Health's John Famiglietti on Virtual Porn, Gaming While Hungover

Bassist for Los Angeles noise rock outfit discusses 'Dark Souls 3,' why it's a struggle to game while on tour

Credit: Getty/Rob Ball

Legendary L.A. noise-rock band HEALTH scored Rockstar's Max Payne 3 – easily the best entry in the hard-boiled series – back in 2012, lending its heavy guitar sound to the story of the battle-scarred former detective. Their albums – Health, Get Color and Death Magic – are full of heavy synth and guitars paired with soft vocals that can haunt your brain for weeks.

Bassist John Famiglietti is the group's most dedicated gamer and was happy to chat with Glixel about Sega Genesis, his home gaming setup and working his way through the best games of 2016. Also, it's impossible to talk with any gamer these days – legit rock star or otherwise – without eventually enthusing about the possibilities of virtual reality. And then, inevitably, VR porn. Famiglietti is no different.

Probably the best place to start is what's your first memory of video games? What was the first thing you played
Oh, shit. I think the first thing I played, like pretty much everybody, was the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Someone had that at their house and you know you're like, "holy shit."

I never had one at that age, I got one later and I didn't have a NES, I had a Sega Genesis. Those hallmark video game moments, I think, if you're a certain age, they're pretty much the same for everybody. Street Fighter II comes out and you see it at 7/11 and just say, "That's really crazy shit in there."

So the Sega Genesis was your first console…
A big thing for me actually was PC gaming, and that's what I got probably the most into. I was just absorbed with it.

If we're going to talk about the fucking '90s here, it was about really good strategy games and those amazing RPG games where you could just play forever and forever. So the only consoles I ever had were like I had a Genesis and then I played all PC games. I played consoles at my friends' house, they let me borrow them, but I didn't have a console again until I bought a fucking PS3 honestly.

What were some of the PC games?
Oh yeah,it was like Baldur's Gate, the Diablo games, all the big ones at the time. They were really, really good. Civilization II. Those kind of things too, SimCity, those kind of shit, you know, shit you'd spend forever on.

How does gaming fit in when you're touring? Do you take a console with you?
No. I would actually love to do that, because if you're driving forever, that would be the fucking most amazing thing to do. I do have my laptop and I have a Steam controller. The funny thing with that is I usually end up playing the emulators, so playing old-ass games, but I don't actually do that much gaming on tour because you really can't.

Gaming for me is like a really sacred thing when I'm really hungover. That's a great day to get through a lot of video gaming, because you're not going to do shit anyway.

What about at home?
I like the comfort, I like being on the fucking couch. I have a huge TV, I have one of those NZXT super buff gaming PCs that are all pretty right next to the TV, I've got my PS4.