Interviews



Interview with Ed

Published in Vandalism News #33
Performed by Jazzcat



J)
Welcome to the magazine! Please introduce yourself to the readers.

E)
My real name is Eddie Svard and I am 24 years old. I have been programming for Wrath Designs for 8 years. I live in MalmŲ (southern part of Sweden). My friends are pretty much the same in real life as in the scene. And I tend to stay in the scene as long as I feel that I get something out from it.


J)
Could you tell us a bit about your C-64 history. When did you start in the scene? What groups have you been in? What are the main events and highlights of your scene career?

E)
Somehow I have always been fond of computers. Already back in preschool during 1981-1982 I dreamt of having my own little pocket calculator or pocket game (remember the Game and Watch era?). The first time I ever saw the C64 running was in 1985. I was totally stunned by its presentation of graphics, music and style trying to persuade my parents getting one for me. 2 years later, during a summer evening, my mom brought one home. I was 10 at the time. The first years with the computer meant programming the BASIC language and getting hold of cracked games on tape. As time went by I started collecting stuff on disc. Shortening down the actual truth to some sentences, during 1987-1989 I experimented with the C64 in all kinds of ways, producing music, graphics and programming. Learning stuff without any real manuals or guidance. During these years I was a member of a very local group called M.M, later merged with a another crew from Kristianstad called BRONX forming the C64 division of an Amiga group called BIONIC, working completely in silence from the rest of the scene. However, I pretty much entered the scene during the time I got in touch with Stash/Rawlings. This was back in 1990 and I had been a part of a Swedish group called PANIC (consisting of Mazy, Decoder, Phil and others you later got to know as a part of NOICE), leaving them because of disagreement. I joined MANIAX and worked with them for a while. Meeting Avalon and Oxidy for the first time, who represented a group called WRATH DESIGNS, was pretty much the kickoff for my scene activities. I joined in and most of the first stuff I made that became "officially spread" was done in 1992. I helped forming "Weekend", "Stupidity" and "Stupidity 2". Days filled with excitement, work and growing up in the scene. In search for fame and at the same time lacking motivation and ideas for the Wrath-concept, we decided (Oxidy, I guess) to accept an offer to merge with Fairlight (pretty much meaning that we kind of got sucked up by FLT, leaving our name to rot). Not all of the former WD members joined in. After a couple of months of not that much of activity and my own doubting feelings towards my role in Fairlight, and the fact that I hardly had done anything, made me leave them. Even more months went by without any activities, during the time I got weird offers to join groups like ACTIVE, and so forth (the one giving me an offer better then the other). I decided to rebuild WRATH from scratch, somehow fresh and with a new touch to it. With a newfound friend like Ranger, and old fellow mates like TMT, Blackdroid, etc. I rebuild Wrath Designs. We made "The Awakening" to make the statement. The year was now 1993. Courtesy Of Soviet, was definitely a breakthrough both scenewize and for me personally. It was originally a completely different demo, somewhat looking more like a TRIAD-text styled design production(IE Redstorm or simular) or some NOICE demo from 1992. Halfway through the demo I stopped. During this time I was the only programmer left in Wrath Designs actually doing the "link parts together" thing, whilst TMT and ELIZ were more involved in creating their own stuff and hardly ever "showing" up. With JOE joining Wrath Designs as a graphician felt like getting back to STEP ONE of it all. Putting our heads together and form the C.O.S you know today. Which by the way, originally was a concept Avalon made up but without any real guidelines. We made that demo to honour him. During the production time of C.O.S I had moved away from home and left the demo unfinished on a disc for a couple of months, thinking I would never touch the C64 or any other computer again for that matter. People like Oxidy (still in FLT not yet finished with his "Skaaneland", which was under production) and Dane (recently famous for his graphics released under the Triad label) tried to persuade me that it would be better closing down the factories again, this time in terms of building a new group consisting of only "cool people" releasing C.O.S as a statement. Of course Joe and I could not see all our work go down the drain for the sake of any charts. I patched the last bits together and had the demo ready in time for the Party IV. The work was not in vain, people liked it and we got the 3rd position in the demo competition. Days, Months and even years passed by and despite the success from the C.O.S the factories was now more silent than before. After a complete change of lifestyle and other people in Wrath doing their own thing in the real world, experiencing real life traumas and love etc. A new demo was formed called "Stupidity 3", like C.O.S it was released long after it actually was finished. This time presented at the Assembly 1996, only lasting for 3.5 minutes, but the organizers cutting it before it ended. Things changed after 1996. Some smaller productions got released such as "I love you", "Expectations" and "Expectations 2", but that new disk filler never seemed to become realized. At the same time the demo scene got stuck in some post Amiga design trend and nothing really seemed to be evolving. Internet had finally struck down real hard. I stopped getting wares and lived in isolation from the scene. But had made my ways in the real world. Still producing stuff and getting more and more acquainted with the fact that you could use the C64 to make real music became a new force of inspiration. After a great success playing together with JOE at a live concert in my hometown Malmoe 1997, where we had two C64s running, one producing sound and one producing videoart formed the concept "Disco Calculi" - perhaps the most avantgarde way of interpreting the earlier design of Wrath Designs. It was released just before 1998. After "Disco calculi" I have worked with editing TV-programs and found even more ways of handling design, and have been working on and off with that, as well as with forming new ideas for more productions. I have also had 3 more live/pre-live concerts during 1999, using synthesizers combined with videoart. (Audio-visual entertaining art.) My trustworthy C64 which helped me get through 1993-1999 got destroyed on the same night as new years eve 1999-2000. Almost 6 years hardly ever turned off computer life finally met its destiny. Still havenít figured out what cracked but I guess it was the FLT jiffyROM and the whole card. Not very interested in getting back to work with my computer down. Joe helped me back on the track and I got a new c64, new membersí joined and new plans were drawn. Soon its 2001 and not much have happened this year you might think. The truth is that the factories have been gaining new workers and new ideas.



