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One On One With V-12
by DJ Gruby/Oxyron

We in "Attitude" like to inspire our articles with a little bit of controversy. We sure prefer it over uinteresting stories and boring usual everyday stuff. That is why I hope you will enjoy reading this interview with a person who is considered to be one of the most controversial C64 sceners in Poland of these days. Perhaps you've heard more about him when he was using his previous handle, Murdock. Hereby I give you the one of a kind chance of getting to know him better!

D: We have never been good friends, have we?

V: Well, it's a matter of what you really understand about the meaning of "friend" word. Friend for me is someone who is really close person for which I can trust, count on him, etc. I'm not sure if you should ask about our personal relations, which belong to us. But well, yes - we had some misunderstandings in the past. That's normal in humans' relations.

But one thing I cannot deny - thanks to you and your papermag "Fuzz" I'm on the C64 scene. :)

D: Speaking about misunderstandings, is there anything particular on your mind?

V: I'm the person who does not keep misunderstandings all the time in his mind. And I really can't recall any situation now. Why should I? We'd better move forward with our life and stop living the past.

D: Well, I thought you might be having some matter-of-fact arguments in support of your thesis. You bring some undefined misunderstandings back, then you cannot recall any specific issue, and you propose to move on and forget. Seems to me like there is nothing to forget?

V: Nice provocation. :) It's even funny to observe how you are trying to create your own image of my person, according to the view of the past. This is not my intention now to recall any of personal misunderstandings between me and you, because I'm sure that everything has got explained long time ago. :)

D: I am happy too that you are having fun. Unfortunately, either my short- or long-term memories do not help in recalling any kind of your made-up explanations. This is not about creating anyone's image, this is about getting things straight. Are you claiming that it is okay to insult people and then act like nothing has really ever happened, so everyone should just look into the future? Forget the past?

V: People are acting very strange nowadays. For example take a look at Polish politicians. They are using some dirty tricks to recall the past. But you must know that any person can change. Everyday we change, and from the biological and psychological view everything is understandable. Our behaviour depends on lots of things. People around us affects everything. Sometimes we just need to grow up, sometimes we just need to change the environment.

Everything can change - humans relations, culture, morality. And we cannot live with these all in the past. We can remember something, but we should forgive. If you can't do that and if you are still living the past, there must be something wrong with you.

Anyway, if I kept everything from the past in my mind, I wouldn't even agree to be interviewed here.

D: Why are you saying this?

V: Simply, because this means that we shouldn't keep any anger, grievances and whatever else from the past in ourselves. I do believe that people can change. For example if I was quite bad or angry at someone 10 years ago, why I should be still bad for him, after so long time? I simply can't do that. Maybe others do, but that's not my problem.

I hope that you are getting the meaning of this. I don't talk about denying the past, of course! But simply I can't understand some people, who are still keeping some old craps in their heads.

The best way is to go down with this sort of things, to say sorry whenever is possible, and to move forward with our life, what I've mentioned before.

D: The C64 scene does not have much in common with politics (or at least I hope so!). The attitude I personally dislike is generalizing instead of focusing on the actual facts. To give you an example, I remember your three-years-ago accusations of me doing permanent self-voting. Soon after the last edition of North Party we could read the official statement from its organizers: "Congratulations for those who have voted for themselves, what was aganist the rules: 1. V-12 [Murdock] / Tropyx for his group's demo and for his music compo entry." Criticize others, do it yourself? It sounds like a little bit of hypocrisy, doesn't it?

V: How many people played badly on the scene? Stealing tunes, code, lame rips and probably more tricks all around the world. It's funny for example, how some self-called graphicians are stealing the images from others... But we talk about self-voting?

I'm wondering how many people voted for themselves anywhere. I saw so many people doing that, when I was counting the votesheets on parties, etc. Will you ever confess, that you've been doing it too, at least one time? Probably not, because you are too much afraid about opinions about yourself. But don't worry, I'm not going to talk about this. I don't need to rise my self esteem with kicking someone's ass.

That official statement from North Party organizers was simply a distraction from their mistakes during organising the whole event. I was for example pissed off that my both tunes got cut while listening (my sample tune got played for example only for a few seconds!). That was the reason why I put some numbers upon my compo entries, but they've not been the highest possible ones.

The statement of organizers was a clever and psychological trick. It reminds me again political arena, where tricks like this are common. Even me, who knew about who was voting for himself in the past, never recalled this information to the public as an official statement.

Personally I think the whole system of voting will never be fair, even if we give the official acquiescence for self-voting. Because everyone has their own tastes and let me ask: what really means that someone has 10 points and other has 5? Personally I think that self-voting isn't that bad, but only if you have some kind of criticism for what you are doing. I can confess that I voted for myself on that party which you've mentioned, but the organizers was talking only about self-voting, not about the values of the points, which even didn't affected the final results.

