Hazel / The Danish Vikings, Team Denmark, The Famous Duo, Future Vision, Unit 7, Profile, AC Tronic, House Nation, CB4, Industrial Brothers, Cold Fusion, Misery, Static
Added on June 16th, 2007 (4805 views)
www.c64.com?type=3&id=204



Tell us something about yourself.
My real name is Ketil Jensen and I was born in Denmark on the 8th January in 1972. I currently live in a small town called Bĉlum (Baelum in English. I'm working at a company that prints magazines (computer mags, books, porn mags (that's right! hehe)) and similar stuff. My interests? Waauv.. :) Well.. I'm really into the whole music composing thing although I don't really consider myself a good composer but I'm trying and hopefully improving all the time. I also try to hang out with my friends as much as possible.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Oh boy... Don't get me started there... I've had quite an amount of handles. In the early days, I was known as The Wise Man (TWM) and I have no idea why I ended up with that name. Later on, I used the totally lame name Zazz for a short while.. Talk about stupid names. :) Then came the 90's, and I used these handles: Dr. Faker, Slimkid, Skywalk and at last I ended up with my currently name Hazel which I'm going to keep forever.

What group(s) were you in?
The Danish Vikings, Team Denmark, The Famous Duo, Unit 7, Profile, AC Tronic, House Nation, CB4, Industrial Brothers, Cold Fusion, Misery, and Static. Well.. The list may lie a bit as a friend and myself founded Future Vision (FTV) in 1987 (that was right after The Famous Duo), and we kind of never stopped the group and even today when we are doing something demo'ish, then it's under the FTV name.

What roles have you fulfilled?
Okay, would you believe it, I actually started my scene life being a coder on the C64. Not that I was good at it but still. I also tried to make some graphics but I really sucked at it (I realise that today). At the end of my days with the C64, I noticed a music program called Soundmonitor which seemed easy to use. I guess that was the catalyst for my composing.

How long were you active for?
I would say between 1987-1990 on the C64, and 1991-1997 on the Amiga, but when my friends kind of dropped out of the scene one by one (they got a life, hehe), I lost my inspiration to compose music. I got it back three-four years later, and I guess I missed the feeling of being around on the scene. I also found another inspiration, namely the remixing of C64 tunes.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
It started when I was in school back in 1984, and I was very interested in computers back then. I joined an evening class which should have taught me a few things about programming (it never did as the machines were called Picoline and were crap). There I met this guy who said he knew two brothers who had thousands of games and a diskdrive for their C64. I was of course very impressed! So he introduced me to them and one of the brothers was the one who I later teamed up with in a demo group. At the beginning, we just played games and had no clue about demos. But shortly after, we got a disk with a demo. It was something about a little bunny jumping around, and in the end it got shot by hunters. I was hooked on demos! I remember in the early days when we were still newbies in the scene, we bought some disks from a guy called Sunny of Danish Gold (the best Danish group ever!), and I think he was a bit surprised when we asked him to include demos on the disks. He had never heard of anyone asking for demos before as people just wanted games. But I saw more demos and I got so hooked that I decided to try learning the art of coding in machine code myself. And so started my life in the fast lane known as the demo scene. ;) It was around 1986-87 that I could code something basic, but eventually I was able to make the traditional demos with graphics, music, and a nice scroller. :)

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I got home from school and got something to eat. Then tore up the packages delivered by the mailman, and started to look at demos and games. Many times I just listened to the music in those productions which sometimes left me in awe. Most of the days, I would take my bicycle and ride up to a friend where we would watch the new stuff and play around with our limited coding skills. If there was any time left, I did my homework.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No, I wasn't that good a coder. But I did have basic routines lying around on disks, so I didn't have to do everything all over again every time I made a demo or similar.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Well, there was of course my first 100 percent coded demo, but I guess it's too easy to name that. When I think of it, I was really proud when I finally made a demo that contained a picture, a scroller, and music with sampled sounds. It was even done before the demos by The Last Science (TLS). As for my musical career, there was not really anything I was proud of on the C64 because at the time I sucked big time at composing. :) And I'm so lucky that none of my tunes are in the HVSC. *lol*

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Oh, there were so many. I simply loved people like Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish, Martin Galway, Chris Hülsbeck, Laxity, Jeroen Tel (MON in general, really), Johannes Bjerregaard, Drax, Matt Gray, Rock, David Whittaker, and Michael Winterberg. Why? Do you even need to ask? :) They made brilliant music and I know I've forgotten lots of people because there were so many talented musicians back then. And when it comes to groups, I must say that names like the Dynamic Duo, Fairlight, Triangle, 1001 Crew, Triad, Jewels, Eagle Soft, Triton Technologies, and Ian & Mic pops up in my mind. It's either because they cracked many games or made some excellent demos. And not the least, there was Danish Gold which was my all-time favourite group. Maybe because we talked with the member Sunny on the phone almost on a daily basis. He was a very nice guy.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I can't remember the names of the routines, but I do remember that the FLD was a nice routine. I also liked the sinus wave thing (you know when you had eight sprites flying around on the screen in different formations). Oh, and Vesuv Paint (was that the name?)! It was a damn good paint program, but drawing with a joystick was never that easy. :) Also the borderless demos. Can't remember who made them though.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Sadly, no. We were apparently not famous enough to get invited, but we did manage to hold a copy-party on our own. I think we were around 12-15 people, but they represented groups like Jewels, Zone 7, Deadline, and Softzone.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Having fun, seeing great productions, watching legends at work, showing off your skills, and like the motto which was used in the scene said: "Friendship rulez!"

