! I also didn’t hear one moan about the heat during the Crush 40 performance either, even from those of you who aren’t used to attending hot and sweaty rock gigs; everyone was far too busy enjoying the rare opportunity to watch Jun and Johnny perform live. I also want to thank you all for treating our guests with respect and politeness throughout the day.
Although I was pretty much running from point to point for the entirety of the event, what really made my day was the brief pauses I had in between my dashes, chatting to you guys. Even if it was only for a few minutes it was awesome to catch up with you lot, have my photo taken with you…or even signing things! I had a few minutes to catch up with Aaron “RubyEclipse” Webber, the community manager at SEGA of America, who is a fantastic and pleasant fellow, and is probably just as busy when he’s away from his (now Green Hill Zone themed!) desk. It was also marvellous to catch up with folks from the SSMB, Junsenoue.com, SonicWrecks.com, NiGHTSintoDreams.com and EmeraldCoast.co.uk amongst many sites, and to finally put some names to faces! Thanks to everyone who has sent the staff and I a thank you via PM, email or facebook, and a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who bought me a drink or a bottle of my favourite poison – my whiskey cabinet is now well stocked!
I want to also convey my heartfelt thanks to our guests Nigel Dobbyn, Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli. For starters these guys are incredibly busy folk, and yet they took time out to come along and perform, draw, talk and sign items for you, for free. I’m always stunned that at the end of every event our guests always ask if they can come back next year, sometimes with their kids because they love coming out to meet you lot, and because the atmosphere is always so friendly. A huge cheer for the guys and gals at Archie Comics and First4Figures too for their extremely kind donation of literally hundreds of comics and action figures! I must also extend my thanks to Richard Elson of STC fame for donating some fantastic artwork to give away as well – all very much appreciated!
I think I speak for the majority of attendees when I say the Crush 40 performance totally blew everyone away. Organising all of the pieces that went towards creating the performance involved many sleepless nights on my behalf – I had nightmares of cabs blowing and microphones failing, but yet in the end it all came together miraculously. I give my infinite gratitude to AAUK, Dreadknux, Jun Senoue and SEGA for assisting me in putting it all together. I don’t think even in my wildest dreams I’d ever imagined introducing Crush 40 on stage…so Summer of Sonic really has become a place in which even my dreams have become reality.
Before I conclude, I think thanks are in order to all the members of staff this year, some of whom have, for a third year running, have given up their time to provide a fun-filled day for everyone. Not only that, some of these folks have donated substantial quantities of money towards the running of these events, and so I’d like to end with a few words of thanks to a few of them:
The DJs; FastFeet, Turbo, BlitzChris and Gavvie: The boys kept the turntables hot all day. This was the first year I haven’t commanded the DJ booth, so I tip my hat to Mr. Graham “FastFeet” Seward who took up the reigns and kept the wheels turning, and who also provided a spot-on job with backing tracks for Jun and Johnny’s performances – simply amazing dude.
The Store Staff: Flyboy, WayPastCool, Speedknux, Char & Nemain – My NiGHTS in shining armour! These guys manned the stores selling all those of wonderful bits of merchandise that no doubt grace many of your shelves and wardrobes. From Jun, Johnny, Tracey Yardley and myself, thank you all so much! A special thanks to Nemain who is probably the person responsible for propping me up the past few months!
The Tech Guys: B’man, Discoponies & Roareye – Even with a massive blow to their arsenal with the theft of equipment the night before, they provided excellent on stage support with feeds and visual magic for the third year running. I honestly don’t think there are any limits to what these guys can achieve on the day!
The Doors and the Games: Urtheart, Vger, Jay Zeach, Shadzter & Blake Draco – The ever present Urtheart once again resided over the doors flanked by his cronies, allowing us all to have another safe day at Summer of Sonic, while Shadz and Blake both kept the crowds moving on the pods. Cheers guys!
Sonic the Hedgehog: He always shows up year in year out with no complaint. And year in year out SonicYoda is nowhere to be seen…we thank him for staying in touch with him and getting him along every year!
