When people hear the word "crafts," they generally assume something involving pen and paper, possibly tiny scissors or glue. But sometimes a picture or a story can't really properly convey just what it is the crafter is trying to say. Take Evan Freeman, who creates songs both Warcraft- and StarCraft-inspired, for example. While others craft artwork and stories, Evan crafts tunes inspired by his favorite games, including the above video -- a love song and lament for the loss of the beloved druid tree form.
Evan was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about writing and playing music, and of course, trees. Keep reading for more info and another of Evan's game-inspired tunes, after the break.
World of Warcrafts: So Evan, you're pretty apt with that guitar. How long have you been playing and writing music? Do you play anything besides guitar?
Evan Freeman: I've been involved in music since my elementary school days, when I was a part of my church's children's choir. However, I got much more serious about music in high school. I started learning to play the drums from a friend, and I fell in love with it. I've been playing for over 8 years now, and I'm still rocking out. I didn't really start to play the guitar until I hit college. It's pretty tough to practice on an acoustic drumset and not have everyone in the dorm hate you. Instead, I bought a cheap guitar and started learning to play and sing some of my favorite music. As for songwriting, I've really only started in the last couple years. Mostly, I've just written songs to make fun of my roommates, but I've begun to branch out with some more mainstream stuff. Well, as mainstream as StarCraft and Warcraft parody songs are ...
Speaking of Warcraft, how long have you been playing the game? Have you always played a druid, or do you play other classes too?
I've been playing WoW for about 5 years, but very much off and on. I only made it to the level cap about a year ago. I would always enjoy that new character feeling, where you level every other second and always get new abilities, but I'd get burnt out on the leveling grind before too long. My first character was a dwarf hunter named Benzene (one guess what my major was at college :-) ). However, it wasn't until I got my night elf druid past 50 or so that I really had the will to hit 80. I was so bored with grinding that I decided to try a dungeon. After a few missteps (my first attempt at tanking was just me running around Blackrock Depths spamming swipe and wondering, "Oh God, why is everyone dying?!"), I stumbled upon resto healing and haven't looked back.
I see you've written a couple of StarCraft songs as well as the Warcraft one. Do you have any more Warcraft songs in mind for the future?
Oh, I have a few ideas cooking, but it's kind of hard for me to write unless I get inspired. For example, I was able to write Love Song in just a few hours, because of patch 4.0.1's imminent arrival, but some of my other compositions take days or weeks until I feel like I've gotten it right. Mostly I just try to write whatever makes me laugh at the moment, and hope that someone else will find it funny too. Still, I wouldn't be too surprised to find myself writing some more Blizzard-inspired music, especially with Cataclysm about to drop.
What kind of music do you usually enjoy? Any musical inspirations out there?
I listen to a pretty eclectic bunch of music. Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, U2, MuteMath, Tower of Power, Jon Foreman, The Decemberists and Mercan Dede, to name a few. If I had to pick one artist that most inspires me, it would be, without a doubt, Sufjan Stevens. He blows my mind with his lyrics, his composition, his instrumentation and his creativity. As far as inspiration goes, I draw from just about anything. At the moment, for example, I've been playing a lot of indie video games, and I'm working on some reactionary music. I'm fascinated with the idea of video games as art, and I'm trying to respond to that medium with my own.
Ever think about lending your vocal and musical style to any of the machinima artists out there?
Honestly, I haven't thought about it. But I'm open to the idea. It could be pretty fun to collaborate on some parody machinima.
So obviously you loved tree form -- what do you think of the new Tree of Life model?
Yeah, I loved tree form. I think night elves are butt ugly (especially the guys), and I loved that I didn't have to watch my ridiculously long purple ears poke out of my helmet while I healed my way through heroics. I also loved starting tree dance parties outside the auction house in Stormwind and watching as other trees would join in, until we had a giant circle of gyrating foliage and the crowd would look on in wonder. Still, I tend to agree with the reasons behind changing the tree to a cooldown. As for the new form, I have to say that it looks pretty epic, but I prefer the simplicity of the old form.
Any words of advice for aspiring musicians and songwriters?
Practice. Practice. Practice. Then practice some more. You're not going to get anywhere without loads of practice. Practice with a metronome. Get music lessons if you can afford them. Listen to lots of good music (You know how you are what you eat? Well, you are what you listen to, musically speaking). If you are writing, find something that inspires you, whatever it is, and write. Remember that you will probably write bad music before you write good, so don't be discouraged if your first attempts aren't that great. And whatever it takes, perform. You grow a ton through performance. Don't be afraid to play for your family, your friends, or even the intertubes!
Follow Roflmaowful on YouTube for more of Evan Freeman's musical offerings, and thanks for your time, Evan -- we look forward to hearing more from you!
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.