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Final Stage Interview
by Bradley Pearce and Stephen Meyerink
One of the greatest pleasures we had at MAGFest 12 was speaking to Tomoko Akaboshi and Zac Zinger of Final Stage. Final Stage is a recently formed group packed full of experienced musicians with quite a set of credentials amongst them. They've been all over the game music industry, having contributed to games like Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, Dragon's Dogma, and Portal. They have worked with names like Nobuo Uematsu, Jonathan Coulton, Wataru Hokoyama, and Masashi Hamauzu. They've also worked in film, with major names like Alan Silvestri (The Avengers, Back to the Future).

The group's official site features fantastical artwork and in an effort to speak to their main audience (gamers and VGM lovers, of course!), they've set up their entire presence to mimic that of a game. A quick glimpse at any of their bios will net you information on their personal statistics, cleverly disguised in the form of RPG-like stat sheets. Be sure to check out the official Final Stage site, listen to some of their work on their SoundCloud, and follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

But without further ado, have a look and a listen to our interview, and be sure to stick around for Zac's performance of Zelda's Lullaby on the EWI!



From the artists:
The musicians in Final Stage each have impressive track records. They all hold at least a Bachelor's Degree of Music, and among their collective accomplishments are the Boston Phoenix Music Award, ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, Herb Pomeroy Arranging Award, Toshiko Akiyoshi Award, and 1st place in the Paul Simon Graceland Bass Competition. They have worked with worked such composers as Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu (Final Fantasy), Jack Wall (Call of Duty Black Ops 2), Wataru Hokoyama (Resident Evil 5), Jonathan Coulton (Portal), and Alan Silvestri (Forrest Gump); as well as such famous artists as Alicia Keys, Coldplay, The Verve, Andrea Boccelli, Pat Metheny, Paco de Lucia, Esperanza Spalding, Maria Schneider, Alan Evans (Soul Live), the Boston Pops, Terri Lyne Carrington, and more. Its members have been directly involved in recordings and productions for Resident Evil 6 (CAPCOM), Monster Hunter 'SWING' (CAPCOM), Binary Domain (SEGA), STAR WARS in Concert tour.

Although Final Stage is a newly formed group, many of its members have experience playing at gaming conventions. Major cons at which its members have made appearances include PAX East 2010, 2011 and 2012, PAX Prime 2012, Anime Central 2012, and Anime Boston 2009 and 2010.





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