Game Informer interview with Pat Wilson - February 1997

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Print interview with Patrick Wilson
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Scan of full one-page interview
Publication Game Informer (Link)
Interviewee Patrick Wilson
Interviewer Jon Storm
Date February, 1997
Title An interview with Weezer's Pat Wilson
Format Print
Associated concert Weezer concert: 11/15/1996
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

In November 1996, Weezer visited the headquarters of the video game magazine Game Informer (GI) before their show at the First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, part of their Pinkerton Tour. Pat Wilson participated in an interview conducted by GI staff editor Jon Storm, who was a childhood friend of Wilson's. The interview covers classic and contemporary video games as well as Wilson's band, the Special Goodness, which was at this time in the process of releasing its first album on Geffen Records.[a]

The visit and interview were first mentioned in an issue of GI the same winter, a cut-out of which was included in Weezine issue #9. The interview itself would release in in GI February 1997 Vol. 7 Issue #2 as a one-page "Classic Game Informer" column.

Interview

An Interview with Weezer's Pat Wilson
Author: Jon Storm (Game Informer)
Published: February, 1997


A long time ago, in a town far far away, there lived two boys named Pat and Jon. Home systems by day, arcades by night, the two were marked forever with the indelible stamp of video games. Now years later, their paths have crossed again. Pat, famous rock drummer, Jon, staff editor at GI. Here's what they (and a few of their peers) have to say about their long standing love affairs with the video game.

Jon: What was you favorite arcade game of all time?

Pat: I think my favorite game would be Street Fighter 2.

Jon: Were you good at it?

Pat: Yeah, I beat that game.

Jon: You like those Capcom graphics?

Pat: Yeah I did, I thought they were cool. When I first saw Mortal Kombat I was kind of bummed on it. I'm like, what's up with that? It's just a photo moving. But now I'm actually pretty impressed with it.

Jon: Have you played any of the new fighting games?

Pat: I like the Virtua fighter games. Virtua Fighter was pretty incredible when it came out. I just saw Virtua Fighter 3 in Japan. it's pretty cool. But I'd like to see stuff move away from combat games...well, fighting games I should say, because it seems like they've been the only things going on in arcades for the past two or three years.

Jon: Plus there are so many average fighting games out there.

Pat: Double Dragon was funny.

Jon: That and Karate Champ was where fighting games got their start.

Pat: BEGIN!

Jon: Were you good at Double Dragon?

Pat: Yeah, beat it, beat that game.

Jon: Just use the back elbow the whole time?

Pat: Yeah [laughs].

Jon: That was so cheezy.

Pat: Yeah, it is cheezy. But is was a great game just to be able to pick up a lead pipe and konk somebody [imitates sound effects from game]. But today's fighting games, I don't really like the feeling it gives you, like, Ha! I've killed you.

Jon: Most of the letters and feedback we get are on fighting games, like MK and Tekken.

Pat: I think their popularity will swing sooner or later. Maybe not though, maybe like Rock-n-Roll, they've zeroed in on this 8 to 20, or 8 to 18 age market where everyone's in the same place developmentally, and they've found exactly what works for that market, like big fat exciting guitars, and testosterone fighting. Maybe they've worked that out, I don't know. Maybe it'll just recycle itself like rock has the entire time. I mean, in the way that rock just regurgitates and recycles because a new audience is coming up every year, perpetually, and maybe fighting games will be the same way. There will now, probably always be a "fighting" game. Oh, you know what was an amazing game? Don had it on his Nintendo. It was a Japanese game, you're a ninja and you cruise around the subway and grab onto things up here [shows with his hands] and kick people, side scrolling.

Andy: Ninja Gaiden.

Pat: Yeah, Ninja Gaiden.

Paul: That was great, especially or the Lynx

Andy: And it was cool on the NES. When you played the last level, unlike any other level, you'd just die and the game would be over. It would totally suck.

Jon: Was Mario your favorite home game of all time?

