UKR: Hey Rich. How are you?
Richard Jacques: I'm fairly well thanks, considering. Thank you for asking.
Where are you?
I am currently in Magical Sound Towers, a division of the Magical Sound Factory, where I currently reside with my many composing monkeys.
What were you doing an hour ago?
Reading this email with horror / glee.
What will you be doing tomorrow, say, at about 2.00pm?
Reading this interview once you publish it, no doubt. Actually I shall be having a slide guitar lesson.
Which supermarket is your local supermarket? Just in case we happen to be in the area and standing outside it?
That is a really tough question. Because, you see, I am almost equidistant between Somerfield and the Co-Operative, which admittedly are both a bit sort of pikey supermarkets, but the Co-Op does a good line in biscuits, whereas Somerfield always has Chicken Kievs on special. What is one to do? (actually Rich shops at a really posh online supermarket so it's more like Fortnum and Mason for him, bowler hats optional of course).
What sort of items are in an average Richard Jacques shopping basket?
Hmmmm. Now that is personal. Well, obviously cheese. I like cheese. In fact I love cheese. Cheese as in the food, cheesy music, cheesy people, cheesy peas, cheesy feet, no wait, I made up that last one. Lots of red meat, fish, poultry. Some tinned sweet corn. A stamp. Sarah Lee chocolate gateaux. And a copy of Official Sega Saturn Magazine as well as a copy of Official Dreamcast Magazine. Am I still dreaming?
What sort of normal music do you like? Bet you're into really edgy bands we've never heard of!
Because I spend so much time in my Magical Sound Factory, I usually just listen to Morris dancing music, Dexy's Midnight Runners, and Enka, which is Japanese old people's folk music. It relaxes me, you see.
You're credited as providing "composition, remixing and surround mixing" for SST - how much music have you actually contributed to SEGA Superstars Tennis?
All of the above. I did all the front-end tracks and jingles and the like. Then working with my team in the Magical Sound Factory, my assistants Marc and Rik helped out on the surround mixes of all the tracks in the game, and the remixes of Space Harrier and Virtua Cop. So basically we did all of the above.
The original tracks, like the Green Hill and Scrap Brain tunes - are they just recorded or have you recreated them?
Sadly, we weren't allowed to touch these tracks due to copyright reasons. But pretty much everything else has been 'touched' by me.
Do you get original sound files from SEGA? What format do they come in? Do they come on dusty old tapes with SEGA logos on the boxes?
They actually arrive via horse and cart, and the format is 78rpm long playing records. A bit like the format your granddad once had. Or you grandma / great aunt / uncle. Except with better music on it - the Grime Thorpe Colliery Brass Band don't know Splash Wave. Yet.
So once I open up a box of dusty old 78s, (complete with black and white coal drawn SEGA logos), we go through a thorough mastering process, to ensure no one has embedded "kill Cliff Richard" within a satanic message, and really bring that 8 and 16-Bit goodness up to date. Occasionally we eat walnuts during this particular part of the process. Or sometimes dried apricots, but only on leap years, like this one.
The SST theme tune is very enjoyable. Sumo Digital said you can sing along to it, like "SEGA! Super-stars, la la lah!" - did you have any particular lyrics in mind?
Yes, and the first lyric that springs to mind is "HOW DARE THE GUY WRITE ON THAT THERE FORUM A FEW WEEKS AGO SAYING THAT YOU CAN'T SING ALONG TO THE MELODY IN THE MAIN THEME."
So yeah, basically, if you sing "SE-GA" along to the first 2 notes of the main melody, then "su-per-stars" to the next three notes, then you are rocking. How dare people suggest I don’t take my job VERY seriously!!!
Which SST track is your favourite?
Hmm, tough question. Space Channel 5 tracks and Passing Breeze from Outrun.
You should release them on iTunes. We could get all our readers to buy it and you might get in the charts!
Yes, I should! Hang on, how many readers do you have?
Enough to scrape a top 40 position in the jazz/classic charts. Did SEGA have to approve your stuff?
Was anything rejected?
YOUR DESERT ISLAND SEGA TUNE: Magical Sound Shower? Or something else?
PASSING BREEZE. Far superior composition to Magical Sound Shower in my opinion. I haven't played this particular track half-way around the world for no good reason, don't you know.
