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Interview With Zeitgeist
by Cactus/Samar

Interviews are very important part of every disk magazine. Also "Attitude" gives you some... In this chapter you can meet with Zeitgeist.

May be he's not the most popular C-64 scener, but interviewing him was a pleasure. I'd like to bring you closer to German coder, swapper and group's leader: Zeitgeist of Civitas.

? - interviewer, Cactus/Samar

! - interviewed, Zeitgeist/Civitas

?: Hello Hiram. At first tell us something about yourself...

!: Ah, I hate this question :-). Still I think there's hardly any interview that comes along without it, hehe. Okay, my real name is Hiram Kumper, but in the scene I'm known (or rather unknown) as Zeitgeist of Civitas. I'm 20 years old and just finished my alternative service in a home for old, insane people. In autumn this year I'll be going to university to study philosophy, history and may be Latin there. Well, the choice of subjects isn't too clear yet - still I have 4 months to change my mind. I live in Bochum, which is a 400000-people town in the Ruhr area in western Germany. Anything more about me to tell?! Don't know - I think I'm quite a boring person.

?: How long have you been on the scene and why did you choose C-64?

!: I can't quite remember when I really entered the scene - might be 1989 or 1990. Anyway, I was quite young at that time. I chose the C-64, simply because I didn't had enough money to buy an Atari, which I favoured at that time. My parents wouldn't give me any money to buy "a compuuuuuter", so I had to save all the money I got for birthday and all from my grandparents, so that I could afford a cheap sixtyfour with a disk drive.

?: As the leader of Civitas group, could you say something more about it (e.g. how and when did the group born...)?

!: Of course I could. Well, Civitas was born in 1996 when I realized that high-tech, the group I was member of at that time, was dieing slowly. I figured the magazine Publication, I had founded together with Robin Hood (who's left scene ages ago), would be groupless then so I founded my own group to release it with them. So that was the quite unspectacular birth of Civitas. Anyone who's interested in the history of this perfectly boring group may check it out on our website :-). By gaining our most active member Puterman, a coder and composer from Sweden, we turned out to be a demo-group at last, hehe. Yes, we've released some smaller demos since then and we're working heavily on our new trackmo for the LCP-Party this summer.

?: What are your interestings out of C-64?

!: Music mostly ... Listening to it, playing it, writing it. I'm very much into doing orchester-arrangements and all that music-theory stuff. People may find that strange, but I enjoy doing such things. Also I spend some times reading good books, mostly in English language, because it has its own beauty compared to my motherlanguage German.

?: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have any favourite bands?

!: Mostly I listen to various jazz-records. Joe Pass is one of my favourites (all of you, who are interested in jazz should chec out his duets with Ella Fitzgerald), but also a bunch of other guitarists whose styles I find interesting. And of course, like most jazzers, I adore Coltrane. Apart from that I was into listening to Eric Clapton a long time.

?: You play guitar... How long?

!: Well, about 5 or 6 years. I started playing the violin at the age of five. It was common for our family to play at least one instrument, so I had to learn one, too :-). After 10 years I somewhat got stucked with that violin and burried it somewhere in the depth of my closet. But that was in puberty, where most people probably get stucked by classical music. Now from a somewhat more distanced viewpoint I must say that I definitely gained a lot also for my musicial ambition now. Once you've overcome the basics on one instrument, it's not too hard to switch to any other, you know? So now I'm also frequently playing the piano, the bass and sometimes also the drums.

?: Tell us something more about your own jazz quartet...

!: Is that of any interest, hehe? So well... I started out in various bands and combos when I was still in school. I've never played in that typical garage-rock-combo, as most teenagers probably do, but I got to know heaps of other musicians and lots of other styles. What caught me first was the blues. This happened when I listened to Eric Clapton's unplugged album, which some of you might probably know. So I got hold of a transcription practiced until I would play all the songs in there by heart. Still I think if you wake me up in the middle of the night and put a guitar in my hand I will instantly start playing "Layla", hehe. It didn't last too long when I got infected by jazz. This had to be somewhen, because one of my elder brothers is a quite well-known jazz-pianist in our area. On the other hand he is on a level I may possibly never reach, so this is demotivating sometimes. "Die Quinparallelen", my own jazz-quartett, was found last year, having clarinet, piano and drums beside guitar. We do play a lot of those very amusing, but not that sophisticated German tunes from the 20's, because they're so awefully entertaining and fit very well for weddings and parties. No "giant steps" to be heard mostly...

