Fortnite has been called the most influential video game of the past decade. Boasting $2.4 billion in revenue just a year after its release in 2017, it’s safe to say that this game will stick around for a while. That’s why it was such a big deal when Black Bouquet, a local band based in the Triangle area, had its recent song “Just Kids” selected to be a part of one of the game’s most recent updates.
On Feb. 15, Black Bouquet announced on its Twitter that its song “Just Kids” was now available in Fortnite. Developers at Epic Games, the Cary-based company that developed Fortnite, heard the song and selected it to play on Radio Underground when driving in the game.
Black Bouquet is a goth-pop band comprised of six members, including Laura Mooney, a fourth-year studying social work at NC State and the General Manager of WKNC.*
Dan Irving, synth
Hunter Corrin, guitar
Ian Jones, bass
Laura Mooney, viola
Michael Rumple, drums
Violet O, vocals
According to Jones, goth-pop is a loose definition of Black Bouquet as they all draw inspiration from different sources and different genres. Jones said goth is the strongest tie between all of their influences, but they also draw inspiration from emo, early punk, metal, electronic and post-punk with pop elements.
“To me, it feels like a melting pot of hyper-emotional genres, but under a pop-like format,” Violet said.
Overall, the group draws inspiration from artists like The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Deftones, The Magnetic Fields and Pavement. Violet discussed the role that storytelling plays in their creative process and how that stems from the artists they listen to.
“Mostly for me, I’ve always been into storytellers and songwriters, whether that’s individual artists or the bands ... that put you in scenes when you’re listening to them,” Violet said. “That’s where my influence writing comes from — crafting the atmosphere with words and inflections and such.”
“Just Kids,” the song selected for the Fortnite update, is the first song from the group’s most recent EP, “Haunt Me Once More.” Violet, who writes all of the lyrics for the group, explained this EP is taking the listener through the experience of grief and loss.
“If the EP is taking you through the story from the cause of grief to the resolution, then ‘Just Kids’ is that start,” Violet said. “It’s the cause. It’s the realization that you’ve lost something. To me, that song is a two and a half minute sonic realization of that.”
Jones explained that Black Bouquet hopes this exposure will help them grow their fan base, but it is questionable considering Fortnite doesn’t have a set player base. Jones contrasted the game with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, where he believes most of the people playing the game would have similar tastes in music.
“It’s kind of a kitschy game with a large fan base, and a lot of the music in Fortnite is pop music and rap music, and with the new stations they added, we fit more well in line with those,” Jones said. “But generally speaking, that wouldn’t be the place to find fans for Black Bouquet, but it’s so widespread that it’s hopefully bound to happen.”
Violet was impressed with Epic Games’ decision to actually find underground artists to play on Radio Underground.
“When you hear the song in the game, you get in the car, and then all of a sudden the song is playing,” Violet said. “The people who have found us since then and gone out of their way to show us that have mostly been young people who are pretty passionate about what they’ve heard.”
Violet said it’s been difficult to adjust as a group to operating under the pandemic restrictions. They said to look out for their upcoming live set, which they hope will give fans a sense of what they can expect when the group is able to perform live and in person again.
*Editor’s Note: WKNC is an NC State Student Media outlet.