Q: Who do we blame for this?
Jude Kelley is a research scientist with a keytar fetish, but he used to be a chemistry professor. Dan Amrich is a video game industry veteran with too many guitars, but he used to be a cartoon character. Everything you hear is their fault.
Q: How did this happen?
Jude and Dan met in 2003 when they both joined legendary Bay Area 80s cover band Fast Times. The idea for PSN evolved naturally over gaming and music conversations during long car rides home from rehearsal. While life eventually took Jude to Boston, the magic of FTP makes PSN possible in that Elton John/Bernie Taupin way.
Q: What do you guys look like?
Q: What’s the meaning of the band name? I don’t get it.
In the original Mortal Kombat in 1992, the ninja characters were all played the same actor, who was videotaped wearing the same ninja costume. The art team then recolored the outfit so Sub-Zero was blue, Scorpion was yellow, Reptile was green, and Ermac was red. So the dev team got four characters out of one ninja just by swapping the palette. Also, we like Mortal Kombat, though we are not affiliated with the MK team — what’s theirs is theirs, and we’re just fans. (Please note that Palette-Swap Ninja is spelled with a grammatically correct hyphen.)
Q: How do you do it, and who does what?
Jude and Dan kick around ideas for songs and ultimately pick one. Lyrics are a collaboration. Jude handles the keyboard and electronic drum parts and Dan tackles the guitars, bass, and vocals. PSN doesn’t use karaoke tracks; everything is recorded fresh in our respective home studios, then the individual tracks are sent over the interwebs and mixed into one final project. That’s also why things don’t always sound right.
Q: Why so long between song releases?
We’re busy; we both have full-time jobs, and this is merely a hobby. The release pace may be slow, but by working on it when we’re inspired, the project remains fun.
Q: Do you sell MP3s or CDs?
No — all our tracks are free downloads, as they are labors of love. We do sell t-shirts, and whatever meager funds we make from that goes back into paying for the hobby.
Q: Can I use one of your songs to make a YouTube video?
Please do. Just send us a link so we can see it too!
Q: When will I be able to play your songs in Guitar Hero or Rock Band?
Both “never” and “right now.” There’s an explanation here.
Q: You guys should do original songs!
We’ve considered it. When the right idea comes along, we’ll reconsider it.
Q: Why are all the songs about Xbox?
They’re not, but the first three were. That’s just where our heads were at. We are officially platform agnostic and will poke fun at any videogame at any time.
Q: I have a great idea for a song parody!
Of course you do. If you think it’s cool and wanna throw it our way, email us: dojo at paletteswapninja dot com. Maybe we’ll agree and find it inspirational, maybe not. We make no guarantees.
Q: What is your next song?
A secret. We’re very excited about our next project, which is a little more ambitious than the things we’ve released so far. But it’s still in development and very much under wraps for now.