(N): Time to focus on your participation in “The Cat Lady”. How did you become a member of the cast and what do you think of the final result?
(J.G.): I actually met R. Michalski on an obscure adventure games forum maybe 6-7 years ago. I was on there because of my love for old point/click adventure games and they had music contests every week that I’d participate in from time to time. I kept seeing his game “Downfall” pop up on the boards so I decided to check it out. I told him what I thought of it and sent him some links to my music. We both were fans of each others work and became friends. We kept in contact and talked about working on some projects together in the future. A few years later he emailed me asking if I would do some lines for a new game of his and if he could use some of my music for the sound track. I was excited to be a part of the project because I liked his earlier work and we were both friends so it just seemed like the natural thing to do.
As far as the outcome of the game. I have to tell you I really am in awe of that man. He’s got some really impressive story telling skills. Very thought out and purposeful. I’m really not surprised it has become as well-known as it has given the emotional depth it encompasses. The people who tend to enjoy games like that play them for the story more than the gameplay and I think that’s why the fans are as into it as they are. There is a deeper meaning behind it. The characters feel like real people you might actually know. Much more so than the majority of games these days that focus on eye candy more than substance.
(N): I must tell you that even before I got to be your fan, I loved your performance as Joe Davis. I am sure that I’m not first one to tell you that I feel excited for the fact that you perform the same character on the remake of “Downfall”. Could you tell us how you feel about Joe?
(J.G.): I really feel like there is a portion of “Joe Davis” in me. I know that Rem knows that. He knows my music really well and he knows the interpersonal demons I contend with because of that. I think it’s because we have a good understanding of where we both come from that the role just fits. It’s not a stretch for me to be Joe Davis which is kind of scary when you think about it. Playing someone with that many issues and identifying closely with them can be strange and eye-opening. A song on “The Decisions” was very much inspired by Joe Davis. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one.
(N): Do you consider yourself a gamer? If so, would you like to mention some titles you like?
(J.G.): I absolutely do. I love video games. They’ve been a big part of my life since I was a little kid. To name a few titles:
Quest for Glory – So you want to be a hero (1989): This was my first real obsession over a game. It’s an old point and click adventure game made by Sierra. The original was text-based input game which made it rather hard, “pick up x” “cast spell y at monster z” kind of game. They’ve remade it into a mouse click interface which is great. But that game really set me on the path to being addicted to games. It was the first game I played multiple times until I got 100% completion. The feeling of that was such an accomplishment when you are a kid. It wasn’t easy like it is today. In today’s games you know what you are missing in order to 100% a game. Back then you had to discover everything. There was no map system or quest guidance. You made your own maps on chart paper! I was a huge AD&D fan at the time as well. RPG’s were how I spent all of my free time back then.
Nowadays games are coming out so often it’s hard to keep up, let alone finish a game before I get distracted by something new. I am a huge fan of sandbox games. Anything that lets you create your own world. I tend to play more indie games that AAA titles. I own a PS4 but I game on PC 90% of the time.
I would have to say my favorite 5 games I’ve been playing in the last year are the following:
7 Days to Die: The best zombie survival game I’ve ever played. Open world, crafting, base building, satisfying solo and multi-player. It’s just plain fun to survive. I love the show “The Walking Dead”. This game is the closest to that type of experience I’ve come across.
Kerbal Space Program: I wanted to be an astronaut so badly as a kid, this let’s me satisfy a little of that desire. You get to design your own rockets and go on missions to acquire new tech for additional pieces for building space ships and such. A great game in a genre that’s felt dead for years. Kerbal revives it handedly.
Underrail: A fantastic post apocalyptic setting. It’s feels like an old school isometric RPG. Turn based combat where every decision counts. It’s got a seriously impressive skill and crafting system. The story is also very well written.
Skyrim: So many amazing mods and nearly endless game play. We all know Skyrim. It’s just bad ass for 1000 different reasons.
Fallout New Vegas: Amazing mods. Awesome freedom of gameplay and story line. I played Fallout 3, but this is so different and in my opinion much better. It’s a much more open world.
Nine Inch Nails: They made me want to be a producer/engineer The first album I bought was “The Downward Spiral” I would listen to that on head phones because I didn’t want my parents to know the scary music I loved so much. The more I listened the more layers I noticed. Trent Reznor showed me that one man can make amazing music if he’s willing to put in the time. To say NIN is an inspiration to me is a drastic understatement. The new music I am not as big of a fan of, because the direction and style has changed significantly. I like the heavy layered feel of the older stuff personally.
Radiohead: They are just so good at what they do. It’s hard to find a band that sounds as cohesive as they do even when they are obviously exploring new territory. As far as rock bands go I can’t think of another band that’s pushing boundaries the way they do. Radiohead has given me loads of inspiration. Rocket #009 was definitely inspired heavily by them in certain songs.
The Black Hearts Procession: When I first heard them I immediately thought this was the band I wished I was in because the way they approach their music feels so familiar. Their singer isn’t pitch perfect. He’s honest and I really love that about how he sings. When he hurts, you can hear it.
Faith no More: Mike Patton (the singer) is just an all around musical genius. His voice is really emotive and Faith No More’s style is eclectic. I admire his fluency in so many styles and his ability to go from one project to the next. The guy released 7 albums with different bands in one year… 7!!! Impressive. Epic was also one of the first albums I bought and that along with ‘The Downward Spiral” was how I taught myself how to sing. I’d play those albums and drive around and sing along because no one could hear me so I could belt it out without the fear of judgment.
David Bowie: He’s one of the concept album kings. I admire him a great deal. He’s still making music that sounds good after releasing 25 albums since 1967. It’s inspiring to me. There are very few musicians that have that kind of longevity and I believe a large part of why he is still relevant is his ability to constantly reinvent himself and make something new.
(N): Name a skill or fact about yourself that is still unknown to the fans.
(J.G.): When I was 19 I was in a sleep research study for 16 days. At one point I was awake for 59 hours laying in bed without any help from caffeine. I was having incredibly vivid hallucinations. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and also one of the best things. I learned that the limits we place on ourselves are meant to be broken. We can do so much more than we think we are capable of. Giving up, at times, is the easiest thing we can do. Pushing yourself through what you once thought impossible changes your perspective about yourself forever. You come to understand you are capable of much more than you realize.
(N): Thank you for this wonderful interview. Any last things you’d like to share with our readers?
(J.G.): My next album “The Decisions” is scheduled to be released this summer in conjunction with the release of the ‘Downfall’ remake. I will be holding a kickstarter fund-raiser shortly in hopes to raise enough money to make some vinyl copies of the album! It’s going to be a double album so this is a huge endeavor and I need as much support as I can get. I’d also like to sincerely thank everyone that has written me or shown me appreciation. From the bottom of my heart, getting fan mail means so much more to me than you can possibly know. Please keep the emails coming. I always do my best to respond. THANKS!!!
Music available here