Game Music, Miscellaneous

Nevermind That Sh*t, Here Comes Maffew! (Botchamania Interview)

March 9, 2010 | | 3 Comments Share thison Facebook Nevermind That Sh*t, Here Comes Maffew! (Botchamania Interview)on Twitter

You might be asking yourself why you’re seeing Macho Man Randy Savage on OSV today. What did he ever do for game music? Well, not much, but he did release a rap album called Be A Man, which should have won a Grammy. Good music is always overlooked, and I should know, I was the only one who bought Hulk Hogan’s Wrestling Boot Band album, Hulk Rules, and it can be very lonely at times knowing that, let me tell you. But the reason why all of this is here today is because one of the top trending things on YouTube today is Botchamania.

What is Botchamania? Well, it’s a collection of wrestlers screwing up moves, lines, and everything else you could possibly screw up royally on in this world. For years he’s been one of YouTube’s most viewed members and his seemingly never ending videos always feature game music of the most famous and obscure nature. He was awesome enough to take the time to talk to me recently and even if you’re not a wrestling fan by any stretch, there should be some laughs for you here and in his videos!

Get to know Maffew of Botchamania after the jump!

OSV: Thanks for taking time to talk to us, Maffew! Before we get into sweaty men and absurd game music tracks, let’s tell our readers who this moist little kid named Maffew really is.

Maffew: Thanks for having me OSV! This moist little kid is known for the video series Botchamania on YouTube and little else.

OSV: How and when did you discover pro wrestling? Personally I discovered it on a channel called Sky One and was hooked since I was around 2-3 years old and shortly thereafter, I started watching NJPW on Eurosport. I’m curious to see if you discovered it this way too.

Maffew: My mum got me a few of the WWF Annuals from 93/94. Looking back, I think she just expected me to like wrestling, despite having never seen it on TV. And she was right. I like to think my Mum nurtured me into liking wrestling. No Eurosport or NJPW for us sadly.

OSV: Do you remember what wrestler in particular interested you the most at first?

Maffew: Going just by the photos in the annual, I loved ’Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Bam Bam Bigelow and Repo Man years before actually seeing them wrestle. The annual implied that Repo Man was a loon who repossessed things and people, and that meant you if you weren’t careful. When you’ve only been given a brief summary of each wrestler you tend to fill in some gaps yourself.

OSV: Now just to compare, when and how did you discover video games?

Maffew: My Dad used to play Sonic the Hedgehog for the Master System for me to watch when I was very young. That was the game where Robotnik would appear on the Map Screen after selecting his stage. I didn’t realise that it was every three stages he appeared; I figured he randomly picked a fight when he felt like it, so every trip to the map screen was gripping. He switched it off once when I saw him slowly fly on screen and I shouted “OH MY GOD IT’S ROBOTNIK”. I should point out that this was pre-detail Robotnik, when he looked like he had half a face and what was left was burnt and eyeless. There’s something very terrifying about a man who continues to try to kill a hedgehog despite only having 40% face.

OSV: Do you remember which game music soundtrack captured you first?

Maffew: The first game and soundtrack that captured me was Aladdin for the Mega Drive. That game had the same effect Prince of Persia and Flashback had on a generation beforehand. It just looked, played and sounded beautiful. Tommy Tallarico was able to recreate many of the best songs from the film (like “Prince Ali” and “One Jump Ahead”) as well as provide just-as-good original songs, like “Rug Ride” and the “Boss Theme”. (Incidentally, I swear I was a music video of a guy rapping over the “Boss Theme” when flicking through channels a few years ago. I have not been able to find that song/video again which may mean I am fucking insane. I mention it in the hope that somebody reading this will go “oh, that’s so-and-so”) Video game music occasionally bugs me sometimes because I wonder if the enjoyment from the songs comes mostly from remembering the good times associated with the music, not the music itself. I only had good times with Aladdin. Even my Mum likes the music and she hates video game sounds.

OSV: Ah I believe you mean rotoscoping, that’s the technique used in those games. So which game composers would you list as your favorites? Does Tallarico rank among your top 3?

Maffew: Because I was part of the generation that tried to play all the platformers the Mega Drive churned out, I’d definitely say list Tallarico. His work on Cool Spot, Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Global Gladiators, Jungle Book and others all greatly added to the overall enjoyment of the game. I mean, Cool Spot is most known for having “Wipeout” playing over the title rather than the gameplay (which aside from the first level, hasn’t aged well). Naming specific composers can be such a hassle, seeing as SNK’s illustrious Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan is just a pseudonym, games such as Rocket Knight Adventures have four credited composers etc. So I’ll just name a few random ones

OSV: In 2007, you uploaded a video on YouTube titled Botchamania, featuring random clips of wrestlers screwing up their moves and spots in often extremely painful ways or embarrassing slips. What made you decide on making this video at first?

