Home Features Interviews Composer Akira Yamaoka on World of Tanks’ unique sound

Composer Akira Yamaoka on World of Tanks’ unique sound

SHARE

During a recent trip to Belarus, Stevivor learned that Wargaming enforces very strict rules when it comes to World of Tanks’ soundtrack.

Speaking with famed Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka, fresh off the announcement that he’ll be partnering with Wargaming on World of Tanks, Stevivor focused on one specific instrument: the guitar. Yamaoka is not only an incredibly enthusiastic guitarist, but he is well known for his use of the instrument to produce industrial and electronic sounds in games.

Yamaoka confirmed that there is not a single song in World of Tanks that uses an electric guitar — and this partnership will not be an exception.

“The community of players doesn’t have any demands or particular interests so I don’t feel limited,” he said. “The game itself is number one, that how I look at it. I’m am happy to work around these guidelines for that reason. The target is to make the game sound more interesting and more exciting and that’s not about if it’s modern or electronic and it’s not about what particular tools I use to make the music.”

I was assured that even though the guidelines were being followed, Yamaoka was able to add his own touch and make it work while creating something that respects his own style and his culture.

“I don’t think there are many differences actually,” Yamaoka said with a big smile. “I have found that the sense of music pretty much matches and makes our collaboration very smooth. We work well together through music because the feeling of music is very similar.”

There you have it — music has the power to transcend the language barrier.

“I want to switch the people off their daily routine,” Yamaoka said, describing how he wants his work to impact players. “Like a kid that’s supposed to go to school and they totally forget that they are supposed to go to school because they are so involved in the game. I want people to forget family errands, and have people totally switch off and get into another world.”

Yamaoka has his own favourite video game soundtracks to do just that.

“My favourite soundtrack is probably Red Dead Redemption,” he asserted. “For movies it’s a bit harder. There are so many but my number one is John Williams. He’s really challenging with his music and I respect that.”

In terms of musical influences, Yamaoka’s a long-time Trent Reznor fan. Sadly, he’s never had the chance to meet the Nine Inch Nails headliner.

“The closest I’ve come is ending up in an office where he had worked and I saw his schedule,” Yamaoka said with a laugh. “One day.”

Yamaoka and a few members of the Audio team put on a bit of a show by jamming a few unscripted songs in the practice room in the middle of their recording studio. You can check them out below.

When I asked Yamaoka if he had a name in mind for the band behind the jam session he laughed and said “World of something?”