Tuesday, 10 January 2012

An Interview with brentalfloss

brentalfloss, real name Brent Black became a YouTube hit when he first put lyrics to the music in Mega Man 2. Since then, he's expanded his "...with lyrics" series, gained himself a huge fanbase and branched out from the YouTube side of things. Like myself, brentalfloss is an avid Nintendo fan, so I just had to get an interview with him! Here it is folks. Enjoy.

Q. Hey brentalfloss! You've made quite a name for yourself putting lyrics to video game songs in your "With Lyrics" series, as well as a whole host of other excellent projects and videos. How did it all start?

A: The moment I decided to try adding lyrics to video game music was pretty anticlimactic (and is actually detailed in this episode of my webcomic: http://brentalfloss.com/comic26.cfm

But the real answer to "How did it all start?"is this: When I was 4, my parents bought us an NES. Until the age of 11, I went to school at least a half hour drive from my house, so I didn't have a lot of friends in my neighbourhood to play with. I sometimes joke that my best friends were my piano and my Nintendo. Add to that years of training in performance, songwriting, and comedy and it sort of makes sense that all these elements would come together in this way :)

Q. brentalfloss: The Comic is great! What made you decide to branch off into comic strip writing/drawing, and how has the response to these been?

A: Honestly, I would probably never have thought to create a comic series if Dan Roth hadn't approached me about the idea at 2010's New York Comic Con. He showed me some concepts and sold me on the idea of creating an "alt universe" for the brand. The response has been positive, but we're still figuring out how to write a series that rewards longtime fans of the brentalfloss brand without alienating new fans.
Q. What's been your proudest gaming-related moment in your career so far?

A: That would have to be the first time I got to play with Video Games Live. Sitting at the piano in the middle of about 80 professional musicians playing a tune I wrote about Mario in front of over 1,000 people... it doesn't get much cooler than that.

Q. I got to see you perform live at last month's London Gaming Con, but you've done plenty of live performances now. What's been your most memorable live experience, and why?

A: Well, while my last answer was my "proudest" live experience, I think my most memorable might be from this past summer's Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana. I played a concert in a mall arcade! I just kept thinking "If only ten year old Brent had been able to convince his mother that this would happen one day..."
Q. Your "...with lyrics" series has been hugely popular on YouTube for a while now. What's been your favourite in this collection, and what game do you plan on adding lyrics to next (or is a secret)? 

A: The answer to this question changes all the time... I think right now my favorite is Castlevania II with lyrics because I got to punch Dracula's severed head. As for future plans, I do keep these under wraps but I will say that I'll be bringing more material from the Final Fantasy franchise to life later this year.

Q. You're obviously a Nintendo fan at heart. What Nintendo game would you absolutely recommend playing?

A: Off the top of my head? Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: LTP, and Mega Man 2. Also all the rest of them that were ever made.
Q. What game are you currently addicted to?

A: Well, I had a quick love affair with Arkham City during Christmastime. Fun stuff, but I found myself wishing I could have performed some of the voice acting :)

Q. And finally, what's next for yourself? 

A: My mail goal for the next few years is to continue creating content for the brentalfloss brand while also returning to my first love which is musical comedy. I saw The Muppets a few weeks ago and when I realized that Flight of the Conchords' Bret MacKenzie wrote most of the music and lyrics to the score, I thought "WHY AM I NOT DOING THAT?"  So basically, while I plan to continue celebrating the fun and nostalgia of video games and their timeless music, I also want to branch out and show the world (and myself) that I can write original stuff and entertain in more ways than one :)


  1. Very nice interview. Had no idea he had a webcomic. As someone who was there at the start of the "With Lyrics" series, it's nice to see he's only gotten bigger and better since then.

    1. It looks like Blogger is finally letting me reply to people! Sorry this is late but I felt like I justified you a reply that you'll actually know about now. :P

      Thanks for checking out the interview. I'm glad you like it, and yeah, I've been following brentalfloss for quite some time now. It's surprising how big he's got in such a short space of time. Good on him. :)


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