2019 American Music Awards

Videogame Placements Set The Stage For Bang Camaro

Boston, 2006: Bang Camaro, a band made up of people in other bands, plays its first hometown gig. Would the group's arena rock-filed in iTunes under "hair metal"-go over well in a basement party full of hipsters?

"We were terrified. It wasn't like hard rock was the in thing at the time," co-founder Bryn Bennett says. "We thought we would be crucified." But, as it turns out, the crowd just wanted to rock-including some in the front row who worked at nearby Cambridge, Mass.-based videogame developer Harmonix, best-known for the "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" series.

The intersection of Boston's indie rock scene and Harmonix's staff wasn't unusual; the company employs many independent musicians as gamers and programmers. "We probably already knew 20-30 people that worked at the company because they played in bands with us," Bennett recalls.

Bang Camaro's timing and sound were just right. "Guitar Hero II," like the other titles, was built around the joys of shredding guitars, and "we happened to be doing that same sort of thing in our own band," Bang Camaro co-founder Alex Necochea says. "The Boston music scene isn't that big, so they contacted us and asked us if we'd be interested in submitting a song for the game." Bang Camaro's "Push Push Lady Lightning" made it onto "Guitar Hero II" as an in-game bonus track.

Meanwhile, Bang Camaro started booking local gigs, and what had started as an exercise in blowing off steam actually picked up some as well. The act scored in-game tracks on "Rock Band," "Rock Band 2," "Phase" and "Titan Quest," all but "Titan Quest" developed by Harmonix, where Bennett had begun working along the way and still works.

Bang Camaro is a case study of a band in the process of turning worldwide exposure on millions of copies of games into a viable business. While the group can't…

Click here for the full feature which includes details on the band's 2008 income, the doors opened through the song placements and more.

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