An Interview with Infamous

by Volker Buckow

Infamous is both a C64 remixer and an Amiga remixer, and has matured into an experienced purveyor of hard-edged remixes combining rock hard beats and edgey basslines.

Real name: Christopher J Nunn
Handle: Infamous
Born: 1979
Nationality: British

Infamous, in pensive mood...
What equipment do you use?

I use my computer (2gig athlon, 512mb ram 20gig hd windows ME) with Jeskola buzz for making the music, cool edit for turning it into mp3 I also use hammer head for beat sequencing, mad tracker or modplug for complex tracker arrangements and fruity loops when all else fails.

What SIDs are amongst your favorites?

1st Sid that pops to mind is Future Knight by Ben Daglish then
Blood Money by Fredrik Segerfalk, Space Harrier Sid 1 by Mark Cooksey, Snare by martin walker and anything by Jonathan Dunn.

Who were your favorite c64 composers?

Jonathan Dunn by far my favorite, he did pretty much all the Ocean movie games and did them well, had his own style which you knew was him. If I had to chose another after him it’d be Matt Gray simply because everything he did had a real epic feel to it even his happier tunes like Maze Mania.

What other arrangers do you like?

Predictably for those that go to the IRC channel … Larsec he he. I just think he has a real vision and he follows it and when you hear it you tend to follow it too. Others I admire there are ifadeo, Lman, Glyn R Brown and DHS. Guaranteed if they have remixed something I’ll have downloaded it.

What are your favorite remixes done by other arrangers?

Ok this will probably come as a surprise because I don’t think he did anything else but my top favorite remix was by besen and was cauldron 2.

It was the 1st remix I had heard from RKO and it just blew me away how professional it sounded. Reflecting back, it doesn’t sound nearly as good as it did but I still hold a very fond place in my heart for it.

More recently Jan Morgensten (hope I spelt that right too) released Rubicon and that is an amazing piece of work, as is DHS’s break dance tune.

Looking further back there’s the obvious Glyn tunes (Firelord and Gordian) and Mahoney’s Armageddon man, by far the most beautiful remix I have ever heard.

What piece of equipment that you do not already own is on your most wanted list?

That list would be VERY long and very boring lol, but to summarize I'd like to get hold of some live instruments (guitars and bass guitars) to really give my mixes that little extra edge, of course mixing equipment and keyboards, etc. wouldn’t go amiss.

Who do you think gives the scene the biggest boost, and why?

Three people, Neil Carr for doing the remix 64 cds and sponsoring the events, Chris Abbott for protecting our beloved Sid and making the great BIT Live events happen and generally being a very busy bunny and Jan kwed…(forgot his last name ha!!!) for creating the site that we sit our remixes upon. I doubt the scene would have got very far if these 3 hadn’t have decided to do what they did.

But then there are others out there that I have failed to mention (like Boz and Lman et all. ) who do their part too.

Are you planning any more remixes for other systems, i. e. for You have done 1 remix for the Amiga so far if I’m right…

Actually done 2 remixes so far on amiga remix, the uridium 2 loader and fury of the furies and yeah, I do plan on doing a fair few more amiga remixes at the time of writing.

I do have a new remix already finished and 3 others in gestation: I think the whole amiga remix idea was the perfect progression forward and I do look forward to its inevitable integration into the whole big plan.

In your opinion, what would be your dos and don’ts when remixing?

On a personal level and if you listen to tunes like Trantor and Cauldron you’ll hear that I do like to personalize things I put a bit of myself into those remixes and am a lot happier with them than I am with the more straight remixes that I do at times regret posting up (i.e. myth, feud etc). But in the long run, I think as long as what your doing is what you WANT to do then you should do it and don’t let what other people think of it put you off finishing it. There’s always a critic out there and a fan to counteract that, it all depends on who you wish to listen to. So I say: don’t listen to other people telling you this is rubbish and then take that to heart and stop, take it onboard as you would the compliment a fan gives and use them both constructively.

The community has matured over the years, but in your opinion is there any aspect that you’d like to see improved?

Id like to see more than just the usual tunes being remixed: it's happening a lot now I have to admit, where people are not remixing Last Ninja 2 as much as they used to, and the various drawer is being scoured now by the remixers.

So I guess what I wanted to see improved is already happening around me, so it's all good so far!

Do you think that the commercial part of the scene could destroy what it’s fundamentally about, or can you see it only improving the community as a whole?

In commercial I assume you mean the cd’s that are released now and then?

