"Kids today look forward to the release of the new Madden the same way we waited for a new Led Zeppelin or U2 album. It’s that big."


Are You Ready for Some Football? Millions of Gamers Are Putting on Their Game Faces
On Aug. 9, Electronic Arts will come with the latest edition of its franchise, as gamers everywhere line up to grab copies of Madden 2006. Like other hit video games, the release of Madden is not just a gaming event but a musical one as well. The eclectic talent lineup including exclusive tracks from Godsmack, Slim Thug, Papoose, Spiderloc (a 50 Cent protégé at G-Unit) and Sam Scarfo (complete artist listing follows the Q&A). We asked Steve Schnur, EA’s head of music, to talk about the hotly anticipated video game, and he came with his best stuff.

How is Madden 2006 different from previous versions of the game?
This is the 16th season of Madden, and each new edition of the game and its soundtrack has become an event. Every year, the challenge is to top ourselves in terms of amazing tracks from new artists and established acts alike. And every year, we deliver a game full of music with proven impact. Kids today look forward to the release of the new Madden the same way we waited for a new Led Zeppelin or U2 album. It’s that big.

What sort of marketing campaign has EA cooked up for the launch?
With every passing year, the announcement of the Madden artists has begun to feel like an event. This year, we’re officially making it one: The Madden 2006 Music Draft. The legendary Reverend Run of Run-D.M.C. will announce the list of Madden artists live on Aug. 1 on both ESPN Sports Center and ESPN Radio.

Our exclusive relationship with the NFL is truly phenomenal. Beginning this season, the music in all league stadiums will feature the music of Madden past and present. Currently, we are putting the finishing touches on a deal that will see a huge band from a previous edition of Madden perform live on ABC-TV’s Kickoff Day broadcast. In addition, several up & coming bands will be featured on the Making of Madden 2006 special being produced by NFL Films for the NFL Network. And this is only the beginning of an unprecedented agreement. It’s going to be an amazing season for music fans, sports fans and gamers alike.

How did the music come together? I imagine artists—particulalry in the hip-hop arena—lobby to be included.
All artists—rock, hip-hop, pop, metal and beyond—want to be a part of Madden. We listened to over 3000 artists from all over the world to come up with the final list. Madden is, without question, the premiere showcase for new music in the entire videogame medium.

Now, consider that every song in the game will be heard and identified over one billion times—bigger than the number one record in every country around the world—and you have an event unprecedented in music history.

You sound genuinely psyched, Steve. What makes Madden so special to you?
Imagine being given the opportunity to A&R the biggest and best soundtrack ever, one with a guaranteed audience of 7 million. Now imagine being able to do it annually. If videogames have changed the way the world hears music, then EA and Madden have changed the way the world hears videogames.

The Digital Generation is now almost 125 million strong worldwide and growing. And they can’t imagine their lives without videogames. If the future is truly in our hands, then those hands—around a quarter of a billion of them—will hold a videogame controller.

The All-American Rejects / Night Drive
Avenged Sevenfold / Bat Country
Bullet For My Valentine / 4 Words (To Choke Upon)
Bump J / Move Around
Chamillionaire / Hate in Ya Eyes
Disturbed / Ten Thousand Fists
Fall Out Boy / Dance, Dance
Funeral for a Friend / Streetcar
Finch / Ink
Foo Fighters / No Way Back
Godsmack / Bring It On (exclusive)
Hot Hot Heat / Pickin' It Up
Memphis Bleek / Like That
Nine Black Alps / Cosmopolitan
Papoose / Born to Win (exclusive)
Rev Run / Mind on the Road
Sam Scarfo / Tear 'Em Up (exclusive)
Slim Thug / Get It Started (exclusive)
Spider Loc / When I Get Angry (exclusive)
Stat Quo / Rock Da Party
Tech N9ne / The Beast

Sam Spence / A Chilling Championship
Sam Spence / Magnificent Eleven
Tom Hedden / A New Game
Sam Spence / Classic Battle
Sam Spence / The Equalizer
Sam Spence / Salute to Courage
Sam Spence / A Golden Boy Again
Sam Spence / Round-Up
Sam Spence / Ramblin' Man From Gramblin