Repliforce is: Richard Locke Lo – guitars, bass, keyboard, arrangement, recording
The end of another Spring season was coming to an end and Summer of 2004 was just around the corner when two friends, Richard Locke Lo and Kyle, who were very much into the video game community had been conjuring up an idea of forming a video game cover band. It didn’t take long before development of their first EP came to be while creating a band name that fit with their interest. Being tremendous fans of the Mega Man series they adapted the name Repliforce, which derives from the game Mega Man X4.
The band quickly formed and took their prominent roles. Locke, who took on most of the band’s responsibilities, was in charge of arrangements and guitar tracks while Kyle was on drums. In need of a bassist, Lo was able to recruit his cousin Chris to help out. Thus, Repliforce was born and in little to no time, their first EP was scheduled to begin recording under the name Reinventing the Common Lullaby, given its respective title by drummer Kyle.
What was originally intended to be a casual and relaxed recording session turned out to be far more than the band had ever expected. Repliforce was set to record with the assistance of Locke’s brother who had an 8-track at the time. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the 8-track had blown up and was then useless. Repliforce’s EP was instead recorded by professional engineer Jay Anderson, a friend of Locke’s brother. Time was of essence and nerves were strung high between band members, some of which were under the weather during the recording session. The instrumentation was believed to be decent but the overall recording process did not turn out to be as highly anticipated as the band had hoped it to be. Regardless of how things turned out, the band quickly gained plenty of fans and followers, encouraging the band to take it a step further and create a full-length album. At this point in time, Locke recruited his friend Alan to play on keyboard, giving Repliforce a more diverse sound.
Still during the first year of Repliforce’s career, they were once again in the studio to record their first LP, Intense Gameplay Action. Unfortunately, the recording session was once again unsuccessful, this time due to a hard drive failure that the engineer was using during recording. The results ended up with the album losing half of their twenty-two original tracks.
Frustration rose as important takes such as Locke’s guitar segments also got lost, leaving him with no choice but to re-record each and every one of them. Personal issues within the band were also present which resulted in their drummer Kyle being kicked out of band for lack of practice and dedication. Programmed drums were instead used for the remainder of the album.
At this point in time it seemed as though Repliforce was at their wits end yet still the band persevered throughout. In Summer of 2005, their second LP titled Nothing Can Stop Us was created. Still lacking a drummer, Locke had taken the initiative to take on drums while still carrying the role of guitarist and song arrangements. An unexpected encounter with his high school friend Matt Dols resulted in a request to record for the band. Having Matt accept the offer was nearly a godsend to the band as his skills in drumming were exactly what the band needed at this point.
Little to no surprise, however, the recording session was once again an unfortunate series of events. Jay, their engineer, did not have a capable working computer at the time therefore leaving the band to provide their own means of recording. Locke had spent his own money in hopes of repairing Jay’s computer but for circumstances beyond anyone’s control it simply did not want to function properly, causing intermittent stops during recording on just about every take. An unfortunate event to have happened as Locke saw all the potential and amazing takes that Matt had performed and sadly were never archived.
The chain reaction continued as Locke was informed by keyboardist Alan that he simply was not ready to record his tracks. Leaving Locke in despair, he once again took it upon himself to learn half of all of the parts necessary on keyboard in just one night as well as recording them himself. Still in need of a working computer to record the album, Locke had asked his cousin Chris, the bassist, to borrow his computer for the recording. Trust issues ensued between Chris and Jay which affected the use of Locke being able to use his computer. Highly stressed out and to the point of almost calling the entire album off, Locke was determined and continued to press on with what he had to do.
When all seemed to have been at its lowest, things started looking brighter for Repliforce. Locke completed all of his tracks both on guitar and keyboard, Matt performed flawlessly on drums, and Chris had finally decided to lend his computer for recording which greatly helped speed up the process. Still on a strict time limit for recording, the three were able to successfully finish all of their tracks in a single weekend.
Since Chris’ computer was only meant to be borrowed during studio time, Locke had to return it back to him and was left to mix all of the songs himself. At this point in time, Locke had no knowledge or experience in mixing, but pulled through and provided the final LP to be released and distributed online. Also during this time, Matt had made such an impact on the band with his drumming skills that Repliforce had decided to welcome him into the band.
While Repliforce had once again turned into a three piece band, they began planning their next album when some unfortunate situations arose yet again, this time with their drummer, Matt. Personal complications in his life were occurring and he had made a decision to leave for the army, leaving only Chris and Locke as the only members left in Repliforce. Having taken into consideration the problems previously encountered with recording sessions, Locke decided to create a strict plan as a disciplined musician as well as creating his very own studio while attending recording school.
Years had passed by and in 2007, Reinventing the Common Lullaby Version 2.0 was re-recorded and instrumented entirely by Locke himself. Thus at this time as well, it was decided that Repliforce would disband due to not only lack of members but the motivation and spirit it so desperately needed. Repliforce took it’s final resting in January 2008.
A month after Repliforce’s announcement of disbanding, Locke had expressed interest in creating another album with mention of possible remakes of Repliforce songs, but never came to be due to Other projects in life at the time.
In September 2010, Locke publicly announced the return of Repliforce. All songs would be arranged, played, recorded, and mixed in Locke’s Art Studio. Locke quickly came back at full force and released two Repliforce albums simultaneously. Distant Memories Once Lost: Dark Reflections and Distant Memories Once Lost: Bright Reflections were released and showcased nearly all of the music Repliforce had done in the past, but was given a twist in the sense that Dark Reflections contained heavier composition songs while Bright Reflections carried a softer theme to its’ name. The two compilations were released on December 16, 2010.
On August 24, 2011, Repliforce released the album, It’s Not Over Yet! Fans of the Mega Man X series may be familiar with this particular quote but it was also given special meaning to promise fans both old and new that it is most definitely not over yet. Under the strict direction of Locke, Repliforce will continue to move forward to provide the fans with the amazing sounds and style that Repliforce has always been.
- Reinventing the Common Lullaby Version 2.0, 2007
- Distant Memories Once Lost (Bright Reflections), 2010
- Distant Memories Once Lost (Dark Reflections), 2010
- It's Not Over Yet!, 2011
- Hey, What’s This?, 2014