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Hey Robin. Santa isn’t real. Merry Christmas – The Goddamn Batman’s Twitter

Poor old Bats. Always struggling with the knowledge that he may in fact be as insane, if not more than, the supercriminals he relentlessly pursues and beats the crap out of. Because of this, he has over the years of comics, movies and games built a strange almost co-dependant relationship with them, in particular Joker.

To me, the relationship between the Dark Knight and his greatest foe is the most compelling and interesting part of the Bat-universe. Joker was a fascinating and complex character long before Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger turned him into a household name. Both of my Bat-songs deal with the Batman/Joker relationship together – both from different sides (“Mind Of The Bat” more loosely than “Joker’s Song”).

First off, question time!

Why won’t you accept my friend request on XBOX Live/Skype/Steam/Facebook?

Because I don’t know you.

What song is this a parody of?

It isn’t. Some musicians still write their own songs.

Where is the song with Malukah? Is it still happening?

Yep, it’s just taking a while! Nearly done, just have to finish some vocals.

Do you like bees?

Not particularly.

Why does The Escapist make you wait 2 weeks before putting your songs on iTunes?

They don’t. That’s a voluntary choice by me – it gets the video itself more views. It’s not always exactly 2 weeks, sometimes I put them up a few days earlier if I feel the buzz about it has died down on the site.

Do you straighten/style your hair? (Frequent question on my YouTube vlogs, believe it or not)

Haha, no. I don’t even comb it. I just get out of the shower and let it do what it wants.

Do you do screamo? My friends band is looking for a new vocalist.

No. I don’t do screamo. It’s one of the few genres I really can’t listen to. It’s just so … wimpy.

Is this your full time job?

Yep.

“Mind Of The Bat”

This is a song I kind of have a little regret about. I made it when I was first starting off with gaming music and I didn’t put too much thought into making the actual sound of the song fit with the subject matter. So while the lyrics are suitably dark and brooding, I always felt the music itself was just that little bit too bouncy and jolly sounding for Batman. The dark choir/strings in the chorus and middle section are fine, it’s the bouncing 6/8 rhythm and spinning melody – they don’t exactly imply “I AM THE DARK KNIGHT”. It was meant to imply insanity but ended up being a little too jolly, I think.

However, I’m very happy with the middle section of the song. The “Look to the sky at night” part is one of my favorite things I’ve done and I think captures bats pretty well, and I like the way I sang it. It has power.

Still, on its own merit I love the song and it got a generally favorable response. Most people enjoyed the lyrics, especially the sneaky references to the bat-villains. The lyrical theme of the song is to do with Batman listening to Joker’s constant “You’re the one who’s nuts!” taunts (ever-present through the story of Arkham Asylum) and starting to doubt himself. This why the villain references in the verses are about the other villains and the repeated one in the chorus is given to Joker (“Check my head I guess the joke’s on me, I’m not laughing at the irony) – to emphasize that he’s the one making Batman think these self-doubting thoughts.

Criticisms:

It felt a little heavy on the bridge/chorus repeats after about the 2:40 mark … like it was originally a little bit over three minutes long, then got extended.

Maybe it is just me … but the song goes on like 30 seconds too long. It is good … but a touch too long.

Yeah, I agree with these two guys. In hindsight, the main hook does start to get old after so many repetitions, especially towards the end of the song. It’s something I have definitely started to think about in recent songs.

In what shape, form, or fashion is either the game or the general franchise adequately represented musically by this happy-go-lucky middle of the road elevator-pop?

I can’t even get annoyed about that comment, because hyperbolic as it is, he kind of has a point. Like I said – I love the song, it just musically didn’t represent the subject matter as well as it could have.

Now riddle me this now, and riddle me that
What happens if Shepard tries to take on the Bat?

Whoever wins, the surrounding scenery loses.

I don’t mean to be insulting Miracle, but I just find your voice oddly generic.

As it was accompanied by no specific examples, basis or solid reasoning, I must conclude that it is in fact your comment which is oddly generic.

“Joker’s Song”

This was one of those “I have to get this right or they’ll crucify me” songs. So I was determined to make a much darker and more intense sounding song for Joker, while retaining his gallows humor. The Danny Elfman-esque carnival waltz feel fit this perfectly in my opinion. Using the same keyboard orchestra program as I did for “Sovngarde Song,” I tried something different here – no drums, no guitars, no pre-chorus dynamic “pop” bridges … just an old fashioned “classical” sounding crooner song.

It’s hard to talk too much about the sub-meaning behind the song without getting into spoiler territory. So I’ll just say that it is about Joker’s tragic, co-dependant relationship with the Bat. It’s about how he admires and envies him, it’s about how he thinks they are alike in more ways than Batman knows. It’s about his obsessive need for Batman in his life and how he feels that somehow proving that Batman is himself insane, will somehow justfiy or validate Joker. He desperately wants Batman to be like him and is sure that the co-dependent, symbiotic feeling is mutual. They are almost like estranged lovers, which is why the song kind of sounds like a demented love song in parts.

The “one bad day” reference is one that many of you picked up. It’s from The Killing Joke, the comic in which we learn a little of Joker’s back story and the two of them, even after some after shocking atrocities by Joker, find some tragic and warped common ground. Another lyric I am proud of is the “Still we’re fated to battle, you pout and I prattle.” I think that line sums them up pretty well, as well as sounding fun and percussive to the ears, especially with Joker’s rolling “R”s.

The voice was a risk and a tough descision. It wouldn’t have sounded right in my own normal voice. The accent wasn’t too hard to do, but getting the correct vocal tone was tricky. It involved tightening my throat and gurgling spit (pleasant, eh?) to try and imitate Hamill’s raspy, choking, sing-song vocal tones, as my own natural voice is very different to his. He has a wonderful, chalky, higher pitched gravel-filled voice, while my own is low, deep and tonally quite straight and smooth. Thankfully it worked and the response to the voice was great. You guys loved it, some even mistook it for Hamill himself, or thought it was a different vocalist. It shoved a satisfying middle finger up to the critics who like to claim my voice is “too samey all the time.”

And yes, the laugh was all me. My poor neighbors …

Criticisms:

Does anyone else get a strong ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ vibe from this song?

That’s intentional. Danny Elfman did the soundtrack to the 1989 Batman movie and it always stuck with me so I wanted my song to sound like something he would write. Hans Zimmer’s modern soundtrack is amazing and powerful, but does not deal with the more wacky, crazy-clown style Joker, so it was an Elfman-like feel I went for.

I was a bit disappointed about the lack of laughter in a song named “Joker’s Song”.

Me too. I was especially disappionted about the lack of laughter in the part where I laughed for an entire 8 bars.

This might seem strange, but I think you did a too good job with the layers on this one. It feels like the vocals are deliberatelly sub-par because the Joker probably isn’t much of a singer and I think it would fit better if the layers did the same.

Interesting. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve been told I sang something “too well,” haha. But I can see your point. Perhaps the harmonies could have been a tad more chaotic and not so “locked in.”

Your songs are so fucking nerdy

Ah, Captain Obvious, how’ve you been? Allow me to introduce you to my friend Batman. He loves keyboard warriors …

I like that it draws on the Joker’s obsession with Batman and the idea that they’re reflections of each other with this weird symbiotic relationship

You, sir, understand the song perfectly.

Mother of God. Every part of this song was utterly sublime.

I love you guys.

You nailed “batshit insane” a little too well!

Helps to be a bit insane myself.

This song might just be better than “Commander Shepard.”

My Batman songs really seem to bring out the Shepard references. Could it be that in Batman we have finally realized there is someone who may be even better than Shepard? (Cue nerd rage flame war in comments section.)

“I have studied the mind of this bat” I see what you did there

Narcissistic self-reference for the win!

As always guys, ask me any questions you like in the comments and let me know which songs you’d like to hear about next. Later!

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