…and the Rest: SoA, bcdcdude, Iceman, Rachael, ENVY, Gnasher & SonicMark – I still maintain Iceman is the coolest bloke on the Earth, doubly so as he jumped in when the going got tough and was a huge help setting up the day before. I also tip my hat to the dudes from junsenoue.com who also pitched in, especially in bringing me much needed sustenance in the form of a cheese burger. Rach was also running around much like my sis taking loads of snaps during the day as well. ENVY is the very tallented young chap who provided the fantastic art for the Buzzbombers quiz, and Gnasher for once again running the show. SonicMark has become affectionately known as my caddy as he ends up lugging my stuff around – I just need to find him an appropriate hat. Thanks loads fellas, you all helped make my life easier throughout the organisation of the event.
The Dynamic Duo: AAUK & Dreadknux – Let’s face it, Summer of Sonic only happens because these two guys have the drive to propel it forward. Kevin has once again gone so far beyond the call of duty that we’ve had to send out a search party for him. Svend somehow manages to coordinate a fantastic website every year and continues to be our shining standard bearer. Even though this event is nothing short of an organisational nightmare, they keep coming back year after year to entertain you lot, and I hope your remember that.
So, Summer of Sonic is done for another year, but we’ve already got a date in our diaries for 2011 (25th of June, folks!). Who knows what will be going down on the day, but with it Sonic’s 20th birthday racing towards us, anything could happen!
Thank you all for an awesome SoS ’10.
I know many of you “Crushers” out there can’t make it to Summer of Sonic this year, and that some of you have burning questions to ask Jun and Johnny…well, here’s your opportunity! During the Q&A session that we’ll have in the afternoon, I’m giving you all an opportunity to have your questions put to the dynamic duo!
Due to the limited time we have on stage to ask questions, and because we’ll also have questions being pitched by the crowd on the day, I will only be able to ask a selection of questions – so make your questions interesting and unique to increase their chances of being asked!
If you have a question you would like to be asked, please send them in an email entitled “Crush 40 Questions”, to tbird [at] sonicstadium.org. I’ll see if i can rustle up some C40 goodies for what I think is the best question as well!
Please submit all your questions by Thursday at 9:00am BST, so I have sufficient time to prepare them.
Those of you fortunate enough to be attending the Summer of Sonic this year will be the first to be able to get their hands on some Official Crush 40 merchandise! As well as a selection of T-Shirts, there will also be badges and guitar picks available for purchase!
Not only that, there will be a whole host of other Sonic the hedgehog related merchandise including plush toys and comics up for grabs – stocks will be strictly limited though, so if you want to snag yourself some bits and pieces, better do it early on the day!
You’d better bring your pennies with you!
EDIT: All C40 merchandise prices TBC
EDIT 2: I’ve also just been informed by Jun there will also be a selection of CDs available for purchase as well!
Because AAUK won’t have already stuffed enough goodies into your free bag of goodnesss upon entry, and because you’ll not know whether you want to play Sonic 4 or Sonic Colours first, we know Summer of Sonic is going to be exhausting, what with all this excitement.
So, if you’re already nackered by the afternoon then don’t worry – you’ll be able to sit down, relax, and not miss out on any of the action, as there is a treat in store for you Summer of Sonic attendees! If you’re around the stage in the afternoon, you’ll have an opportunity to mellow out in the presence of Jun Senoue, who will be playing a selection of acoustic tracks from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
What will Jun play? I’m not going to tell you…it’s a surprise!
If you haven’t already registered for a ticket, I suggest you do so today – with over 700 guests already attending, you’ll want to get your skates on to avoid missing out!
It’s time to go crazy kids!
It is our utmost pleasure to announce that the Summer of Sonic will play host to the legendary rock group CRUSH 40 at this years’ convention!
Johnny Gioeli is no stranger to the world of rock, and has blown away audiences for nearly twenty years with his incredible vocals, fronting acts such as Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell. Teaming up with Jun Senoue to form Sons of Angels, they later became Crush 40. Gioeli’s powering voice has become synonymous, with a huge number of Sonic the Hedgehog title tracks including Open Your Heart (Sonic Adventure), Live & Learn (Sonic Adventure 2) and I Am…All Of Me (Shadow the Hedgehog).
Jun Senoue is one of the most influential composers in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, having worked on Sonic titles as early as 1993. Sound directing some of the most prolific soundtracks to date including the Sonic Adventure series, Sonic Heroes and Sonic & the Black Knight to mention but a few, Senoue has become infamous for his musical direction as well as his musical prowess, with his trademark guitar work becoming the staple of countless Sonic the Hedgehog titles. Not only this, Senoue is the composer for the soon-to-be-released title Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. The double threat of Gioeli and Senoue as Crush 40 has literally redefined the music to Sonic the Hedgehog games as we know it.
