An Interview with Phil Bak

by Neil Carr

Phil's claim to fame is that he watched Rob Hubbard himself play Sanxion on his own Casio Keyboard. Rob had also slept in Phil's Bed while Phil was out.

Real name: Phil Bak
Handle: Standfast
Born: 1974
Nationality: English

Who Were your favourite c64 composers?

Ben Daglish was one funky bastard. I wasn’t pleased when I finally got a job at Gremlin found out he’d left.

What were your favourite Sids?

Rebounder for having one of the best basslines ever.

What do you use to create your music?

‘Standfast Studios’ is my computer and a controller keyboard. I don’t even have any speakers and monitor everything with headphones. Software-wise I just use the same as everyone else.

Apart from remixing c64 music, what other aspects of music are you interested in?

At the moment I’m working as an audio programmer in London at a company called Argonaut. In my spare time I’m writing music for amateur film, television and theatre.

Which remix of your own are you most pleased with and why?

Someone once said, A piece of music is never finished, just abandoned, and I agree. Whilst there are moments in each piece that I consider good, I’m not impressed with any of them as a whole. Probably all abandoned too early.

If there was a tune that you wish you could claim as your own what would it be and why?

The score to The Shawshank Redemption by Thomas Newman. The music he did for Meet Joe Black was fantastic too.

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

Probably watching Hubbard play Sanxion on my crappy Casio synth, full speed and note perfect. When I was young my ‘claim to fame’ used to be that Rob once slept in my bed but that’s another story. (I wasn’t in it at the time!)

Is there a piece of equipment that you do not already own that you would like to own?

Yes, a SSL XL 9000 K Series console.

In your opinion what should a remix be like to give the original sid justice?

It should sound great.

Why do you remix c64 music?

I remix to try out production ideas and for the experience in mixing/mastering. It comes down to having some material there to play with. I have lots of stuff I wouldn’t release. Not because it’s awful but… I don’t know… god knows why I put out the odd track now and again. I only released the Chimera mix because my girlfriend laughed at the nutty last minute.

How did you come across the scene?

It must have been the HVSC site many years ago for downloading all the sids and then KWED about a year ago.

Who would you say has given the scene the biggest boost?

No idea. Probably Jan for his site.

What plans do you have for the future regarding your music?

I’m scoring two films at the moment. After that I’m just going to take on projects as they come. Unless it is something special I probably wont release anymore C64 remixes.

How would you like to see see the scene improve?

I’d like to see everyone get an overwhelming urge to send me money.

Lastly what would you like to say to the scene?

Don’t eat yellow snow.

Phil states in this interview that he won't be releasing anymore c64 remixes unless it's something special. I'd just like to wish Phil good luck for whatever the future brings and thanx for the effort he has made. Nice one m8.

- Neil

Interview date: 25.04.2002