Interview with League musicians The Yordles
Wed 30th Aug 2017 - 10:00am
Content creation in League of Legends comes in a variety of forms. Some make videos for amusement, or comedy, while some create to help other improve. While every vreator has their own take, it is the musical creators who really show their unique and creative takes on League as a whole and today we had the chance to sit down with one of the first out there, Sonny and Miles from The Yordles.
Guys, thank you for joining me today.
Miles: It's a pleasure
Sonny: Glad to be here
Along with bands like falconshield, Plentakill, Instalok and Riot's own Pentakill, The Yordles are very well known for being one of the pioneer League of Legends music channels. What inspired you to make the music you released?
Miles: Uhhh actually, so there was a contest called "songs of the summoned 3" was it the third one...I think it was the third one like 5 years ago? I saw Riot release this contest that said make about league of legends or a champion or just, something about the game and we have some goodies like RP and stuff to give away and I was like "yo I can do this it seems fun" so I hit up sonny and I was like hey man you wanna make goofy songs with me for like, this contest and he was like uhhh sure whatever. We had friends come and hang out and make like clap traps on these songs we were making in garage band, and sony learned how to edit videos in like, what did you use at the time was it sony vegas?
Sonny: Yeah, yeah it was vegas
Miles: So we started releasing these songs and releasing them on youtube and people were kinda, you know, into it and were responding fairly positively at the time and every time we would submit a song through the email that you had to send it to the contest to riot or whatever we would get the automated response, and then another time we got an email that said "Hey these are really good, don't stop making these" and i was like "Yo sonny, i'm pretty sure that this is NOT an automated response I think a Rioter actually responded to us!"
Most content creators can remember one video that they have released that they are proud of, do you have any song that you have put out that are particularily proud of?
Miles: Oh man, what would it be for you?
Sonny: I mean like, I'm really proud of all our stuff
Miles: Yeah that's one stipulation we have is like, anything we release no matter how long it takes, and sometimes it takes a HOT minute for us to actually like them, but we always stuff that no matter what we will be proud of.
Sonny: If i had to say, I'm very proud of "The Legend" cause it wasn't like a turning point, but more of a milestone in our youtube. Most people who have heard of us have heard the Legend, I don't know why, but that's the one and that one resonated with people a lot more than any of our early stuff.
Miles: Gosh, if I had to say my most "proud" song would have to be marked, cause that was a really fun one and the mixing and everything on it was amazing.
Many content creators have been playing league of legends for quite some time, do you know roughly how long you have been playing?
Miles: I know I was the first out of our whole friend group who started to play, and I asked sonny to play and he was like "Nope, not gonna happen. not gonna play that game, I hate that game, I have no interest"
Sonny: For like 20 minutes you just do nothing!
Miles: That had to be...2009 maybe 2010? I started in season one and I know Sonny eventually started in season 2
Sonny: I started playing right around when Volibear was released so, yeah around season 2
While some players and creators have moved on from league in recent years, many have stayed true to the game and continue to not only make videos, but play the game passionately. After all this time, what has kept you playing?
Miles: Oh goodnees umm...I don't know man, I still enjoy the game but I love the community a lot as well I know people joke all the time about how "League's community is so toxic blah blah" but I don't know I think the community is pretty awesome whether it's players or Rioters or other content creators it's just everyone being cool people.
Sonny: I liked ekko at one point but uh...having worked in Youtube we got to go cool places and meet people and like, a lot of who we know in the video game industry we owe to league and how like, Riot really emphasized players and creators and that is what I thought was cool.
Contrary to popular belief, youtubers do not spend every waking minute of their lives making content. When you aren't writing new songs, what do you do to keep yourselves busy?
Sonny: No Miles and I pretty much right songs all the time
Miles: Laughing hysterically Okay so, it's funny cause I stream a lot, pretty much every day it's what I do for a job i guess, should be making more music but uhh...we have not been, like we have stuff we are working on but we have not been nearly as adamant about working on it, and not for any particular reason we aren't against it or anything we just haven't been...we lost focus I guess is the way to look at it. In our spare time we play a lot of Magic the Gathering at the card shop and stuff.
Sonny: And the occasional game of CS:GO
Many of the well known content creators have formed groups together that create similar content or just enjoy spending time with one another, is this true with musicians in league or do you spend time with other well known creators?
