Inteview with Jester

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downloadThe Jungle 1Diskmagazine
Ace - Blitter - Dream Warrior - ...
added 4/97
²Ace: First of all, please tell the readers something about yourself!
¹Jester: Hi there, my real name's Volker and I work as a musician (so they say) in Sanity. I am averagely proportioned, wear a fashionable pair of specs and have my dark brown hair parted on the left. Some months ago I entered "twendom" and in less than a year I'll study English law.

²Ace: What do you like to do in your free time, beside creating songs on Amiga?
¹Jester: Music is my one big hobby, really. Sometimes I put pen to paper to write a song (score and words) for vocals which is then arranged on my collection of synths. Afterwards I get a friend of mine to sing over the top of it. We use a large range of technical gadgets to get out a professional sound, so an incredibly high amount of work goes into these pieces. We'll probably release a demo-tape soon, so make sure you'll get a copy of this strictly limited edition.
Moreover I enjoy meeting my girlfriend or other pals of mine for chats etc - it's good fun to go out to a posh restaurant or to a theatre/cinema together with friends. I don't really like discos and parties where everyone gets terribly boozed - to me that's just vulgar. Little cafes have far more style and usually the people are a bit brighter than in ordinary pubs or discos.
Unfortunately, I'm in the social service right now (it's an option in Germany if you don't want to join the army) which means that there's also unpleasant work to do. Luckily, it's less time-demanding than school AND I even get paid for it quite well so I can actually live with that. Other things I like doing include journeys to foreign countries, writing letters with pen-pals as well as meeting and looking at people.

²Ace: You are well-known as a very good musician. When did you make your first tune?
¹Jester: Uh, that must have been back in 1988. For some strange reason I got the idea that I wanted to create music even though I didn't have the slightest clue about it. As a result of that I made my first song with Sonix. It had NO harmonies, NO structure, NO key BUT a large amount of wrong notes. Lucky me - it has never been released.
I messed around for a while and finally got out the first satisfying result of my efforts entitled "R.O.M.", which was an abbreviation of "Realm Of Morpheus". I think it can be found in Treacl's infamous "Tera Demo". Then, one and a half year later (spring'91) I had my breakthrough with my eponymous module "Elysium" for the demo with the same name.

²Ace: What kind of music do you privately like to listen to?
¹Jester: Oh, I enjoy a large variety of music, as for example, The Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths/Morrissey, New Order, Erasure, Banderas, Communards, Frankie goes to Hollywood/Holly Johnson, Alphaville, Abba, Dead Or Alive, Electronic, Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg, Peter I. Tchaikowsky and most of the early 80's pop and late 70's disco stuff.

²Ace: Have you ever made TEKKNO on the Amiga?
¹Jester: Heavens, NO! I have experimented with sounds once in a while but I have never done actual techno. Only recently I put together a weird dance-track but there's far more variation in my piece than in all those bleeding techno-tracks. You should be able to judge yourself about my interpretation of modern dance music on the "Party II" in Aars because it'll probably be released there in a demo by Anarchy Denmark.

²Ace: What do you think about TEKKNO and the number of TEKKNO-demos, -intros and -musicdisks that have been released the last few months?
¹Jester: Let me answer with another question. Why do you think people make demos like that? Correct! Because they can't do any better and because it's so damn easy to put together such steaming piles of shit. Sample of few sequences from famous Techno CDs (preferably "James Brown Is Dead"), give every sample about 10 boosts with Protracker, increase the volume of the samples so the waveforms reach out of the display window and then glue it all together on two patterns that you repeat until anyone will drop DEAF!
Get yourself a guy who has just learned how to use Seka and make him cause flashes and circles to pop up on your screen in time with the beat and VOILA! - there's your techno demo. If all these demos were properly done with a decent design and INNOVATIVE but extremely agressive music I'd definately like them but if a few dilletants try to copy someone else's ideas in a more than sad way than that's not very entertaining. Silentsexample of a well done techno-demo (on video, ok, but the ideas are what counts in the end). Finally, you have to agree that a techno-musicdisk is a contradiction in itself. Who would sit down in his room to actually LISTEN to techno?!

²Ace: Have you ever made chiptunes?
¹Jester: Yes, but only for a laugh. The tune's called "Chipmunks" and it contained 4 wonderfully noisy, peeping patterns, filled in only 15 minutes. Actually, I hate this sort of computer music and for the fact that there are a lot of people who can do better chip-pieces than I can I'll stick to the real thing. The only tracks I favour in that genre have been composed on the good old C64 by living legends like Rob Hubbard or Martin Galway. They're just too good.

²Ace: What do you think is your best tune, when did you make it and how long did it take?
¹Jester: To be honest, I can't tell you. I used to think it was "Wizardry" which was composed over a period of three months because every time I listened to it I found something to add or to change until finally it seemed alright to me. But when I listen to it nowadays I'm not so fond of it anymore because I have progressed a lot in the year since I wrote it.
Another thing that has to do with the estimation of my own songs is the mood I'm in when listening to them. Due to this fact there's a variety of my musics that I like best. Among them are "Taste of your tears" (unreleased), "Optimum Fuckup" (for the demo with the same name - it astounded me that the critiques were so negative), "The Molecule's Revenge" (unreleased) and perhaps "My Glamorous Life" (released on the "Jesterday" musicdisk). After all, you can't name this list "official" because my likings might change from one day to another.

