Thursday, October 15, 2015

Interview with Erik McClure aka Blackhole

So, interesting little backstory about how I discovered this guy. If you don't care, proceed to the interview below! Back in the mid to late 2000s, I came across this awesome track called On the Edge and I immediately fell in love with it. In fact, it served as an inspiration for my HaloxToonami crossover that I wrote and am planning on resurrecting. Up until just a few weeks ago, that's actually as far as my knowledge of Erik McClure went.

I started brushing off my ancient Toonami files, (those that survived), in preparation for its resurrection and came across a tracklist of songs I listened to to help inspired me. I had completely forgotten about On the Edge and immediately started listening to it again, only this time I asked the obvious question of: Who actually made this? One thing led to another and before I knew it, I randomly decided to ask Erik if he'd mind doing an interview with me.

He was super cool about it and accepted some totally random dude's interview invitation and here we are today! And now that interview.

01. When did you first start making music?

Technically I came up with a "song" when I was 4, but I only actually started writing real songs when I was 11 or 12, and it wasn't until I found FL studio when I was 15 that I would actively start trying to make music.

02. What originally inspired you to make music?

I always like improvising on the piano more than actually playing songs.

03. What are you goals, hopes and dreams?

I'd like to make a living making games and software. I see myself as a backend programmer, the guy who makes all the engines and tools that everyone else uses to make things.

04. What are your influences?

I am heavily influenced by ParagonX9, Trancecrafter, F-777, and Thomas Bergersen. I also draw inspiration from the tracker scene (such as Elwood and Awezoom).

05. Do you have other creative goals? (i.e. film, photography, writing, etc.)

I'd love to be able to make a movie at some point, but I'm not sure that'll ever happen. I have a few writing ideas too, but they're unlikely to materialize.

06. Do you plan on releasing more of your older Newgrounds content on Bandcamp?

I actually can't. Bandcamp has a strict limit on how many free downloads I get, so I only put music I'm selling on bandcamp, plus a few remixes.

07. What do you use to create your music?

FL Studio 12, EWQL Symphonic Choir, EWQL Orchestra Gold, Kontakt 5, z3ta+, Harmor, Ogun, and a few other random plugins.

08. Why did you choose the moniker Blackhole?

I came up with it a long time ago in middle school, back when I was fascinated with actual black holes. I kept the nickname to ensure consistency but usually sell music under my real name.

09. What kind of games do you make and why?

Well right now I haven't actually managed to make any games. All my ideas are 2D at the moment, but that's mostly because of time-constraints. Most of my games are either puzzle-based, or focus on emergent gameplay by introducing a single concept into an existing structure and taking it to its logical extreme.

10. What would be your dream game to make?

Probably a space sim game. Good space sims are extremely rare right now. Elite: Dangerous is okay, but I'm holding out for Star Citizen.
And there's the interview! You should check out Erik's music. It's definitely worth listening to and dropping some cash on!

Erik's Bandcamp

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