Interviews



Interview with Skid Row

Published in Domination #10
Performed by Jazzcat



J)
Hello Timo and welcome to the Domination magazine. Please introduce yourself to the audience, giving additionally, any non-computer related facts about yourself..

S)
Well, my real name is Timo (no family name please! Due to the fact that I was busted by the cops already before (1989). You know the German software-pirate hunter "Freiherr Guenther Von Gravenreuth" ?!?). To see how I look like you should call the soon to be put up Chromance website. What I am doing beside computing is no one's interest so..



J)
You've been in the scene for sometime, what jobs have you done in the past and what is your function in Chromance at present?

S)
I used to do everything that means I started as graphicians and trader, later on I used to be a coder and cracker, PAL/NTSC fixer, phreaker and finally I just started composing my own tunes! They are also my jobs in Chromance.


J)
Could you please give the readers a history on when you joined the scene, what groups you have been in and things like achievements, wars and anything that is important you might remember..

S)
This depends on how you would describe "joining the scene". I got my first computer (C-16) around 1983 and all I made with it was coding some stupid games in basic. One year later I finally got a C64 and all I did with it was playing games the first 2-3 months (Trollie Wallie) but then I got bored of it and started to make graphics and some graphic routines in basic. Very soon I got in contact with people who liked to trade stuff and those people were impressed of my graphics and this got the stone rolling. Well, I used to be in millions of groups but here is a small list (an old scener should know all of them): Anarchy, Array, Asphyxia, Genesis Project, Hysteric, The Alliance (US-group), Avantgarde, Chromance, Caladan, Alpha Flight.. Achievements? What can you achieve in a computer related scene? Maybe that I am known for being one of the best PAL/NTSC fixers around?!? Well, two short stories I do remember from the past: Years ago, Skinhead and me visited the CeBit in Hannover and met a lot of scene friends and had a great time there. Also Airwolf/Action (he was also known as XOX for a short time) was present. To the ones who haven't met him before, he looks a bit like the thing from the movie "The Thing". While I was talking to him, a little girl, not older than 6 or 7 went by. She was holding a big coloured ball in her hands. When Airwolf saw this ball he got big eyes, started to slobber, went to the girly ("STUMP... STUMP... STUMP...") took the ball out of her hands and said with a graveyard-like voice: "MY BALL!... HAR-HAR-HAR". The little girl started crying and Airwolf kept on laughing and kicked the ball away. The other sceners and me were rolling on the floor laughing. Airwolf is/was surely the meanest guy in the scene. Btw, on the next day you was able to watch me on TV together with Gotcha/Crazy representing the computer scene answering the reporter some questions. Once Skinhead and me visited the Nato+Steel party in Hildesheim. We met a lot of scene friends there like A-Man/Action, Arrogance/X-Ray, Psychobilly, Mr.President, Benson, Term0 and Streetuff/Hysteric, some F4CG and SUCCESS freaks (I can't remember who), Markus Siebold and some more. Oh well, I am getting old, but this was 6 or 7 years ago. However, someone had the great idea to play "Quarters" (when you ever visited a computer party then I would not need to explain to you the instructions of this game). Well, to cut a long story short, it ended with a lot of people puking. Hehehe... A dude called Sector-D (or something like that) even couldn't remember who he is for 2 days, hahaha!



J)
What is your opinion on ragging on the boards? Have you ever had problems with another scener or group and what is your personal definition of LAME and ELITE?

S)
Hehe, Yeah, of course! Calling the boards without getting in trouble is almost impossible. People are always trying to put you down when they don't share the same opinion you have. Funny indeed. I had problems with people like Majesty, Westbam, Maniac, Anthrax, Master Kracker,... and maybe some more. But after it I became good friends with most of them! Never had problems with the complete group, it was always certain persons only. Ragging on boards is always pathetic and childish because lamers never come up with the facts. They are known for talking bullshit and backstabbing and other people start believing them. However, a reason why people are ragging could be that they don't want to show the world how incompetent they really are. As far as I know everyone in the scene had got his own definition of "LAME" and "ELITE". To be "ELITE" in my eyes is to be respected for the things you do/did from others who get/got respected for their entire work as well. Having a high chart position doesn't mean to be elite! You may release 20,000 cracks and demos within one week, this still doesn't mean you are elite when you don't get respect for it! To be "LAME" is to be despised from the so called "ELITE" ones.


J)
Your handle, Skid Row, what is the reason for that name and have you had other handles?

S)
The correct spelling is Skid Row and I have this handle for almost 10 years now. Once I noticed that there used to be another guy in the scene called Skid Row as well, but I guess this dude changed his handle very soon again, because I've never heard from him again. I dunno where I got the name from, maybe from the music group (even I don't like their music!). One day I heard or read it somewhere and thought "YEP, this is it!". Also funny was that I got in trouble with the Amiga group called Skid Row. They wanted to break my nose when I wouldn't change my handle and things like that! HAHAHA! Like you see I didn't! Also I used to have a couple of other handles before...



Skid Row's all-time favourites:

Cracking group - Dynamic Duo, Ikari
Cracker - Mr. President (Gandalf)/RSI/New Order
Crack - None! (But I'll worship the one who is making a decent version of the game "SOUL CRYSTAL" published by Starbyte Software some years ago!! Loader routines from Mr. President, hehe)
Demo group - Censor Design
Demo - Circle Twist 2/Bros (I was very impressed when I watched it for the first time!) and Dutch Breeze/Blackmail
Coder - Bob/Censor and Manfred Trenz/RA/Softgold
Composer - Jeroen Tel, Markus Schneider and all from Prosonix
Painter - The Sarge
BBS - Great Escape, Channel Zero, Gee Spot, The Forum
Disk magazine - Shock, Mamba
Music group - Deine Lakaien, Raver's Nature
Woman - I would like to meet Tina Ruhland some time
Food - Tuna Pizza
Drink - Tequila
Film - Forrest Gump





J)
The magazine industry on the C64 has certainly become an important factor in the scene. You have done some work for mags such as Relax. What’s your opinion on the board based magazines of the C64 scene? What is good about them compared to the mail based magazines and what do they lack?

