We don't know why the guys in this photo look like they're members of Tool, but we do know that Songhammer is what happened when buddies Ben Stewart and Dustin Miller decided to write music for the people who like World of Warcraft--and we mean really like World of Warcraft--the MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) gamers, as members of the tribe are fondly called.
They did it so well they're one of three winners of a BlizzCon songwriting contest, beating out 10,000 submissions from all over the world (that's over 25 million registered gamers, too).
If, on Saturday, their piece is named the number-one song, it will be performed by the BlizzCon Orchestra just before the Foo Fighters take the stage. "Cross your fingers," Stewart says. "It could be Songhammer's "We Are the Horde" played just before Dave Grohl rocks it!"
Stewart talks about the whole experience after the jump.
OC Weekly: Talk about the song that you wrote and why you think you won the contest.
Stewart: The song that won the BlizzCon competition is called "We Are the Horde." I was the principal writer for that piece, but the song just wasn't there until Dustin came in with three-part harmonies and some killer keyboard work. The songs had to relate directly to one of Blizzard's games, and we chose World of Warcraft. Dustin and I were going for this Styx meets MUSE meets Rob Zombie feel, and I think we nailed it! In the bridge there is a literal gang of vocals that chant, "We are the Horde. Your rightful overlord. Your harbinger of pain. A kingdom built upon a sword." It's sooooo metal!!! How could you beat that?
What's your musical background?
Both Dustin and I have been writing and performing in bands for the past decade. Dustin's main project is called Artildo Holloway, and has some of the catchiest alternative pop songs I've ever heard. I am currently involved in the Red Fist Revolution project, an epic rock-opera that combines music, video and live action. My previous project was the Conspiracy of Thought.
Why is your project called Songhammer?
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The name, like the project, was created specifically for the BlizzCon competition and gaming fans. Dustin said that he thought we could win the yearly song competition, through the convention, if we worked together and co-produced a few pieces. We both wrote songs, and worked on them together, focusing on the two major armies in the Blizzard game, World of Warcraft: The Horde, and the Alliance. The two of us worked on the songs, recorded at my home studio, mixed them at Love Juice in Riverside, submitted them, and by the sweat of our brow (and a tremendous amount of divine intervention) we won, out of over 10,000 entries! The name was chosen to represent both the act of creation (song) and the art of war (hammer), as depicted in the Warcraft universe. Creating music at the Songhammer's forge.
What's next after BlizzCon?
World domination! We would love to take the project to conventions throughout the US that feature fantasy and online Player-Versus-Player and Player-Versus-Environment gaming. There are also conventions in places like Seoul, Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, that would be ideal for our music and performance. Europe would be a perfect fit for this project. What we really need now are sponsors to help us launch Songhammer to the stars, to reach its fullest potential. Dustin and I have been creating music and spearheading projects for several years, and together we're both working hard and having a blast writing epic, face-melting, rock & roll. HammerHeads Unite!