How can I collaberate with indie musicians for my online game?
November 30, 2005 5:41 AM   Subscribe

We're starting a music project for our indie online game. We are looking for unsigned artists who are willing to take a risk on a small project (but still get paid). Suggestions?

It will be called Chron X™: The Official Soundtrack, or something similar. We are a very small outfit though, and don't have the big bucks. We're looking for other indies -- except musicians and not game designers. =)

We will take existing work that fits in our near-future/near-apocalyptic gritty SF feel, or work composed specifically for the album. The artists will hold all non-Chron X rights to the songs too. (So, if they mention a Chron X character, we still own the character. But in all other respects they can do what they want with the song... and we can too.)

I guess what I need is both a indie producer AND indie musicians / groups. Other than wandering around MySpace, I really don't have much of a clue here. Any help you can give will be very shiny. =)
posted by andreaazure to Media & Arts (13 answers total)
You looking for instrumental music? Pop songs? Heavy rock stuff?
posted by Marquis at 6:02 AM on November 30, 2005

Any more guidance on the type(s) of music you're looking for? Are you willing to go beyond the industrial, orchestral or trance that usually signifies "gritty SF"?
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:02 AM on November 30, 2005

And before you say "any of the above", please consider whether you mean it. (I find it hard to imagine a sci-fi video game that uses Fountains of Wayne, Belle and Sebastian, or Arcade Fire, f'rinstance.)
posted by Marquis at 6:03 AM on November 30, 2005

Chron X has five different domains, and each have their own feel to them. If I end up producing it, it would look something like this:
  • United Nations: "military industrial"
  • Corporate: Pop. Gotta be. Almost to the point of pretend-sell-out parody.
  • Monasteries: Traditional sci-fi cyber/techno with a Japan feel to it (though not all characters in the Monasteries in the game are Japanese).
  • Former United States: I'd say rock. ("Former" because in the game's fiction, it broke up into 6 large chunks in the 2050s.)
  • Nonames: Is there such a thing as anarchy rock?

posted by andreaazure at 6:36 AM on November 30, 2005

andreaazure writes 'Is there such a thing as anarchy rock?'

Most (actual) punk would fit this description.
Have you looked through creative commons? Lots of music on it.
posted by signal at 7:08 AM on November 30, 2005

I'm an independent musician (and a gamer), and I'd be open to this kind of thing. You can hear mp3s at the site linked on my user page and e-mail me if you're interested.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:42 AM on November 30, 2005

Check out MySpace - there's lots of unsigned, indie bands on there who'd probably commit a track or two.
posted by muddgirl at 8:22 AM on November 30, 2005

I would check out the Podcast Music Network, at While it's not exactly designed for this (it's a network set up to let indie music groups get their music heard on podcasts), I'm sure that you could email any number of the artists there with your query. Check it out.
posted by rossination at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2005

Check out MySpace - there's lots of unsigned, indie bands on there who'd probably commit a track or two.

The asker mentioned MySpace in the question. That's one route to go, but the amount of crap you'd probably have to wade through before finding something decent would be considerable.

Another method that ocurred to me would be to post on the message boards of established bands with music similar to what you're looking for. For example, if you posted on The Decemberists board, you'd get my attention, as well as some other musicians who post there.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2005

maybe check out some of the indie music supervision companies:

There are more out there...

Vanity alert! Check out my label:

If you like any of the tracks, feel free to PM me.
posted by MeatLightning at 10:56 AM on November 30, 2005

I'm a music writer and deal with a LOT of unsigned bands.
Here's a good way to find some bands that are willing to work with you:
Contact PR people. Some of the most helpful ones that I've found are Celest at, Wendy Williams at, and Becky Carr at

Further, I can suggest some bands for you if you for the assorted areas:

United Nations: Take a look at Stop/Eject records. Now out of Austin, they have a pretty deep catalogue of noise and industrial. You might also talk to TVT to see about getting old Laibach sides licensed. They should be cheap, and that's military industrial (along with Nitzer Ebb).

Corporate: For pop, there aren't that many good indie groups that sound like corporate pop. There are, however, plenty of bands that are instrumental pop out there, especially through library music. If you're up for more eclectic stuff, try for a Flaming Lips-ish band. Or talk to Ludwig up there.

Monastaries: Again, this stuff can probably be found by looking on Metafilter Projects for collaborators. There are a lot of people who make this style of techno here. You can also look to Ghostly International records, but they may want loot to use their tunes.

FUS: Ah, here we go, this is my forte. 25 Suaves on Bulb Records are a good start. As are The Muggs, The Cyril Lords, or the Hard Lessons, The Evil Queens, The Warlocks, Evil Beaver, Electric Frankenstein, Glori5, Chapstik, Flapjack, Strut, Demolition Doll Rods, Wolfbait, The Submarines or Stylex.

Nonames: Afrirampo, Melt Banana, Dead Cs, The Boredoms, My Name is Ra Ra, Wolf Eyes, The Human Eye, Human Wick Effect...

What you're going to have to do is come up with a contract that stipulates the usage rights, figure out how many plays that you expect each track to get (are you selling this game? How many sales do you anticipate), the payment structure, and how royalties will be paid.

I also know more than a few people who have pretty solid music industry training if you're looking for a real music supervisor. And if you want me to put together a mix of sounds for you, my email's in my profile.
posted by klangklangston at 11:03 AM on November 30, 2005

Post this request on Versus Media
Just be very specific about what kind of music you're looking for.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 11:17 AM on November 30, 2005

Heavy Melody Music did the music for A Tale In the Desert, another independent MMO. You may want to chat with them, as they must have reasonable rates, considering Teppy's budget.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:22 AM on November 30, 2005

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