J)
What is your personal favourite demo you have been involved in?

E)
Stupidity 3. And with that I am counting the other products on that disc, such as Mobile Art, Kernkraftwerk, Evolution and the Bezerk trip. During the time Joe and I worked on Stupidity 3 we had no idea of what the scene looked like. Working in totally silence and only our own ideas of design to rely on, along with the fact that things paradoxically was moving faster than it had done in a long while, made Stupidity 3 fun to do. Somewhat later I realized that what we basically had done with our newfound style was something quite simular to the PC and Amiga scene (and that goes for the c64 as well) although I am quite sure we had a completely different approach compared to other groups.


J)
What are your all-time favourites: (C64 only)

Demo Group:
HZ, PD, Censor, CML, Crest, Oxyron, Upfront, Light, Triad, Babygang... just mentioning a few.

Demo:
Tower Power/CML, Soul/BD, Krestyron/Oxy+Crest, MoreThanMeetsTheEye/Típau, Digital Dreams/Samar, Top Priority/Contex,Triadís da name/Triad and a lot more.

Programmer:
The coders in the groups mentioned and more.

Musician:
Meitz, M.O.N and VIBRANTS, Follin, Hubbard, Galway, Dunn, NordbÝ. And more.

Graphician:
Malmoe rulers (Joe, Clone, Oxidy and Ogami) Electric, Mirage, Sander, Dokk, Bob Stevensson. and people like Valsary, Rayden and not forgetting Cyclone etc.

Game:
Almost every System 3 production, Delta+Armalyte, Wizball, Creatures. And more.

Magazine:
Mamba, Rock ní Role, Revealed, Domination, Driven, Transmission. Counting only a few.


J)
What's your view on the internet and how it has effected the way computer scenes and people communicate and produce?

