Whereas some guitarists, such as Jack White and Jimmy Page, have been quite outspoken in their opposition to rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, it seems like DJs have been lining up to support the fledgling DJ Hero franchise.
Kid Kenobi, one of Australia’s most celebrated DJs, is amongst those supporting the rhythm game movement, so we put the question to him: why are DJs more supportive of rhythm games than guitarists?
“I think it’s just the culture,” claims Kid Kenobi. “DJ culture and electronic music is tech based, and gaming is tech based. There’s a link there. Gaming moves with the times and DJs, especially if they’re producers, are all really tech savvy – they embrace technology.”
“Dance music is a really youthful music,” he continues. “I’m not saying that guitar music isn’t necessarily youthful, but I think that fans of dance music aren’t afraid of technology.”
Games like DJ Hero and Guitar Hero are providing musicians with new avenues to sell their music, and to get their music heard – so you would expect that it would be something that the ailing music industry would be keen to get behind. Kid Kenobi agrees.
“The music industry is different from what it was in the 80s and 90s,” he says. “People don’t necessarily become millionaires from selling their music, with downloading and the value of music dropping. Musicians have to find new ways to make money from music, from merchandise, live shows, and the games industry is a new way in which to do that. One of the things I’m happiest about when I play DJ Hero is that the people involved in making the music got paid, and probably paid very well, for the work they did on the game.”