Interviews



Interview with Intensity

Published in Vandalism News #55
Performed by Morpheus

Completed in the first half of 2010 and unpublished until now, this interview with the late Arman Behdad  was conducted by Andreas Wallstr÷m, better known to the scene as Morpheus/Flash Inc for C64.com

Vandalism has kindly been given permission to publish it here first in this special issue dedicated to honour Intensity.



M)
Give us some information about yourself (full name, age, birthplace and date, where you reside, job and interests).

I)
Hi! My name is Arman Behdad, I am 28 years old and I was born in Teheran in Iran on January 22nd, 1982. I live in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Right now, I am a full-time musician with a record deal with a major label called  Bonzai
Music. I write chill-out music for them. Furthermore, I distribute my own self-defined music style called Lightcore. Lightcore is a mix of chip tunes, hard trance and electro clash and I release the music under my own label called Gheymaid Inc., named after the C64 demo group I am in charge of. Another project of mine is Litophen, a kind of schranz/hard techno formation. More projects and artists will come since I am focusing on industrial hardcore and other music as well.

When it comes to my interests, I am one of those lucky guys who combine fun and work at the same time. Beside that, I work 8-12 on music related stuff, I of course create SIDs for the C64 scene and I'm generally active there, amongst other things, leading the group Gheymaid Inc. as previously mentioned. I also love to meet friends who visit me from day to night every day. My flat got a lounge part where people can drink coffee and beer, smoke cigarettes and joints, and listen mainly to chill-out/ambient music. I used to read a lot of books on positive thinking, meditation and auto-suggestion, even love novels by men for men about relationships between hetero couples (No! Not the Ghey way Knoeki! I have to disappoint you, hehe :D). I used to walk a lot. I need it for inspiration and to free my mind. There were times I walked four kilometres through the city in snowy and ice cold weather by first taking a walk into the park, then over to the forest, and then resting at the graveyard a bit, then the whole way back. Sometimes I even visit other cities around me, just to walk. I could even go to other countries to walk just to mark that countries' ground with my feet.


M)
What handle(s) did you have and how did you come up with it/them?

I)
My handles were Arman, which is the first name of my real name, S.U.C.K., a kinda provoking all-time-first-handle, which I used during my lamerish beginner-times being active in the German disk mag-scene, Snickers, which I used for exactly one week LOL, as well as Intensity. The last handle was something that TMR/Cosine recommended to me, shortly before I joined his group back in 2002. "Intensity" is the handle I am active with for the longest period, and it is the handle, I still use today.


M)
What group(s) were you in? (Please write the full name and in joining order)

I)
1996: Equinoxe, Error 2000
1998: Role, Acme, Sataki
1999: Xenon
2002: Cosine, Onslaught
2005: Dekadence
2006: Gheymaid Inc.
2007: Level64


M)
What tasks did you have (swapper, coder, artist, musician, organiser etc.)?

I)
I used to draw a little, i.e. to pixel some Logos in the earlier times. Also I brought out 9 issues of the German disk magazine X-Dome (spelled: Crossdome), which was released in English from the 8th issue on. The 9th issue received a very good rating in the Vandalism News magazine, unfortunately it was the last issue I worked on. 2006 I formed the group Gheymaid Inc. Together with Knoeki/DSS, out of totally crazy situations which I hopefully will be able to describe after proper interview question, coz it was really nuts! :P

