Interviews



Interview with Scortia

Published in Domination #12
Performed by Jazzcat


One of my most favourite musicians, last appearance in the Domination magazine way back in edition #4 – with an exclusive music - I am glad to have had the opportunity to communicate with one of the musicians I looked up to as a young scener.

Conducted in email in February, 1999



J)
Welcome my friend! I am quite sure most people would have heard of you, but in interest of those who don't, could you please introduce yourself to the audience.

S)
Hi there!
Yeps, I'm Scortia the old time 64 musician. I was probably most known as one of the musicians from Bonzai and Starion. But also from the Amiga scene where I was a member of The Silents.


J)
On C64 your musical work has been released in demos. Have you also done music for commercially released games?

S)
Well this should be a fast one because I never did so much music for productions but here it is. I did the music for just one game. That was "Covergirl Strip poker" coded by Ricky. As well as I remember I don't think I did for any magazine (except Dom), but I did for some Bonzai demos which names I don't remember as well as for two X-Factor demos.


J)
Covergirl Strip Poker was quite nice, I enjoyed this game :P
The most popular musicians seemed to have always developed and use their own editor. JCH, Jeroen Tel, Geir Tjelta etc,. Did you code your own editor? And have you used others?

S)
Ok, let's talk about coding. Because I probably was one of the freaks who never understood a shit of what was behind the blue user-interface. I once learned to code a colour-bar – or well I had written it on paper, but I never understood a thing of it. Therefore - no I didn't code my own editor but I used others than JCH. The first one was coded by a group known as "Skyline Technics". Then it was Voice Tracker - then Laxity's then finally JCH's.



J)
You have been on several platforms for quite a few years now. Please try and describe the history of when you first started and what has happened up until the present day.

S)
That's a long one, but I'll try to make it short. I was 13 when I bought my 64 and I played games until I was 14. Then I got in contact with Lars and Ole (later known as Skyhawk and Protector from X-Factor). They had a group called Maniax which I joined as a swapper (Iv had two contacts). Half a year later I got into the group "Noise" where I got in contact with Ole Mogensen (Drax's big brother) I was invited to visit him but when I got down there, he really didn't have so much time to talk to me. Luckily Thomas was home and I started to talk to him instead. He was really young by then (13), but he knew something about making music and that was interesting. I was a graphician but when I got my first editor from Drax, I didn't bother to bitmap any more and started as a  musician. I called Drax and asked him to listen to some of my tunes. He did - and told me to find some music he hadn't heard before - next time. I took that as a compliment and started composing for X-Factor. At that time I talked a lot to Anders 0land (Zonix). We decided to find a new group and soon we got into Bonzai. We had a cool time back then but soon it was time to move on from the 64 scene. Me, Crush, THA, Dize and Ricky started in Silent and made demos for a couple of years. In 1997, me, Crush, John Doe and JesHest moved together in an apartment in Gjelerup (Aarhus). There we had some fun experiences and we met the Polka-brothers.

Well, Crush started in Scavengers (games-company) Silents was split up for good. My next goal was to learn to make MIDI-music and get some cool equipment. That I did, and now I'm doing midi-music for different projects. I've done music for some commercials and a project called "Future sound of Jazz", but now I'm on a CD-project
with two of my friends, and we hope to have something ready in half a year.
That’s it.




Scortia's all-time favourites:

Movie..................................Toxic Avenger
C64 game..................….......The Last Ninja
Console game...........…..............Mario Kart
PC game....................…..............Motoracer
Demo group..........….That must be Bonzai
C64 musician...............…............Fred Grey
C64 graphician..............................…...Dize
C64 programmer...….The Human Autofire
C64 music group......…...Maniacs Of Noise



J)
What musical/computer equipment do you own?

S)
I used to use only Amiga for sequencing but I had to realise that you can't deal with prof-samples on the Amiga, so now I'm using cubase on PC. My mother keyboard is an Ensoniq Ts-12 but I mainly use my Roland JV 1080. Besides that I have a 16-channel mixer, a digitech Valve Fx (effect), an Ensoniq Dp2 (effect), Yamaha P150 (piano module, and my guitar Esp strat.


J)
WOW! That is quite a lot of equipment, I hope it is insured. ?
Which musicians do you respect and for what reasons?

S)
On the 64 scene it is Fred Grey and Tim Follin for their way of making non-drum music and their very special sound. Overall it's Michael Jackson and Pat Metheny.


J)
On C64 how much time did you spend on an average sid? What was your longest tune and which was your personal favourite?

S)
Okay, now you really want me to remember some details. ?
As some of my friends probably knew I was a very slow musicians. I remember once JCH got in touch with one of my work disks. There was 30 saved versions of Nebulas and inside the editor you could read that the work time had been 25 hours. I think my favourite must be Temple-Du or Terania.


J)
Which skills have you improved most over the years, improvisation? Music theory? techniques?

S)
Actually the three things you write - Improvisation (with chords in left hand), theory and techniques from classic.



J)
Do you like conversions of music? How should it be done to be better accepted by the public?

S)
Well conversions are always funny. Actually Jogeir Liljedahl made a conversion to the Amiga of my tune "Blue Shit". It sounded like shit, but besides that all respect to Jogeir. I made myself a conversion of Fred Grey's "Hysteria", and he would probably also say that it sounded like shit. But I don't think there is any formula for how to convert.


J)
What style of music do you think a musician should study to best improve his abilities in composing?

S)
Of course that does change per individual, but personally I feel that classical and jazz makes a good base for composing.


J)
Have you ever had any disagreements with a scener?

S)
As far as I remember I don't think I had any disagreements with any one on the 64 scene, but well, I lived side by side to John Doe in the apartment in Gjellerup it didn't turn out so well between us. I had to move from there but I don't think there is any hard  feelings today.


J)
Are you in contact with any of your old friends still?

S)
There is none at present. But I'm still visiting the Christmas party in Aars every year together with Jeff (X-Factor), Slide (Polka), Duck La Rock, Drax and Laxity. My last activity was when I made music for an Impact/Silents-demo.


J)
Have you ever had an urge to do some work on the C64 again, the scene is very much alive.

S)
Yeps, I really have, and I have tried some times, but I never had the patience to finish it. But it will come for sure. Actually Ricky and Walt have coded some new routines for a Bonzai demo if we manage to finish.



J)
What are your goals in real life and musically? Tell us what you hope to achieve.

S)
Right now my goal in real life is to be hired as an in house musician in the United Kingdom. And also to get a recording contract for the music I do besides. I would like - as most of the guys in the world - to find the perfect girl who respected my music instead of trying to compete with it.


J)
Here is some room for you to say hello to any of your friends and acquaintances

S)
Ok, I would like to say hello to: Jeff, Duck La Rock, Drax, Slide, Laxity, Post Jens (JCH), Crush, Dize, Ricky, THA, Walt, Zonix, Master-Fatman, JesHest, Dan Eisenhard.


J)
Well thanks for your time and I hope you've enjoyed participating in this interview. Any last comments to leave a final impression on the readers?

S)
Pheuww, that was some.. Maybe the audience should know that the computer at my work, went down two times and I lost quite a nice bunch of text. Well that’s all for now, and as earlier said - meet you all at the Christmas party here in Denmark.



Signing off,

Thomas.
Scortia/Bonzai.

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