And if you talk about little hypocrisy, why don't you ask yourself about the same (lemme just recall one event: Symphony 2005 party in Poland)?

D: I cannot ask myself about Symphony 2005, because I was dead-drunk and I do not remember it. But hey, wait... Wasn't it the party, where you were so angry with me only just because your demo ended up ranked behind my demo in the compo?

V: Symphony 2005 was really a cool party. I remember the guys throwing you up at the party place. :) Actually if I really was angry on you, maybe one and only reason was because unfortunately I saw your filled votesheet. :D You won the demo compo, and that's okay now. At that time I felt quite disappointed, but this is typical for the scene rivarly. Nobody likes to loose. :) In fact, maybe it's good that my demo got 2nd place. Otherwise you could tell then that *someone* was cheating.

D: You don't know what could I say, but OK. Let us change the subject a little. You had been a member of plenty scene groups, Cascade, HVSC Crew, Nostalgia, and Oxygen, just to name a few. What was the reason behind leaving this all behind and going for your own team?

V: Plenty is too hard word, but yes - I've been a member of quite a few other groups in the past. The most important reason of staying only in my own group was just about the friendship. Believe me, it's not possible to have good relationships when you are only sending emails to other members. Good group cannot be just a label, but something where good friends are and they meet each other. Of course, still I didn't met all of the members from my group in real life, but I'm planning to do that in future.

I've decided to focus only on my group, but I'm still supporting my friends from other groups. I don't need to have plenty of labels upon my nickname to do that.

D: Is there anything wrong with multiple group membership? Even some members of your team do it, for example Klax, JSL, and Warlock are members of three or more labels, so they do not quite follow your philosophy.

V: Did I said that it was wrong? There are some groups in the scene which follow the rule not to have multiple group membership, for example Onslaught did it in the past (I don't know, how it's now).

But everyone has his own philosophy, taste, opinion! This is how the humanity is created. I don't follow with someone else's taste. If I keep my own rule, it doesn't mean that I must press others to change their minds.

Anyway, without the CSDb you wouldn't even know, who is in which group. :)

Looking deeply into this problem, we can consider it in the context of being solidary with just one group.

D: You might have not said it was wrong to be a member of more than one group. But I clearly remember your attacks against my humble person just for being a member of Oxyron, charging me with no care for friendship just because of that. Wasn't it simply a jealousy that you could never join a group of that level?

V: I really never felt jealousy about that, because there was really no reason. I don't think that I'd attacked you about that, but perhaps I've been only using some kind of irony. Come on! You are still living the past.

Many of people laughed that you quit other groups and joined Oxyron. Personally now I don't care. Maybe you wanted to rise your self esteem with things like that? But I think that running away from Polish scene for "better" friends was only caused by psychological reasons. It goes the same with your surname - you changed it from "Pain" to "King".

D: All right, you got me here! :) Trust me, this is much better feeling to be the "King" than to be a "Pain". ;) Well, I'm not a sociologist. You are. So I'm not going to question your conclusion. But let's talk about the C64 scene and your group Tropyx. According to the CSDb, which you have mentioned before, you have founded your group in 1995. 15 years ago? Wow! That must be a long story. What was/is your greatest achievement? Who was/is your most valuable member?

V: Yes, we are now celebrating 15 years of founding the Tropyx group. Sometimes I think that the time is running too fast. My greatest achievement was my debut in the competition at a C64 party. It was in 2000 year and my 64k demo took 1st place at North Party 6! I really didn't expected that, moreover I was afraid that my debut demo would not be accepted positively.

But the most important thing for me is that I've never expected that so many people will join my group to work together. We are good friends and friendship is most important thing for us! And still we want to do some C64 stuff and we always have fun from that!

Every member is really valuable, because we all are creating the group of friends. :)

D: Do you have any regrets regarding the past 15 years of your group? Like some unrealized chances for a better development? Or has everything been always going according to the plan?

V: I don't have any regrets, because things are going on and sometimes we just cannot have an impact on some events that happens. I can only say that it's a pity that some people left the scene without saying any word, like for example Fazi, whose skills were growing up and he was stepping forward into a very good and skilled graphic artist. One day he just dropped everything and never again replied to my letters. His really good hi-res graphics can be watched in Paintings II/Tropyx.

Not everything in group has been always going according to the plan, because of other people, but it happens everywhere. I remember for example coding and linking "That Way" demo - one week before deadline for various reasons I couldn't receive the rest of the effects from two coders and my plans got changed, but finally I decided to finish that demo. It was quite stressing! I hope that in future the things will go better and without any problems. :)

I can understand that for some people C64 was only just a period in their lifes and we just cannot change that. :)

D: How would you summarize past 15 years of your activities in the C64 scene? How much have you learned? How much have your skills progressed during that time? Have you had any crucial moment(s) in your scene career?

