Joel Stevenett loves the variety of work he does as a drummer. One of his favorite gigs is playing drums on the soundtracks to videogames for Xbox and PlayStation. “It’s a big industry, and it’s a lot of fun,” Stevenett says. “A good friend of mine, Chuck Myers, hooked me up with some of the earlier games. Sony America, one of the divisions, is located here in Salt Lake City. When I wasn’t on the road back in Nashville, I was flying here during the week to do sessions for videogames.”
Stevenett says playing for videogames can require him to cover all sorts of bases. “It could be anything,” the drummer explains, “from programmed stuff, looping, and samples, to all live drums. One game I really enjoyed playing on was called RalliSport Challenge for Xbox, which is a race car game where you can pick any country to race in. I remember the producer called to tell me that he wanted to hear ice, snow, and dirt from the drums. I was thinking, ‘What the heck are you talking about?’ But I went to work and thought, What would I want to hear as I round the corner and dirt is flying up? Maybe some cool tom roll, coming off the edge of the rim onto the tom. And for some of the ice features, I’d play some China and stacked cymbals.’ I did it, and the client loved it.” Stevenett has worked on such recent titles as Twisted Metal: Head On for PSP, and Dance Revolution and Downhill Domination for PlayStation 2.