However, my main occupation in the scene was and still is being a musician. Merely I am known for creating extraordinary trance-SIDs with beautiful melodies, also I am known for being the number 1 trance artist on the Commodore 64 not only because of my SID Electric Jesus, which contains never heard before trance leads, to citate others. Opposed to this very charming image, I personally think, I suck at making SIDs like Jenna Jameson does with the one or other manly objects in her porn movies. Not only because I still use the DMC 7.0 tool, which is a multispeed composer based on very simple editor-tasks, but even is kinda only an improvement on DMC 4.0. By all self-love and self-respect, I have to say, that the real recent legends of the Commodore 64 music-scene nowadays are Jammer, Randall and Linus; who happen to create SIDs that just blow your mind, and I MEAN THAT, by totally crazy techniques setting all other SIDs in the C64 SID history to the background, from a technical view. They deserve the real honour, but of course I am thankful for how others see me. The real point I am proud of is not that much my technical skills, which of course might not be bad at all, but the mood and feeling I put into the tune. For example Electric Jesus definitely contains never-heard leads and arpeggios on the C64, still it was that blasting electro-euphoria, that came out of my heart, which was caught and put in that SID, that was inspired by my endorphins actually. ;)



M)
Between what years were you active?

I)
I was almost active all the time, though something more, sometimes less, but in general I am active since I joined the scene in 1994.
 

M)
Tell us about those years and how you got in to the scene in the first place.
 
I)
I bought a C64 paper mag in a shop called Brotkasten Live, an announcement based magazine, where people could talk with each other like in a forum, just on a post basis, and not through the internet. From Brostkasten Live I went to Computer Flohmarkt, which was based on the same case, though for ALL systems. I joined a party called  Computer Flohmarkt Treffen in 1995 in Limburg/Germany. At the party I connected with all kinds of people. However, everyone was almost lamers, and C64-Hobby Fanatics, despite Antifan/Equinoxe, who I communicated on a regular basis via letters, disk packs and phone calls. He was the main line I found to the "real scene", the so called "elite-scene", where I was a complete newbie. He was brave enough to let a lamer like me join his group  Equinoxe.

After joining Xenon in 1999, and contributing to their demo Arcanum which was first placed at X2000, I got known through the soundtrack I wrote for the demo. Two of the SIDs called Sweet Fantasies even were placed #1 and #3 in some HVSC all-time charts, and I was like WOW! They are still on the top list of some HVSC members, and I got a lot of fans for my music since then.



M)
How could a typical day in front of the computer look like? (In the 80's/90's that is)

I)
The best day in front of the C64 was when I already had set my feet on the ground when it comes to the scene back in 1997. I was 15 years old, and I just received a German disk mag called Digital Talk, which was formerly actually a very cool magazine, actually the number 1 rated in the German magazine scene. Nowadays it's just a fart from what has been, lead by editors and readers, I always imagine as scene-pig-lamers with large glasses and fat arses, who think in numbers than in colours and thoughts. Of course it's overdone, at least it describes the disgusting feeling I have towards them. However, in 1997 it was a summer day, the heaven was crimson coloured, I felt alright, bought a pack of chips and cola and started to read that magazine. I will never forget when I came across that journey report of Mephisto/ex-Metalvotze, where he explained his trip to Greece in every funny detail and which had set free dreams and a huge feeling inside me. Digital Talk may be disgusting today, in former times it was a real enrichment to the scene, and I really miss the days of getting 4-5 packs of disks and letters a day, the STAMPS BACK-Times, and generally the 90's mood.


M)
Did you self-invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?

I)
I never have done these, no. I am not a coder, though I always had the dream to start coding one day.


M)
If you take a look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?

I)
About my Arcanum Soundtrack definitely! :P



M)
Who were your scene heroes and why?

I)
When I had my first attempts in doing SIDs on a real C64 back in 1996, I always dreamt of having the technical knowledge like Jeff and Drax, who were able to fiddle out melodies in every single detailed perfection, as well as Wacek and Nebula, who made Hardcore Techno SIDs for Vandalism News. I was a big Gabber fan back then, you know. Since then I always wanted to be like them and worked hard on making music.


M)
What was the coolest thing someone invented on the C64? (It could be a tool, a routine etc.)

I)
Definitely DMC 7.0! LOL, Call me lame, but I simply love that tool hehe.


M)
Did you go to copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?