Jun and Johnny will also be answering any questions you might have in a Crush 40 Q&A event on stage. They will also be available for a quick chat in the afternoon in a meet and greet session, where you can bring along your Crush 40 memorabilia to have signed!
Not only this, but we are delighted that Crush 40 will be treating Summer of Sonic fans to a very special Summer of Sonic Crush 40 performance on stage at the end of the show, playing a selection of fan-favourites that will rock you to your core!
You’re not going to want to miss this year’s convention…it truly will be way past cool!
My busy schedule (which has included scoping out potential locations for Summer of Sonic) has meant this has been heavily delayed, but here it is! The illusive final part of the Jun Senoue Interview! Because there were so many questions asked by the fans, Jun agreed to answer some more of the other frequently asked questions:
T-Bird: BlueHedgehog25 asks are you planning on having any Crush 40 or similar songs featuring on the Rock Band Network?
Jun: I’m hoping that we can have some Crush 40 songs on Rock Band in the near future.
T-Bird: Exciting! Sure the fans will be please to hear that! Waaurufu asks who was the designer of your Sonic the hedgehog guitar?
Jun: Yuji Uekawa Sonic Team illustrator and character designer provided me with the artwork. Hiroki Hayashi, one of the people who is in charge over at ESP guitars took care of the rest!
T-Bird: Here’s a good question from SuperStingray: Where did the name Crush 40 come from, and what happened to Crushes 1-39?
Jun: I picked the word “Crush” up because of my favorite soda drink and Johnny added “40” onto the end. You will have to ask Johnny about other numbers!
T-Bird: A less Sonical pair of questions now! Pelon13 asks what is your favourite food, and what is your favourite colour?
Jun: Mexican food is my favourite, but it is very hard to find really good Mexican restuarants in Japan. Talking about colors, my favorites are Red, Purple, Black.
T-Bird: Moving back to technical preferences, Kasey asks what your favourite guitar is and what amplifier set-up do you preferentially use?
Jun: I like the combination of ESP guitar with Schecter pick-ups and Soldano amplifier with Soldano or Bogner cabinets. I only have small ones from Bogner at this moment though. With regards to “Knight Of The Wind” on “The Best Of Crush 40 – Super Sonic Songs”, I tracked all backing guitars once again with Soldano amplifier and Soldano cabinet.
T-Bird: Gwiz210 wants to know if Bubblicious Blvd. are planning on recording an album or an EP in the near future?
Jun: Nope! Bubblicious Blvd. is not a serious project at all. We [Jun, Mike etc…] just try to have play any dates we can in our spare time at the moment. Jan. 9th was the first day we were introduced to each other and we played the gig without any rehearsals! We’ve only met twice since then back on February the 20th to rehearse and to play another show a day later on February 21st.
We have played just three times, two shows and one rehearsal!
T-Bird: With regards to that gig, how did it go?
Jun: Talking about the show on Feb. 21st, it went much better than 1st gig since we’ve learned the songs 🙂 I was really surprised that a singer I used to work with back in the early 90’s came to the show to say hi to me! We had a dinner the other day, discussed several things and we will have a show on May 16th in Shibuya, Tokyo. The band was not famous but we had some good memories!
We will have a show with my drummer and bass player this time but I hope all four members from that era can share the stage in the near future.
T-Bird: Sounds like a very busy schedule! Nozwhompolton asks are there any plans to give Blaze the cat a theme? If so, will it be similar to the Sir Percival theme or something different like the Vela-Nova track from Sonic Rush?
Jun: When I worked for “Sonic And The Black Knight”, I had a plan to make her theme song and yes, my idea was to make a full-length version of “Sir Percival Theme”. I could not make it for several reasons…. the main reason being the short instrumental I composed for “Sir Percival” was good enough for the scene, and we didn’t need the longer one for use elsewhere in the game.
And that’s all folks! Hopefully we will be speaking to Jun again in the summer with regards to the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 soundtrack…and maybe some other things too!
