Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival we’re speaking to a range of composers and musicians for a mixture of in-depth interviews and shorter, sharper (and perhaps a little goofier) Q&As where we ask just ten rapid-fire personal questions; we’re calling these shorter features ‘Quick Beats‘.
Today we’re speaking to composer Ippo Yamada, who began his career as a sound designer at Capcom (working on games such as Demon’s Crest and Resident Evil) before founding Inti Creates with other ex-Capcom developers in 1996. Since then he has written the music for the Mega Man Zero series and a host of other Inti Creates titles, including Azure Striker Gunvolt, Blaster Master Zero, and most recently Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2.
So, join us as we find out the first record Mr Yamada ever bought, what he would save from his house in an emergency, and his personal favourite track from his impressive back catalogue…
What was the first song or album you remember buying?
I think the first thing I bought myself was Godiego’s single record The Galaxy Express 999.
What was the last music you listened to?
The last music I listened to outside of work just happened to be Backdraft: Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
What was the very first video game you wrote music for, and how do you feel listening back now?
Speed Power Gunbike. It’s my music, so I like the composition, but I might want to tweak the tones and arrangement.
Which piece of yours are you most proud of?
Which piece by someone else do you wish you had written?
I’ve never even thought about it.
What do you listen to while you’re driving?
Music CDs. I listen to all kinds—rock, fusion, soundtrack, classical, and electro. I also listen to my work in different surroundings to check it.
Do you have a musical hero?
Lots of them—too many to list.
Which decade had the best music?
I listen to a wide variety of music from the sixties to the naughts, but I think the ’70s and ’80s had the biggest impact.
Ocarina, harp or bongos — which magical instrument do you take on an epic adventure?
The bongos… I guess. They’d be a pain to carry, though.
If your house were on fire and you only had time to grab one keepsake before you flee to safety with your family, what would you take?
My wedding ring. It’s gotta be somewhere around the house. I’ll have to start by looking for it.
Our thanks to Mr Yamada. Be sure to check out our other Quick Beats interviews with the likes of Austin Wintory, Yuzo Koshiro, Darren Korb, Jake Kaufman, Lena Raine, Manami Matsumae, David Wise, and more, and keep an eye out for more music-focused interviews and features in the final week of the Nintendo Life VGM Fest.