Interview with the Voice of Draven: Erik Braa

Hey ladies and gentlemen! Maleok here with  another interview delving back into the cast of League of Legends! I had the pleasure of chatting with the Iconic voice behind Jax, Vel’koz, and…Not Draven, Draaaven! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maleok: For those who don’t know, who are you and what are some of your favorite roles?

 

Erik Braa: I’m Erik Braa, and I’m a voice actor. I’ve done a bunch of video games, commercial work, and anything I can get my voice in. I’m best known for Draven, Jax, and Vel’koz in League of Legends, as well as Danny and Randy in The Walking Dead.

 

Maleok: How did you get into voice acting? Did it start with stage theatre or musicals or something similar?

 

Erik: Sort of, stage theatre. I was introduced to a well-known voice actor, and he had an acting class, so I ended up joining his class and was doing a demo on the side. He said, “If you wanna learn how to voice act, you gotta know how to act.” Pretty cliche, but it’s true. So I went in and started doing scene study — we would often do a scene from a movie or a play on stage. You get a critique, come back next week and do it again, until it was blessed. Then you’d move on.

 

Maleok: Who with, out of curiosity?

 

Erik: It was Terry Mcgovern. It’s marinactorsworkshop.com. He’s known for the voice of Launchpad McQuack in Duck Tales, and he was the Stormtrooper that said “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.” That’s the thing with voice acting is if you don’t have someone to say “There’s the door to get there” you might walk right by it. But I had somebody to tell me, “You have talent. You should definitely go for this.” And I tried, and I lucked out right off the bat that they wanted to have me audition. That’s pretty much the job is auditioning constantly.

 

Maleok: You’ve done video games, animations, and film shorts in the past just to name a few. Do you have a favorite medium, or things you like and dislike about each?

 

Erik: That’s hard to say. I love it all, really. But I’d say “not quite my favorite” is audiobooks. I did an audiobook recently, “White Tiger Legend”. I’d say that’s a tougher one, because it’s a lot of work, and it’s a long time. Video games are usually fun, because they don’t take very long as long as I find the character, then it’s bang-bang and I’m moving on. And you get to sometimes play more than one character, or you can settle in and play a crazy character. Maybe even die as them. Commercial work can be a little less fun, but you never know, and it pretty much pays the bills.

 

Maleok: Moving on to Riot Games, how did you get involved with Riot initially?

 

Erik: It’s a boring story — I got an audition. The only thing I do remember, was I got a packet, and when I say packet, I mean you get an email with a link to the page the agency has set up. And in that page there are files for the characters. You check those out, then you upload your tracks and you send them in. And so I came in and read for Jax, and for another character that somebody else eventually got cast as. And I was like “Okay, that’s that.” I didn’t know anything about it, and I didn’t think about it. But a couple years later, I got a hold of Adam Harrington, who’s another voice actor, and he said “Do you know how well this League thing is going?” And that’s how I found out it was kind of a big deal. And then I got Draven, and that was weird because I knew it a success, and I hoped people liked him (or loved to hate him). It ended up being a really fun character. I auditioned a few times for him, and they said that the character just really meant a lot to them. *Draven voice* And he was born!

 

Maleok: How has the experience with them been compared to other companies?

 

Erik: I’ll say this: some of the games you do, you go in, you have the right tone, and you’re done with it. But Riot really likes to shape a character. Sometimes it just works. Draven was one character where I had that voice already. It’s been fantastic. They’re great people. I’ve met some of the designers, and they’re all really great people. And I’ve had a lot of fun with it.

 

Maleok: What was the first moment that made you realize that this was huge?

 

Erik: Like I said, Adam had been talking to folks in the community, and he was getting a  lot of love. I saw that, and I was really enjoying the community. As a voice actor, you don’t get a lot of praise, so it was kind of nice. I saw how big it was from Reddit. It’s everywhere. And I saw they were bringing on eSports. I think League pretty much cemented eSports.

 

Maleok: You’ve done voices for several MOBAs. Is there something about this game type, or does it just sorta happen?

 

Erik: I think it just happens. I will admit that sometimes directors notice it seems to be a format I can work with. It was something I took to pretty well I guess — trying to create a character, but only having a couple lines to do it in.

 

Maleok: How does it make you feel to be part of something so immense, to think that literally thousands of people hear your voice every day?

 

Erik: I think it’s awesome. I’m humbled by it, and I think it’s super cool. I’ll be chatting with someone, and what I do will come up, and I’ll ask if they know anything about League. And they’ll say something like “I don’t but my friend does, and they’ll crap their pants when they find out I met you!” It’s only really League fans that flip out, because nobody really knows who I am. I mean, nobody who has fans is gonna tell you it’s terrible. It’s fun.

 

Maleok: How have fans been to you over the years, and how do you usually come across them?

 

Erik: Generally at a League event, and I happen to be around, is how I usually run into people. Everyone’s been super cool. I met a whole bunch of people at Summoner’s Con and signed a bunch of stuff, and everyone was super cool.

 

Maleok: Do you consider yourself a gamer? If so, when did it start?


Erik: I mean, I remember early consoles. To me, that was what you did. It was just a part of life.

 

Maleok: Do you hope you’ll be doing acting for the rest of your life?

 

Erik: I hope. I can’t guarantee anyone will want to hear me do it, but maybe I’ll be in a room by myself doing it. I love it, and I don’t really want to do anything else.

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Maleok

I'm a video game journalist and I love what I do. Interviewed more people than I can count on both hands (and feet) Including: Imagine Dragons, Liam O'brien, Nicki Taylor, and more!