9:00PM on Sunday, 7th of February 2010. Shibuya, Tokyo. Jun Senoue, Jeriaska from Gamasutra and myself have just enjoyed a couple of really good pizzas, and had finished discussing video game music as well as music remix projects (see my other post regarding the Game Music 4 All project!). Jun had answered my questions regarding Crush 40 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, but thanks to you guys, I still had a heap of questions for him…
T-Bird: Ok Jun, I’ve got some questions from the fans here! First off is from ibbod0; how did you meet Johnny and the rest of Crush 40?
Jun: Wow, good question…actually, I was a huge fan of Hardline. Usually when I compose the songs and write the melody, I think about who would make a suitable singer for the song or a good singer for the melody or something like that. With the song “It Doesn’t Matter”, the original version for Sonic Adventure, it has a very high note-melody. When I was writing it I thought Tony Harnell would be the ideal singer, and in the end he performed on that song; this in now my way of composing. Talking about “Open Your Heart”, I had Johnny in mind, but I did not have any direct contact with him. Actually my friend who lives in Los Angeles knows Doug Aldrich [The guitarist for Whitesnake these days! – T] . For a short time Doug played in one of Johnny’s previous bands, Brunette, and I knew they still had a good relationship and that Johnny had appeared on Doug’s first solo release [on a track called “Face Down” on the album Alter Ego – T]. That meant maybe Doug could get in contact with Johnny, and so I asked my friend to get in contact with Doug, then Dough got in contact with Johnny…and that’s how I first got in touch with him.
T-Bird: Ok, so SoA, Admin for the js.com forums asks, if say you had to replace Johnny, and of course that would be an impossible task, who would you ideally want as your dream replacement?
T-Bird: Yes…if you had to.
Jun: That would mean Crush 40 would be disbanded, seeing as Crush 40 is the teaming of Johnny and myself, in which case you would need to find a replacement for both of us! The lack of me or lack of Johnny would mean…yeah (laughs).
T-Bird: Great answer – I honestly don’t think you could replace him either! Thirdly, Sonic1991 asks how did the collaboration with Emma Gelotte, Tinna Karlsdotter and the legend that is Marty Friedman [Legendary because he was the guitarist on my favourite Megadeth album! – T] come around for the track “With Me”?
Jun: I wrote that song for the final boss in the Sonic and the Black Knight, and I so first I tried to find the female singers for that song. One of my friends in a Japanese record company takes care of dealings with All Ends [Tinna & Emma’s band – T], and so that’s how I got in touch with them. With Marty, although he was now living in Japan, I didn’t know him personally. I didn’t know his manager or any of the other business guys who dealt with him, so I asked him directly. Originally I planned to ask him to play all of the guitar stuff, but when he came into the studio, he said “hey, we should just keep these backing tracks!” We booked the studio here in Tokyo to record the lyrics and Marty’s guitar solo, but then the other guys came into the studio and wanted me to change the key, so I said “please give me one hour!” Since we use Pro-Tools, it was easy enough to raise the track one note, but it did not have very good clarity. We changed the key digitally anyway, then tracked the vocals, then Marty tracked his guitar. I went back later on and tracked all of the backing guitar in the correct key.
Originally my idea was to have that song in a lower key, and in fact we [Crush 40] did the demo in that much lower key, and that was featured on the Sonic and the Black Knight “Face to Faith” album and it is much heavier.
T-Bird: I think a lot of fans liked hearing a heavier version…and thanks for sharing the story! Short question: BlueLightning asks, what was your first guitar?
Jun: He wants to know my first electric guitar? Actually, before I started playing electric guitars, I got an electric bass, since I was into Duran Duran at the time.
T-Bird: Haha! That’s awesome!
Jun: Andy Taylor the guitar player didn’t play any solos with Duran Duran or anything and the bass player was so much more…
Jun: Yeah! Originally I played the keyboard, but the drummers and the keyboard players were always at the back of the stage, and I always wanted to be one of the guys in front of the stage. I’m not good at singing, and I was not interested in singing, so I picked up the bass. However, after watching some MTV videos by the band called Ratt [Rock history lesson right here kids! – T] and Night Ranger, I got really into those bands, and so my very first guitar was a duplicate of the guitar the Ratt guitarist had…and I still have it.
T-Bird: Do you remember what make it was?
Jun: I think it was Fernandes, but these days I’ve replaced the neck with a performance neck…I will post a picture of it sometime!
T-Bird: Haha! Definitely! So, Sinister Swiss asks after the remixing of the Angel Island Zone track for Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, have you considered going back and reworking any other classic songs from those classic titles?
