Interview with Tommy Tallarico

An exclusive interview with the man behind Video Games Live

One of the main spotlights at Fan Expo this year was video game composer, co-host on the electric playground (the first video game review show), and creator of Video Games Live Tommy Tallarico. Tommy shared with his fans the ups, and downs he’s gone through in his life to get to where he is today, from his rough start in California to his amazing and sometimes comical triumphs around the World. Unfortunately for the fans the spotlight with him over ran it’s time, Tommy took the fans into the foyer, and turned the spotlight, into a Q & A with a photo op. After the crowd died down, Brandon Hatos of Empty Lifebar got a chance to interview Tommy, and asked this titan in games a couple of questions.

Empty Lifebar: So I was just wondering what are some of your favorite songs that are or have been performed at Video Games Live?

Tommy Tallarico: Warcraft is one of my favorite segments we do this overture of Warcraft, and just the way the video is so beautiful, that blizzard does it up so right, the music by Jason Hayes and Russel Brower is so amazing , just the way the lights, and everything comes together that’s always been one of my favorite segments… But from a guitar stand point, I love playing Castlevania, I love playing One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy 7, and my new favorite though is Street Fighter 2

Empty Lifebar: How does it feel being the composer for some of the most legendary titles in video game history?

Tommy Tallarico: It’s a freaky honor to be able to go to different Countries around the world, and have people who you’ve never met know your music. It’s really strange, cause when your working in your little studio, you know it’s like putting a little message in a bottle and sending it out into the ocean you don’t know where it’s gonna go

Empty Lifebar: Or you don’t know if it’s going to be picked up, or whatever

Tommy Tallarico: You don’t know if anyone is gonna hear it at all, your just kinda in your own world. So to go to a place like China and have a 100, 000 people start cheering when you start playing one of your song it’s like, wow. It’s mind blowing. It’s pretty intense, it’s an honor ya know

Empty Lifebar: How happy were you with the musical score from Advent Rising?

Tommy Tallarico: It was one of my favorite musical scores that I worked on, I spent two and a half years on the score. I always wanted to write like an Italian opera, it was the first time that I really recorded at a 120 piece orchestra, 100 people in the choir, ya know it was always a dream come true to do something like that, so when people say what’s your favorite score you ever written, it would be Advent Rising, favorite game i’ve worked on is probably Earth Worm Jim, but from a musical stand point Advent Rising is my favorite

Empty Lifebar: How does it feel coming from a family so prominent in the music industry?

Tommy Tallarico: It’s something were, ya know I remember growing up and seeing people in my family perform on Stage to 20,000 people never seemed awkward to me, or odd. So growing up it was like, oh, if cousin Steven can do it, that looks like a fun job, that’s what I want to do, so I think that’s what kinda helped, I never thought it was impossible, I never thought being on stage was an impossible dream. So ya know

Empty Lifebar: okay here’s a couple fun questions for you, who’s your favorite video game character?

Tommy Tallarico: I’d have to go with Mario, short Italian just like me

Empty Lifebar: I know your a Spider-Man fan, and into comic books

Tommy Tallarico: Yes

Empty Lifebar: If you could have one super power what would it be?

Tommy Tallarico: owww, she would say flying (as Tommy points to his girlfriend Shannon on his left)

Shannon: I would say freezing time

Tommy Tallarico: Freezing time that’s right, that’s a pretty cool one cause you could go in and steal stuff, “Thief”. If I can have any of spidies or anybodies?

Empty Lifebar: Anybody, I know it’s a big one

Tommy Tallarico: I’m gonna steal hers, cause it’s so brilliant, freezing time. Is there any super hero that can actually do that, I don`t think there is being invisible was going to be my first choice but hers is way better, cause it`s like you get the best of both worlds

We all laughed quite a bit about the extent of the capabilities in freezing time. When all was said and done,  Tommy, and his family went to go enjoy the Fan Expo.  A couple of the highlights in the spotlight that Tommy had mentioned were new songs to look forward to in the upcoming future of Video Games Live, some of the songs he mentioned were that of Resident Evil 5, Halo: Reach, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Hero’s of Might and Magic, two songs that Tommy Tallarico mentioned he’s was working on right at the moment were both, Earth Worm Jim, and Pokemon. He had also mentioned another show that he’s working on to go along with Video Games Live, but told the fans it was top secret, and reassured everyone Video Games Live was still going to be going on, and still be awesome. All I know is I can’t wait Video Games Live to roll back into Toronto, so I can actually experience this amazing concert in person.

Tommy Tallarico and Brandon Hatos

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About Brandon Hatos

Brandon is a Canadian comic artist with a passion for the gaming and comic book industry. He is also Canada's own version of the Batman, the Mapler.