What were the particular highlights for you?
Hm, favourite event... It must be our own copy party since we didn't attend any parties in the C64 days.

Favourite demos... There are so many! I can't remember any names, but the one TLS did when they managed to have a picture, scroller and sampled music running at the same time... That one was cool! There's also a demo called Future Vision which was pretty cool. It was a movie-like demo with some kind of spy story. Nicely done. There's also newer demos done by Smash Designs which actually shocked me when I saw them. I had not seen C64 demos since 1990 or so, and I remember at The Party in 1995 when I saw some of those new C64 demos with tunnels effects, 3D-like rotating objects, and demos looking like a Doom game. I was in complete awe. And the music... I never thought the SID could make those growling acid-like basses that almost could tear the biggest speakers apart!

Any cool stories to share with us?
Hm, favourite event... It must be our own copy party since we didn't attend any parties in the C64 days.

Favourite demos... There are so many! I can't remember any names, but the one TLS did when they managed to have a picture, scroller and sampled music running at the same time... That one was cool! There's also a demo called Future Vision which was pretty cool. It was a movie-like demo with some kind of spy story. Nicely done. There's also newer demos done by Smash Designs which actually shocked me when I saw them. I had not seen C64 demos since 1990 or so, and I remember at The Party in 1995 when I saw some of those new C64 demos with tunnels effects, 3D-like rotating objects, and demos looking like a Doom game. I was in complete awe. And the music... I never thought the SID could make those growling acid-like basses that almost could tear the biggest speakers apart! Any cool stories to share with us? I remember one day when I was visiting Pet/Jewels (the big brother of Drax), and we were talking about music composing. We talked a bit about Soundmonitor, and I mentioned that I had made something in Jeroen Tel's music editor, and Pet suprisedly replied: "But, you can't make music in that program". He thought that it only was a player, so when I showed him how to enter the sequencer part, he went nuts and ran into Drax's room shouting: "you can make music in JT's editor". Well, the expression on their faces was priceless.

Here's a little story from our copy-party. Of course we rented some movies that we watched, and of one them was The Chainsaw Massacre. I remember that Pioneer from SoftZone jumped everytime something scary happend, and I was later told by Pet that he was quite freaked out about that movie and had nightmares. I guess we managed to scare the crap out of him. :) Pet later on made a demo about it. Priceless!

I also remember one day at Eazy's house (The co-founder of Future Vision). We were messing around with our C64's and got quite a scare. I have to admit that we might have cracked a game or two back then. ;) So when we saw a police car stopping outside the house we were in, we panicked, and we were trying to figure out where to hide all the illegal stuff. Of course they drove away, and they probably didn't even know about us or what we were doing. *lol* But I swear to you, my heart has never pounded that hard before. ;)

Another story which wasn't that funny at the time, but today I laugh about it. It started right after our copy-party. One of the members from Deadline had made a pretty nice demo, but then we were told that he used some code from Pet, and of course we had to tease him a bit. ;) We made a demo where we stated that he had used stolen code from Pet, and told him we'd release the demo worldwide. We never actually released the demo, it was only a joke from our side. But he got pissed, and made a reply demo where he talked trash about our coding – and released it worldwide. That got us pissed, and then a war started between our groups. As time went on, more people got involved, and we just released a dozen of demos where we wrote trash about each other. It got out of hand when we began to call each other on the phone and threatened each other, like: "I'm gonna kick your ass if I ever see you", and shit like that. Later on we bought an Amiga, left the C64 scene, and things got pretty quiet after that. Today I can only laugh at what happend back then. I guess being a kid means being stupid as well. ;) Hey Tiger, if you're reading this, please accept my apology. :) Damn, we were crazy back then.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
No, not really. The only one I've talked to recently is Drax which I accidentally popped into in the IRC-channel #Slayradio. It turns out that he actually only lives 30 km's away from me. :) Sadly enough, I've lost contact with rest of the guys from those days. It could be cool to have a re-union of some kind.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got my first C64 in 1983 from my parents. It broke down later on, and I got the newer version (the one that didn't look like a breadbin). 10 years ago, I lent my C64 with diskdrive and stuff to a "?friend?", but never got it back. That was not very cool. :( The good news is that I got my hand on a used one a few years ago. Sometimes I connect it to play games with my friends. We play old games and drink lots of beer. :)

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Special? It was the meaning of life. :) It was the machine that brought mankind into space. This little weird machine had such an big impact on my life, and it's something I'll never forget. I mean, do you think that the young generation today will have the same feelings for their first PC 15 years later? I don't think so, and I doubt that I would even be composing music today if it wasn't for the C64. So bless you, sweet C64.

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Ehhh... I don't think that will happen. I have forgotten all about coding so there won't be anything in that field. Perhaps a piece of music made in Goattracker if I can pull myself together. :) Ohh... Wait... I do remember a small bit of coding:

LDA #$00
STA $d020
STA $d021
RTS

Now, how's that for excellent coding skills? *lol*

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Don't forget your roots! What would the world be like today if the magic of the C64 hadn't been there? Also, I would like to shout out a few respects to these oldskoolers from my time with the C64: Sunny (Danish Gold), Nike (Triton Technology/Upfront), Pet (Jewels), Drax (Maniacs of Noise), The World Team, Deadline, Zone 7, TAF, Soft Zone, Eazy, Kontrol, and Chain. I've probably forgotten a lot of names, but it's been so long ago that I can't remember.

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