Inteview with Dr. Awesome (Bjørn A. Lynne)

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Interview with Bjørn A. Lynne

Done by Wolfman / Balance

If  someone  should  not  recognize the
name,  we  might  give you a good clue.
Crusaders....   Not  good  enough?  Dr.
Awesome...   UPS!   Well, we managed to
get  an  interview  with him, and right
now - You're reading it.

(BLC   =  Wolfman / Balance)
(BJøRN =  Bjørn "Dr. Awesome" Lynne)

BLC:   So  Bjørn, most oldtimers in the
scene  should  remember you, but please
introduce  yourself shortly to the ones
who just got here.

BJØRN:   Well, I have been in the Amiga
scene for an EXTREMELY long time, and I
have  been  actively  making music ever
since  I  got  my  first Amiga in 1987.
Back  then,  we were trying to find new
ways   of   getting  the  most  out  of
Soundtracker  v1.2 and so on..!  I know
very  few,  if  any  at  all,  who have
actually  been  involved with the Amiga
scene  for  as  long  as  I.   For many
years,  I was the main driving force in
The Crusaders, main editor of the first
ever  Amiga  scene chart, The Crusaders
EuroChart,  and  so  on.   Later  on, I
started   to  get  more  interested  in
making   music  with  synthesizers  and
professional equipment, so I started to
move  into  that  area.   In the summer
1991, I released a cassette with synth-
music,  simply  called Bjørn Lynne Demo
Tape.  In the autumn 1992, I released a
CD   called   "Hobbits   &  Spaceships"
together  with  my  friend  and  fellow
"Crusader",  Fleshbrain.  All the time,
I  also  continued  to  make  music  on
Protracker,   for   games,   demos  and
magazines.  And right now, I am just in
the   process   of   releasing   a  new
cassette,  which is a soundtrack that I
have  made;  "Brave New Virtual World".
All  of these tapes and CD's, etc.  are
for  sale, and nearly everyone who buys
them  are Amiga-freaks who know my work
in   the   Amiga-scene   from  all  the
Crusaders  demos,  music  disks, and so

BLC:  You've been away from the scene a
while,   or  at  least  you  have  kept
yourself out of the spotlight, so may I
ask you:  How old are you by now?

BJØRN:   27.  You might say that I grew
up  in  the  Amiga scene, I guess, I've
been here since I was about 19.

BLC:  Aha, and what are you doing these

BJØRN:   Well, to make a living, I have
a  quite  boring  job,  but  when I get
home,  I spend as much time as possible
with   music.   I  use  the  Amiga  for
everything,  and  I  try to squeeze the
best  possible  sound  and music out of
it.   The  Amiga can really kick ass if
you   hook   it   up   to  a  bunch  of
synthesizers, etc.

BLC:   I  really  hate to drill in your
personal life to much, but as far as we
(and  the  rest of the scene) have been
informed,  you're married.  Tell us how
you feel about that.  (Weird question?)

BJØRN:  You know, it's funny you should
ask,  William.   It  is true that I got
married  a  while ago, but now that you
mention  it,  I  have  to admit that my
wife  and  I  aren't  getting along too
well,  since we got married.  It's like
something really changed, and right now
I  don't  know  if I want to be married
for  much  longer!  You know, there are
times, more and more often, that I miss
having  just myself to think about, and
being  able  to  spend,  say, the WHOLE
WEEKEND just composing on ProTracker!!!

BLC:   Does  your wife know anything of
your  activities  in  the scene, and if
yes, what does she think?

BJØRN:   She knows most of it, but as I
expected,  it  doesn't  seem  like  she
quite understands it.  She doesn't have
any     special    relationship    with
computers,  and when I show her a great
demo,   she  just  says  "Yes,  and  so
what..?".  When I try to explain to her
that  there's  a  whole different world
around  the  computer,  the groups, the
demos,  the  charts, the long- distance
friends, she says "yes" and "how nice",
but  I  can  see  in  her face that she
doesn't  understand  anything  of  what
it's about.  That's just the way it is.
The   Amiga   scene   can't  really  be
explained  to  anyone who hasn't been a
part of it.

BLC:   If  you  ever  have kids (We can
hope,  right?), will you ever tell them
about  that  weird subculture dad was a
part of?

BJØRN:   I  don't want to have any kids
for  a long time yet, but if and when I
do   some  day,  of  course  I'll  tell
him/her  everything  about the good old
Amiga scene!

BLC:   Additionaly,  what would you say
if  a son of yours discovered the scene
and joined in?

BJØRN:  I'd check which group he wanted
to join, and find out if they were cool
enough!  :-) Just kidding.

BLC:   How  close  are  you in your own
opinion,  related  to  the  scene these
days?   (Are  you  for  example still a

BJØRN:   I  am not officially member of
the  Crusaders  these  days,  but  I am
still  close  friends  with many of the
Crusaders,   and  in  a  way,  I  still
consider  myself a member.  In my heart
I will always be a Crusader.

BLC:  What do you think of your time in
the scene now that you look back?