S)
Skinhead and me were the ones who released an issue of The Relax after years for Alpha Flight again. It was quite interesting to do some work for a board based magazine. However later on Skinhead and me had not the time to continue with it anymore and RRR took over the main editor job for the Relax. I think he succeeded with it except that his independent objective opinion sometimes falls in the favour for AFL I prefer board based mags due to the fact that I am part of the board scene, ha! The mail based mags are months back with their news and are printing news about groups I've never heard from before! Does there still exist a mail scene nowadays??? So why do we need a mail based mag when there doesn't exist a mail scene anymore anyway!?!


J)
What sceners do you respect and why?

S)
All sceners who provide the C64 scene in any POSITIVE way!



J)
What do you think of the board scene compared to the internet? Do you think ragging and wars are unique to the BBS scene?

S)
There aren't any big differences between the board and internet scene in my eyes. Perhaps you'll find more people of so called unknown ones on the internet side as they usually cannot get a hold of CCs, PBXs and working, not traced BBS to call the (US) boards!


J)
Over the years you have made several departures from the scene only to return again. For what reasons do you come back to the C64? and for what reason did you decide to leave your old group AFL for Chromance?

S)
Haw? My old group was AVANTGARDE before I left the scene.. (1994). The reason were the Polish sceners. They attacked everyone and all, elite or not. The C64 scene needed them as much abscess. Have a look in a disk mag called Tribune (or something like that) and you'll understand. The reason why I left the scene a couple of times before? Loss of interest I think. I've joined CHROMANCE because I was searching for something like a friendship in the scene nowadays. Mr. Wax and me used to know each other since ages now and that was the main reason for me to join Chromance Why not rejoin AVT? Simply they don't exist anymore.


J)
A lot of old sceners return from 16 bit machines to the 8 bit machine. Why do you think people keep paying attention to the C64?

S)
I dunno! Maybe the C64 scene is still the best, the most advanced one. Perhaps the returning ones couldn't reach the status in other sceners they had in the C64. That could be quite disappointing for some physically weak ones.


J)
What's your current occupation and what are your goals in life? Do you have any ambitions?

S)
Mmmhh.. like I said before. No one is interested in my private life so I don't tell you. But I can tell you that my goals are not that different from anyone else.. to marry someday, build a house, have 2 kids and a dog and become rich (more than I am at the moment!) and of course to own a Lamborghini.



J)
Could you mention a cracked game that should be respected for the work done on it? What in your opinion is a quality crack and what comes in order in your opinion to make a good cracking group: 1) Speed, 2) Trainers, 3) Size, 4) ???

S)
Nah, I can't remember a decent crack where I can say: "WoW, damn great work done on it!" But like I said before I will worship the one who is making a decent version of the game "SOUL CRYSTAL" as first! A quality crack? Very easy: it should have all like a lot trainer options, small size, Pal/NTSC fix (if necessary). I don't care too much about if it contains an IFFL or a fast level depacker routine. The same for a good cracking group: fast (first release), small sized, PAL/NTSC fixed, well trained games are what makes a decent cracking group.


J)
If you had the choice of creating the all time C64 group and had the choice to grab any scener/mag from today's scene, who would you take in and why? and what would you call the group?

S)
All-time: Name: Elite (it's the most fitting name for it! HA!)
Coders: Manfred Trenz, Solomon/BF, Bob/Censor
Musicians: Markus Schneider (Deflex/Wod/Tli/Sf/Elite), Jeroen Tel, Prosonix
Graphic artist: The Sarge
Crackers: Mr.President (NO/RSI), Mr.Z
Fixers: me
Mags: Shock, Mamba
Boards: The Forum
Nowadays: I dunno, because I don't know what happened the last 3-4 years and so I don't know who is good and who is not!


J)
Do you have any scene/commercial related activities on any other computer/console format?

S)
Yeah, I am active on PC as well. Together with Gizmo/Ex-Chromance (1990-91) and a few others.


J)
For new sceners, what words of advice might you give, how should they do things to be better accepted by the more established section of the scene?

S)
Well, better release nothing than rubbish! Don't release a product or crack when you don't think it's a good one and worth to release! Better have no than a bad call. Stay away from wars and rags. Do not attack the "OLD FARTS" of the scene. Always build your own opinion!!! There are a lot of people in the scene who are just talking bullshit only! NEVER rip something or steal another one's work!


J)
Here's your chance to give any greetings to your friends and foes out there...

S)
Mr. Wax, Rough, Lion/CHROMANCE, Markus Schneider (Deflex)/X-Ample Architectures, Manfred Trenz/Rainbow Arts/Softgold, Chris Huelsbeck, Omp and Stein/Prosonix, Skinhead, Smasher, Mr.Alpha, Maja/F4CG, Jazzcat/Onslaught, all my friends from the past in AFL, Midfit, Dave/Legend, Kristian Rostoen/Shape... and all my other friends from the past!!!


J)
Thanks for your time Timo, any last words to leave a final impression on the Domination audience?

S)
Computer isn't everything for you? You like to party and go downtown with friends? You like tits? When you meet a scene foe private you have no problems to have a beer with him? When you can answer ALL questions with "YES" I am pretty sure we'll get along good. Don't be hesitant to talk to me on any scene parties!

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