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Interview With BHF/Hoaxers
by Motion/Triad

Ladies and gentlemen, it's an honour to introduce BHF - whom I first met at DATASTORM 2012. However, we didn't get properly aquainted until the storm in 2013.

Hi and thanks! My name is Bard Harald Fosse and I grew up in Trondheim, Norway. I think I'm more recognized by my scenehandle, BHF of Hoaxers.

You know, Bard... Once a little bird whispered in my ear that you had been stashing hardware around the deep forests of Trondheim. Was this some kind of strategy during the cold war or just ordinary insanity?

In Sweden we had many of these mobile infantery storage facilities. Dunno about the amount of 64's in them though. What is your comment on this?

Haha, yeah, it's actually true. The thing is, my parents didn't allow me to keep a computer at home, due to some strange anti-data/hippie/Rudolf Steiner (*) beliefs. This had the effect that I spent most days after school to visit friends and also shops, just to gain access to play with computers.

I had been using the Spectrum 48k a lot, together with many different machines like Amstrad, Spectravideo, Dragon, BBC, West, Oric etc. I learned BASIC and some machine code too, but what I really wanted was a C-64. I already had an Epyx Fastloader and later an Action Replay, but no machine of my own.

I spent over a year to collect bottles for recycling, delivering the morning paper and did what I could to raise money for a breadbox, a diskdrive and a Commodore monitor.

So, before I could bring the hardware to my home I actually hid it in the forest right where I lived, and when night came I sneaked out the window to bring it inside. I believe this was in the end of 1986.

It actually took my mother half a year to discover what I had hidden in my wardrobe, each day I would take it out and when finished using it, I put it back in hiding. I have three brothers and they finished school earlier in the day than I did, and my parents thought it was odd that they were spending all time down in my room and that's how it was discovered.

How old were you then? And what did mother say?

I guess I was around 15 and my mother didn't like computers, but she was way too late. I had already had the machine for half a year and there was no way I was getting rid of it now. They eventually accepted my hobby, thankfully! :)

What we often call "the scene" today is pretty well defined, which I would like to say it wasn't back then. So, how did you "come in contact" with it?

I got some cracks and demos from various friends who knew some mail swappers. I had earlier seen a lot of cracks from Eagle Soft and other groups who fascinated me, so I started writing letters to people in Denmark and England and started swapping.

Ah, I see. So, and then what?

Me and my friend THA founded a group, we called ourselves the Happy Hippies and released a BASIC-demo around christmas 1986. Pretty lame stuff, but we all had to start somewhere.

And then, as I got to know Buzz from LCS and later Abnormal, I really started to learn machine code and also came in contact with ZTH in THF/Abnormal, Network, Razor 1911, Hoaxers and other local groups.

Trent was a local friend that knew a lot about computers, and we did much c64 work together in Traxion which he joined in 1988.

Trent and me joined Hoaxers in 1989, we previously founded Traxion back in late 1987, released a few demos and other stuff by summer 1989. Later more members from Traxion came along and joined our crazy family.

I remember you had a Swedish board, The Highway and Joyride was Sysop. You advertised the BBS in some one-file demos as well.

Yeah. That happened at the end of my "first sceneperiod" in 91 or something. Not sure if I ever called it, other things had my attention in those years.

Speaking about that, for how long did you stay away from the commodore 64?

Well, I guess you can say it started again in 2010 when some of the guys from Offence asked if I wanted to tag along to X in Netherlands. And as the beer was for free, I thought "hell, why not?". I was shocked when I saw the progress that had been taking place during my "little break". I had big problems understanding how it was possible to make such advanced demos that was filled with awesome sound and graphics. MUCH had changed since I left the 64 scene.

I think I hadn't seen any demos on the 64 since 1992-93 and this really inspired me. Offence won the democompo that year and Mahoney released his amazing Cubase64 as well.

