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J-Pop Exchange Exclusive Interview with Tetsuya Shibata

Tetsuya Shibata J-Pop Exchange Radio Show Exclusive Interview


OAD:  4/21/12

SeanBird (J-Pop Exchange): Hi Tetsuya, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Did your interest in music begin in your childhood? How did you become interested in music?

Tetsuya Shibata: While I was growing up, my mother was a singer and a music teacher. She recommended that I take piano lessons. That was the start of my musical experience.

SeanBird: Please tell us about your musical studies and training.

Tetsuya Shibata: I began playing classical piano at a very young age. I taught myself how to play guitar, bass guitar, and drums while in junior high school and high school. While at the university, I heavily studied classic, rock, and jazz genres outside of my major.

SeanBird: How and when did you decide to pursue a career in music? Was it always your intention to pursue a career in music?

Tetsuya Shibata: Actually, I was not going to be a composer. But my brother-in-law introduced me to the video game industry. Then I began applying for jobs in composition at video game companies after college.

SeanBird: Can you give us some insight into your writing process? When you compose music, how do you progress from inspiration to creation?

Tetsuya Shibata: Well, at first I play piano while thinking of the main melody and chords. At the same time, I also consider the situation of the scene that the music should be played for. After that, I start arranging the music to fit to the scene.

SeanBird: Who are your musical influences?

Tetsuya Shibata: I was influenced by so many great composers. Frederic Chopin, Franz Schubert, Bizet, Kajagoogoo, Boy George, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, Oscar Peterson, Makoto Ozone, and Chick Corea.

SeanBird: What music do you listen to?

Tetsuya Shibata: So many genres. Classical music, jazz, pops, rock, heavy metal, dance music. Good music is good music, no matter what the genre.

SeanBird: How did you become involved with composing music for videogames?

Tetsuya Shibata: Actually I didn't know that kind of job, videogame composer, existed -- before my older sister's husband introduced me to it

SeanBird: Please tell us about the scoring process behind productions such as Devil May Cry 2, 3, and 4. Where in the process do you, as a composer, become involved?

Tetsuya Shibata: Generally, as a composer, for most titles I become involved in the game development process in the middle of production. Regarding DMC3 and 4, I was in charge of sound production as well as composing music. So I had to handle the project from the beginning of development.

SeanBird: Please tell us about the scoring process behind the productions Earth Seeker and Half Minute Hero. Where in the process do you, as a composer, become involved?

Tetsuya Shibata: As for the Earth Seeker, I think I joined the sound team in the middle of production. But I was expected to compose all the music for that title, so I had to grasp all the situations of the game very soon. -- Because a video game composer should consider all game scenes, in order to fit the music to each scene. Regarding Half Minute Hero, I think I became involved with the project near the end of the development process.

SeanBird: Please tell us about the process behind the production Resident Evil 5. Where in the process do you, as an audio director, become involved?

Tetsuya Shibata: I was in charge of the sound production for Resident Evil 5, so I had to be part of the team from the earliest point of development. This was Because I had to manage the total budget, including the cost of the whole sound crew.

SeanBird Are there particular instruments that you prefer to use in your compositions or orchestrations?

Tetsuya Shibata: Although it depends on the genre or the style of the music, I mostly use keyboards and guitar.

SeanBird: Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

Tetsuya Shibata: I'm not allowed to mention about the upcoming project... sorry.

SeanBird: No problem, I respect that.

Tetsuya Shibata: I want to work for movies in the near future, if I have a chance. It may be similar to the video game, but may be different. But I want to try to do something new!

SeanBird: In conclusion, is there anything you would like to talk about that we have not discussed thus far?

Tetsuya Shibata: I'm gonna keep going, to make new sounds and music. Keep watching please! Thank you.


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