Domination 01 ch06 Interview with Jeroen Tel
Back again with a good friend of mine in the Domination spotlight, this time it is the one and only Jeroen Tel from the Maniacs of Noise!
D) Please tell the readers some personal information about yourself, such as age, height, dislikes/likes and any other sexual orientated things of interest...
J) Well, I am 22 years old, my height is approximately 1.78M, I have long, dark hair and brown eyes. I love (good) music and anything to do with that. I also love women a lot (maybe it's just my hormones?) I have an enormous lust for knowledge and wisdom. I like: going on a wild holiday, going out in bars or discotheques, eating at a good restaurant, sports and many, many other things. I hate: injustice, (in the wildest form), pollution, wasting time, aids and other disgusting diseases, cheese (strange for a Dutch guy to hate cheese, isn't it?) and questions like these!
D) Of course your renown for your exceptional music abilities, could you give the audience a description of your music-career to the present day, the C64 in particular?
J) The first step to enter the C64 was of course buying one, which I did at the age of twelve. The music in the games at that time were mainly directly copied "Mozart"-compositions (which I find brilliant, but they just didn't suit most of the games). I learned a bit of programming and wrote a little music-driver in basic, to create my own music. I naturally showed my first tunes to my friends and they liked it. As soon as I discovered Sound Monitor I started to compose using that program, plenty of tunes were used in demos like for example "Madonna Remix".
At a computer-meeting I met Charles Deenen (at that time called TMC/Scoop Designs) who was able to program a music-driver to suit my needs. Together we founded Maniacs of Noise. I composed the music; he created the sound effects, that was the concept. I made about ten demo-tunes to show at the PCW Show in London. I showed it to various companies, who apparently were impressed. Electronic Arts (USA) seemed to like my music so much; they even offered me to work in-house for them. Unfortunately I didn't really feel like moving to the USA at the age of fourteen. Anyhow, the first music-contracts came in instantly. A year later a lot of titles were released with my music in it. Probe Software preferred to use my music exclusively for their C64 games and got me over to England for composing a couple of times. At eighteen I signed an "in-house-contract" with Probe for a period of six months as "Computer Audio Programmer". I mainly kept composing C64 games, but I also programmed music for Nintendo and Sega-machines. The best thing about working in-house is working directly with the producers, programmers and graphic artists. After those six months I decided to move back to the Netherlands to work as a freelancer. Very regularly I flew back to London to work for Probe Software on individual games, most of them Nintendo and Sega though. Back in the Netherlands I started working for various software companies again, but in the mean time I worked on the music for video productions and later on CD-productions, TV programs, commercials etc. I was asked by Nintendo in Netherlands to produce a CD with studio-versions of well-known game-titles I composed the music for: Lethal Weapon III, Robocop III (remember Dutch Breeze?), Bram Stoker's Dracula, etc. It's been released as an exclusive item for Nintendo-club members only.
At this very moment I'm working on various projects: a sound effects CD, a library-music CD, which is mainly used for television and radio-broadcasting, last but not least a CD with "real life" JT-music, if you know what I mean. I do freelance projects next to that, including CD-I and CD-ROM, but now and then a C64 project still sneaks in too.
D) That's quite an over-whelming workload there Jeroen, glad I am not in your shoes but I would like the ca$h you get, haha! Anyway, over the years you have made quite an impact with your music, what does the future hold with the C64? What's your plans?
J) I will be composing music for the C64 as long as games are published on it, I still like working on this legendary old timer, but my mind is set to "real" music. As I mentioned earlier, I'm working on an album with songs inspired by my personal experiences and thoughts.
D) From that is there anything that gives you inspiration to do a tune or do you put your current emotions into each tune?
J) With contracted music for example games or films, I have to make music fit into the whole thing. What I normally do is imagining the situations in my fantasy and compose the music with the inspiration I get from that. When composing/writing a personal song I put my musical ideas, emotions and thoughts of that moment into it.
D) Apart from music, did you ever try to do something like coding or graphics on the C64?
J) Yes, I've been working on several projects. Concept, coding, graphics and noise were all done by me. I never had the chance to finish any of them, due to music-contracts, which I will be releasing pretty soon. It's a demo compiling a lot of my C64-music from the past to the present. Just wait and see...
D) Perhaps you will send it to me first as spreading?? :) What do you think of the illegal scene, do you think it helps or destroy the C64 as a computer format or maybe doesn't affect it at all?
J) I know that a lot of programs gained popularity due to the illegal spreading of it. If software wouldn't be available to all those who don't buy it in the first place, a lot of sales would never take place. Most people don't buy what they don't know. An illegal copy sometimes functions as a commercial. Computer games are a bit more vulnerable as soon as someone is bored with a game; he's not very likely to buy the original after playing the illegal version.
D) Interesting view, another "extension" in the C64 career would have to be the Commodore 65; the C65 may well have been the best thing for this scene, what's your view on this?
J) The C64 has been sold all throughout the world and many people have learned how to program it. An upgraded version like the C65 would put a lot of people back in the saddle. There are enough people who never bothered to learn another computer programming language after leaving the C64-scene behind and could well return to the C64/65 scene as soon as the C65 would be released.
D) What do you think of other known musicians of the past and present?
J) I think Rob Hubbard has proved to be a great composer on the C64. I found some of the tracks Tim Follin did for a couple of games absolutely smashing! Martin Galway has been a very characteristic fellow by playing around with the "octaves" all the time. From the latest generation I liked the funky stuff Johannes Bjerregaard produced.
D) Your sounds system must be quite extensive, can you please give us a list of some of the computer-hardware you own and which you prefer?
J) I'm working in a studio at the moment in which the Akai S3000 plays a very important role. This machine has been extended to a very powerful (and expensive) piece of equipment by now. For example: I can record "live" guitar-riffs, vocals and drums, but also synthesize my own sounds, put them all together using an internal mixing-display and master the song digitally on a recordable CD or directly to data. The other equipment is just as important, but boring to mention.
D) What's your personal best achievement on the C64 and why?
J) I don't like to mention one track now, but I must say I felt great satisfaction after creating the Turbo Outrun title. I came home on a Friday-night with a lot of inspiration (I still wonder why...) and in the morning it was 100% to my satisfaction! My biggest achievement though, I find to be the whole picture, or better said: the total collection of my "noise". Every track contains a piece of my heart.
D) Please feel free to say something to the entire scene, anything you want.
J) I'd like to thank you all for the appreciation I've received. I hope to please your ears even more in the future.
D) Jeroen told me that the "maniacs of noise - the video game sound makers" -CD can be ordered from the MON-studios directly, just send a money-order for DFL 40, to: Maniacs of Noise, Harmoniestraat 77, 5702 JD Helmond, The Netherlands. State: "ccd 10493". You may also order the CD by sending cash with a note stating: "I want to order CD-maniacs of noise - the video game sound makers and enclosed DFL 40, cash" + your name, age, address and signature. Either way you'll receive the CD within three weeks after payment. Postage included. Ok, pressing fire for the main menu is a wise decision, hope to have some more well known interviews in this and forth-coming issues of Domination.