Maffew: I wasn’t the first person to make a ’Wrestling Screw-up Vid’. The original and definitive video (featuring Brock Lesnar’s SSP, Bret Hart’s “In Your Hase” promo and Ultimo Dragon slipping) pre-dates Youtube. I’ve never been able to find out any information on the original creator, which is a shame as I would gleefully thank and credit him for the idea/concept. I was introduced to it via Thelilmikey uploading it as BOTCHAMANIA. The Black Eyed Peas music had been replaced with godawful screamo. It was reuploaded as BOTCHAMANIA 2 by someone else (KiKrusher99) a short time later. It featured the exact same material as the original video, but with a few more pinched clips at the end. I didn’t realise it was a case of two different people having the same idea, but curiously naming them sequentially rather than differently. Maybe KiKrusher99 really, really liked the name Botchamania. Then JoeyNightHeat made BOTCHAMANIA 3, which was just awful. It was the Robocop 3 of second sequels, and had the added notoriety of featuring Candido’s leg. (It should be pointed out the original video featured Hayabusa’s last match, which is nothing to be proud of either). I took one look at it and thought “I could do a better job of this with my eyes shut”. I’m glad JoeyNightHeat made such a Carmageddon 64 of his video, or else I may never have been compelled to create another video.

OSV: So was this already decided to be a series of many compilations of “botches” or was the first one just something you did for fun?

Maffew: I only intended to make one video and treat Botchamania like a conga line, each video having a different creator. But I had so many botches I didn’t include in the fourth vid that I made a fifth one. And then I had so much left over from the fifth video (coupled with people suggesting botches I hadn’t seen) that I made a sixth one etc.

OSV: How quick was the fan response once the first one went up? Today Botchamania is one of the most popular wrestling related searches on the Internet, and you keep on getting these subscriber rewards from Youtube. It’s pretty nuts, isn’t it?

Maffew: I’ve said a few times that I would have been happy if just one person had fun watching one of the videos. I like entertaining people, be it ten people or ten thousand. It really was just five people and a farmer watching them to begin with. It just sort of…snowballed I guess. Word of mouth spreads fast on the internet. The fan base is still growing in size and credibility, and I never thought real wrestlers would ever watch these things, and especially not compliment me afterwards.

OSV: You can’t really go wrong with wrestlers screwing up as it is near Three Stooges (atleast in the case of Sabu, Mongo McMichael and Sid Vicious) level, but the most controversial aspect to your videos, and my personal favorite is the wide selection of game music tracks you use. Why did you first decide on using game music? Most other videos on Youtube in this fashion uses Creed, Nickelback or Limp Bizkit, are you telling me crappy American emorockers aren’t good enough for you?

Maffew: In 2007, there were lots and lots of wrestling MVs on youtube. ALL of them used Drowning Pool, Creed and maybe Limp Bizkit. It was staggering. I used White Zombie for Botchamania 4 (because Lance Storm used “El Phantasmo” and the “Chicken Run Blast-o-Rama (Wine, Women and War Mix)”, and also because I really like them), but after I realised how nicely “Super Mario Bros 2” by The Minibosses would fit alongside The Sandman slurring his words, I changed my plans. Really, the music choices in the first few videos are probably why Botchamania still has a fan-base today. “A Dark World” by The OneUps, “Mega Man 2” by The Minibosses and any “Dr. Wily Stage 1” mix could be scored to pigs fucking and people would watch it in droves.

OSV: How do you go about selecting these tracks? Do you just think about games you loved the music from or do you look for tracks that are fitting of the action taking place on the screen?

Maffew: Generally, the music is selected on its length and if I like it or not. Appropriateness isn’t really considered, but more than a few sections have been redone before being uploaded, due to feeble appropriateness. Some are deliberately chosen though (E.g. Vader segments set to Big Bear’s theme from Fatal Fury 2, as Big Bear was based on Vader). At the minute, as it’s now obvious that Botchamania will run and run, I am being more careful in selecting tracks to get maximum enjoyment out of them. Case in point: Botchamania 116 had nothing but the Boss Team themes from King of Fighters ’96 . So you can enjoy the botches, the music and the reference at the same time. But not all three are dependent on one another, which is why I don’t consider them too masturbatory, like Family Guy jokes.

OSV: It seems you follow the arrangement scene quite closely too, as you often include music from various Dwelling of Duels artists like ARMCANNON, Ashane, and The Minibosses. How were you introduced to the remix and arrangement scene, and what artists do you listen to the most?

