Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival, we spoke with a variety of songwriters and musicians for a mix of in-depth interviews and shorter, sharper (and perhaps a little dumber) Q&A in which we just do ten quick personal questions; We call these shorter functions “Quick Beats.”
Today we speak with composer Ippo Yamada, who began his career as a sound designer at Capcom (working on games like Demon’s Crest and Resident Evil) before founding Inti Creates with other former Capcom developers in 1996. Since then he has written the music for the Mega Man Zero series and a host of other Inti Creates titles, including Azure Striker Gunvolt, Blaster Master Zero, and most recently Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2.
So join us in discovering the first record Mr. Yamada bought, what he would save from his home in an emergency, and his favorite track from his impressive previous catalog …
What was the first song or album you remember buying?
I think the first thing I bought was Godiego’s single album The Galaxy Express 999.
What was the last music you listened to?
The last music I listened to outside of work turned out to be Backdraft: Music from the original film soundtrack.
What was the first video game you wrote music for and how do you feel listening to it now?
Speed Power Gunbike. It’s my music so I like the composition, but you may want to tweak the tones and arrangement.
Which piece of yours are you most proud of?
I am proud of everything I have written. Resident Evil and Mega Man Zero are probably my best known work, but my favorite is the song in the picture. “Innocence” included in the soundtrack of Mega Man ZX.
What piece by someone else would you have liked to have written?
I haven’t even thought about it.
What do you listen to while driving?
Music CD. I listen to all kinds: rock, fusion, soundtrack, classical and electro. I also listen to my work in different settings to verify it.
Do you have a musical hero?
Many of them, too many to list.
Which decade had the best music?
I listen to a wide variety of music from the sixties to the baddies, but I think the 70s and 80s had the biggest impact.
Ocarina, harp or bongos: what magical instrument do you embark on an epic adventure?
The bongos … I guess. However, it would be a headache to wear them.
If your house caught fire and you only had time to grab a memory before fleeing to safety with your family, what would you take with you?
My wedding ring. It has to be somewhere in the house. I’ll have to start by looking for it.
Our thanks to Mr. Yamada. Be sure to check out our other Quick Beats interviews with the likes of Austin Wintory, Yuzo Koshiro, Darren Korb, Jake Kaufman, Lena Raine, Manami Matsumae, David Wise and more, and Look out for more music-focused interviews and features in the final week of Nintendo Life VGM Fest.