I)
Yeah, besides the Limburg meeting 1995, I went to Mekka Symposium in Fallingbostel from 1999-2001, which was a great experience. Everyone seemed to love that shy melancholic youth which I have been, and some definitely missed me a lot when the party was over, and guess what, I missed them a lot too.


M)
What was the scene all about in your opinion?

I)
Sharing crack in dark party-corners! :P Hehe, no, the scene is and was kinda the perfectly structured fantasy world, to flower out your skills. The perfect hobby, which is underlined by excellent parties, where people compete against and meet each other to have a beer.



M)
What were the highlights? (Favourite event, demo etc.)

I)
From what I have experienced, the total highlight was Mekka Symposium 2000, where SUCH excellent demos were seen in the competition just at ONCE, that some of them still are in peoples minds after all those years, just like Deus ex Machina/Crest or +H2K/Plush, and some more great demos. The way the crowd was reacting was brilliant! And I personally had my joy at it, by hanging on a chair totally drunk and just being fascinated.


M)
Any cool stories to share with us?

I)
Now let's start with my group Gheymaid Inc.!

Well, it all began when I used to share online Coffee and Cigarettes in the #c-64 IRC Chat by writing * INTENSITY IS ENJOYING COFFEE AND CIGARETTES - Coffee anyone? like a dozen times a day. And surprisingly a lot of people joined the fun, and said things like "One coffee with Gheymaid Hazelnut Aroma please!" :D I used to pour Coffee Mate flavoured Powder into the 8-12 Coffees I drunk the day, so I simply called it "Gheymaid Inc. Flavour", not only because also in real life everyone of my friends called me a "Schwules Zimmermaedchen" (German), which means "Gayish Maid" in English, pronounced just "Gheymaid". This went on for a long time, until I started to "educate people on IRC as Gheymaids" serving coffee and cigarettes as well (just for fun), just like me hehe, which was a great and fun time! One day I came to the idea to form a group together with these people, and there it was: Gheymaid Inc. formed on the 1. April (!) 2007 and HAHA, almost 20 people joined the group immediately!!

I created a CSDb profile and after some days the group was suddenly placed at the top of the group charts, which caused a lot of troubles by some sceners, who didn't find it fair, that such a recently formed group full of idiots should be placed #1 over Crest and Oxyron and how all those Lamers are called MUHARR!  After some while, the so much appreciated CSDB-voting showed the results of the Gheymaid Inc-rating, which consisted of around 12 "10" votes (meaning "excellent") and almost the same number having voted "1". Just crazy LOL. Our "main attractions" were the totally crazy, as well as very sexy, sweet and beautiful female member Lolita, Motion, a skilled guy, that still just can't stand to talk in a provoking Gay-language on IRC chats today, as well as Jessika, the well-known porn-biatch, totally hated by the most! :P

The future of GMI will look else though: we kicked almost all members, who were kinda "fake", "low-skilled" or who just didn't fit into the group, to concentrate on really serious and stylish productions that can compete with today's demos.

The stuff that has been done so far is evidence that we are far away from the fake-porn-image.


M)
Are you in contact with old C64 people today?

I)
Most of them I meet on IRC chat and some of them I consider as "friends" who visited me already and write regularly to, are from the old days, yeh.



 M)
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?

I)
Unfortunately I have unplugged my C64 material due to former problems, but I will soon connect it again due to the reason, that I want to use it as Live-hardware and exercise for my upcoming live shows.


M)
Was the C64 really that special that we like to think it was?

I)
The C64 is a pure phenomenon, come the fuck on! :P


M)
When can we expect to see a new C64 production from you? :)

I)
Around Summer/Autumn 2010, when it's time again for a serious Gheymaid Inc. release, as well as several SIDs done for others.


M)
Do you have a message to your old contacts and everyone else reading this?

I)
FUCK OFF AND WRITE ME IMMEDIATELY, YOU MUSTARDS!!!! :D

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