An Interview with Slaygon

by Neil Carr

Creator of SIDS, Developer of C64.org and soon remixer of classics. Slaygon dedicates alot of his time to the c64. The C64.org site has become one of the most respected c64 sites creating a free and always free a resource to the c64 comunity. This was a guy who we just had to interview. This interview was Remix64's first LIVE interview so we hope this adds to the overall feel.

Real name: Kenneth Mutka
Handle: Slaygon
Nationality: Swedish


What c64 composers do you like?

There are many I admire a lot, some more than others though.
There's Rob Hubbard ofcourse, Matt Grey, Fred Gray (I love Mutants! I even bought the original game just because of that tune), Jeroen Tel, Danko, Whittaker, Galway ... well... A big bunch actually, most notably these previously mentioned.

Slaygon at BitLive (Image taken by Warren Pilkington)
What sids are your favourites?

Mutants (Matt Gray) and Lightforce (Hubbard) are my top 2 favourite SIDs. Then there's a lot more I enjoy listening to ofcourse. Many from Hubbard (Ace II, Mega Apocalypse, Sanxion, Monty etc). Almost all the tunes in all the Last Ninja games. There's a lot more that I ofcourse have forgot.

Which tune of your own are you most pleased with?

That's a hard one to answer.
It varies from time to time. Most of the time, if I happen to listen to any of my own tunes, I go for Strange or 2001. Sometimes I like Overture'90, sometimes I don't. My mother likes Waltz though. Can't figure why. ;)

What were your likes/dislikes about the sid chip?

The only dislike I can remember ever having is that I would have wanted more channels to play with. On the other hand, having only 3 of them has proven to be a good thing since the tunes need to have a clean and simple melody which is why so many of them are so catchy. That is also why many of the tunes have impressed me with their inventive way of producing different kinds of sounds for different needs (and that would be the 'like' part of it).

So would you say that because of the limitations of the sid you could produce better tunes?

I think it has contributed to many good tunes. It forces people to be creative in ways that you normally wouldn't need to be.

You mentioned to me that you used your own editor, what if any was the positive and negative points to using this editor?

The positive side is that when ever you needed a feature, you'd just code it in. The one and only person knowing exactly how it was supposed to be ought to be yourself. Besides, it was fun coding it. You learn a lot of the sid by doing your own music routine.

For the exact same reason, the downside of it all would be that you needed to do the code yourself and couldn't just sit back and wait for someone else to do it for you.

Why did you start c64.org?

The reason for starting c64.org was mainly to gather c64 oriented people (current and former sceners) at a central place (easy to find). To date I have about 600 users with email aliases, several with shell access, locally hosting a bunch of c64 oriented pages, DNS pointers to -many- other (I won't even begin to count them, but they are numerous).
I still have a few sites I would like to host, but I can unfortunately not host them because of limitations in my budget. Everything related to c64.org is free of charge. Nobody pays anything for any of the services provided therein, and never will do so either.

So what type of sites would you like to do given a bigger bidget?

I would love to host R:K:O for example.
The HVSC site would be nice to have locally aswell since I mirror most of their stuff anyway.
www.remix64.com would be another good example.
And I would like to set up a good emulator section at c64.org.

What are your hopes for c64.org?

That it will continue to provide good services for everybody needing them.
Currently I am also rewriting everything on the main site. SidFind is the first step. More will follow.

Have you consider remixing c64 sids yourself?

As a matter of fact I have. I have started remixing two sids, but I doubt I will finish them any time soon. One of these has not yet been covered by anybody as far as I can tell.

What can you tell our readers about censor?

I don't think there's much to tell other than that we had a hell of a time back when we were still active. Most of the members are still very dear friends of mine.
There's no group that can party like we do!

You were once part of Triad, what were your reasons for leaving?

I was in Triad a very short time. I did one demo (which I forgot the name of) for them and then left for some party where I met the Censor guys. At that party we had such a good time together that I decided to join them instead (rather; I was talked into it by Bob ;).

Have you ever released any of your sids commercially?

Commercially like in being payed for it?
No. I only do music for fun. I don't think I could do music having the pressure of being payed to produce it.

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

There's no particular time I would remember more than another. Perhaps when I first saw assembler for the first time and got curious.

What are your likes/dislikes about the scene?

Back when I was active there were a lot of stuff going on that I disliked. Particularly all the wars between groups. They just made people angry. Totally pointless.
The good things about the scene would be that you made a lot of new friends. Especially back in the 80'ies you needed like minded friends since everybody thought computers would get you nowhere. Didn't we prove them wrong?

How do you think the scene has changed compairing the 80's to the present day?

I really haven't got the slightest idea. The last party I went to was somewhere in denmark. That was about 10 years ago. It seems the scene has moved it's center from being somewhere up here in northern/central europe to places like poland, turkey and places around there.

Who do you think gives the scene the biggest boost?

That's a tough one.
I don't think there's one particular person doing that.
If you define the scene as the people doing actual coding on the c64 today, I wouldn't have any idea.
If you define the scene as the people doing all sorts of things around the c64 you would have all the the c64 oriented web pages, IRC channels and all that stuff to take into account.
Considering what I am doing for the c64 scene today with c64.org, I can only give you my perspective of things surrounding that. As the hostmaster/webmaster/whatever for c64.org, I would think that R:K:O has done a lot to boost the scene. R:K:O has become a gathering place for anybody wanting to listen to more modern versions of the classic sids found in HVSC.
The HVSC people are too very hard working at pleasing all us sid fanatics providing us with nice nostalgic trips along with nice STIL entries providing a more in depth view on the tune itself.
Chris Abbot has done a wonderful job with Back In Time.
All in all, there's just too many people responsible for boosting the scene to be able to point out a single person being responsible for it.

Where/who do you get your musical influences from?

I could get it from hearing a sound somewhere which gives me inspiration to do a whole tune. Or a feeling. Or some other tune.
I listen to almost every kind of music except punk.

While listening to your sid music... I couldn't help but spot a style of Ben Daglish hidden in there, what would you say to this?

Interesting. I think that is the first time I've heard that.
Ben Daglish did some of the tunes in Last Ninja. I like Last Ninja. Krakout is a funny tune aswell. And Trap is a classic.

Did any of the earlier c64 muscians have any bearing on your music?

Everything I hear affects me, so yes. Ofcourse they did. I listened to a lot of sids daily, still do (SidFind is handy to have ;).

What are your thoughts on the BITlive event ?

It was great! I had a blast over there. It was nice to finally have met the people doing the music you've been listening to for the past 15 years or so.
Thumbs up for Abbot there!

Lastly, What messages would you like to send out to the scene?

Only that I hope the scene will give you as much has it has given me.


I must say i am flattered with Slaygon's coments about him liking host the Remix64 site. The funny thing is that we too would have liked to have done the remix radio called slayradio that can be found on c64.org.

If you havn't heard it yet.. Check it out!

- Neil

Interview date: 22.05.2001