If that’s the case I actually think the CDs are a really productive way of spreading the scene further. On the CDs you are guaranteed excellence. No one gets on one of these CDs simply because they are a big name: they get there because the producer has recognized a talent and/or seen that the general public has recognized this person as a talent, and from what ive heard they all give 200% to the CDs, so buying them (despite the fact there might be the umpteenth version of Comic Bakery on them) is well worth it just to hear this high quality studio written Comic Bakery like maybe the original composer had always imagined it.

On the other side of Commercialism we do have the likes of Kernkraft that came out of nowhere and made an old Sid tune a dance anthem. This to me is OK I suppose as long as the next person that does it actually recognizes the original composer unlike Zombie Nation. But of course they got their comeuppance and Mr Whittaker got what he justly deserved.

What are your fondest memories of the C64?

Elite… tribbles on my screen crawling about getting in the way.

Exile…. Taking the little mushroom men in my warm hands and roasting them on one of the strategically placed fires.

Spy vs. spy .. The fights my best mate and me had playing this will forever lay fond in my memories and the bruises I gained from beating him for the 3rd time will forever be there!

Aaaaaaaaaaah, memories.

When comparing music in today’s games compared to the music which was being composed on the c64, what differences do you notice?

Biggest difference I think is that you don’t get heroes anymore.

There are no role models, no one you can really follow anymore, its very rare that a big game will have a soundtrack done by an unknown artist from Finland or something its now all Chemical Brothers and Hans Zimmer's half cousin doing the soundtracks.

Back in the day one of the defining reasons a lot of people bought games was because a certain person did the soundtrack. For example I'd have never bought Warhawk if I hadn’t have seen that Rob Hubbard had did the soundtrack (Still wished I never bought Warhawk)

Now people buy games because of hype and not because of talent and that’s a real shame.

What do you look at in a SID when remixing it?

I haven’t been in the scene very long so I've been trying to find my niche which I think (don’t quote me….oh you already have!)

I have now, so I look for hard sounding slightly offbeat evil stuff like Dynasty Wars, Cauldron 2, Eye, Driller and Terry’s Big Adventure (no! really!!)

I like a lot of Matt Gray's stuff because it does have harsh noises and that does appeal to me so if anyone’s writing a Sid right now you stick in a rough saw bass in there and its likely ill look at it for remixing ;-)

Since you arrived on the scene, what would be the biggest highlight for you?

The review I got from Neil for my creatures remix was my highlight, having someone be so brutally honest and telling me what everyone else had said was good was well below par really did help me realize I had to put a lot more effort into what I was doing.

Other highlight has to be meeting them all at BIT in Brighton and standing with Markus Schneider (hope I spelt that right) and Rob Hubbard and talking absolute crap to them both in a drunken state during the concert and telling Rob that his Human Race tune was crap whilst in my head I THOUGHT I was saying my remix of it was crap haha! Absolute class!. (er... I hope Rob doesn't remember that!! - Chris)

You have met a lot of composers & remixers at BIT Live Brighton. What was the greatest moment for you?

See question 15 for greatest moment, but for me the entire thing was so special.

Meeting so many of the people that I had admired before I came onto the scene was brilliant, meeting Makke and eating his snuff (ooer), drinking like a fish with Tomsk, Dan, Neil, Larsec and so many others it was hard to keep up.

Probably the greatest weekend I've ever had and I cannot wait for the next one.

You are a regular visitor of the IRC channel. What do you think of it? Does it help the community being recognized by the public?

Yes. Or more, yes it would if it was easier to get to: MIRC and even Peacemaker's Java client aren't the easiest things to use and there are a lot of casual internet goers that come online and find this place but can't get onto mirc because its so complicated. I think if we really want to expand ourselves we need to move to other programs as well as MIRC, look to other places like paltalk or yahoo etc and create groups there too.

Then maybe the general public could meet the remixers and original arrangers but as it stands right now it rarely has anyone from outside the circle join and that’s a shame.
Because I'm sure people would love to come and chat to us as much as I'd like to talk to them.

Your final words?

Thank you to everyone that has supported me and given me advice on many things including some personal issues: they know who they are and I am infinitely appreciative for the help they have given.

Long live the c64 scene and here's hoping for a long future ahead of it. And watch out for my new remixes because sandpaper will be like the softest toilet tissue to your ears in comparison ;-).

Thanks for the interview Volker 😊

I for one would like to see Infamous cover something cute! But that's just me... (Volker didn't do a final comment, so this is Chris speaking!).

- Dr.Future

Interview date: 26.10.2003