No genre restrictions. One man. Many Instruments — Reads, Daniel Tidwell‘s myspace bio. Daniel Tidwell is an independent musician who wears many hats; artist, producer, promoter and record label. This instrumental guitarist’s first album does faithful but inventive covers of classic video game music.
Daniel’s Versus Video Games is 14 tracks of high energy and incredible guitar-driven metal/rock versions of songs from your favorite classic video games that you never thought could get any better, until now. The man to watch in 2010 — I talked to Daniel Tidwell about his first album and what he wants fan’s to get from his music.
Please introduce yourself. What instruments and brands of instruments do you play?
The name is Daniel Tidwell I play guitar mainly but also dabble a bit in various other instruments. Ibanez is my current guitar brand of choice – I love the old RG550s.
Who, or What inspired you to pick up your first instrument? How old were you?
Daniel Tidwell: Well, I remember I was fifteen years old and my older brother wanted to learn to play the guitar, and my dad was and still is a really good player (mainly classic rock stuff but he’s pretty diverse). So he prints out a tab of One by Metallica and brings it to my dad. He showed him how to play the intro while I was standing nearby. Once I heard him start to play it I said; “Hey, I can do that, let me try!” And it all started that day!
Do you play any video games? What is your favorite video game, and current system of choice?
Daniel: Yea I still play a decent amount. It’s so hard to pick a favorite game though. The PS3 is probably my current console of choice, but I also like computer games a lot. Some of my favorites would be games like the Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear, Dark Age of Camelot, Diablo II – of course the classics from the original consoles too, really just too many great games to mention!
Remembering back to your first time in front of a live audience, what comes to mind?
Daniel: I was just glad that I couldn’t see anybody in the audience because there was no lighting in the crowd, ha-ha. It felt good – although now I look back and think about how terrible it was, at the time it was very cool! Ha-ha. Now, I’ve loosened up more on stage though.
Tell me a little bit about the songwriting process – what inspires you to write music?
Daniel: It’s tempting to answer this question by saying “everything”! But that seems too obvious. But really – anything from personal life experiences and relationships to video games I’ve played or movies I’ve watched. I’ve written much more music than I’ve let anybody hear yet, but I’m considering my next or one of the next projects to be all original material.
How does the writing and recording of the new album “Versus Video Games” compare to your earlier projects?
Daniel: When I think back about the process of creating that album it was a great experience, because I had learned enough to where I felt comfortable taking a project like this on. It’s a very different thing than composing originals though because I want to rearrange it and make it different but keep it true to the original piece. Compared to other projects I’ve been a part of though, it was great to have complete control of the direction it was going.
What are fans going to hear?
Daniel: Hopefully something they can rock out to while getting kicked with a rush of nostalgia!
What has been your biggest triumph as an artist? Greatest challenge?
Daniel: The challenge would probably be trying to do basically everything on my own – from the recording/arranging/playing process to the promotions to the online store and support – I basically serve as the artist/producer/record label. But I like it that way now. I definitely have some awesome people who help with certain things but for the most part it’s just me. That may answer the triumph part too!
Let’s hear a little about your tastes not related to music ? Could you name some of your favorite books or movies?
Daniel: I rarely read books any more – but I remember a few years back enjoying some of the books in the Dragonlance series. As for movies, I like them epic! Gladiator is definitely one of my favorites. It’s another one of those questions where I just never really think to come up with a list of favorites, but I know I like many movies! Ha-ha.
What is your favorite song to perform live? Why?
Daniel: Can’t say a specific song, but any song that the crowd at the time knows and/or is really digging makes a fun experience. No matter how much I like the song if the crowd isn’t into it it’s hard to have a good time performing it. After all, the show is about the audience!
This is your chance to promote your CDs, bands, tours, websites & gear? What should we be looking for from Daniel Tidwell in the coming months?
Daniel: Well, DanielTidwell.com is the website and all the other info can be found there! In the coming months will be me working on more material and trying to get the next album out! Hopefully soon.
Is there anything you’d like to say to fans all over the world?
Daniel: I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me and hopefully I’ll be able to meet many of you once I take this show on the road!
I would like to thank Daniel Tidwell for his participation in this interview.
~Denise Smith (interview 2010.08.15)