Interview with Chase Bethea
Chase has received many accolades throughout his career. In 2010, he won Best Music in Motion Graphic and Poetry Award. In 2013, Chase’s score from the successful flash Horror game, “I Can’t Escape” (developed by Fancy Fish Games) received an honorable mention in the Indie Game Magazine. His second soundtrack for the game “Cubic Climber” earned a Noteworthy on Destructoid.com. In 2016, Chase was nominated for Artists of the Year – Independent Composer by VGMO in the entire industry. Chase also signed publishing deals with Sumthing Else Music Works and Materia Collective. His music has been featured on multiple podcasts such as Pixelated Audio, Video Game Island, 8bitx Radio and streamed on Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and many more.
Hey Chase! Could you please tell us a bit more about your recent projects and how you grew your client base and repertoire throughout 2018?
The most recent projects that I have going out right now is a game called Deground which I'm scoring the complete soundtrack for and three other games that I can't mention at the moment because of NDA I built my client base by going to meetups, award shows, conventions and by being consistent with showing up and in return I believe that this built trust and also solidified the relationships that I had.
What separates your approach to, and taste in, video game composition apart from others in the field? Do you have a signature feature of your compositions?
My approach is separated by my personal experiences and my influences, so I was born and raised in Chicago with a half Beijing, half European and American upbringing with my personal taste being in Japanese art and the music theory and I believe that this gave me a diverse and eclectic sound that not anyone could put into any genre. I've been told that I'm really good with the rhythms but I know that personally I like to work in an odd time signatures as well as unorthodox chord progressions and I believe this is what gives me that signature sound.
Is there a large game creation scene in Southern California? How is it an ideal place for a video game composer to be based?
There are quite a few game developers in Southern California between Los Angeles and San Diego though well one's pretty deep. The amalgamation between triple-A developers and independent developers is what mostly makes the scene but mostly triple-A developers dominate, now in terms of a video game composer being based in Southern California to be ideal I would think it's like a decent spot but over the past eight years I've seen other video game composers be based all over such as Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and North Carolina and be successful. I believe that it really comes down to just showing up to the events and your composition and production quality being that is matched or above what the status quo is.
What's your own favorite genre of game, both to play and to compose music for?
So my favorite genre of games to play are single player and adventure games and sometimes puzzle games and my favorite genre to score is unknown because I haven't scored all of them yet.
What's next for your work? What partnerships, game formats, and trends will you be focusing on throughout 2019?
So what's next for me is I'm hoping to get the video game soundtracks that I've done already to be performed live. I want to score and ship at least three more games this year and be commissioned to do a couple more video game arrangements. The partnerships that I'm focused on this year is to work with those that trust and love my craft and I want to work with people that are working with the latest technology and that want to create content for cool and new experiences for the player.