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Exclusive: "Guitar Hero World Tour" Adds Songs by Steve Miller, Wings, Rise Against

September 10, 2008 2:30 PM ET

Guitar Hero World Tour has already revealed an intimidating track list, and today Rock Daily can unveil another nine songs that will be included in the franchise's latest offering. With a mix of the hyper-technical (Dream Theater), late-night stoner jams (Steve Miller), and full-on screamers (Filter), the new batch of tunes showcases a number of classics, as well as one currently climbing the rock charts: "Re-Education (Through Labor)" by Chicago punk band Rise Against.

"I'll meet one of the kids who live in my neighborhood, and they'll be like, 'Oh, I heard you're in a band,' " Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath says. "I say, 'Well, we've sold this many records and we've played giant shows and I've toured the world seven times,' and they're like, 'No, I've never heard of your band.' Then I say, 'Well, I have a song in Guitar Hero,' and they say, 'You have a song in Guitar Hero? Are you serious?' "

McIlrath isn't a heavy gamer, but while some musicians give rhythm-based games grief for being just a facsimile of the real thing, he understands the appeal and even has a strategy for when he dabbles. "It's like an interactive jukebox," he says. "Who doesn't want to listen to AC/DC and Heart all day? I can usually play it on 'hard.' I play with an actual guitar pick, and it really helps me. There's something about the action of a pick going up and down — that's my secret weapon."

As for the song itself, the average listener might not catch the serious lyrics from underneath the riffing and melodies, but as with most Rise Against songs, the subject matter stands in strong juxtaposition to the borderline bouncy tune ("We don't live, we just survive on the scraps that you throw away"). "That's always been the ace up our sleeve as a band," McIlrath said. "We have songs that can sound good on the radio and can sound good in a video game, but we have lyrics that are still very much derivative from the hardcore and punk world that we came from. They can be very blunt and serious and heavy. I think for people to see those lyrics, that's definitely going to be an eye-opener and might ruffle some feathers."

 

New Guitar Hero World Tour Songs: Dream Theater - "Pull Me Under"
Filter - "Hey Man Nice Shot"
NOFX - "Soul Doubt"
Rise Against - "Re-Education (Through Labor)"
Steve Miller - "The Joker"
The Answer - "Never Too Late"
The Stone Roses - "Love Spreads"
Trust - "Anti-Social"
Wings - "Band on the Run"

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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