Virtual reality band apps we'd like to see

Recently The Who launched a virtual reality app that allows fans to wander round familiar Who landmarks, remix tracks and (of course) buy merchandise. Which got us thinking: what other bands should have apps, and what would their version of virtual reality look like?

Emerson, Lake and Palmer “Welcome back my friends, to the app that never ends.” You need to obtain three separate apps to get the full ELP VR effect - the Emerson app, the Lake app and the Palmer app. Like his drum kit, the Palmer headset periodically levitates and rotates, offering the viewer a chance to endure the authentic motion sickness that is such an important part of the virtual reality experience. The virtual fan can access a Super Tarkus Cart race between Tarkus, Aquatarkus and Manticore around a variety of circuits including Love Beach, Black Moon and the Great Gates of Kiev, and also interact with Jeremy Bender, Benny The Bouncer and Baba Yaga, access the Pictures At An Exhibition gallery and enter the 3D Karn Evil 9 to ‘interact’ with seven virgins and a mule…

Deep Purple Use the Deep PurpApp to experience the excitement of being backstage with a band and their former guitarist, his wife, and their lawyer. Just in case. Listen, learn, read on and immerse yourself in the 3D pages of the Book Of Taleisyn! Scale the adapted Mount Rushmore of the In Rock sleeve! Go Space Truckin’ with the Speed King and shoot a Fireball into the Demon’s Eye! Unlock a hidden section where Ritchie Blackmore casts random Wiccan magic spells upon the app, one of which unplugs all the distortion and renders the Purps’ driving hard rock soundtrack in mandolins and hurdy-gurdies.

Judas Priest Pounding the virtual world like an interactive battering ram! Strap this 3D headset to your Electric Eyes and go charging around Priest World on the back of the Metallian - including a Rapid Fire, All Guns Blazing tag-team shoot-‘em-up in which the player can choose from a range of familiar combatants, including Tyrant, Sinner, Exciter, the Ripper, Starbreaker, Grinder, Steeler, Night Crawler and Painkiller. The winner gets to go Beyond The Realms Of Death (via Birmingham) and team up with Nostradamus to meet the Angel Of Retribution and the Redeemer Of Souls. Also contains a ‘reverse jukebox’ which plays Priest songs backwards to check if there’s any messages from the devil urging the listener to kill themselves.

Guns N’ Roses Surely the Most Dangerous App In The World. At the start of GNR’s App-etite For Destruction the viewer is welcomed to the interactive Jungle on a journey to the centre of Paradise City. Take on Mr Brownstone in a virtual dancing game (just keep trying to get a little better); if you win you get to board the Nightrain (and indeed the Rocket Queen), if you fail you have to Get In The Ring with a virtual Axl, furiously spitting blood about faintly critical live reviews. If you fail this challenge, you are banished to the terrifying virtual world of the debut’s banned robot-rape sleeve and tormented by that flying red dagger-toothed blob thing. Warning: After a few goes the GNR VR app will only start working about four hours later than billed, and the headset may well blow up in your face.

Spinal Tap Behold: the Spinal App. Behold: the lovingly-realised 3D contours of the armadillos in their trousers. Behold: too much fucking perspective. Your journey begins in ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, at the virtual Stone’enge, where the cats miaow (catch all the cats and you unlock the complete Jazz Odyssey, so you might rather not bother). At the virtual interactive graveside of Elvis Presley, sing Heartbreak Hotel in the raga style to access a gallery of ex-drummers, along with their relevant forensic reports. There’s more interactive fun to be had in a section where the viewer gets to kick Artie Fufkin’s virtual ass. Truly the none-more-black app that goes right up to eleven.

**The Who’s virtual reality app is available for iOS and Android now. **

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.