?: Let's get back into C-64. Why, do you think, our computer is still popular in 21st century?

!: There's a tendency to be recognized everywhere: people do things they don't understand. It's all that wysiwyg and that stuff... You do things and see how they turn out, but you don't understand why they do so anymore. On the sixtyfour there's still the possibilty to really dig into what you're doing. It's a feeling of "power" one never can get when using a PC, because in that case it's mostly the PC that has power over you :-). Plus that the sixtyfour offers a possibilty of gaining some respect even if you're not among the top-elite, which is very hard on the commercialized PC-sector.

?: How long, do you expect, the C-64 scene will exist?

!: Can I honestly answer this question without getting beaten up by some hardcore freaks, hehe :-) ? Nope, seriously: I think the scene will last for another five or six years at least, but it'll get smaller by time of course. Not too much newcomers will enter the scene lately, but perhaps that doesn't do too much to the machine. Scene will get more professional, so to speak, because the real freaks, that remain on the sixtyfour will improve their skills immensly - and still I think there's more to come from the coder's site than just ugly conversions of PC-effects.

?: What can we expect in the future from you and from Civitas?

!: It's depending on when this interview will be published. Currently there's our new trackmo "Clown" in the making, which probably will be released at LCP2001. After that there surely will be new demo-projects done by our most active coder Puterman. Our German diskmag "Publication" is said to get a new outfit somewhen and along with that will go multi-lingual, so perhaps all the non-German-speaking readers may hear more of it in the future.

?: Now tell us your favourites...

Demo Group - definitely Crest, but I very much adore Wrath Design, too, and Triad, Booze Design and The Force are also among my favourites.

Cracking Group - ...I'm not into playing games, so I don't check out any cracks. The Remember-warez seem to be of very high qualitiy though.

Coder - I can't really tell... Among from "The God" Crossbow, it's mostly Hoogo/Padua, which I favour very much, not only for his great tools, but there are lots of others, too... No, I really can't tell. :-)

Graphician - I like all the guys that do tremendous things with the elder gfx-modes, e.g. Sander/Focus is really great. But also Valsary, Cupid and Exile I do like very much. Not to forget Aeg, who is really a good painter, although I don't like his style of coding very much ('though it's highly advanced of course).

Musician - I'm not too much a fan of computer-music, but whenever I turn up the volume at my monitor it's surely something -entertaining- playing, not one of those techno-tunes. So Mitch&Dane are among my favourites and although Richard/Tnd or Wacek. Sometimes when I'm in the mood I enjoy listening to Ed/WD, too, although you can't really call his tunes "entertaining". :-)

Demonstration - a very long time that was "Style Overdose" from Xenon, which it still is in a way, I think. But it shares places with "We failed!" from Patience. Sadly I lost this demo, so if anyone out there has it (it wasn't really spread well), please contact me. Well, and of course now it's "Royal Arte" that's been amazing me since its release...

Disk Magazine - well, I -love- the "C= Hacking", but that obviously can't be called a diskmag. :-)

?: Anything more you would like to tell our readers?

!: If I may I'd like to use this for free advertising, hehe :-). Nope, it's just that Civitas still is searching for new friendly and active members to join our forces. We'll have various demo and other projects running in the future, so be sure you won't be out of work after having joined us. We definitly need new coders and graphicians, but also musicians are welcomed of course. Anyone should feel free to contact me, I don't bite anyone's head off - but I'll reply 100% for sure.

?: That was the last "question". Thank you very much for this interesting interview. Take care and keep C-64 alive!

!: Thank you very much. I enjoyed doing this interview, the more as I had several cups of coffee while writing it - that always makes such an relaxing atmosphere. :-)


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