Miles: We spend a lot of time with other content creators, it sucks though cause they live out on the west coast and we're stuck on the east coast. To get a chance to hang out with anyone there are so many people in every vein of content creation who are so amazing to be around and, of course we gravitate to other musicians but we just love spending time with people.
In between songs, you have been known to stream and often enjoy quality time with fans both in and out of game. Do you feel this helps to inspire you in any way?
Miles: I mean, I'm a very extroverted person I love meeting people and talking to people, I always joke on stream that I'm a social butterfly. I don't know I'm the type of person who is like, the more the merrier I guess.
On the subject of streaming, how do you feel the Yordles stream helps you in the long run. Is it purely for enjoyment or does it help to keep you afloat going forward?
Miles: It probably helps to keep us relevant
Sonny: It definately helps like, if we don't release a song for 7 months and there is no word from us
Miles: Yeah people think we're dead. I started streaming when we first started and eventually it became my primary thing. I love music and it is something I definately want to keep working on but it makes writing music a two headed beast going forward you know?
Your songs often come out in larger time frames. How long would you say it takes to usually produce a new track?
Miles: Oh god, I mean, so the way we write is it just starts with us noodling an idea and messing around with something that works, we write like lyrics and chord progression as we're going and from there we try to record a rough version of it, and then I give sonny the rough version so he can work on the video and I take the song and try to flesh it out into a polished beast.
In your time making music you have had the opportunity to work with many people, are these often purely business or have you made friends in the youtube community that you still talk with?
Miles: Oh yeah, we have absolutely made friends
Sonny: Yeah like the Instalok guys. At first they were rivals and then we actually got to meet and they are the chillest guys
Miles: They are fantastic I love those guys. I don't think there is anyone we haven't worked with that we haven't become friends with
In the years that you have been producing music, you have created a mix of both covers/parodies and original music. Which do you feel helped to make you more popular when starting out?
Miles: We mostly have originals like, we haven't done many covers. I mean, the few covers we have done probably helped out like "Dance Faker Dance" which I didn't even write the lyrics to that was Monte Cristo
Sonny: Yeah I mean, think of it this way like when somebody is looking for songs it's a lot easier for them to warm up to something they already know the melody to, or even the lyrics to if it's a cover, and then they are more keen to like it because the fan base is already there. I wouldn't say we owe like, half of our fan base to parodies and covers
Miles: Yeah our parodies are like by far, the least viewed of any of our stuff becasue we just don't have many of them
As one of the pioneer League of legends music creators, the Yordles helped to inspire a wave of original music dedicated to League. How does it feel to be so well respected in the community as a whole?
Sonny: I've never really thought of that
Miles: I've never thought of that either I guess. I don't think I can rightfully take that torch I don't know, the idea makes me smile but it just doesn't feel that way for sure
Sonny: It that is true that is super cool, if we have inspired people to follow their dreams or things they thought couldn't be done that is absolutely amazing and it inspires us to keep working as well
Do you see yourself continuing to create for league in the future or, if given the chance, would you like to move on to create music for other media or for yourselves?
Miles: I mean, I'm definately down to make music about anything but League is still something that I hold very dear to me and I'm sure sonny feels the same way with that, but, honestly the dream for me is to just be able to make music in general, like I would love to travel and make and just play music for people, but for right now I think we'll still make music about League
Sonny: I'm down to make music about anything but I don't think we'll leavue league for a while, as long as League and the community will have us.
Looking back on your success, is there anything you would have wanted to change or do you feel happy with how things are now?
Miles: I mean, actually releasing things and sticking to a schedule, just releasing things consistently. I feel like it would have helped us to be bigger and in a better place and just more productive you know? I definately don't regret how things have turned out for sure but it would have helped
Is there anything you would like to say to aspiring musicians or creators trying to start out?
Miles: Uhhh yeah kinda, put out something that you would want to see or make like, don't put out something that your heart isn't in
Sonny: As hard as it is to hear cause like, everyone wants to be like Markiplier or PewDiePie, you make the content you wanna see and your audience will find you
Miles: And t doesn't hurt to try new things or even like, copy people for sure don't try to be exactly like someone but if you see a format that works then go for it. It's better to try and fail then never to try at all.
Thanks so much to The Yordles for joining us today. If you would like to see more of Sonny and Miles then head to Youtube.com/TheYordlesBand and check out Miles as he streams on Twitch daily at Twitch.tv/TheYordles