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Rock Band Road Crew Member Spotlight: StarSlay3r

In late August we announced the formation of the Rock Band Road Crew, a rewards program for our most dedicated and loyal rockers. After sifting through hundreds and hundreds of applications, we made our selections. Since its formation, the Rock Band Road Crew have been busy throwing events, live streaming the game, creating epic DIY Rock Band gear, and being generally awesome human beings.

Each week we'll be highlighting some interesting folks from the crew. To kick things off we chatted with Ciji Thornton, aka StarSlay3r. Ciji is a professional gamer and was one of the first folks to be picked for the Road Crew (she blew us away with her well edited video and thoughtful application answers).

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Let's get to know StarSlay3r:

Do you have a favorite Rock Band memory?

One favorite memory was when The Rock-A-Thon Rock Band charity group that I was a part of back in 2009 finally finished our 90+ hour non stop marathon. It was a crazy fun experience playing every Rock Band song in existence and an even better feeling seeing how much money we raised for a great cause after all was said and done.

What is the hardest song you’ve ever conquered in Rock Band?

Can't pick one, so I'll kinda cheat on this one and bunch a few up together. I would say the Dragonforce songs for me personally. I know there are much harder songs out there, but I don't own every Rock Band song yet so I haven't been able to conquer some of the super hard ones yet! The thing that makes Dragonforce songs hard is not just the fact that they have some pretty crazy solos, but it's also about endurance. Their songs are pretty long and it's easy for your hand to get pretty tired or start to cramp up after you've played a few of their songs in a row. They're definitely some of the most rewarding songs to 5 star/ gold star though!

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What’s your number 1 pro-tip for aspiring plastic guitar superstars?

Well if I could only choose one thing to say, I suppose I'd say never give up. No matter how hard the song looks, no matter how many times you fail, there's nothing better than finally conquering that song that has been kicking your butt! Being good at rhythm games doesn't happen overnight. You also shouldn't look at someone else's skills and be discouraged if they're better than you. Instead, use their skill as motivation and make it a goal to beat them! Spend some time practicing the song, look up some techniques, tips and tricks on the scorehero or rock band forums and own that song!

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Do you remember the first time you picked up a guitar controller?

My very first plastic guitar experience was with Guitar Freaks in Gameworks over 15 years ago. As a kid I had always wanted a real guitar but never got one, so when I saw this game it seemed like the next best thing. I picked up the heavy, bulky, 3 button guitar and began rocking out to metal songs and was having a blast. I was instantly hooked and found myself going back to Gameworks every week just to play that game. It's because of that game that I became so obsessed with guitar rhythm games.

How did you get into professional gaming?

I have been playing games ever since I was only about 4 or 5 years old. I started competing in rhythm and fighting game tournaments for fun back in 1998/1999 and really enjoyed it. I then began competing professionally once Guitar Hero came out, but that happened totally un-expectantly! I was invited to compete in the Midnight Gaming Championship in Dallas, TX in 2006 for Guitar Hero 1 and the next thing I knew I was competing in tournaments weekly and loving it! I continued to get better at the game and eventually got a point where I was invited out to tournaments, signed to a team, and competing against the best of the best around the nation. I enjoyed competing so much I decided that would be the what I would put most of my time and effort into perfecting, and luckily it turned out to be a decision that really changed my life in an amazing way.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

I'm super excited that Rock Band is finally back and I can't wait to play with everyone. If you have XBox Live please feel free to give me an add. My gamertag is StarSlay3r and you can also find me streaming the game on I hope to see you guys at events and hopefully tournaments in the very near future! Rock on! \m/ -_- \m/