E)
I think the Internet could help you get connections all "over the world" and at the same time get you even more stuck into writing www.xxx.com believing that you just made the world! (Havenít checked the latest amount of users but last I heard numbers (1998) estimated only around 2 percent of the whole world.) Seriously. I think the Internet issue is a bit more complex than just answering your questions. There are loads of people producing stuff pretty much based on the net only. But for what purpose and for what use. That is pretty much the question you should ask. In one sense, I would say that it has effected people not to produce any longer, at the same time you all thatís bollocks! As goes for the computer scenes, it has to some become a official battlefield, for some a visit at the lake and for others it is a play of golf. I donít believe a supermarket, BBS or conference room for that matter is much more different from the Net. However, I wont like the day the post office and bank closes down and the little green card of goods tells a man how to live or not. Welcome to the future, people. Whereís NEO when you need rescue? For me internet was a saviour this summer. I downloaded almost everything I missed from 1993-2000 and was also able to rebuild parts of my original collection of wares, which got formatted during the years. I also had a possibility of working FAST with projects, in some cases the rather opposite. It all depends of who you are, and what you need the net for. I have a couple of contacts via the net and irc. But all in all Id say that its more like a gigantic road building walls (due to the market) around people. Its up to us to make a change, not fool ourselves.



J)
In your opinion, what is the most important element of a demo on C64?

E)
I want a story. Thereís only a few people left telling stories nowadays. With stories I am not counting the people using poems (not making sense) in every loader part there is, spoiling their demos with filth and not leaving anything for the imagination or rather the opposite. I would say that with a story, I am not just counting the form or elements in a demo (pictures, effects, etc.) but rather their actual place and importance. Is it necessary to show a picture in a demo, or is it important to have an end part? Get the picture? Graphics lacking style can be used with grace, as well as music and code. Its all a matter of how you use it. and for what purpose. Some people call this design. For me everything is design. Some people have experimented a lot with design and others more contempt with strict rules of "how a things should look like". Paradoxally, in a sense. Even a demo with great code, graphics etc. might fall just because it lacks IT. The essence of design. We have seen this over the years with the post Amiga trend and with the fantasy trend, etc. Believe me, you will be shocked to know that people in the 1920s did the same stuff you think is so very unique in this scene. And with that in mind people should start working towards new mind bending design and scene.


J)
Were you ever involved in any commercial projects such as games or tools on C64 or other platforms?

E)
No. Not commercially that is. Iíve been coding a couple of own tools during the years, some hardly ever got used. Back in the golden 80s I made some wicked stuff with S.E.U.C.K and simular (before I knew ML well enough) which got lost during the years. And recently I programmed a "take a test" program for the Windows environment in c++.


J)
Been to many scene parties? Which ones did you attend?

E)
Not many at all. TCC 1993, and the Party 3. Besides that I have participated with material for the Party IV, Assembly 1996 and LCP 2000 & DREAMHACK 2000. All in all I liked TCC 93 and the Party 3, Respect to Extend, Booze, Camelot, Oxyron, Light, Horizon and Censor (mentioning a few groups I met) for showing understanding and being frank unlike many other groups at that time in the scene and at those parties. LCP felt like a disaster since I never showed up and neither did my compo material for that same party. I guess I got disqualified. Nobody has mentioned my c64/amiga tunes nor spread it I guess.


J)
What are your current activities these days?

E)
I am unemployed. Iím pretty much tending to get back to the university soon studying history of art. Scenewize, I am right now stuck between a couple of productions which pretty much I am doing all the programming and music for.


J)
What is the most important thing that keeps WD producing stuff on the

E)
C64? I see this machine and the scene as any form of art. For me, creating a demo, or meeting a contact in the scene, is not much more different from real life. Besides, it has definitely got to do with money. It is so cheap to use this machine for the purpose of creating art. It would be a hell lot more difficult if Id gone doing the same thing with DIGIBETA and PROTOOLS. Of course one tends getting older and time is a important factor. But as long as I feel that I want to make another tune or code then that is what I will be doing. For the love of the machine and for my own sake.



J)
Ever had any wars or disliking towards some group or person in the scene?

