Today I got to ask a few questions of our very talented animator and artist Radio Gosha, who you probably know has done many music videos for Disko Warp songs since our launch in 2006, starting with his first music video for Becky’s “Less Than Three”
Pete: “Less Than Three” was one of your very first animated music videos. What things did you learn from making this video? How did it influence your future projects?
James: I believe I started “Less Than Three” in the beginning of 2006. It seems so long ago now! Looking back at it in comparison to my latest piece for “Hej Sokoly” I’ve definitely come a long way, both in terms of my the details of my artstyle and how I develop my animations. “Less Than Three” was originally made at the resolution of 400x300, which is just kind of a strange resolution not viable for anything other than Flash/web viewing. I kind of did it softly, but eventually I went back to make the thing the proper ratio for widescreen. Back in 2006, most home computers were set as they are now with the freedom/abilities to create professional content from home. Most fullscreen Flash animations with much detail didn’t really run that well. As technology has gotten better, I’ve been able to add a lot more things to my animations, such as filters and increased resolutions to create more dynamic scenes.
In terms of influencing future projects, the two characters I developed for this were kind of the onset of all the characters I’ve developed for this Radio Gosha X Disko Warp world. I wanted their faces to all be super simple to help show more emotion. In addition, I don’t give them fingers or feet to help draw more attention to these facial expressions. With Less Than Three, I also didn’t really storyboard anything and kind of just animated on the fly as the song progressed. I think it came together prettty well for not being very organized, hah. Now I make sure to listen to a song multiple times and before I get to work on anything, I lay out a super rough storyboard, even if its just text, before anything else begins.
Pete: What made you choose this particular song?
James: I think at the time, the only other Disko Warp song I had really heard was Space Space Shooter, so there wasn’t much of an option in terms of the Disko Warp catalog. I don’t even really remember where I first heard the song itself, I’d imagine it was through IRC though.
In terms of meeting Initial P, this was through a mutual friend and kind of a short shake of hands at 2006’s Sakura Con, a Seattle-based anime convention. I’ve always been a fan of animated music videos, from Green Jello’s “Little Pig, Little Pig” to the They Might Be Giant’s themed episode of Tiny Toons. I like the challenge of portraying a story within 3-4 minutes time and at the time I thought Less Than Three was an easy song to tell a story with, as are most Disko Warp songs I’ve animated do, outside of maybe UFO Catcher.
Pete: Did you ever hang out on IRC, LOLOL?
James: I would only go on IRC occasionally to talk to other people within music or BEMANI game communities. I don’t even think I have an IRC client on my computer anymore though. It was pretty much the best way to get into file transferring back in the day. You meet a lot of interesting folk on IRC though.
Pete: There’s a running theme in your videos of creative, futuristic gadgets and props. If you could have one of the items from your videos in real life, which one would it be?
I’d probably enjoy a nice glass of Beat with Lime because I like exclusive and strange soda way more than most people should. In terms of gadgets, I’d love a set of the LED goggles that are featured in “Hej Sokoly”. I still need to get around to ltraining my cat how to become a diamond thief too. He doesn’t seem too keen on the idea though.
Pete: Could you explain what your slogan “Deny A Monochrome Future” means?
James: I actually got it unintentionally from a Beatmania IIDX overlay way back in the day. It was probably a subliminal thing from it being shown in short blips, as you play, that made it stick with me. I don’t really use a lot of color in my traditional artwork, so the phrase kind of seemed to apply well with some of the things I was doing at the time. Animation and artwork for me has been kind of a way to get my thoughts and visions out there to the world, without it I think I’d fall into a bit of a depression, a monochrome life if you will. I think its actually a strong message if you think about it in terms of trying to be an artist. The hope that you’ll make something that’ll give you a feeling of accomplishment a fulfillness through the art of expression, be it whatever medium or craft.
Pete: What would you like to accomplish in 2013?
James: So far I have a few projects I’m trying to get to, the big one is finally putting together a DVD to kind of archive my animated works so far. It’s been something I’ve held off on doing for awhile. I know I’ll probably tear up a little when I actually see the physical version of it. I’ve also been wanting to just continue developing new styles with how I portray my artwork and want to work on some new prints and such. In terms of animation, I haven’t really locked down any new projects, but if a good song comes at me that I would feel comfortable animating, then I will do so. I’ve also been kicking around the idea of making some 30 second to 1 minute animated shorts based on the characters in my Disko Warp animated pieces. Just some funny skits to help round out the characters some more.
It probably won’t happen next year, but a dream project of mine is to also organize and produce my own art book containing a bunch of stuff I’ve drawn over the years. It would most likely also include character profiles of all the characters I’ve developed.
Hopefully this answered a few questions you guys may have had!
Visit Radio Gosha at www.radiogosha.com
Pre-order Disko Warp’s first best-of compilation album “Disko Warp Presents Hardcore Advance” at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/heyitspete/disko-warp-presents-hardcore-advance-cd