Rock On: How Musicians Live On When the Radio Is Off

Posted on 30 October 2017
By Carlton Whitfield
  • Share:

One of the very many great things about entertainment in 2017 is a cross-platform and cross-industry approach that was largely unheard of back in the heydey of music.

While engaging with a musician meant just watching them or listening to their music, nowadays, thanks to modern technology, a stream of ways to connect has become available.

Rock greats such as Motorhead, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Kiss, and Jimi Hendrix, for example, deserve to be remembered and not lost in the noise of The X Factor, The Voice and Instagram. One way that fans have learned to connect with their favourite bands beyond the music is in through a variety of pop culture, from gaming, to TV, to the latest technology.

Motorhead, whose final album Under Cover was released in 2017 following the death of founding member Lemmy, encompass a strong belief in living every moment and taking the big chances. The game Victor Vran was released with an extension that features exclusive appearances by Motorhead as they work to rescue their Snaggletooth mascot from the interminable Queen of the Damned. The inclusion of Motorhead into the modern day will not only bring newer fans to the band’s music, but also to their philosophy.

Similarly, Guns ‘N’ Roses’s Slash performed a virtual reality gig at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2017, which was streamed live to those who weren’t there. This shows another example of bands whose fans may be from another generation trying to connect through technology with a new audience. Kiss themselves are no strangers to appearing elsewhere in order to widen their fan base and further their brand awareness.

They have famously appeared in multiple episodes of Family Guy, with Gene Simmons even posing as an ex-boyfriend of Griffin matriarch Lois, and rescuing Santa to save Christmas with the volume and rock-and-roll of their music.

Jimi Hendrix, who died in 1970, and long before there was such a variety of ways for fans to connect to the music, has also been resurrected of sorts in the form of gaming. The Jimi Hendrix Case was a game developed by Adventure Game Studio for MAGS, a competition to create a video game. Amusingly, the game features a murder mystery in which every character is Jimi Hendrix, in honour of his legacy to rock.

Online casino developer NetEnt also worked to create a Guns ‘N’ Roses slot game, which takes the band’s ‘appetite for destruction’ and reference to the legendary nature of the band to encapsulate the excitement of playing slots, with the title sitting amongst more established iGaming staples such as the Book of Dead slot game.

GNR did also release their own video game back in 1987, to further enhance the Guns ‘N’ Roses experience. Choosing rock and roll stars for games is a risky move, but one that undoubtedly always pays off.

The fanbase of heavy rock and slot machines are similar as both feature the aphorisms of taking chances, grabbing life by the scruff of the neck, and taking no prisoners in a good-natured way. Pop stars are seen as often in gaming due to the replicable aspects of their music, where players can emulate the mannerisms instead of the maxims.