E)
There are more or less no difference between arseholes in social life or in the scene. People you donít get along with in real life tend to have much in common with the people you donít get along with in the scene. Wrath Designs was in war with MANIAX years back, which we managed to clear out in a nice way. I personally had problems with THE MIGHTY BULLDOZER (also known as the main editor of the TRIBUNE) for backstabbing me in his magazine, not acting professionally as he kept proclaiming. There have also been a couple of problems with NOICE, on a more personal level. That also goes for groups like GOTHIC DESIGN and so forth. But most of these stories are old and forgotten, its not even worth getting into. However, during the years we also have had difficulties with people and groups around the scene backstabbing our graphicians. People put down lot of effort trying to prove that our graphicians were just producing wired, scanned/digitized and/or ripped art. Or at least kept spreading rumours about it. Seriously, for me that is more like an act towards the whole crew. And besides, sometimes it seems like people were more devoted to getting us down on our knees, than using that same effort and time attending their own productions. I guess things like this will repeat itself along as we are here in this scene and all I can say is that I have had the same address for 6 years now and if someone out there have a problem, you are welcome to mail me whenever you feel like it and we can work things out before they get out of hand. Donít forget about the true meaning of respect and hard work, try practicing it for a change.


J)
What are the individual members of your group doing these days? Like Blackdroid, Oxidy, etc?

E)
Joe is studying for his future architect dreams. Oxidy is working for a programming company. Blackdroid is actually right now down in Saudi Arabia working for the Swedish telephone company TELIA. Clone is unemployed pulling the system over by skipping taxes for the work he has. Djinn works as a programmer for a company called Definition. Stash works as a turner. Last I spoke to TMT he was working at a factory. Zealot is pretty much at home fighting his decease. Joe, Clone, Stash and I are the ones most active for the moment doing stuff for this computer. Time will tell how things work out and what will be released.


J)
I heard Wrath will soon launch their official homepage. What can you tell us about this and what URL will be used?

E)
Soon is probably not the right word if we cant get our act together. For the moment the page have been looking the same way for at least a couple of months. And not much have been added to the original code. It will contain a discography of everything released. That includes the Amiga section and real life work from Wrath Designs. It will include a fully documented history of Wrath Designs in terms of personal stories, objective truth and other wicked stuff. The site will also hold every sound/graphics (if possible) Wrath Designs ever made, free for everyone to download and listen/look at. And a lot more, of course. However, since things arenít quite close to finish yet. I stop here and let time and work tell instead.


J)
A new demo from WD to be released soon? Any hints on what it will be like?

E)
Well. Things would get hard if Iíd say too much right now. There where promises out around THE DEMO and those have turned out not true due to actual time limits as it is right now. However. There will be one music experience released around Christmas and two more things coming up next year. If everything works out. All I can say is that you should not expect anything looking like "Disco calculi" or some earlier products of Wrath Designs, but rather as something evolved from that. Things arenít as BLUE as they were before.


J)
Is there any effect or design segment that was made by another that you really admire? and what would you like to do on C64 with coding that you have not yet done?

E)
Actually, I remember quite a lot of nice stuff made with this machine over the years. Hereís a quick draft to give you a hint:

Ian and Mic for the Channel 4 demo.
Slammer for the Tower Power.
Kjell NordbÝ for his great music packs.
Depeh for having the same structure in his code throughout the years.
HCL for tricking us all, for being so much more than another nail in the foot. I loved his trailblazer version in Soul.
Graham for doing the coolest cheat Iíve seen in years when he made the one frame rate running plasma in multicoloured sprites/characters seen in Krestyron.
Deekay for drawing a cute Henry Gourad.
Blackmail for bringing us F.L.I. Origo for showing the extended possibilities f it and Crest probably for pushing it to its limits.
Panoramic design for their panoramic design.
Cycleburner and BOB for being the best minimalist artists in the scene.

