If you've ever listened to the Arcade Fire, Beirut, Stars, or any number of alternative Canadian bands, you've heard Final Fantasy's work. At least, you heard what used to be Final Fantasy: violinist, composer, and indie-pop übermensch Owen Pallett has officially dropped the Final Fantasy moniker in preparation for his new album, Heartland.
"I began playing solo violin shows in 2004," explains Pallett. "Although it was essentially a solo project, I named the band Final Fantasy, as the experience—and the tone of the material—was reminiscent of the hours and hours I had spent as an adolescent playing those epic JRPGs."
If you listen closely, it's easy to tell that Pallett's music has been influenced by videogames: "An Arrow in the Side of Final Fantasy" from the album Has a Good Home uses the melody from Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, and He Poos Clouds features a song called "Many Lives —> 49 MP."
Pallett's new album, Hearland, will be released next year, and it's the first of his albums to be released in Japan. Given that Square Enix doesn't really play nice with its intellectual property, it seems like Pallett might have just dodged a bullet. Remember when they shut down that Chrono Trigger fan game called Crimson Echoes? What about when they nixed Chrono Resurrection? "I feel it is in my own best interests to definitively distinguish my music from Square Enix's games," Pallett wrote in an e-mail statement.
Smart move, friend.
I've seen Final Fantasy in concert three times (most recently a few weeks ago in Nashville), and someone always asks him what his favorite Final Fantasy game is. He's never answered. Now, like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.