²Ace: What kind of style do you like best, and whose (musicians') work do you like or respect the most?
¹Jester: I love musics with a nice groove and a proper melody. These features can be found in a number of styles like disco, rock, pop, jazz or whatever, so there's no particular genre that I'd proclaim to be the best. Still I'm very much into disco-stuff because of the brasses and the kicking drums. So, in order to please me a piece of music has got to have some funny and original ideas in it and a worthy overall presentation to it.
Amiga musicians who manage to give me a good time are Mantronix/Tip/Firefox ("Overload" and "Enigma" are DEAD good), Moby ("Knulla Kuk" is a classic), Romeo Knight ("Cream Of The Earth" is still one of the best!), Bruno ("Stor Och Liten" is originality in itself), 4-Mat (great melodies in "Phantasmagoria" and still going strong), Nightlight ("Chant" will stay on my mind forever). The most promising newcomer is to my mind Lizardking. I'm sure he has a bright future. I scorn music that is either ridiculously happy or incredibly boring (without a melody for ages, typical diskmag crap!).

²Ace: Have you ever made musics for a game or thought about working for a software-company?
¹Jester: Yet, I've not been involved in the game industry but I've worked with a programmer on a game. Sadly, he sold his computer when he joined the army and so the project was cancelled. There have been offers from several firms but I did not agree to work with them because their conditions were too bad or because I did not like the project itself.
Now I'm in contact with a few coders who have asked me about a soundtrack for their games so we'll see how it all works out. Furthermore have just become a member of a label for commercial Amiga musics. So, if you need a good music for a production then feel free to contact me:

DENS Design Germany

Volker Tripp
In Der Ziegelheide 15
4290 Bocholt

Int. Code: +49-2871-14692

²Ace: How long does it normally take for you to create a tune?
¹Jester: That depends very much on the tune itself and on my grade of motivation. Averagely, it takes me about an afternoon or an evening for the rough structure and then about two more afternoons for correcting the details and eventually changing bits in the score.

²Ace: How often do you make music?
¹Jester: Not often enough! My time is very limited, you know, so if there is a free afternoon/evening I'll mostly spend it in front of my machine. Sometimes this happens twice a week but sometimes it only happens twice a month. I wish I could do it regularly for it's such a good feeling to have a creative outlet.

²Ace: What hardware do you use (computer,keyboards,...)?
¹Jester: An ordinary A500 with 1 meg plus an external drive and a DeLuxe Sound sampler. I've also got a MIDI interface to create music with a Roland D10 and a Yamaha TG33. Sometimes I borrow synths from friends so I've got a larger variety of sounds (Korg, Ensoniq, Akai machines). For the making of my music for vocals I also use a Fostex 4 track recorder, a Boss compressor/limiter, a Yamaha effects processor, a microphone (of course!) and a Technics DAT.

²Ace: How long do you know Diddle who lives in your town?
¹Jester: I think I've known him since 1987 because at the time he got all his games from me (hehe!). Then we both lost interest in playing games and we focused on the demo scene. It was much more exciting because suddenly there was a way of creating something yourself and also showing it to other people. We went through a number of groups together until we ended up being members of Sanity. Nowadays we organize things in our team and are what is usually known as the HQ of a group.

²Ace: How did it start with Sanity, have you been one of the first members or did you join a few days later?
¹Jester: When I joined in at the beginning 1991 Sanity was a rather big group and they had only released one proper demo called "Dee Groove" by Panther. He and Chaos asked me to do the music for their next project which was the "Elysium" demo that made Sanity famous. I have no idea when Sanity was originally founded but who cares, anyway. As most of you will remember Sanity died and some members (including me) went to Rebels. Soon after that some of the old staff decided to resurrect our old group and so Sanity was refounded. The only "old" members were Chaos, Diddle, Cruiser, Mr.Pet and me. So, there are not many "oldtimers" left now.

²Ace: If the Amiga dies, are you going to buy a new or another system?
¹Jester: I cannot say, actually. Perhaps I'd quit computer music completely and do "real" music only then. If there are extremely good hardware features about a new machine I might buy it but I've never really thought about that.

²Ace: What do you think about the new Amiga-series?
¹Jester: I've got no idea about it!

²Ace: Ok,thank you for the interview. Do you have some last greetings or messages?
¹Jester: First of all, thanks for such a nice interview - it was fun to answer your questions! Just a few quick notes to some friends:

Steve: Hoip, mate! Had another stunning time in England. Great food, really. Thanks again for the gorgeous pressy and for hours of fun (?!). My best wishes to Paul, Bob, Andy, Ron, Erroll and of course to the family. Keep those graphical bits coming since they manage to brighten up my day.

Alex: Salut, mon copain. Thanks for your last sending including the incredible "Matis". And please don't forget my request about drawing by hand.

Bastian: Nun bist Du ja auch endlich dabei! Schick doch mal ein paar neue Routinen.

Jochen und Joerg: Was trinken Behinderte am liebsten? PULLE AAAAAAAASEE!

Filippo: Ciao, ragazzo. Claudia Schiffer is just plain stupid, man!

Peter and Sergio: Eeek! The kings of coitus interruptus ... and now perhaps even the kings of cunnilingus?!?! Lucky you!