Local Music

Miami's Deaf Poets Make It on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 Soundtrack

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater will go down as one of the greatest video games of our generation. Originally released for Playstation in 1999, there have been ten installments of the franchise since then. Just about every millennial can recall spending hours in their room, trying to sharpen skills and master secret moves, only to have your friend crush your high score time and time again. 

One of the most memorable things about the Tony Hawk games was the soundtrack. The very first Tony Hawk Pro Skater featured songs from bands like the Dead Kennedys and Primus. With an emphasis on rock, punk, and hip-hop, the music of Tony Hawk was an integral part of the gaming experience. 

The most recent edition of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, which hits stands tomorrow, September 29, doesn't stray from that tradition. It allows you to control skaters to a soundtrack including Death From Above 1979 and Atmosphere. But one of the songs is going to have a South Florida flair to it.

Miami Beach garage rock duo Deaf Poets new single "Degenerate Mind" is featured on the game's soundtrack and drummer Nico Espinosa and guitarist Sean Wouters couldn't be more excited. "I grew up playing that video game, so I never thought this would happen. I even read an article that said Tony Hawk picked the songs himself," Espinosa says.

Deaf Poets — which were named best band in Miami by New Times in 2014 — first wrote "Degenerate Mind" four years ago. "It's a song about being spontaneous," explains Wouters. "It's rebelling against what we were always told: that education is the only way you can be successful as an adult. Music is fun, it's cute, but it's not a job. The only way to succeed is to be a music teacher. The song's about that not being true. The lines 'Flat face never did me much/cause lost my space' is a play on me being Asian and the expectation that I have to be smart."
The pair were surprised that the song was picked to be on the game, but are looking to make the most of the exposure. They recorded a video of them playing "Degenerate Mind" at Bull Pro Productions in Miami, where they were recording a couple new songs. They also have printed limited edition custom design hats with all proceeds from sales going to a charity, Amigo Skate, that donates skateboards and skating gear to Cuba.

While Deaf Poets haven't yet played the game, they're holding out hope that they'll be mailed free copies. After all, they are trying to save up for a national tour in 2016. But prior to that they have some local shows planned this Fall including playing at III Points and opening for Matt and Kim at Revolution on November 7. But first, according to Espinosa, they're looking forward to getting their fingers on the controllers. "As you skate and you hear the song come on, hopefully we make Miami proud."

III Points. 7 p.m. October 9 to 11 at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami. Tickets cost $55 to $110 plus fees via squadup.com. Visit iiipoints.com.

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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland