Takashi Tateishi's parents were music teachers which no doubt gave him a head start in music. He was in a band prior to being hired at Capcom. He described the music as being inspired by Yellow Magic Orchestra (synth pop), Mezzoforte, and T-Square (both jazz fusion). At college, he studied economics and got his degree.
Tateishi was hired at Capcom around 1988, and his first game was Mega Man II. While there, he sat at a desk next to Manami Matsumae who he would sometimes talk to for inspiration or advice on composition. In fact, Tateishi incorporated some of Matsumae's music and sound effects into Mega Man II, and she helped him compose the guitar solo in music for Airman Stage. Tateishi wanted to compose the soundtrack to Mega Man III (NES), but he was not offered the game, he also would have loved to compose Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (ARC). He says that he doesn't mind how the music for the Mega Man series has changed from synth rock to techno and sees it as a sign of the times.
At Capcom, the development staff was often given disparaging aliases, and Tateishi was often credited as Ogeretsu Kun which translates roughly to, "worthless person." However, when he later worked at Konami, his nickname was a word of praise, which was just the opposite.
Tateishi left Capcom around 1990, but he has remained friends with several of his former Capcom co-workers to this day because the workplace was very tight-knit. He worked briefly for Takeru in 1991, then moved on to Konami around 1992. There, Tateishi didn't compose as many soundtracks because Konami already had so many talented musicians, so he instead did a lot of coordinating and production. The workplace at Konami differed greatly from Capcom and was much more competitive, which he didn't like as much. His most rewarding experience was working on the Tokimeki Memorial series, not only because he like working with the anime soundtrack, and his wife was a voice actor on the project, but also because he was proud of his work with the games.
In the early 2000s, Tateishi left Konami and stopped composing music all together, which was why he didn't compose a song for Mega Man 10 (WII). At his current work, he organizes concerts and voice actors. Tateishi looks back fondly on his video game music career, but says he didn't care much for working on licensed titles.
He had no idea his music was so popular among gamers until Ippo Yamada told him in the late 2010s, and then he started seeing cover bands playing his music. Tateishi is very pleased to see people still admiring and performing his music to this day and encourages hopeful composers to keep playing music. In 2018, he expressed an interest in buying a new keyboard to perhaps compose once again.
Tateishi's composed video game music by first receiving a mood from his director, often a single word or phrase like, "hot" for Heatman or "hurry up!" for Quickman. With that in mind, he would begin composing his songs on a synthesizer keyboard. He would play his song for his director and, if it was approved, a programmer would convert his music to work in a tracker program that was designed for whatever hardware the game used for audio. At Capcom it was Yoshihiro Sakaguchi. Tateishi explained that, when he was writing music for games, he preferred FM synthesis of arcade hardware, but, looking back, he appreciates the sound of the NES APU more.
|1988-??-??||LED Storm (ARC) (aka Mad Gear)|
|1988-12-24||Mega Man II (NES)||
||Arranged some of Manami Matsumae's music.|
|1991-07-26||U.N. Squadron (SNES)||Round 3|
|1993-01-??||Batman Returns (NES)||
|1993-11-??||Batman: The Animated Series (GB)|
|1993-11-??||Tiny Toon Adventures 2: Montana's Movie Madness (GB)|
|1999-06-24||Metal Gear Solid (PS1)||Audio Director|
|2002-07-27||Dance Dance Revolution: 2nd Mix (DC)||Producer|
|Unreleased||Titan Warriors (NES)||Sound Effects|
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,53477/ - MobyGames.
- soundcloud.com/takashi-tateishi - SoundCloud.
- squareenixmusic.com/features/interviews/takashitateishi.shtml - Interview.
- bravewave.net/interviews/takashi-tateishi - Interview.