BJØRN:   I've  had  SO  much fun in the
scene,  that  I wouldn't have wanted to
be  without  it.  Of course, there were
times  when  things  got  a  little too
much,  like  when  we  were  doing  the
EuroCharts,   we  never  had  time  for
anything    else, no girls, no nothing,
and  this caused me to "burn out" for a
while.   I  had  to  get  in touch with
girls   and  do  some  "normal"  things
again.   But I never regretted being in
the scene, and if I could turn back the
time  to  1987 and have a second chance
to  live  these  last few years, yes, I
would   have  joined  the  Amiga  scene
again!   I don't think I could have got
as   many  laughs  and  as  many  great
friends  anywhere  else.   And also one
other  important  thing:   It  was  the
scene  who developed my music.  Without
the scene, I wouldn't have been where I
am  today in my music.  It is the Amiga
scene  who  has formed my whole musical
life and carreer.

BLC:   What  kind of equipment have you
got   for   your  composing?   I  mean,
synths, computer(S) etc.

BJØRN:  Well, this changes from time to
time,  but  at  the moment I am working
with   an  Amiga  1200  with  40MHz/4MB
Microbotics   M1230XA  card,  a  Roland
S-550  pro sampler, an Ensoniq SQ-R+, a
Kawai  K1-r  II,  and  a Roland Juno-2.
There's  also  an  Art  ProVerb effects
unit  and  a  Boss  BX-8 mixer (which I
have to upgrade very soon).  I use most
of  my spare money to buy computer- and
music-equipment.  Why?  Well, it's what
I want to spend my life on!

BLC:   I have heard about you composing
music for an opera/musical, please tell
about it.

BJØRN:  It's not an opera, and it's not
a  musical,  but  it's  a theatre-play.
But   it's  not  a  boring,  grey,  old
theatre-play   with  boring  old  farts
discussing  up  and down for two hours.
It's   an   action-filled,  futuristic,
multi-media  show,  with  live  actors,
video   interaction,   virtual  reality
gear,  and  lots  of  cool stuff.  (Sex
too!)  It  is titled "Brave New Virtual
World".    Actually,  the  premiere  is
tomorrow  (20th of October 93), and I'm
really  excited  about hearing my music
in  the  context  of the whole play.  I
also  mentioned  to you in your earlier
question that I am just releasing a new
cassette  for  sale  in  the scene, and
well,   that   cassette   contains  the
soundtrack for this theatre-play.

BLC:   What other more or less exciting
projects  have  you  been involved with
when it comes to music?

BJØRN:   I have been involved with many
projects during the last few years, but
at the moment, I have just finished the
music  for  Team-17's  game "Qwak", and
this theatre-play.  I am also composing
new  music  now,  which  I  am going to
release on a CD in a few months.  Then,
of  course,  there was the "Space Wars"
movie, which was a short movie that was
made  up entirely of Amiga-animations -
I'm  sure  most  of  your  readers have
heard  about it - I made the soundtrack
for that film too.

BLC:   Are  you  making  a  living from
composing music?

BJØRN:   I am making money on my music,
but not enough to be able to pay all my
bills.  If I lived at home with my mom,
I  guess  I  could, but since I have my
own  apartment,  a  big  bank-loan, and
many  expensive  bills  to  pay, I also
have to keep going to a boring day-time
job, to make extra money.

BLC:   I  hope you don't mind me asking
this,  but  just  how  much do you make
from  your  composing?

BJØRN:  When you are making music for a
limited  market,  like the Amiga scene,
which  is a VERY limited market indeed,
then there isn't really that much money
to  make.   The  only thing I have made
any  real  serious  money  on,  is this
theatre-play,    "Brave   New   Virtual
World".   On  the 2 tapes (now 3) and 1
CD  that  I  have released, I have just
made  a  little  bit.  I make music and
aim  it  directly  at  the Amiga scene,
because I love making music and because
I  could  never  live without it.  It's
not because of the money.  Also, I make
music  for games now and then, but this
is also very poorly paid.  It was quite
nice  money  when  I just lived with my
mom and used all the money on pizza and
disks,  but  in  the  "real world", the
kind   of   money   that  you  make  on
game-music is really not much.

BLC: Any figures?

BJØRN:   Ok, I'm getting about 8000 GBP
for  the  theatre-play  soundtrack job.
On  the  "Hobbits  &  Spaceships" CD, I
suppose  maybe  I've  earned about 3000
GBP.   I  haven't  kept  a budget, so I
don't  know the exact numbers.  On this
tape  that  I  am  releasing now, if it
sells  well, perhaps I'll make 500 GBP.
(1 GBP = approx.  10 Kroner).

BLC:   There  are  lots of musicians in
the  scene  these  days,  talented ones
too.   How would you advice these to do
if  they  are  to  create  themselfes a
proffesional carreer like yours?

