Interview with Necros of Five Musicians

Written by flux

Flux: How did you come up with your nick? Does it have any special meaning?

Necros: I don't really know where it came from. It probably just sounded good at the time. The ironic thing is that my handle is a lot darker than my music usually is.

Flux: When did you start writing music?

Necros: I've been tracking since the beginning of '93. I've been playing music for a lot longer than that, though, probably ever since I was 10 or so.

Flux: Is it still possible to get your first module somewhere?

Necros: No, I intentionally deleted it. It was sort of similar to Hypercontrol but using that awful old ScreamTracker 2 sample set....

Flux: What was your first group and how did you enter it?

Necros: The "Psychic Monks". I created it (smile).

Flux: What surprised you most of all when you got to scene?

Necros: A few things. Firstly, that there were so many people into this whole "demo/tracking" thing... and also how high quality the productions were (well at least to my young impressionable mind).

Flux: What gear do you own?

Necros: Not very much. A Roland XP-50, a Mackie 8 channel mixer, other borrowed instruments from time to time. Also some sample CDs and etc...

Flux: What software do you use?

Necros: Impulse Tracker, baby! And occasionally SoundForge/CoolEdit and I did play around with some of the sample gens for a while (Rebirth, etc).

Flux: What do you think about Buzz, AXS, Rebirth and things like that?

Necros: I think they're just more tools at one's disposal. Anything that helps you write music is a good tool. I think the line is blurring between trackers and MIDI tools... eventually they'll merge somehow...

Flux: Do you do MIDI? Do you like it more than tracking or not?

Necros: MIDI is great if you have lots of money to spend on synthesizers. Most of us don't, so it's not as useful.

Flux: Have you ever written or are you going to write music for a demo?

Necros: I did tracks for two Psychic Monk demos (the second one, "Babylon", I also wrote the code for). Also I did music for a demo by Itsari called "Stoneage Fiction". I always wanted to write music for a "big name" group's demo but most of them already had musicians (smile). Ah well...

Flux: You did one track for the game "Unreal". Are you going to do anything like that again?

Necros: Most often I "license" existing songs to game companies. I haven't actually written a new song for a computer game in quite a while... not since the Crusader series. I'd like to keep doing game music when I have the opportunity, and the time is right.

Flux: Do you work commercially nowdays?

Necros: Yes, I work for Digital Anvil, in Austin (as a graphics coder, surprisingly, not as a musician).

Flux: What do you think about nowadays' parties?

Necros: It's difficult to say, not being in the European scene... we don't really have parties here anymore since NAID died...

Flux: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Necros: Other musicians... and also films and such. Many times I'll watch movies and imagine new soundtracks... or sometimes the opposite, I'll listen to songs and imagine visuals to go with it.

Flux: Do you read diskmags? Which ones?

Necros: Not much anymore.

Flux: What tracker musicians do you like?

Necros: Mellow-D, Dune, Hunz, Basehead, WAVE, Vic, Skaven... all the usual favorites.

Flux: What are your ideals in real life?

Necros: To create intelligent and immersive interactive entertainment (i.e. _real_ interactive fiction).

Flux: What do you think about the scene's future?

Necros: It seems to be dying, or maybe transforming. Into what... I don't know.

Flux: What do you think about using MP3s in demos?

Necros: I used to get all angry about that... but now I don't really mind. To me it's the end result that matters. It's certainly a lot harder to track a good sounding .XM than a good sounding MP3... but the person listening usually doesn't care about how much effort went into the song, they only care about the results.

Flux: What do you think about holding special MP3 music compos at major parties?

Necros: It would be interesting. It would be more about who is the better composer, instead of who knows more about their tracker.

Flux: And what do you think about using ripped samples?

Necros: Everyone does it. It's how you use them that counts.

Flux: Do you get angry when someone rips from your modules?

Necros: Not anymore.

Flux: How would you react on a remix on your module?

Necros: I wouldn't mind at all... hopefully the remixer has at least a little bit of talent, though, and isn't just adding a different drum loop (smile).

Flux: What would you do if someone released your module as his own?

Necros: Beat him with large stick. Repeatedly.

Flux: Do you often hang on IRC? What do you think about people hanging on IRC all the time instead of doing something useful (i.e. coding, tracking)?

Necros: I used to spend way way too much time on IRC (like 4-5 hours a day). It's a great way to make some very good friends. Of course it takes away from your productivity time (grin).

Flux: What do you think is the hardest thing in making a tracked module?

Necros: Learning the limitations of the format, and getting around them.

Flux: Do you think one can compose professional music using tracker?

Necros: Yes, but only in certain genres (the more electronic ones). And using huge pre-sequenced samples doesn't count - if your MOD is bigger than an MP3, you're not really tracking anymore.

Flux: What is the secret of being popular?

Necros: Having a talent that impresses people (smile).

Flux: Where can one get all your modules? Is there such a place? Do you have something like a releases list?

Necros: I've been meaning to make a full release list, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I also will make a web site someday... but I probably won't put the really old stuff on it (anything pre-94, that stuff is awful).

Flux: How old are you?

Necros: Almost 24.

Flux: What are your hobbies?

Necros: Working, tracking, working, tracking, eating, drinking lots of beer, working, tracking, repeat until dead.

Flux: Do you have a musical education?

Necros: Yes, 12+ years of informal piano/organ lessons.

Flux: What instruments do you play?

Necros: Keyboards, guitar, drums, pretty much anything that I can figure out where the notes are....

Flux: Do you have any bad habits?

Necros: I'm an unbelievable procrastinator.

Flux: Do you eat animals?

Necros: Yes, with great pleasure.

Flux: What music do you like (styles, names)?

Necros: Anything that has more than three chords. Underworld, Tori Amos, Bjork, Ben Folds Five, Soul Coughing, Peter Gabriel, XTC, mu-ziq, etc.

Flux: Favorite book/writer?

Necros: Anything by Philip K. Dick... maybe "Man in the High Castle". Oh, and of course "Neuromancer".

Flux: Do you read Hugi? If so, what do you like/dislike in it?

Necros: I read the last one (smile). Pretty good actually.

Flux: Do you think scene needs such a diskmag?

Necros: The scene needs everything it can get these days.

Flux: And a couple of words for Hugi readers.

Necros: Remember, it's all a dream! Oh, and don't play music through your headphones too loud or you'll end up half deaf like me. Take care!

- Flux/T-Rex