V: Let me clean some doubts: in the C64 scene I'm officially since 1999. :) But my first contact with scene was back in 1998. First years since I got my C64 in 1993 was just an underground period of my C64 activity, filled with programming in Basic language. When I've joined the C64 scene, I've also started to learn how to code in Assembler. For sure my skills rised up with time and I've learned a lot about coding. If I only had more spare time for C64, perhaps my skills would be even much higher.

I had some crucial moments in my scene career. I think that every C64 project was very important to me. I have always been able to go with new ideas, learn something new and make the progress of what I'm doing. And the most important for me was always (and still is) to make things just for fun and simply enjoy doing new stuff on a real C64. I don't need any comments, votes for that - the most important is what is inside of me and this can never be voted or commented by anyone. This is just an art!

I remember when I was working on my own version of Boulder Dash. It was back in 1999 and I remember that I've succeeded with beat the structure of caves location in memory. All caves and intermissions I've created under machine language monitor, like first crackers back in 80's!

Second important moment in my scene career was about to join Nostalgia group, about which I always dreamed. It was really nice to be there and make some stuff for this group!

Also one of my big success was to release modified version of Traz game called Traz 3, which contains new screens and replacement of music.

I've been also nicely surprised when I've got invited for organizing C64 competitions on a few multiplatform parties in Poland. It was really a nice experience for me and I'm glad that I could work together with some cool people.

There was also one important event in my scene life - playing my first live concert at Symphony 2003 together with Krzyz:Kross. I remember this very well and it was really a fantastic experience!

I had also one crisis in my C64 scene career. It was after releasing my first trackmo called "Time For Torment". I got burned out because doing this release absorbed too much of my energy. Luckily I did only a short break from C64 and later started to make new stuff again.

But talking about crucial moments in my scene career I can only tell something about C64 parties once again. The biggest experience was to meet a lot of famous sceners at X 2004 and Floppy 2005. Really unique mood, great relations, long chats, peace and respect. I wish to meet you all guys again in the future!

D: So how would you compare the position of you and your group in a demo scene hierarchy, for example between 10 years back and now? Do you feel that your name and name of your group are now better recognized and more respected? Can you say that you owe it to someone or is it your personal and individual achievement?

V: Although my group gained some success in the C64 scene during last 10 years, I don't try to put it into a hierarchy, or whatever like that. Talking about who is the best or not will always lead to misunderstandings, because everyone has its own taste. I'm happy for the fact that my group has been the most active Polish group since long time and we are still working on some new releases.

I think that yes - the name of my group is more recognizable now and it's a really a pleasure to sometimes see Tropyx in the greeting parts of some Western demos. This is a success of a whole group but I can confess that without my engagement, hard work and giving some motivation for the members, we couldn't be here where we still are.

D: Any recent projects you are involved in?

V: Yes, of course! I'm actually doing or planning a couple of new releases, because mainly I want to celebrate 15 years of my group.

Beyond the C64 scene I'm also active with more interesting projects, such as my homepage http://www.riversedge.pl/ where you can find a lot of articles, interviews, gallery, reports and of course C64 stuff! I'm also editor of "Portal Milosnikow Prawobrzeza" http://www.prawobrzeze.eu/ where together with my friends I'm working on preserving the history of Prawobrzeze (part of my town Szczecin) from oblivion.

Also I'm actively cooperating with some musicians or music bands, such as Polish legend rock band from Tarnow called Ziyo, Audio Dealers (famous breakbeat group) and Helbot (progressive breaks). I'm the supporter of Szczecinska Gielda Plytowa in my town, and moreover I'm working with a lot of other projects, which some of them will be presented to the public in near future.

Everything what I'm doing are totally non-commercial stuff.

D: Can you share some details with our readers? Or is it a secret and you want to keep it dark? ;)

V: I do never spread any official infos about my projects. I do like surprises. :)

D: You made quite a surprise when you'd changed your handle. What was the reason behind it? Hiding from the past?

V: I've just came back to my old handle V-12 in 2006 (which I've invented in 1995 when creating my group Tropyx), because something bad happened in my life. I wanted to forget about that, so I needed some changes. I never regret that I'd decided to be V-12 again. I just wanted to continue what I'd started in 1995 and I'm doing that well nowadays. I'm glad that many people still recognize me as V-12 from the good old times of primary school.

D: ...And with this positive accent I would like to conclude our little chit-chat. Any last words to the "Attitude #10" readers?

V: I would like to invite all Attitude readers to visit my http://www.riversedge.pl/ homepage, which has English version got launched in December 2009. I'm doing small progress with translating most important pages, but expect more new interesting articles, reports and interviews there!

See ya in some C64 party and greetings to all!

D: Thank you for your time and for this interview. Have a happy New Year 2010!

V: Also thank you for this interview and I wish you good luck with new issue of "Attitude"!

Interview conducted on the 31st of December, 2009.

Best regards,
DJ Gruby/Oxyron.

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