Play video game. Love the music. Move to Japan. Join the band.

That’s more or less what happened to Steve Laity. And look how happy he looks as a result:

Guitar Vader group photo from pixelsurgeon

The unadulaterated photo accompanies an interview with Guitar Vader (the band in question) on the pixelsurgeon website. Here is a quote from Steve taken from the interview:

First of all I can’t believe that I am actually playing with Guitar Vader… My brother and I have been Guitar Vader fans since the first Jet Set Radio. I came to Tokyo after College to work on building with my good friend George. Guitar Vader has been a huge part of that effort. I am so happy to be in the band.

And in response to the question “Do you have any really obsessive fans?”, Miki (one of the original members of the band) says:

Steve, because he joined us he is crazy.

I can really relate to this story. I too fell hard for Guitar Vader after hearing their songs while skating around in Sega’s original cel-shaded video game masterpiece Jet Set Radio. (It’s one of my all-time favourite games.)

Guitar Vader’s music really set the feel for the game and I soon imported a few of their CDs (“Wild at Honey” and “From Dusk”). It was after searching for Guitar Vader videos on YouTube that I noticed an unfamiliar new face in the band and that started the investigation that lead to this post!