That’s right. We did a chicken screamo spin on Old MacDonald for the Chicken Assassin: Reloaded trailer. You may have a lot of questions about our reasoning and how things came together, so we did a little Q and A with our team and the composers, Steve and Trisha from Initiative Audio, to try and answer all of them!
Q: Why did you pick to cover Old MacDonald?
AG Team: We originally wanted to cover the Chicken Dance song, however, when we found out that it was not public domain, we went with Old MacDonald (the short answer, it was the cheapest option!).
Q: Why the screamo spin?
AG: When coming up with the concept for the trailer, we wanted to use all the cliches used in action games, from large explosions, to over the top text overlays, and unnecessary zoom in shots. We even wrote in the original document “if Michael Bay were to direct this trailer,” as one of the notes. The “screamo spin” certainly supports this notion, and we feel that Steve and his team did an excellent job in conveying this in the music.
Q: What’s up with the little egg in the video?
AG: We wanted a lot of things going on on-screen during the trailer, and included the little egg to create a sing-a-long type effect as a means to highlight some of the lyrics that were being sung, as we felt that some people may not understand what was being sung.
Q: Steve and Trisha – how did you take the idea presented to you, and turn it into reality?
Steve/Trisha: We absolutely loved the idea of doing a heavy metal take on Old MacDonald! It was a perfect fit for the aesthetic of the game, really leaning into the over-the-top aggressive nature and focusing that power on the humor. We were inspired by a YouTube video that takes a tour through various styles of heavy metal, using variations on Old MacDonald for each one.
Q: Where did you start?
Steve/Trisha: At the start, we experimented with some different takes on the song from the idea behind Old MacDonald — “On this farm he had some ______” but filling in the blank with game-appropriate material. Ultimately, we decided that the best way to use the idea was as the opportunity to tell the story of the game. So, instead of making it about Old MacDonald and his farm full of weaponry and punishment, we landed on making it about Mean Mcallister’s personal journey of self discovery through murder and rampage. E I E I O.
Q: What instruments/tools did you use to create the song?
Steve/Trisha: As far as the instruments and tools used to create this track, believe it or not the metal guitar parts are actually played on an electric cello! There’s a company called CineSamples that makes software instruments, and one such product is a collection of material from the infinitely talented cellist Tina Guo (featured on every Hans Zimmer score for the past decade and dozens of other projects). This software tool has some amazing electric cello tones and rhythmic phrases that Tina recorded exclusively for this product, and it turned out to be just the right tone for this track. The electric cello has a brighter and almost “squawkier” tone than an electric guitar normally does, which made it fit the aggressive and ridiculous aesthetic all the more.
To tie everything together, we felt that there needed to be at least one statement of the classic Old MacDonald melody, which we put at the beginning of the track on an aggressive, almost guitar-like synth tone, as a setup for the rest of the track. Once the synth melody establishes the Old MacDonald melody, it disappears to make room for the vocals over the backing track.
When we brought in the incredibly talented David Benites on vocals, everything got dialed up to eleven. He took the lyrics we had written and perfectly captured the sound we were after — hardcore and furious, but totally intelligible, allowing for the story to be told. He was a dream to work with, and he took the ideas we had and ran with them as far as we could have asked.
There you have it my little farm animals! Stay tuned for more news and behind the scenes from our games!
Have more questions about the trailer? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @AkuparaGames! Or join our discord at Discord.gg/AkuparaGames!