Probably not many have heard of MAGFest, which is short for the Music and Gaming Festival. It is a small convention that takes place in the Gaylord Hotel down by Washington DC's beautiful National Harbor.
Fellow TMMN poster and Cool Awesome Artist (tm), rnn and I decided to head down for the weekend and take in the sights and sounds of the gaming culture. There was a lot of Mega Man goodness to behold indeed! This is going to be a hefty post, with posts and videos, so hang onto your socks!
While we didn't get to see them perform, we did catch The Megas Q n A panel, which was being lead by Brentalfloss. Their panel had a lot of Mega Man questions thrown at them, and some interesting tidbits came about about their process and their work with CAPCOM and Epic Scents. We took some loose notes, so we're sort of paraphrasing the questions and answers here.
Q: How do they go about creating a song? What's their process? A: The method is that they think of the story and characterization first, then lyrics and tune start falling into place. Finding the angle for the Robot Masters most difficult one for them. For example was Needle Man. One of the members had started to write out the song and plan his story. Needle man, is he a drug addict? Another joke was when someone wrote a first draft, one of them had written just "guitaaar soolooo" in there. It's now a running gag with them. They settle on the lyrics based on whoever is most passionate about it and compromise from there.
Q: I know they performed music for Mega Man Universe. Were they sad to see the project cancelled? A: Yes. Also, they were supposed to get paid for every commercial they did for MMU but never did.
Q: Will they be doing any more tours? A: Maybe an East coast tour? They think they're overdue for an east coast one since three years ago. (Come perform at Otakon, guys!)
Q: Will they do anymore podcasts? A: May do a Mega Man podcast, but the only reason they don't is because " Nnnnn we probably better write a song"
Q: Most gratifying song? A: History Repeating probably the most gratifying and gave them direction for their next album.
Q: About the song they did for Epic Scents. Did they have total control, or did they have certain things to put into the song? A: "Get equipped with scent busters" line was the one line they had to use and had free reign for the rest of the song. While creating it, they had to think about the characters and scents, translating those into lyrics. Mega Man was sort of young and innocence, with a clean scent. Proto Man was more rebellion and....cinnamon apple pie. There you have it, Young and Innocence, Rebellion and Pie.
The Protomen were also in attendance this year, rocking up the concert floor. Hearing them live is a very intense experience. With all that energy on stage and audience, they rock things pretty hard. If they're playing near you, I highly recommend attending their concerts.
We were also excited to see Kinuyo Yamashita. She is the wonderful music talent behind Mega Man X3. We were very lucky to get a photo, as by the time we got up to her, they were only allowing signatures. So rnn and I used feminine wiles on the gophers. While most of the fans attending the panel seemed to be there for her Castlevania work or her life as a composer, there were one or two questions about her Mega Man experiences:
Q: Was there any homages to Guns n Roses with Neon Tiger's theme? A: When I wrote Neon Tiger's theme at the time, I was not aware of them. *jokingly* Maybe they copied off me.
Q: When writing Zero's theme, what were you trying to convey about the character? A: Cool!
Seeing bands on stage is excellent, but the remix DJs they had were also excellent as well! We got introduced to DJ Cut Man's music for the first time. (Facebook and twitter)He has a great intro to his routine as well, so I had to capture some video along with a few of his songs.
OverClocked ReMix was also there, hosting a few panels. You may remember them as the chaps who did Maverick Rising album and the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet. Not only were their panels awesome, one of their own Benjamin Briggs was DJing for the night. He only played one Mega Man Mix (Boomer Kuwanger+Magna Centipede mix) but his other remixes were excellent, so I recommend a listen.
There was also "new" non-music people to meet. I finally had the honor to meet fellow TMMNer Andrew Dickman (Starfield Creations) in person. We podcast enough together, now we can put faces to the names. I forgot to get a photo, because I'm a dummy and figured we'd get one on Saturday, but kept missing each other. Greg Sepelak AKA MSipher was also in attendance (He's been in the Mega Man fandom forever, and I believe wrote some of the MM Brady Game guides back in the day), but he somehow dodged me the whole weekend. Next year, Gadget. Next year! I also ran into Jesse DuRona in the Market, manning his own table with his excellent wares. You might remember him as the artist who does Despondent Mega Man. If you haven't read it yet, go do it, now!
Let's not forget about the wonderful cosplayers as well. While MAGFest isn't as big of a cosplay scene as say, Otakon, there were still some fantastic Mega Man fans roaming around all suited up and ready for battle!
TMMN reader TerrorTabby was in an amazing Proto Man cosplay. She's lucky I didn't pick her up and cart her off. ....Or steal her helmet. Or both, really. Tony Murray was spotted as Vile, strutting around looking like he popped right out of his D-Arts box.
A random group of Robot Masters with Dr. Wily was spotted roaming around! (There was a Wood Man, but somehow he kept dodging our cameras). There was also a Zero, Time Man and Elec Man roaming around, but we did not get them on camera as well.
All in all, it was a great convention! If you happen to be in the area and love video game music, I highly encourage you to attend MAGFest. It's also a great convention for first timers, as it's not as large as Otakon, PAX or Comic Con.
Special Thanks to rnn for her photos and help writing this post!