Pat: No, that would be NHL 95 [Genesis]. 96 bummed me out because it was lower scoring, stingier goalies. it's not right, way too much to chance. The 95 control, for me, was the most fun. NBA Jam was pretty fun when that came out, but I'm kind of bummed on it now.

Jon: Who is the best game player you've ever known?

Andy: Please don't say Jon.

Pat: See Jon, I don't even know myself, so how can I know somebody else?

Jon: What did you think of laser disc games like Dragon's Lair when it first came out?

Pat: Hated it. Thought it was like watching some lame cartoon. Oh yeah, big deal, pick A or B. Your choice is always limited.

Jon: That's one of the three games housed in the Smithsonian.

Pat: Well they clearly made a big mistake.

Jon: Asteroids was awesome.

Pat: Asteroids is the ultimate Zen game. It couldn't be any simpler, but it's just so *##% hard.

Jon: Because it focused almost solely on play control.

Pat: That's one thing that fighting games seem to be lacking. I guess it's still there, but it's more like "Look, I can hit you nine times in a row with Baraka." It is pretty incredible though, when you get the combination moves in MK. It's fun as hell.

Jon: A lot of games are trending back towards analog.

Pat: When Williams Arcade Classics first came out I was pretty stoked. But I think there's a way bigger market for it. There are so many other games; it can't be hard to work the code for them. So many games, I'd buy every game loved as a kid. I'd pay fifty bucks a piece for them. Although you could probably buy the arcade machine for a few hundred bucks.

Jon: But you can't repair them. Who are you going to get to repair your old Asteroids machine, you know?

Pat: The best thing about Asteroids was the bass...Bup, Bup, Bup, Tcheeew...Track and Field stoked me back in the day. You had the two run buttons and a jump. First you start out in the hundred yard dash [pounds his knees], and your little meter goes up.

Andy: You could use an electric toothbrush.

Pat: Ahh! No way.

Andy: Man, you could hold it on there...

Pat: So that was the guy who was having all the 4 second hundred yard dashes.

Jon: Didn't somebody use the pencil method?

Andy: Yeah, comb or pencil, but the guy I always saw would turn and say, "The secret to this game is..." and chichink, he'd whip out the toothbrush. And I was like, "no way!!"

Pat: My friend Brett was really good, because he'd start out like this [pats his knees slowly], really even, and then build, and I think the game responded more to evenness then[sic] just nerve ending static.

[Paul is in background demonstrating the pencil method.]

Jon: That's cheatin'.

Paul: No way man.

[Reiner enters room with news article from paper, hands it to Jon.]

Jon: Check this out Pat. Save your brain, eat fish. Fish oil sharpens the brain at all ages, and they show five ways in which fish oil manages the brain. Castor oil is gonna make a comeback.

Paul: [inspects article] All right, here are three things that would ruin my profession: fights depression, reduces aggression and stimulates young minds. [Everybody laughs]. Those are the last three things you want to do.

Jon: So let's talk briefly about your side project. The band's called Special Goodness?

Pat: Yes, The Special Goodness. That will probably be the name of the album and it will be out on Geffen Records.

Jon: And how did the recording go?

Pat: I recorded all the instruments myself, but I had help in producing it from my friend Tony Lash and he's a very thorough engineer. We took a lot of time in order to assure a really smooth sound.

Jon: How did the writing go?

Pat: I did the writing myself, but a lot of the songs were only half done arrangement wise, and he [Tony] helped me a lot with the arrangements, because at that time the whole thing was getting really incestuous with myself. I was just too close and I couldn't see what needed to be done.

Jon: Why did you opt for the single chemistry as opposed to a band chemistry?

Pat: Because dealing with people can be a big nightmare. Not only that, but I just felt like I had these personalities on the drums and guitar and bass, why not see if they made a nice band?


Footnotes

  1. The album would be dropped by Geffen and released by the indie record label Rock Records in Japan the following year. Wilson continued to search for a label to release the album in America, to no success.