Jun: Interesting! It was very fun to do the remix for Angel Island, and also I made another arrangement of Sky Sanctuary from Sonic & Knuckles for the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, and if I get a chance I want to try to do more of those kind of remixes.
T-Bird: Any particular tracks?
Jun: Ummm…talking about Sonic the hedgehog 3 and Knuckles music…*starts humming*
T-Bird: HAHAHA! YEAH! Death Egg Zone from Sonic & Knuckles! I think that would make a lot of the fans would love that! I know we’ve covered this in the previous half of the interview, but Michelle Palmer asks if you are considering any tour dates?
Jun: As I was saying, I am going to try and organise some Crush 40 dates around August time. [As a side note kiddos, Jun has a new band Bubbilicious Blvd. And is playing shows in Tokyo! Check out the TSS article on them! – T].
T-Bird: Ok, last question…Hawkz asks, what would you say has been the defining moment of your career?
Jun: Hmmm…I’d have to say there are several. The first one is back in ’96, the moment I teamed up with Eric Martin. It was a very special moment for me. From that point I started trying to find direct connection with the artists, and that’s the way I’ve been doing it for years now.
Both Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 are very important games for me and very important titles for me, since Sonic Adventure was the very first time I was the sound director for a Sonic title, and I changed the sound of Sonic music drastically. With Sonic Adventure 2, some of us moved to the States, which changed our lives, and this time around we tried to make the music for the American market. It was very fun, and a very special time for not only me, but for the team too.
Finally, with Super Smash Bros: Brawl We provided several pieces of Sonic music to be used in the game, and lots of new fans – by new fans I mean the players who did not have any experience playing Sonic games – listened to the music for the first time while playing the Smash Brothers game…to me that was a great experience.
T-Bird: Lots of fond memories, and I’m sure a lot of fans hold some of those moments close to their heart too! Thanks loads for taking our questions Jun…hopefully we can talk to you again soon with more burning questions!
And we will have more questions answered very soon! Stay tuned for Part 3…but before you do, a quick message to someone…
The SSSS (that’s the Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad) launch their regular soundtrack review program; to kick off we take a look at the recent Crush 40 Best of album, Super Sonic Songs…
Yup! Be sure to tune into the 24-hour radio livecast on SEGASonic:Radio on Sunday to have a chance of winning yourself a very snazzy CD!
Sonic Channel, for the uninitiated, is Japan’s official Sonic the Hedgehog website. It’s about ten thousand times better than the American counterpart, Sonic Central, and is currently 100% better than the European Sonic City, which doesn’t exist yet (expect that to change when it re-launches though). It’s updated on a regular basis and provides plenty of decent fanservice for Asian fans of the blue blur. Every so often, we’d like to track the updates we find on Sonic Channel, so you don’t miss out on some good stuff.
Every month we’re treated to a new desktop wallpaper and calendar PDF, which features the talented artwork of Yuji Uekawa (who should really do more artwork for promotional purposes like game boxes – too many CG pieces flying around) – and every so often a little bio written by SEGA Europe’s Community Team as well. Recently the character art has been in a sketch style, which is a cool way of seeing how Sonic and Tails are usually drawn.
February’s calendar character is none other than Chip from Sonic World Adventure / Unleashed. I guess it makes sense – Valentine’s Day is the time of love, and Chip just happens to ‘looooooooove’ chocolate. We’re glad the little random sprat is getting some facetime. Even though it’s pink, it’s on my desktop. Because hey, I’m comfortable with my sexuality. Are you? Click here to grab the wallpaper and here for the calendar PDF.
The other main activity on the Japanese website appears to be on the official microsites of Sonic World Adventure and Sonic and the Black Knight, with the latter updating with a pretty cool video featuring Jun ‘Junny Baby’ Senoue and Johnny Gioeli performing ‘Knight of the Wind’ in a SECRET LOCATION. Well, a studio. A studio in a SECRET LOCATION. It’s pretty good stuff, head to the microsite and click the video called ‘Hey All’ to see it.
Finally, even though they’re really old items on the website, we want you to take a look at this video featuring Junny Baby and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (of the SEGA Sound Team live performance band) singing Happy Birthday to Sonic (totally epic), and some awesome ‘Basic Sonic’ stationary that you wish you could buy.