16 BIT SESSIONS #1: Hundred Reasons – Kill Your Own

16 BIT SESSIONS is where James tries to figure out all this Mega Drive music business by covering songs and trying out different sounds. This time, it’s a cover of Kill Your Own by 2000s UK post-hardcore guys Hundred Reasons.

In March 2006, when this song was released, I was 18 and out in the world for the first time. I was living in a beautiful Victorian mansion owned by my university that I, and the 13 friends I shared it with, managed to transform into a dive in 0 seconds flat. There was beer, there was fun and embarrassment, I played in my first ever band and fumbled my way through my first ever shows (playing on a good night to tens of people at a time).

I also went to a lot of rock shows. A lot of them were by Hundred Reasons, who played just the kind of straightforward fun rock music I liked best at the time. It helped that they came to town all the time – from 2002 to 2009 I saw this band something like 25 fucking times. And if I could I’d see ’em 25 more.

Trying to arrange this song into MIDI and sample it through the Mega Drive was a lot of fun – not only did it take me back, it surprised me how much of this music is still influencing how I write music now. It’s got some heaviness to it, sure, but the rhythm has a good stomp and it never stops being catchy. The album that this track takes its name from isn’t perfect but it’s still one of my all-time favourites.

Full chiptune dork disclosure: in addition to samples from my own machine, I used FMDrive as a controller, the drums are from a Sega drum sample pack and one of the square waves has about 15% extra chorus on it. Sue me! (please don’t)

Here’s the original song for comparison – I’m actually an extra in this video! My friends Ruben, Pete and I took the train down to London to be in it. I met some great friends through this band and the scene they were part of and, as much as I never want to be age 13 – 23 ever again, I miss it.

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