BJØRN:   You  are absolutely right that
there   are  lots  of  really  talented
musicians   in  the  scene  today.   My
advice  to  them  is to start gradually
moving over to professional equipment -
combine this with their Protracker work
-  and  move  more  and  more  over  to
creating fully professional music.  You
can't   expect   it   to   sound  fully
professional  at  once.  First you need
to  gradually  upgrade  your equipment,
bit by bit, and the same goes with your
skills   and   experience.   Then,  two
things can happen.  One is that you can
get  really  LUCKY, and get a big break
somewhere  -  get  a  chance  that just
seems  to  fall  out  of  the sky.  The
other  possibility is that you won't be
lucky,  but  then you just have to keep
working   and   working   and  working,
pushing yourself one millimeter upwards
all  the  time,  constantly  contacting
different     people,    etc.     Then,
eventually things WILL start to happen.

BLC:   I've  often  wondered how people
having almost left the scene, feel.  Do
you  think  you'll  miss the scene when
it's  totally  gone?

BJØRN:   I don't really miss the scene,
because  I  haven't totally left it.  I
still  have  many  many  friends in the
scene.  I think, perhaps, if I had just
sold all my equipment and started doing
something  completely different, then I
would  have  missed  it.  I am still in
contact  with  the  scene  almost every

BLC:   Have  you ever considered a real
scene come-back, after having ended?

BJØRN:   No,  not  joining  a group and
starting  up  "full-time"  again.  That
would  mean  that  I would have to stop
making  music  with  synthesizers etc.,
and that's out of the question.  But as
I  said,  I  have never really ENDED my
scene-relation, because I'm still here!
Only,  not on 8 hours a day - more like
maybe 1 or 2 hours a day.

BLC:   Now,  I'd  like  you  to  tell a
little  story  of your scene life.  Bad
experiences,      good     experiences,

BJØRN:   The best thing about the scene
is  that  it  is  a  hobby which has an
incredible  depth.   It is quite simply
not  possible to understand, for anyone
who  hasn't  been  there.  It's a whole
different  world.  And then of course -
in  which other hobby can you get great
friends all over the world??

BLC:    Since   you   run   a  mag  for
musicians,  I'd  recon you still here a
lot  of  music from scene-members, what
do you think of todays style of music
on the scene?

BJØRN:   I  really  like  a  lot of the
music  in  the scene, but it is obvious
that  technically,  we have now reached
the  limit of what you can do with just
the Amiga.  Afterall, no matter how you
twist  and  turn  it, it still only has
8-bit  sound,  and  it  can never sound
"real"  hifi.   I  think, since we made
the  last  Crusaders  music-disks  more
than  2  years  ago, things haven't got
much  further,  technically.   No major
upgrades  to  the  music  programs, and
nothing  really  mindblowing new in the
music.  If you want to make music which
sounds better than what you hear in the
Amiga  scene today, there's no point in
trying  to  squeeze  more  out  of  the
Amiga.     You   will   have   to   buy
synthesizers     and/or    professional

BLC: Let's change the subject
totally, are you interested in soccer?

BJØRN: Not hysterically, but yes I am.

BLC:   How  do  you  feel  about Norway
having    qualified   for   the   World
Championship then?

BJØRN:   I'm really happy about it - of
course!   You  know,  that sounded like
one  of  those questions you are likely
to  hear  on  the sports-program on TV.
The  TV-people  are  coming up to a guy
who  have  just won the Olympic Gold or
something,  and they ask:  "How does it
feel?" :-)

BLC:  Like TV-people?  Perhaps I should
get a job a DR!  Anyway, I seem to have
run  out  of  ideas for your interview,
I'll let you give some hellos to people
if you want to:

BJØRN:  Ok.  Hi to Gonzo/Flash Prod (my
oldest   still  active  friend  in  the
scene), to ALL the Crusaders of course,
Bobby  (Dark  Elf),  Andy (Nightshade),
Volker   (Jester),  Tobias,  Dave,  and
everyone  still  pushing  the  Amiga to
it's     limits.     (Especially    the
musicians, of course!).

BLC:  And the most klicheed line of all
times, the thing which you see in every
interview:  "Any last words?"

BJØRN:   Yes!   To  everyone  who  have
liked  Dr.Awesome/Crusaders' music from
music  disks, games, etc., you *really*
should  hear  what  it sounds like from
professional     synthesizers     etc.!
Remember  that  all  the  music  that I
make,  I  make  it  especially  for the
Amiga  scene, and that's the only place
I  attempt  to sell it!  So if you want
to hear either of my tapes or either of
my  CD's,  get  in  touch!   Instead of
listening  to  old modules from 1991 on
your  module-player,  you could have my
CD  or  my  tape  in  your  stereo, and
really   "space   out"!   Oh,  and  the
CDs/tapes  are NOT especially expensive
- they are cheaper than  other CD's and
tapes.  Absolute last word:  Don't miss
my new CD, "Montage", released in early
1994!!   Meanwhile,  keep  working that
ProTracker   or   OctaMED  or  whatever
you're using!

EDITORS NOTE:  You can read a review of
Bjørn's   new  tape  in  the  musicians
                              - Wolfman