Maffew: I was introduced to the scene via “Green Hill Zone” by Megadriver. I wiki’d them (before I learned that this is not the best way to go about researching) and a list of similar bands were listed underneath them. It was through that long-defunct page I found The Minibosses, The Advantage, OCRemix, The OneUps and The NESkimos. This then led to me finding Galbadia Hotel, where I never checked out. I went to MAGfest this year and it was such a huge thrill to see these bands and others play live, as I honestly thought that I’d never see that happen. I can’t say enough good things about MAGfest. Someone pointed out who Virt was and I turned into an anime schoolgirl and had to just walk away before I made a fool of myself. Yeah, I’m stupid.

OSV: So that WAS you! I was actually in the elevator with you several times and saw your name tag, but I figured it couldn’t be someone as famous and honorary member of society as you. Did you get to experience ARM CANNON playing Real American and Sexy Boy?

Maffew: Apparently I’m so Goenitz-esque, people don’t even dare ask me if I’m me anymore. I did get to experience ARM CANNON, and they played “Borrow Mega Nuke [Eureka Bong Worm]” and “Dutch Town [Elbow Computers]” which I was very grateful for. Their cover of “Real American/Sexy Boy” was amusing, due to them shouting “What do you want next?”, everybody replying “TECMO!!!!!!!!!” and them responding with THAT. I have no bloody clue what the first song was though, but they mercifully killed it off before they were finished (like “Clayfighter X-Treme”) and moved on.

OSV: You should start using my girlfriend’s music, I love it when other guys use her.

Maffew:

OSV: Just think of her as Miss Elizabeth and me as Randy Savage., It won’t be so awkward then.

Maffew: Oh, I’ll find her locked inside your locker then?

OSV: I guess you should think of me as Chris Kanyon since you’ll likely find me in the closet rather than her. What do you personally think when people complain about the inclusion of game music in your videos? Often when I read it myself I feel like talking to my dad when I was a kid and trying to make him realize there is actual melody in these blips and beeps. Do you just include even more dated music to piss them off or have you thought of toning the game music selection down?

Maffew: Initially I tried to use cover versions or remixes to avoid annoying people in this way. I mean, what would be the point in deliberately annoying people? This stopped when I couldn’t find any Balloon Fight mixes, so I just used the original game music from Super Smash Bros. Melee for a Vengeance 2007 segment out of spite for the people who had complained when I’d used remixes. One of my friends ended up homeless for a few months, so he stayed in my room until he found housing. He was quite shocked to see me listening to Pokémon Gold. “You actually listen to that for fun??” At first the reaction to the music was polarizing as people expected Drowning Pool, Creed etc because it was wrestling. The fact that it wasn’t nu-metal was bad enough for some people. “Why can’t you just use normal music?” and “these videos are best watched on mute!” comments were plentiful back then (usually misspelled for beautiful irony). People either learned to accept it or stopped watching, because half the comments now are “Oh, I love –INSERT GAME NAME-!” or “Use more OutRun music!” Funny enough, a few would-be imitators (yeah, I am aware of how hypocritical it is calling other botch videos creators “imitators”, but they always give up after five or so videos because they’re not met with overwhelming support, so they’re not only imitators they’re lazy too) have tried making their own Botch compilations…with video game music. I have apparently made it the law now that every Botch compilation MUST USE VIDEO GAME MUSIC. Preferably Mega Man.

OSV: I think you done something like 120 videos by now, right? Do you have any favourite video out of all of these?

Maffew: Botchamania 27. Super Mario World “Ending Music”, YOUMANGA, “Pokemon Battle Theme Music” from the anime and Dragon Dragon. No. 69 is quite good too.


[Botchamania 27, Maffew’s favorite video in his collection]

OSV: What do you mostly play these days?

Maffew: I am in between jobs at the moment, and have been for a few months. So, I am saving money by going back and finishing the games in my collection that I have not finished. The current climate of having Killer Apps released every two months for every console has resulted in a lot of people seemingly buying games simply to own them. I have not purchased a PS3, Wii or 360 as I still have Mega Man 4 to finish, Burnout 3 to finish, all of the Fatal Fury games to finish, Twilight Princess…the list goes on. What’s the point in buying new stuff when there’s still old stuff to play?

OSV: You always seem to quote a lot of SNK games. You’re really into the KoF, Fatal Fury and Samurai Showdown games then?

Maffew: I’ve only recently started playing the classic SNK beat ‘em ups because of the Ignition Entertainment’s anthology titles, and I love them. Their constant presence in the videos is due to me playing them a lot, simple really! I’m cack at them, but I still enjoy the designs, the music, the feel and the gameplay of them even when losing. Plus, one of the reasons I enjoy playing games is so I can say proudly “I’ve beaten that game!” It is socially acceptable to brag about beating an SNK beat ‘em up, due to the bosses.

