Blitz / Danish Duo,
The Danish Circle,
Added on February 4th, 2013 (3356 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Thomas H Pedersen, I was born on 17th June 1967 and grew up in a town called Roskilde in Denmark. I have been working in an IT department for the past 12 years, and my interests include: my friends, movies, games, heavy metal music and good Danish, Belgian and American beers – I'm a member of the Danish Beer Enthusiasts (Danske Ølentusiaster).
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I have been using the handle BliTZ since 1984, but before that I was called Blitzh. I can't remember why I added the lame ‘h' back then or even why I came up with that name in the first place.
What group(s) were you in?
The first group was Danish Duo which me and Droid joined in 1985-86, I can't remember exactly when. We then changed name to The Danish Circle (TDC) since we were not a ‘duo' anymore. Then TDC disbanded and I joined Dominators and was a member for about one day, because the other former members of TDC founded Illusion 2016 and I wanted to be around the people I knew. At least that's how I remember it.
Because another group in Norway or Holland was also called Illusion, we had to change our name again. This really had to be the last time, so we held a party at my place and thought of as many names as we could. I came up with 2000 A.D. because I was a comic collector at that time. We settled with my suggestion, and this was in mid-1987.
Oh, I nearly forgot, me and Cosmix (Triangle 3532) also formed a demo group called Photon. We wanted to make groundbreaking demos, but because of a lack of time, we ended up only releasing one demo called PhotonDYSP and starting another one which was never finished or released.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I mostly did graphics, like sprites, chars, fonts in all sizes, logos, full-screen graphics and such like. I also swapped a bit, but nothing major, and I tried some coding, like sprites and scroll routines, but the main thing for me was the graphics.
How long were you active for?
I was active on the C64 from 1984 until the start of 1991, when the Amiga took over.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
At first, I was drawing comic strips and making comic magazines and other stuff. Once I got my C64, there were all these new possibilities – I painted landscapes, monsters, and then I saw some of the first demos of that time and was quite impressed. So Droid and I started making some games for fun, then Droid got in contact with Danish Duo. They arranged a meeting, and we became members and started making demos and stuff with them.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Ohh, at that time, I started work early in the morning and got home about 8 pm, so I spent pretty much the whole day gaming and drawing; I spent the weekends drinking beer and partying with my friends.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No, I didn't code any tools, but Droid/2000 A.D. coded the sprite and logo editors I used, and he integrated my ideas into them if there was something missing which I needed. I remember I found a way to trick Koala Paint into offering one or two more colours, more at the side so they didn't overlap. That paint program had it's own ideas about how it worked, but it was fun to draw in.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Well, that would be my work on all those demos for the different groups, and of course our own productions. I'm most proud of those.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
That's a difficult question. They weren't really scene people as such, but Antony Crowther, Andrew Braybrook and Rob Hubbard were my first real heroes. Antony Crowther and Andrew Braybrook created mind-blowing games, and Rob Hubbard composed some of the best if not the best music on the C64, and I was greatly inspired by his work. My other heroes were Wizz, Droid, Softech and the other cool dudes in 2000 A.D., Gonzo from Zargon, the coders/artists from Bones, Ikari, Triangle, Dexion, and doubtless many more whom I've forgotten over time.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I was impressed when they opened the side border, and when FLI arrived – that shocked me! It was a fun format to draw in. But when I look at the demos of today, it's totally insane, the things they do out there now.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes I did! I went to the 2000 A.D./Dominators/The Supply Team summer meeting in 2009, the Dominators/Upfront/Trilogy party in 1989, the 2000 A.D. party, the Ikari and Zargon party in 1989, the Jewels/Danish Gold/Dominators/Upfront party, the Triad and Fairlight copy-party, the Danish Circle Copy Party 1 and the Danish Circle Copy Party 2.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
It was about having fun, arranging local meetings, going to parties, making demos, playing games and just generally having a good time.
What were the particular highlights for you?
The 2000 A.D. party in Esbjerg, Denmark was awesome; that and the Triad and Fairlight party stand out as coolest events. The demos of today are totally crazy! I can't understand how they can still find new ways to make such cool effects. I completely respect all of that stuff, but if I had to pick one demo that stands out over time, it would have to be The Larch 3 by Bones. That is one seriously cool demo! And of course our own demos, like Chilly the Most, Slim, Snolli Kill and many more.
Any cool stories to share with us?
I can't actually remember that much, only that I saved Droid and Comic from being thrown out of a couple of parties for drunkenness and accepted them as my responsibility. They were two very crazy guys. :) I also remember Apollon drowned a C64 in coke because someone in the group wrote a nasty scrolltext about how awful everyone in 2000 A.D. was, when they in fact didn't know us at all. Apollon was a really nice and cool dude, but quite crude to lamers.
Another story which Rambones of The Supply Team told me about myself was that there was this dude at a copy-party who was drawing a really cool picture. I asked him if he had saved the picture, and he said no, so I then shut down his C64. I was jealous or something and he was not at all happy about that. I left him in tears and everything! That was of course very, very bad of me.
Oh oh, and a couple more: at the first Danish Circle party, Purple Brain had gone to sleep, and while he was fast asleep, I threw a big glass of water in his face. He wasn't happy about that and spent the rest of the party hunting me with a scythe! :)
Also at the first Danish Circle party, someone else had gone to sleep, I forget who, but we placed a table over him and a couple of speakers next to his face, then I pounded on a cooking pot with a spoon and someone else turned the speakers up. This poor guy shot up awake and hit his face on the table. Everyone was lying on the floor laughing! Oh dear, we were very mean boys.
The last one I remember is that Apollon, Droid, myself and some others were going to a party in Amager, Copenhagen. When we arrived at the place, there wasn't any space for us, so we were invited to Sleepy Sleep's place in Dragør. While we were waiting for the bus, some dudes rolled up in a car and asked for a light. I forget why, but we ended up exchanging words with them. When we got on the bus, they followed us and at one bus stop, one of them got on board the bus and started bugging us and slapped me in the face. He then got off, but they kept following us in the car. I don't know exactly what happened, but the bus driver slammed on the brakes and the car went into the back of the bus quite hard and smoke was coming out of it. We begged the bus driver to drive on, and he did. I can't remember if the police came or what happened next, but we made it to Sleepy Sleep's place safe and sound. Actually, I later found out that Sleepy Sleep knew who the troublemakers were, so he was a little scared of running into those idiots after that episode.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yes, I'm still in contact with Droid (2000 A.D.), Rambones (TST), Wizz (2000 A.D., TST) and Tricket (Dominators). Last summer, we held a little party at Rambones' place, which Droid, Tricket and myself also attended. That was great fun! I have also made contact with lots of folk from the old scene through Facebook.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I bought my C64 and a tape station in 1984, and a disk drive some time later. I still have it, and of course it still works. They could really make hardware back then! I also have my two Amigas lying around somewhere, along with about 1000 to 1200 disks.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes of course it was, and still is. There are still demos and games being made for it today, and it's being used in popular music, so the good old machine has certainly had an impact on people.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Hehe, I have already done some work, so something may suddenly show up.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
I'd like to say a big hello and send greetings to all the cool Danish Duo, The Danish Circle, Illusion 2016 and 2000 A.D. members I've got to know over time. A big hello also to Zetrex 2005, Wizax 2004, The Supply Team, Dominators, Ikari (DK), Bones (DK), Dexion, Zargon, Starion, Bonzai, Abnormal, Jewels, Triangle 3532, and all those I swapped with (and anyone else I may unfortunately have forgotten here).
back to the list of available interviews