Incubus / Gore Zone,
Added on January 14th, 2005 (10968 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Robin Forsberg and I was born on March 27th, 1975, and in the time of writing this I am 29 years old. I live in the town of Söderhamn in the middle-east of Sweden. At the moment I am super single. I just got a job as a database administrator at Infodirekt Norden AB (www.infodirekt.se) and I enjoy working there very much. When I am not working I play tennis (see my tennis homepage at www.soderhamntennis.com), watch movies and listen to weird music. At the moment my favourites are the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. I party with my friends just about every weekend (though I never get as drunk as they do).
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Oh, let me see. The first real handle I had, I think it was 1989, was probably Baldrick (you know, the servant in the Black Adder TV series) and I was in the "imaginary" group GoreZone together with my best friend Mistlure. He named himself after a weird local character here in Söderhamn who always walked around talking very loud to everyone he met. He still does, by the way. After a couple of years I thought I must have a cooler nickname (you don't exactly shiver with fear when you hear the name Baldrick, do you?), so I changed my handle to the more familiar Incubus, after one of my favourite Marillion songs.
What group(s) were you in?
Ah, this is easy as I haven't been in many groups. My first real one, and probably the group most people associate me with is Antic. I joined the group in late 1991 or early 1992. I remember how happy I was, finally I was a real scener! In 1993 I was asked to join Triad, an offer I couldn't resist since they have been legends in my eyes ever since I was a little kid playing Exploding Fist and such games, "Cracked by Mr. Z". About a year later my old friends in Antic asked me to rejoin, and so I did.
What roles have you fulfilled?
Since I had no particular artistic skills, and my coding abilities were limited to writing text adventures in BASIC, I was, and am most remembered for, being a swapper. I could even title myself a mega swapper, because at one time, I had over 200 contacts. I also designed disk covers (so there you are, I had some artistic skills!), spread votesheets and such things. And hey, perhaps some of you remember my photo albums?
How long were you active for?
I guess I started disk swapping in 1989, and I resigned from the C64 scene in 1994 and went Amiga for a couple of years before I stopped scene activities totally.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I think I'd made a name for myself doing some disk swapping in 1990-1991, and somehow I got in touch with the members of Antic. I think Depeh wrote to me and asked me if I wanted to join, and I've never made an easier decision in my whole life!
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I woke up, went to school, came home after school and opened the huge amounts of mail (we're talking snail-mail here), went through the diskettes and read my friends' letters. The few days I didn't get that many letters, I played my favourite games such as Pirates!, Guild of Thieves, Zak McKracken and Tetris. My weekends mostly consisted of copying diskettes, writing letters, and then copying some more diskettes.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Hmm... I didn't invent it, but I had this "technique" of putting one Swedish crown stamps on almost all my envelopes. It saved me a lot of money and it made it possible to afford being a swapper in the first place. And yes, in 1985 I stopped using my cassette player and bought a disk drive - does that count? That certainly made things easier for me. ;)
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I think it was my ability to keep the personal contact with my contacts. They really were my friends, and I think they felt the same about me. I could never just send them a copied diskette and a small note saying "Thanks for the stuff, enjoy mine. Bye." Swapping was more to me than that, and I think people appreciated me because of this attitude. Apart from that, I am very proud of my photo albums. They became very popular.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I don't recall having that many heroes, although I had respect for many sceners. I guess you could call Mr. Z a hero though I never met him or even knew what he looked like. Also, when I was a newcomer in the scene, I looked up to the big swappers like Aslive and Baze. And yeah, of course I have to mention Remix/Clique here as he was a role model in both scene behaviour and his overall attitude towards just about anything.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
A tool that really helped me a lot as a swapper was the notemaker, a program for writing large amounts of text. I especially liked and used the one that Faces made, but I can't remember the damn name of it!
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
I sure did! It was an overwhelming sensation going to these big parties and meeting many of my contacts there. I have lots of wonderful party memories, and I wrote some of them down in my party reports. The first one I went to was the Light/Phenomena party in Alingsås 1992, and I remember I was a very nervous and shy little boy. Later I also went to the Brutal party on Samsoe in 1992, The Party 2, TCC'93 in Gothenburg, The Party 3 and finally Tribute'94.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
I think the whole idea of the scene was to give the scener a feeling of importance, a feeling of belonging somewhere and to gain some fame. I certainly felt extremely important when I went to no. 1 in some of the swapper charts. Of course everyone has a different opinion, but this is what I think made me sit up whole nights copying diskettes and writing letters. And not to forget, you made friends with people all over the world.
What were the particular highlights for you?
The first one I went to, the Light/Phenomena party, was the highlight event for me, getting to meet my contacts and the guys in Antic for the first time. I have many memories from there, like for example when we came third in the demo competition. I remember when our demo was shown on the big screen, Depeh/Antic shouted: "Cool demo part!" He was right of course - he was the one who'd coded it! About favourite demo, I always liked the demos from Black Mail. Dutch Breeze must be one of the best demos ever made on a C64 up to that time.
Any cool stories to share with us?
I have many stories, but none that I can remember fully to tell you about. :-)
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
I’m sad to say I'm not. I left the scene 10 years ago and that life has grown off me now. I quite often think that it would be great have some sort of big reunion where we would meet and have fun and talk about the good old days (and maybe have a beer or five?). I hope this will happen, but until then I just continue my life as it is now.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I first had a Vic-20 that I got in 1982. I think it was 1984 or 1985 when I got my first C64 from my father together with a cassette containing games like Spyhunter and The Caverns of Kafka. I don't really remember what happened to it, but now I have a C128 lying in a closet together with my old Digilog 2064 floppy drive and an old Amiga 500. On occasion I set them up again to play some old classic games, watch old demos and such stuff.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
It sure was, for me and for millions of people. The C64 scene brought people together in a way that no other scene has - and will do - on any other computer. It was the perfect computer at the perfect time.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
I'll pass on that question, but most likely I'm done with the C64 scene. But you should never say never!
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
I could make a long greetings list with all the hundreds of friends I had during my time in the C64 scene, but I won’t. In a way, I miss it all though I know it could never be done again the same way. I hope that all of you who I was in contact with are all doing well. And never, never forget the times we had! Thank you for everything.
back to the list of available interviews