So, when I came home I threw myself over the phone and started calling old scenefriends, I was full of energy and excitement. I think Firehawk decided to return within 10 seconds, almost like he was waiting for a excuse to return to activity again. I also made a small QR-code intro that was released under the Hoaxers and Abnormal label, to inform people that we were -maybe- working on our return. :)

Yeah, speaking about Norwegian sceners, why don't you share with the readers the reason that so many Norwegians are using "real names"?

Well, I think the reason was that several sceners founded legal groups doing games and demos. One example was Panoramic Designs which was created in the end of 1989. It was a 100% legal group and they used real names. At the time there were also a trend with ending the group or name with "Design". :)

If we jump to more recent history, since Hoaxers resurrected four years ago, you have done not less than seven demos/intros of varying size, maybe with Frontier , the REU-demo beeing the highlight. Besides that, graphics and music releases and what not. From a coma the length of the average life expectancy during the neolithic era to a pretty productive group is very impressive.

Hehe! I would like to add that the future might bring some previously unreleased stuff from us, that was actually finished back in the days.. I guess it is safe to say that when autumn comes, we will see...

Interesting, interesting. Let me have a small peek. :)

Anyhow, what about that party in Huddinge 1991, large buses arriving overfilled with hedon tr0nders (Norwegian for people from Trondheim and around) featuring mullets, wooden clogs, moonshine and some zoofili VHS tapes playing on the "bus amusement center" for many hours.. Any comments?

This was a party arranged by Horizon, and some 30 of us had rented a bus, both Amiga and C-64 scene people. Some did bring a 25 l. container of the local "privately distilled" on the bus, none was left after the party. There were a lot of funny and somewhat childish things that happened at the Huddinge party. We can laugh about it today though.

Keywords were: Zeb/Abnormal acting as a local guard, taking care of all the Elephant Beer from Beyond Force and drank it up. ZTH with some aggro moves over at Flash Inc's, Shrimpcheese between folderdoors, pissing on holy bibles and frantic Eprom burning. A holy mix of Jamaican sun, beer, moonshine, c64 modding and coding, electronics and drunken dancing in the basement.

You've always been a lot into music in various forms and also play a few instruments?

Yes, I did play the Soprano, Alt and Sopranino wooden flute for many years, and later the clarinet. Playing lots of classical stuff like Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, Bach etc. My first job back in 1983 was for the Trondelag Theather and I played the wooden flute. The play was called "Cyrano de Bergerac". When my hair reached my ass, the bass and Heavy metal was the "new" thing.

Electronic music also had a huge impact on me. Have always been a Kraftwerk supporter together with Tangerine Dream, Jarre, Brian Eno etc. In 1992 a DJ friend and me arranged the first house/techno club in Trondheim. It was on a Thursday and only lasted for some hours. Almost 8 people showed up, and the owner shut us down. But we did move to Oslo later in 1993 and I startet DJing with my trusted 1210s from 94. Almost all my money was used on electronic gear like the 303, 606, 707, 808, 909, Akai samplers, Moog synths, Oberheims etc. A total of 35+ pieces of fun and a studio to go, but I still cant find any of the DATs from that time. Most of the time we didn't make music either, but walked on the "wild side" of partying. But it all ended in 1998, and life got a bit easier.

It's time to wrap this up! I'm well late with this (and all other) articles for this issue, so for closing comments - or if you like, what is "the state of the union"?

We in Hoaxers have a new co-cop with the great Swedish Amigagroup Insane. The idea behind this, besides that they are very nice guys, is that it could be fun to make things for the Amiga under the Insane label, and they can help Hoaxers with 64 productions, SID and graphics. Looking forward to this and maybe we will say hello from a great Amiga production soon!


(*) Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, esotericist and social reformer who promoted his own line of thought, beginning in the early 1900's. His anthroposophical movement is one of the major influences on the wider and more modern new age movement. The Waldorf educational system is also based on his philosophy. Among other thoughts, children are not encouraged to learn to read "too early", nor is technical devices such as computers and televisions considered to be beneficial and thus often absent in Waldorf schools. Use of computers is generally not accepted until the pupil is in high-school.

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