Russell Mckamey is the CEO/Producer/Artist of Rockit Gaming. For those who don’t know, Rockit Gaming specializes in creating video game commercial pop music and giving that music radio quality! South By South West is coming up soon and Rockit Gaming will be perfoming at the Gaming Awards Halftime show and GamerHub was able to sit down and talk with these digital rockers. Please allow me to welcome Russell Mckamey and Rockit Gaming to GamerHub.TV
1.Name and where are you from?
I originally grew up in San Diego, but moved to Chicago during my teenage to adult years, so I consider that my true home at this point. I then moved to Chico, CA for college, and now I’ve ended up in Austin, TX! I’m somewhat of a nomad…
2.I don’t want to brag but I’m somewhat of a musician myself. I played the Saxophone from 5th grade to 9th grade. Just wanted to show that I can bring it musically too. How did you get your start in music as well as music gaming?
I grew up learning the guitar and being obsessed with production. Growing up having Blink 182 as my favorite band, high production value has been my focus during my progression and evolution as a music producer. I played in numerous bands throughout my life, and have been fortunate enough to apply all of the different instruments I’ve picked up to my production. In 2008, before Nerdcore (or nerdpop as we like to call ourselves) was ever known that well, I uploaded a call of duty Nazi zombies song with my old group, Borderline Disaster. It was an Internet hit, and I thought to myself-“I could probably make a living doing this.” So, I’ve grabbed the most talented people I know and have created a super group: Rockit Gaming.
3.Will this be the first time the band has performed/attended SXSW? Has the group worked a show like the Gaming Award Half-Time Show before? How much of a thrill is it for you guys to play something like this?
To be 100% honest with you, this will be our first time ALL performing together at this type of event. We have all played together in separate acts, and have extensive backgrounds in performance in general. Some of us are in musical theater, some of us are in plays, and the rest of us are good old-fashioned band performers! Either way, we all know how to bring the fire on stage, and we’re ecstatic to do so at SXSW! Our biggest joy in having this opportunity at SXSW is to show the world that we aren’t just YouTubers sitting behind a computer. We are the real deal, and we plan to bring the house down with our performance!
4.How tough is it to come up with video game pop music not just for an award show but on a weekly basis?
This might sound crazy but, it might be the easiest part of my very busy life. Myself (Rockit) and Vinny are the two main songwriters for Rockit Gaming, and we do NOT have lives outside of songwriting. We wake up at 5am, go to the gym, come back and work on music until 7 or 8 at night - 7 days a week. We are those crazy guys who live and breathe this stuff, and it shows in our ability to produce 2-3 songs/week sometimes. Trust me when I say this, video game music is the ONLY thing on our brain.
5.What is the thought process when you know what franchise your next project is about? (This might be similar to Q4)
So the way we work is unlike any other artists/ producers I know. It’s impossible for us to really have a schedule, because things change so quickly. Because our platform of releasing our content is YouTube based, we have to keep up with the trends or else we won’t get any views on our songs. We might have the BEST song we’ve ever written, and if it isn’t paired with a popular “searchable” game - it will get NO views or traction. So to answer your question, we look at what is popular and trending to make a decision as to what song comes next!
6.I listened to all 5 Game of the Year songs and loved how they had different tones/themes to them. What genre of gaming do you guys like to work in most?
This is an awesome question! We actually love them all! Vinny and myself come from such different backgrounds. He is the folk/ singer songwriter guy and I am the pop punk/ pop guy. We’ve found an awesome way to fuse our interests and find it absolutely refreshing to change up the themes and styles for what the game is calling for! For our SXSW show specifically, I think each song truly shows a different genre and really showcases how versatile we are as songwriters and performers.
7.How did the band form? (Is there some fun quirky way)
It’s weird because we aren’t really a band; we’re more of a company that has now become a band… We’re still trying to wrap our head around it! I was called Rockit during my last year of college and I really took it to heart. It originally started as a joke to try to pick up women, and it worked terribly well! So, I stuck with it and thought it would be a killer name in the gaming music world. So now, it’s evolved into Rockit Gaming, which consists of 5 different artists individually at this point.
8.Favorite of the 5 Game of the Year songs? Mine has to be Overwatch Sombra song-“Fuego”
I would say that Fuego is also my favorite of the five. We will be opening our show with that song, as we feel it’s going to set the tone and really hype everyone up watching. It’s got that, Ricky Martin vibe going!
9.How do you feel that you/group have impacted the video game scene and the music scene?
I think that we raise the bar in every way for the others in our scene. With our extensive production, to unparalleled song writing and knack for great catchy hooks, we really are a force that you don’t want to go head to head with.
10.End on a high note, Best singer in the group?
Wooh! This is a tough one. I’m going to be modest and say myself, but I think Dr. G (and the rest of the band) would argue that it’s him ;)
1. Mario or Luigi?
Mario HANDS DOWN! Luigi is the bread, to peanut butter and jelly sandwich
I’ve been a Halo fanboy since 2001 and no matter how glitchy their consoles are… I’ll be a die-hard Microsoft fan for life!
3. Will you be getting a Nintendo Switch?
Honestly, no. I consider myself to be a mature gamer, and I enjoy mature content. I don’t feel that the Nintendo Switch has much to offer for someone like myself in terms of that. Regardless, Nintendo has yet again - taken things to a new level, showing the world that new shit can be done all the time!
4. Anything planned for the halftime show, like jumping from the roof like Lady Gaga at Super Bowl 50?
We asked them if we could light our guitars on fire during our DOOM song, but were immediately shut down as the venue does not allow this sort of behavior. Probably for the best ;) I’m sure we’ll have something up our sleeves!
5. ONE other thing you want people to know.
We are going to take the world by storm, and set the standard for what a video game pop act can do. We will be at the Grammy’s one day, and THAT is a fact (we hope!)!
Well, That wraps up another GamerHub.TV Q and A. I would like to thank my guest, Russell Mckamey of Rockit Gaming. Keep an eye out on the Gaming Awards Halftime show at SXSW this year to see them perform.