In Focus: Chromag of Rebels (Interviewed by Magic of Nah-Kolor)
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers? Please tell us about your previous groups and your current ones.
My name is Chromag and I'm 32 years old. That's actually the first time I wrote this number and it's pretty scary I must say. My last demoscene-interview must have been a decade ago and that shows I'm getting a bit old now. I have always been a musician since I joined my first group as my parents forced me to learn to play the piano when I was a child. Nowadays the piano is sold and I'm using a midi-keyboard to play around with vst-synths. I have recently rejoined Rebels, of which I had been a member in the early 90s already. I'm really happy to be a member again since they really care about being an overall friendly and chilling team. As I joined the scene in the end of the 80s, I have been in quite a few teams. Once there was even a diskmag article entitled something like "chromag - one man thousand groups" stating I was a member of Polka Brothers, Rebels, Lego, Complex, Trsi and Dcs at the same time, which was of course pure bullshit. Some of the groups I have been part of are ecstasy, exult, end of century 1999, proton ltd. (together with jester/sanity, bitarts, chrylian etc.), royal amiga force, cult, addonic, platin, dual crew, essence, lego, dual crew-shining, rebels, polka brothers, acme, talent, madwizards, haujobb, Tristar & Red Sector Inc. and fairlight.
How did you get into the demoscene? When did you start being active in the demoscene?
I got my first Amiga 500 in 1987 and immediately fell in love with the crack-intros and demos. A class-mate and good friend of mine was a member of Spreadpoint and supported me with the latest demos. I started building an own group, played around with a music-tool called aegis sonix and later used the first soundtrackers to hack in some notes. At the same time I contacted other people to swap demos ("long letters, stamps back") and visitted meetings (ce-bit) and loads of parties in the early 90s.
What do you think is the main difference between the oldschool and the newschool scene? Do you like that progression?
I really don't know the difference because I think I have never really been outside the scene as so many others calling themselves oldschoolers. There's constant progression during the years like the change from megademos to trackmos or the slow disappearance of scroll-texts in demos. The only thing I suspect one can notice is that when I started the scene, coders like delta/rsi or musicians like romeo knight felt like superstars to me I could barely speak to, when I first met them on one of the glorious CeBit meetings. Nowadays, probably due to internet-forums, it's much more easier to get in touch with everyone and the good old elitism is gone...
What is your favourite demo?
My favourite demo on the Amiga is Nexus7 by the real andromeda, some of the newer demos I really like were made by Farbrausch (Visualice still rules), Kewlers, MFX, Fairlight and ASD. Can't name a particular one though.
What was your best moment in the scene so far? And what was your worst?
The best moment was of course the release of the first Chromagic musicdisk, which had a lot of impact in the amiga scene. Since that musicdisk most people knew me and I can't deny that fame is something I have been working for all the time.
What are you doing for a living now?
I am a teacher for special education now but I'm currently working on my doctoral thesis while I'm a full-time lecturer at the university. That's quite time-consuming during the semester.
Tell us about the Rebels of today.
Rebels is a small, active and friendly team nowadays unlike in 1994 when there were about 50 people all over the world. There are some projects we are working on but we are not forcing anything here. M:ET is doing a nice job organizing this little melting-pot of european fellows and there's no pressure for releases.
In which ways did your demoscene-background help you getting into the work you do today?
The fact that I grew up with computers and my interest in the new media and design in general helped a lot to impress people who don't know shit about those things (most teachers for example). I tried to make a living out of making music but that's quite hard and making lots of money with computer-music isn't that easy. I'm happy now because I can do the music I like in my spare-time and the cash keeps coming anyway.
Can you tell us something about your current projects?
I have just finished a demotrack for Rebels' Reshape demo released at Kindergarden, while answering these questions I am working on a track for Hugi and I have also completed a diskmag tune for Darkus' new mag, which should be released within the first quarter of 2007.
What do you think is necessary to bring the demoscene a bit more into the public?
I think that people like Poti, Steeler, XXX, Alien, the Pouet and demoscene.tv posse to name but a few are really doing a great job promoting the scene with the effort they put into forums and public relations. I don't know what to do else apart from that. Do you?
What things do you like besides computer work?
I like to watch tv, go to the movies, listen to music, watch football and have a beer or two. I also like to go on holidays together with my beloved wife, where we do a lot of scuba-diving. Last countries we visited were Cuba, Jamaica, Egypt and the Dominican Republic. In the winter, I am heading for the mountains to do snowboarding, which I have practised for 10 years now.
Which party you visited did you like the most and why?
The last party I visited was Breakpoint 03 and that was the one I liked the most. Had a lot of fun with Lincoln/Paradox, DocD/Trsi, the Fairlight bunch and some other people from the old Total Kaos posse. I had some terrible blackouts due to massive consumption of alcoholic beverages but then again, you only live once. I really hope to visit Breakpoint 07 which will be a lot more difficult because I am going to become a father in january.
What programs are you using when making music?
I used to use protracker a lot, then turned over to fasttracker, bought renoise afterwards and now I'm using milkytracker. Apart from that, I am nowadays into vst-synth stuff and got into the world of cubase for some years now.
Please name your 5 most favourite musicians from the demoscene and tell why they are your favourite ones.
Dizzy used to be my favourite musician because he was one of the few people to combine complex chords with catchy melodies using awesome technical skills. I also liked people like Moby, Audiomonster, Bruno, Mantronix, Virgill and Romeo Knight for their great releases in numerous Amiga classics. Nowadays I like what Little Bitchard is doing because of his variety and originality.
Why exactly do you like Virgill? And what do you think of Jogeir and Reed?
From the three mentioned persons I like Virgill the most, not only because he is a really good friend but also because he's a true musician who can actually play the instruments he uses for his music. He also has a great scene-career and still composes some mind-blasting tracks. One of my all-time favourite musicians. Reed is also very good at what he's doing and he surely knows some groovy notes to satisfy the audience. Jogeir is known for his guitar-slinger mod and the soundtrack for love by virtual dreams, two tracks I really would have liked to compose myself. His tracks have been a great inspiration for all the diskmag tunes I have been composing over the years.
Any last words? Some greetings perhaps? Be my guest..
I would like to thank everyone I have been in contact with over the last 16 years, everyone in Rebels, Haujobb, Fairlight and everyone at Bitfellas.org.Chromag & Magic