ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Allen Brasch (GameLark)

By Monica Wang

The man who created and runs GameLark, Allen Brasch is clearly an ambitious and driven man.

When I sat down to chat with Allen, I found that he communicates in an organized and thoughtful manner; he comes across as very put-together and reliable. He makes leadership look easy; for whatever it is he decides to do, he plans for and achieves directly and simply, investing the time necessary to succeed…

…which is probably how VERSUS came about!

Allen Brasch

“Sebastian and I started talking and he mentioned that it would be fun to do an album together. We had already been planning on doing a fighting game album, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity,” said Allen when I asked him about the origins of VERSUS.

Despite his obvious leadership qualities, Allen comes across as very down-to-earth and friendly. “[GameLark] started out as a channel that focused on video game remixes, but…I had always wanted to be more involved in the community, so a friend inspired me to start asking others if they would be interested in this so-called ‘label’. I see it more of a community, much like Materia, because we come together not out of compulsion, but out of a love for video game music to make albums.”

Name? Allen Brasch.

Musical Background (What sort of musical projects are you/have you been involved in? How did you get started in music?)
I used to play piano and have dabbled in guitar and electronic music. Right now, I run GameLark which is a video game remix label similar to Materia Collective. I discovered my passion for the VGM community about a year ago and have been active ever since.

What was the first video game you played?
The first console game I remember playing was Super Mario 64. I fell in love with gaming subsequently and have been gaming ever since.

What does video game music mean to you?
Video game music appeals to me because of the community. I really wasn’t aware of how unique this community was until I really started getting involved. It’s amazing to me to see tracks that are twenty or thirty years being reinvented each time someone makes a remix and adds their own special touch. Even original composers like Grant Kirkhope show such support for this community. I think that we are something special in the world of music and the world of art.

Why did you participate with the Materia Collective? How did you get involved?
Sebastian and I became friends and decided that doing a collaborative album would be a great idea.

If you could have any dream job in the music world, what would it be?
Probably doing what I do right now. Producing, marketing, and arranging video game remix albums.

How do you deal with constructive criticism?
I try to use it to reflect on what I need to change and what I could do better.

In an alternate reality, what would your passion be instead of music/video games?
I would probably have entered the world of film or TV in a different life. That or I would have been a paleontologist (a childhood dream).

What inspires you, as a musician?
Well as an album producer, I’m inspired when I hear a familiar track that is arranged in a completely new and unexpected way. I love arranging albums and determining track order. Arranging an album is like telling a story. I’m given all the pieces, but I decide in what order they go.

What’s something about you most people might not know?
I went to rodeo camp when I was 13 and rode a bull.

If you are in a room of 50 strangers for an hour, about how many of them would you introduce yourself to and/or try to get to know?
Probably all of them.

What age would you want to be/look like forever (physically)?
40.

If you could make any fictional character real and also be your best friend, who would you pick? Chewbacca.

Favorite Pokémon? Charizard.

Favorite color? Blue 

Favorite video game/soundtrack/song?
My favorite video game soundtrack is the Sonic Adventure 2 OST.
My favorite video game is Metroid Prime.
My favorite video game song is City Escape.

Favorite Meme? Philosoraptor. 

Who do you main in Super Smash Bros? Link.

If you had to pick an emoji/emoticon to represent yourself, which one would you pick? ;P

Most anticipated game?
Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

BONUS QUESTION:

Any musical endeavors you haven’t done yet that you want to tackle? Different genres, games, instruments?
For the label, we have plans to continue releasing albums much like we’ve done and I’m excited to share some of the new artists that have joined us. In the future, we also plan to release albums that are a little more gene-specific. Sort of like EPs.

Maybe someday in the future, I would love to organize a GameLark set for MAGFest or something like that. Personally, I just want to keep doing this and see where it goes I’ve kind of realized that making music doesn’t give me as much joy as arranging it and coordinating it.