The list could go on forever. But I cant really come up what impressed me the most during the years. For me it has always been a matter of ups and downs creatively that make certain people and art stand out more, put those things in another time perspective and you will see that some things are not as good as you thought. Some where more than great. Personally one of the largest projects Iíve been involved in was the mapping of the 1541 drive (which was a necessity for me a couple of years ago, since I couldnít get hold of any documents holding that kind of information) and the development of a disk loading system. I worked almost 3 years "nonstop" with that source. It will be used and released soon in a demo. hopefully it works. Another fine project has been the ADSR-balance routine (for those of you who donít know, talk to a musician about the Envelope settings of the SID chip or listen those billions of players out there and try to track down why things never sound the same when they are played...) along with that comes an own music player and editing software, which I probably have been working on for at least 1 1/2 years including the fact that the player first got structured 4 years ago. I will definitely finish that one day (hi Jeff). Projects like these perfection-works and working with ideas trying to come up with a completely new solution even though there are billions of solutions out there, people already have tried, is a great challenge. We all think different and that goes for making demos as well. Even though there is a difference between making a demo and making the routines which helps carrying the demo, id say I would like to continue programming both ways. I would like to evolve by generally trying to get small ideas look, sound and work different than to what they have done before. It would be nice if people stopped doing what they are doing now and just take a giant leap and do the stuff they never dared to. That is something Iíve been doing for the last couple of years now. The greatest dreams of all is of course to be able to produce something that is a perfect image of the original idea. But I guess most artists in history failed.


J)
If anything should be changed or improved in the scene, what should it be?

E)
Keep on pushing the machine to its limits. Keep on writing history, but most important of all. Try making something worthwhile out of it. Start treating the machine and the scene different to what you have been doing over the years. I havenít actually seen that many of real artists around here for a long time. And besides I donít believe party life is the only way of releasing stuff these days.



J)
What do you think of disk magazines on the C64 in the past and present, and what do you think should be their purposes?

E)
I like disk magazines. During some years we had loads of mags, some not that good and perhaps time wasting efforts lost in history. Some years we have had magazines actually doing a great work. Due to scene interest and illegal vs. legal scene activities, magazines have changed their presentation over the years. As I see it. All magazines filling a purpose have been great one way or the other. Disk magazines have always reported news, fashion, opinions, charts, etc. Somewhat more or less reliable or fresh. I believe disk magazines should keep on writing history, preserving history but most important of all filling a need and purpose - not just being a magazine for the sake of it. We all could need that effort keeping other productions coming. And of course that in a longer range would lead to the fact that new magazines could report activities. etc. What I missed during the years were good magazines getting down to the core, magazines that stood out.


J)
What is your opinion on the cracking scene, and the personality differences between a legal scener and an illegal scener?

E)
I have always had a great respect for the "cracking" scene. For me, the difference is that the illegal scene was always raw in comparison to the legal scene. The great knights of crackers were the ones creating this scene and most of the rules as well I guess. I definitely knew the cracking scene before I got in touch with the demo scene. While the game scene dropped I cant say I took notice for the upcoming crackers as I felt them being a breed unluckily lost in c64 history. And I guess that in some sense the legal scene got more attention. There were of course some years where both the legal and illegal scene worked together and those were probably the days when this scene rocked at most. But I guess the history repeats itself looking at the Amiga, and the Pc scene where that same kind of raw feeling exist, only 100% worse! Those people with the skills of cracking the hard mid 80s games and early 90s games should have been creating demos and other stuff and/or shared their skills on a different level to the scene. And the people devoting the late 90s to the illegal scene should have made something different out from that. But I must admit that I have spent most of my time in the legal scene and pretty much neglected the illegal scene so I am not really in the position of having an opinion in the subject.


J)
To end this interview, here is your time to send any greetings to anyone you know...

E)
Respect to the creators of this machine, people lost in time and earlier mentioned people, people not mentioned, people Iíve met on the IRC, and all of you still here!



J)
Thanks for your time Ed, do you have any last comments to leave a final impression on the audience?

E)
Anyone ready for 2001? Lets bring out the best and hope to see you someday at a party, by mail, email or perhaps somewhere else!


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