Is it possible to get bored of Magical Sound Shower? If anyone would be bored of it by now, it'd probably be you.
No one can ever get bored of anything to do with Outrun. Not even Yu Suzuki.
SST's House of the Dead/Curien Mansion music is emerging as an early favourite. There's something awesome about the organ. Do you like organs?
I love organs. Be it a Hammond organ, a cathedral organ, or a human organ. Organs rule.
Is that the original HotD music or a Jacques mega-mix? It's great, whatever it is.
It's the original that we mixed into 5.1 surround, so no remixing, just surround mixing. Great tracks though, very nostalgic. I've been playing lots of the HotD mini games and they are my favourites so far. Beat hitting tennis balls at fat zombies is what games should be about.
Space Harrier also rocks. Well done!
Thanks! And yes it does!
Are there any Sonic R tunes in SST?
Did you ever raise the possibility of the inclusion of Sonic R tunes?
No. But Supersonic Racing does feature in Super Smash Bros Brawl on the Wii. So at least they like it.
How often do people come up to you and quote you the lyrics of their favourite Sonic R track? I bet it's every day!
To be fair, it's every other day.
There's an unlockable track in SST's Golden Axe zone called "Paternal Horn." Where did that name come from?
Well, I'm not too sure but I know that track is from NiGHTS. So I guess that if you look into the Latin (Pater meaning father) it could be father's horn, or father plays the French horn, or father goes out a-hunting with a massive hunting horn. You decide.
Do you ever listen to game music just for fun?
All the time. NiGHTS, OutRun, Panzer and Shenmue never leave my CD player.
Are you friends with fellow game musician Jesper Kyd or DEADLY RIVALS?
Jesper and I are very good friends. Your readers just have to cast their minds back to Scorcher and Amok on the Saturn. Plus he is Danish and therefore of Viking descent so you don't mess with that kind.
Do you want us to start a hate campaign about him on the internet? We could ruin him and you'd get more work!
Actually, yes, that would be fine, thank you. Assassins Creed 2, please. Jade? Hello?
What are you working on at the moment that you can talk about?
Sonic Chronicles, plus three other game soundtracks and a feature film, none of which I can talk about. So don't ask. OK?
Several years ago now, you casually mentioned you might create a theme tune for UKR. Every day we check our email, hoping that it might have arrived. But it still hasn't. Has it got lost in the system?
It must have! But keep asking. You never know what may turn up...
So, now you're done with SST you must have a lot of spare time. Do you want to meet up and hang out? We could go swimming.
I do like swimming but my local pool has been opened then closed then opened then closed. I blame the government. For everything. When it is open properly again and the boiler is fixed, I will go. You can go too if you like.
To the cinema?
What kind of films do you like?
All films but mainly Carry On. Hattie Jacques is a legend.
Do you like The Terminator?
I've got the Region 1 special edition. You can come round and watch it. I'll tidy up and get some beers in. What do you like?
I like Dysons with some Mr Sheen and Febreeze. Oh are you talking about beers? Well wasn't Miles Dyson a character in Terminator 2? I'm just trying to link your random questions here. Is he the same guy that made the hoover and that new hand dryer? OK so drinks then. Just any man beer is good.
Is UKR a liability as far as you're concerned?
Absolutely, just stop rifling through my bins. The council have enough trouble. And please make some Blue Skies in Games campaign t-shirts, maybe some people would buy them then! (none of that teal nonsense though, do you hear?)
A site about games and game paraphernalia and how nothing's as good as we remember it, probably because we used to inhabit a FANTASY WORLD.
What are we half-heartedly skimming RIGHT NOW?
Each post .02% worse than the last.
THE HTML ERAS
When men used to till the pages by hand.
12 years of wheat and chaff in one vast and impenetrable mass.
Some updates weren't universally hated by the entire world within seconds of being uploaded.
Links to that blog of yours you started up and were excited about for a whole weekend.
Some people we might've MET. Or at least seen in a room and been near.
Other sites we are happy to officially endorse without requiring Adwords spend.
Having one is compulsory, apparently. Ours is here. It is not meant to be funny.
People off the internet. Quality and commitment levels may vary.
It came with the template. Maybe in 2014 we'll jump on board the Twitter train and put that in here. Or a radio. That'd be nice.