Imagine being an international rock star. The girls! The parties! The drugs! The endless interviews with videogames reviewers who demand you justify your latest adventure in corporate schilling and obvious choice of football team!
That's what life is like for Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, bassist for popular contemporary beat combo The Linkin Parks. He was recently forced to talk to us about Medal of Honor, which features a single by the band titled Catalyst.
Why not listen to it over on the Medal of Honor website as you read this interview? Then you can imagine Dave is playing the bass guitar while discussing whether he thinks the game is any good. (Spoiler: Yes.)
P.S. Just so you know, we did try to ask Dave for his views on Talibangate, but the PR po-po shut us down, down.
Eurogamer: What is your involvement with Medal of Honor?
Dave Farrell: We were talking with EA a while back about doing some sort of partnership and we had gotten to know them pretty well. I had played Medal of Honor for quite a long time and I think the first version of it I played was maybe 10 years ago.
We started kicking around the idea of doing some music with some different titles and Medal of Honor came up, and for us it was a really easy fit.
We kind of grew up playing games, starting with the NES and moving through different consoles. We're well aware a lot of our fans are gamers. It's just a really natural and easy way for us to continue to keep in contact with our fans and for them to keep in contact with us.
Eurogamer: Do you still play games these days or are you too busy rocking out?
Dave Farrell: It's not that I'm too busy rocking out, for sure, but I definitely don't have as much free time as I used to. When I do get the chance I still love to play games, yeah.
Eurogamer: Is it like in Spinal Tap when they're on the tour bus and they're playing the videogame? Is your life basically like that?
Dave Farrell: Sadly it is, at times. I mean, way back, when we used to be in buses a lot more, we would have a console in the front lounge, a console in the back lounge and we'd have them linked. This was even before Xbox Live or anything like that.
Eurogamer: That's rock and roll, right there.
Dave Farrell: Yeah. We were old-school battling and that was a lot of fun. These days it's all online anyway, so...
Eurogamer: These days you're all playing Farmville...
Dave Farrell: I've actually never played Farmville.
Eurogamer: You're missing out! It's very rock and roll.
Dave Farrell: Is it? If I think anything when I hear Farmville, I think rock and roll. That's the image that immediately pops into my mind.
Eurogamer: Exactly. Rock, roll and cows. Anyway, what's the most popular game on the Linkin Park tour bus?
Dave Farrell: It just depends. Each guy is into games in different ways. Some guys more than others.
Personally, I love sports games, I love first-person shooters, and even the occasional role-playing game. So I don't know, I go through phases. Could be anything.
But I do always love FIFA, I think I've bought every single version of it for some different console.
Eurogamer: So you're quite into English football then?
Dave Farrell: I love football.
Eurogamer: Let me guess... You support... Manchester United!
Dave Farrell: You know what, that's unfair because... Yes. Every single person I talk to, British or whatever, has a bone to pick with me about that.
Eurogamer: I only said that because that's the only football team I've ever heard of. I couldn't give a toss.
Dave Farrell: Well, usually people are mad at me about that. The thing for me is, growing up I was a big soccer player, and I still play somewhat to this day. But the only good soccer we have on TV [in the US], the only games that were ever televised, were Manchester United games.
There was the occasional match with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, whoever. But that was the one you were guaranteed to see, so naturally I became a fan. It wasn't until we started travelling and got over into different territories I realised saying that might make me enemies.
Eurogamer: Going back to Medal of Honor... Obviously I wouldn't be so rude as to ask how much you're getting paid for your involvement, but can I ask: is it more than a hundred pounds?
Dave Farrell: How do you know that we're not paying EA to be involved?
Eurogamer: Because that is a highly unlikely scenario.
Dave Farrell: It can go both ways. At this stage, for us, the partnerships we do really have to make sense. It's more about finding new ways to keep in touch with our fanbase and have them keep in touch with us.
One of the really cool things about games in general is that we can find a lot of our fans in that world and reach them where they're at. But at the same time, with Medal of Honor, there are a lot of fans of the game who aren't necessarily familiar with Linkin Park or what we do.
It's a way for us to introduce what we're doing to new audiences, and we're always looking for creative ways and natural ways to be able to present our music creatively. So that's the real win in the partnership for us.
Eurogamer: So have you had a chance to play Medal of Honor yet?
Dave Farrell: Yes, just in the last few weeks we got the chance to play it.
Eurogamer: Marks out of ten?
Dave Farrell: Um... Are we doing stars?
Eurogamer: Er... It could be 10 stars... On Eurogamer we just have a sort of numerical system...
Dave Farrell: I wouldn't want to give a definitive rating because I've only gotten to play one level, basically. But if I can rate the one level I played it would definitely be in the nine range. Very very high.
It's really great game, I was really surprised with the detail that they've done with the equipment. The level I played was the helicopter flying level and it's really cool, really fun, the playability's great and it's awesome.
For fans of Medal of Honor, myself being one of them, the first time having it being out of the World War II scenario is exciting and different. It adds a kind of new realism and a new interest in the game, and in addition to that for fans of our band, the incorporation of our music works well. I think game and the track complement one another really well.
Medal of Honor is out now on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Linkin Park's latest album, A Thousand Suns, is also available now. Ellie Gibson supports Crystal Palace but only because her Dad does.