Interview with DARREN CRISS of Computer Games
Darren Criss’ independent alt-pop band Computer Games has released its debut EP, entitled Lost Boys Life EP, which features 4 songs written by front man Darren (AKA Blaine from Glee) and his brother Chuck Criss (from indie-pop band Freelance Whales), AMNplify’s Pauli Dee spoke to Darren about the how the band came about, the EP and his thoughts on visiting Australia.
Pauli: You’ve joined forces with your big brother, Chuck to form the band “Computer Games” and have released an EP “Lost Boys Life.” How did you come up with that title?
Darren: For the band or the title track?
I was thinking title track, but you can give us an answer to both if you like!
Well “Computer Games” started because Chuck and I have been playing together our entire lives, since we were teenagers & it was always a dream to do some sort of group together, whether it was him doing something that I’d help with or me doing something that he’d help with & it was always the goal, we were blessed with these bizarre ultimate universes that came into our existence, which was Chuck concentrating on his band, “Freelance Whales” and I was working in television, so that took us away from being able to do it for a while and it just kept being put on the back burner more and more and throughout the years I had been writing stuff and sending to Chuck and Chuck would write things and send them to me and it got to a point a couple of years ago where I was trying to figure out what sort of music I wanted to put out there and Chuck and I had a few songs together and it just seemed to work. I said to him, look man, this isn’t just you or just me, it’s the two of us and we’ve always wanted to do something together so why don’t we just make this the project, so here we are a couple of years later and we came up with the name “Computer Games” because it has a lot of relevance to us nostalgically, we grew up playing computer games, more than video games and as we got older, Oregan Trail & Sim City slowly turned into electronic music programming, so the music we’ve made for this project is literally a result of our computer games, so there you have a fun name that’s nostalgic and it has a double meaning with how we sort of communicate with each other now, you know Facebook, social media… we all play computer games these days.
I know you performed the lead single “Every Single Night” at iheart radio, will you be performing the songs live alongside Chuck?
Yeah, we’ve done a few shows already. This is a very small operation, you know it’s only a small humble EP, there’s only three songs. We have a bunch of other songs that we’ve been working on that I think and hope are the best yet to come, but for this first initial flash, we wanted to just give out a little taste of what we are and see what the reaction is and go from there. So whether it’s a tour or another record, we’re just testing the waters to see how people will react and we’ll go from there.
Well so far, so good. I’ve listened to it and loved it. It had a ‘feel-good’ vibe for me.
What do you hope people will feel when they listen to it?
Well I suppose like any artist would want anyone to feel with any kind of music. We hope that people respond to it and to me, there’s no rule book to how people are supposed to feel, I just hope they feel something, whether it’s sad or happy or some kind of emotion. When you’re putting any creation out to the world, you just hope that people have a positive connection to it. That’s really all I can say. I guess in layman’s terms, it’d be “I HOPE THEY LIKE IT!”
I noticed you put a ‘Thank You’ post up on your Facebook recently for your Australian fans, have you been here before?
So Australia is that movie that, when you say you haven’t seen “The Godfather” and all your friends give you shit and say “What? You haven’t seen the GodFather? What’s wrong with you,” it’s not like I’ve been trapped in a tower, consciously avoiding The Godfather, I just for whatever circumstances have not seen it, that’s the same thing with Australia! I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, there’s been such a huge amount of support from a lot of folks in Australia, but you know, it’s a tough trip to make on a weekend! It’s not exactly a weekend destination for Americans, but I’m not avoiding it by any means.
Well when you eventually get here, you’ll learn that if your name is Darren or Sharon, you automatically get called Dazza or Shazza, so expect that when you come!
Dazza! (Laughs) Oh yeah, I know all about it. I’m very familiar with the “Dazza” thing!
Mate you’re a true triple threat. You sing, you dance and you act.
Do you have a preference of which one you enjoy more?
They’re all the same to me. It’s all story-telling, it’s all connecting dots between yourself and another person. It’s getting people to come together and be a part of something bigger than themselves and that’s all it is for me. Whether it’s telling a story on stage or being in a band or in a play or on television, it’s all a part of connecting human beings together.
Speaking of television, you’ve recently been cast in American Crime Story; Versace.
Have you started working on that yet?
No. I’m excited for that, but no, we haven’t started working on it just yet. I’m looking forward to it though.