The connective tissue between alternative music and video games has been there for some time now. Who remembers MyChildren MyBride’s ode to Halo’s ‘Headshot‘? Everyone. Fast forward to 2020, the dynamic has shifted from artists simply referencing playing video games in their music, to playing video games actually being a tenant of their career, thanks to platforms such as Twitch and Mixr.
This gives fans otherwise unobtainable access to their favourite musician. You can watch them – for hours if you fancy – navigating various maps and battle fronts or damn well fight alongside them.
We put together a list of artists who game, and who you can game with…
Dylan Bowman from I Prevail
Dylan Bowman, of post-hardcore juggernaut I Prevail fame, takes his off-tour time and gaming very seriously, combining the two into the aptly named side-hustle OffTourGaming. Dylan invites fans and followers to watch on, and partake in, antics revolving around Fortnite, Borderlands 3, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare and “scary games” like Outlast.
Sure, you probably won’t pick up too many pro tips from watching on, but boy, will you laugh.
Dylan has shared video evidence of his gaming rig, confirming his status as part of the PC Master Race and a dog person in one fell swoop. I Prevail’s affinity with video games has been well documented historically, with the band even offering their Lifeline album tracks “RISE” and “Scars” as features on the Forza (2018) and Trial Rising (2019) official soundtracks respectively.
Ronnie Radke from Falling In Reverse
It legit made headlines when Ronnie Radke a.k.a ‘The Streaming Monster’ announced his sojourn into the lush pastures of video game streaming, which should surprise exactly no one given the dude’s status as an alternative music force majeure. So far, Ronnie has played Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (like, a lot of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4) but rest assured, the Falling In Reverse frontman has plans to branch out.
In terms of streaming content, Ronnie is the strong but silent type. Keeping a keen focus on his K/D, you might hear a “Cache, Cache, Cache!” or other firm but brief commands to team mates.
Ronnie also uses his Twitch platform as a straight up hustler would, connecting it directly with his music releases, tours and other Falling In Reverse happenings. He isn’t the only band member to hit the controller either. You may run into guitarist Derek on a far flung battlefield somewhere. If you play Xbox, keep an eye out for his gamertag HYBR1DM0MENTS.
Brendon Urie from Panic At The Disco
Silent is absolutely the wrong word to use when describing Brendon Urie’s video game streaming presence. In an effortless flow, Brendon will reply to comments, thank subscribers, complain about lag all while dominating some poor fool in a Fortnite build-off. You’ll also catch Brendon exploring the streets of Saint Denis, and surrounds, on Red Dead Redemption II.
His commentary and dedication to the gaming cause hasn’t gone unnoticed by the larger gaming community either, considering the dude has the population of a medium sized city following him on Twitch. It is a power he uses for good, with the jack of all trades providing easy click-throughs to learn about and donate to his important Highest Hopes Foundation.
Brendon’s affection for video games is no secret, given that back in 2018 he presented the award for Best Score/Music at The Game Awards. As if being on stage wasn’t clear enough, Brendon used the moment to admit he had been up until 5am that morning playing the latest Fortnite season. It happens to the best of us.
Matt Heafy from Trivium
Heavy music deity and Trivium frontman Matt K Heafy is a clinical example of a video game devotee. He’s talking about cutting his teeth on the likes of Donkey Kong and Golden Eye, and now you can catch him on Twitch busting hard 90’s on Fortnite and quick scoping players to kingdom come.
In fact, so dedicated to gaming is Heafy, that scrolling through his profile, you could confuse him for a gamer who tours and records between updates. In reality, Heafy manages to fit more into his day than a mere mortal could – including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.
There’s a little bit of Overwatch, and a lot of Fortnite. Heafy also uses his channel as a way to expand on the Trivium universe by walking fans through guitar practice sessions and other technical aspects of his day job. Of course, his commentary is loaded with dry, cool wit. Back to the multi-tasking, you can watch him controlling a round of Overwatch all the while speaking to his viewers about pitching an official collaboration between Trivium, Netflix and The Witcher. What are they feeding this guy?
Though not an artist you can game with, technically, we would be remiss not to mention Canada’s Lights on a list about alternative musicians who game purely in recognition of her dedication to the community. We see this here with her current sparring partner, Death Stranding.
Lights may not be heavy in and of herself, but consistently has been heavy adjacent. While her recorded works may be more alt-pop focused, she will forever and always be one of us. Furthermore, Lights is also a console player; PS4 no less, making her a worthy and powerful ally.
Also, just like us, Lights refuses to let adult responsibilities get in the way of her video game fix.
While you may not catch Lights on Twitch right now, her contribution to nerd culture can’t be understated. Skin&Earth, released back in 2017, came with a dedicated comic book series brought to life by Lights.
Do you know any other musicians who moonlight as gamers? Let us know!