OSV: Did you play any of the wrestling games across the various consoles as a kid? For example Tecmo World Wrestling, Super Wrestlemania, Slam Masters and so on.

Maffew: WWF Superstars for the Game Boy was AWESOME. OK, maybe not, but David Wise faithfully recreated the theme music for every character (apart from Ted DeBiase who got…something else) so to me the character selection screens were worth playing the game for. WWF Raw for the Mega Drive was OK, even if you could make Luna Vachon do Standing 450 Splashes. WWF Super Wrestlemania was blander than Drew McIntyre. It really wasn’t until WWF War Zone and later on WWF Wrestlemania 2000/No Mercy that I played wrestling games because of the gameplay and just because you could play as Bam Bam Bigelow.

OSV: What do you think of the state of wrestling video games today? Many feel, and I do as well, that since the N64 era, it’s been on rapid decline and turned into the mess of many Madden games and such in that the music is just licensed crap, the gameplay remains unchanged and clumsy, and the features added doesn’t really improve anything.

Maffew: I agree with you whole-heartedly. It was amazing to play the classic WWF Wrestlemania 2000/ No Mercy games then try to play any of the WWE GameCube games. It didn’t make any sense to me then why the games decreased in quality, and it still doesn’t. Wrestlemania X-8’s CAW mode was a prime example. You were able to preview the moves before selecting them, and the models COULDN’T DO THE MOVES PROPERLY IN THE PREVIEW. If they couldn’t work the moves right, what chance did Funaki have? The games just played like bastardized versions of the SmackDown! Series, but if I wanted half-arsed SmackDown! I would have played Know Your Role. I’m not one of these people who will play a mediocre Next-Gen and put up with it because there’s nothing else better for that system. I say “NAY!” and whip out WCW/nWo Revenge and watch white Meng drive a truck.

OSV: We all get a kick out of white Meng scream “what?!” or my personal favorite, Kin Chee screaming “Feel It” after every single move. WCW/nWo Revenge seems to be the most fondly remembered, and interestingly enough, WWE uses the second entrance theme sometimes on their dubbed 24/7 service. Do you think we’ll ever get anything as good as the AKI wrestlers in the future?

Maffew: I’m not sure, to be honest. THQ and AKI splitting up has so far given us some average Def Jam games, several dozen SmackDown!/SmackDown! Vs Raw games, Crush Hour and that “Save Stephanie” GBA game, WWF Betrayal. So, I’m not holding my breath. But does there need to be? If we’re going to judge every new wrestling game based on the three all-time greatest wrestling games, then we’re always going to be disappointed. But having said that, whenever I play the new games at friend’s houses I end up thinking “This is crap!” So the newer games are average in their own way, they don’t need to be compared to the previous ones for that.

OSV: What botches are the most requested ones? I’m guessing the death of Owen Hart is one that pops up often? It seems there’s like a small crowd of psychos who drools over the thought of seeing that accident footage.

Maffew: Sadly, Owen Hart has been requested more than once and I’ll probably continue to get requests for him. Droz too. A few of the more ultra-violent mishaps have also been requested (’Mean’ Mitch Page’s face, Blood’s leg, Necro Butcher’s arm etc). As a fan of Death Match wrestling, I can understand the reasoning behind it (as do the company’s’ themselves, Smart Mark Video have recently released a four-disc set compiling the nastier incidents in IWA-MS history), but I try and make light-hearted and laughing WITH, not laughing AT. “Ha ha Danny Havoc nearly lost a nipple ha ha Hydro Thunder music!” aren’t the type of videos I want to make.

OSV: It was a pleasure speaking with you, Maffew! Never stop spitting out those videos, and I hope you will re-appear at future MAGFests. If there is anything you would like to say to the lovers and haters of Botchamania, now’s your chance!

Maffew: “If you go through life and no one hates you, then that means you’re not good at anything” (Triple H, Power Slam Magazine, # 184, 2009). These videos are nothing without the fans, and also nothing without the haters. Thank you for being one of the two, windjammers!
And I’m definitely coming back to MAGfest, so if you see a man with a funny accent with MAFFEW on his name tag, don’t be shy. I’m not getting a table, as they are reserved for talented individuals only, so you’ll have to find me.
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You can check out more of Maffew’s work at Botchamania.net, which is great comedy all the way no matter where you stand on the “sport” of professional wrestling. A big thank you to Maffew for being awesome and taking time with us!

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