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"Party tip: Imagine your dreams coming true. Now go work your ass off." - Andrew WK

Well, that was a relief.

I'm sure many of you (being gamers and whatnot) can relate to being a little obsessive and compulsive over things at times. Ever since I was a little kid, I took obsessive behavior to a level no-one else I've met has really ever matched or understood. I used to sit for 7 or 8 hours at a time, copying maps from a world atlas, or recreating my G1 Transformers comics onto the hundreds of sheets of newsprint my father used to bring home for me from his day job as a newspaper editor (his other job was published poet - he was an awesome guy).

Upon discovering, as a teenager, a knack for music (after long spells obsessing over Guns 'N' Roses, some popular new passtime called "computer games," cars and, believe it or not, football), that was it. The first time I ever picked up a guitar and my buddy showed me how to play an "E" chord, I was completely, utterly consumed by playing and creating music.

Fast forward to December 2011 and the obsessive behavior hit an all time high point. From the insomnia-fuelled night I accidentally began writing "Sovngarde Song" right up until minutes before its release 3 weeks later, it was the one and only thing I could really focus on and it occupied pretty much every waking (and sometimes sleeping) minute of my life. This may all sound terribly over-dramatic but in the four years we've been together, this was the first time my girlfriend was genuinely worried I might do my health some damage due to not sleeping, forgetting to eat and doing nothing all day long but mixing guitars, swearing at the computer, exporting audio files, adding harmony vocal layers, tweaking and replacing drum sounds, equalizing strings, etc.

It's hard to overstate how important getting this song right was for me and my career. If I screwed up the Skyrim song, the backlash would have been huge. I listened to all the feedback you guys gave me over the year and took it all (well, most of it, haha) to heart and went out there with the mission to make the best damn piece of music I had ever made. But hey, it's all good - judging by the half million views, links on the Bethesda Facebook and insanely awesome reaction from you guys it was all worth it in the end!

Before I talk about the song itself, let's get the FAQs back on track after their Christmas break:

Isn't it a bit shitty how you single people out and call them out on thier criticisms?

Honestly no, I don't feel it is. Many frequent internet users have become far too accustomed to having no accountability for comments or remarks that if said to someone in real life, would result in them getting a smack in the jaw. If you come onto a web page and publicly make an aggressive, ignorant or rude comment in front of everyone, then act surprised and offended when you're called out on it, you need to get off your computer and spend more time in the real world to learn how human beings work. I didn't make you look stupid - you did that all by yourself.

I also never mention names, but it's amusing to see people get mad at my responses and come angrily into the Encore comments section annoucing to the world like an attention starved toddler: "I'm the one who made that stupid comment!"

Criticism should be constructive. If you don't want to be ridiculed, don't say dumb, rude things in public. It's quite simple, really.

Can I ask a question?

Yes. (Still waiting for the question)

Do you ever create music "under the influence" so to speak?

No. I don't do drugs and try not to be around them or people who do them. Bad history there from teenage years. I will sometimes pick up a guitar after a drink or two and mess around, though.

Yo will you make a theme song for me, I do beast quickscope COD montages

Sure, let me just finish calling this plumber and asking him to fix my sink for free first.

What's your favourite game music from 2011?

A toss up between the Crysis 2 main theme and the Deus Ex: Human Revolution main theme. Both are masterpieces.

How many hours have you spent on Skyrim?

Far, far too many.

What was your favourite non-gaming music of 2011?

Imaginaerium by Nightwish, and Deconstruction by Devin Townsend.

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