An Interview with The Plough

by Neil Carr

Long time scener and musician The Plough reflects on the past and present within this interview, which was done Live.

Real name: Niklas Sundberg
Handle: The Plough/Mr. Music
Born: 1966
Nationality: Swedish

The Plough
Who are your favourite c64 composers?

Well, you see, I bought my first C64 in late 1982 so there weren't so many composers at that day. But Paul Norman is a favorite. Of course Hubbard and Galway.

What sids do you like ?

I like the old classy ones, since 1983 and forward to 1986. Forbidden Forest, Mule, Archon of course and Caverns of Khafka. Sanxion is also a favorite which I have got as a phone ringing signal on my mobile phone since two years from now.

What other arrangers do you like?

The King of the Arrangers is of course Chris Abbott and Instant Remedy. I nearly have downloaded all mp3 which there is on the net. Some of them are good and some are really crap !

What remix that you have done are you most pleased with?

That's a tricky question. I like most of my remixes, but the one that I like the most must be...Castle of Terror Main Title Theme.

What equipment/software do you use?

I mainly use two Yamaha XG 1000 SW cards. An oldEnsoniq EPS synth and some XG-software for this type of composing.

How did you come across the current remixing scene?

I began to make remixes of C64 music in the 1984(not published I think). 1986-1987 on my Commodore Amiga. I was a member of a group (computerbrains) ( which made some music disks. Then about two or three years ago I saw the Triad home page where I first uploaded my work.

What can you tell us about computer brains?

Well, first I must say that the Computerbrains wasn't famous for making music disks. Computerbrains are probably most remembered for the large amount of quality game cracks that we released, but do remember that we also have released quite a lot of selfmade useful stuff. The active member combination has varied along the years, we are all born in the sixties so we are not so young anymore, but we are still young in mind 😊. One of The founders is PHS who is most famed person of all of us. He is the creator of CCS64 and also the creator of PlaySid for the Amiga and lots of other codes.... As you probably now. More information at Computerbrains homepage. He is also one of my best friends.

it's quite unuasual for perons to be conected to the c64 from the sixties, what influenced you to become involved with the c64 at this time?

Is it ?? I've got lots of friends who are my own age. And whom started the carieers with the C64 in the beginning of the 80's. I got my first Commodore back in 1979! only 13 years old. People could just think that I've got a C64 back in 1979, which I didn't. (It wasn't released yet at that date).
To answer your second question about the influence its must be the great interest of computers and the unknown about (in that time) how to generate code. I'm still coding accounting systems.

So what can you tell us about your coding experiences?

I've worked with several languages. I've also created my own language which the main part of my systems are coded in. I'm working with a system for point of sale, credit cards, and crm systems.

What other music do you listen to, and does this reflect in your own music?

Well I listen to a lot of music. But the
reflection for the c64 remixes is mainly from classics and of course synthethic music like Jarre, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Mark Shreeve, Oldfield, Hammer ....

what do you look at within a sid when remixing it?

I want to keep the original composers touch in my music when I remix the sids. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

So would you say that total remixes of sids isn't keeping in touch with the original sid?

No most of the remxes are keeping the original sids touch and are at a very high class. But there's also many remixes that don't and sounds terrible. But it's up to the listener to decide which remixes are crap or which remixes are good.

In your opinion what makes a good remix?

The total impression about how the arranger has told the listener the music from the original composer.

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

I will not ever claim that some other works are mine. But if i must I really like the medivial sound of Mark Alsop's wizardry.

Who do you think gives the scene the biggest boost?

Its all of you who're taking of your time creating, interviewing, storing and listening to all the arrangers and composers.

So how would you like to see the scene devlop/improve?

That's hard to say. It's really up to you guys/girls and of course to the people who are download the work of the arrangers. Without them it problably wouldn't be so famous as it is now. I think that the remixing on C64 music will expand for the next years. But the type of sids which I mainly remix wouldn't be in the scene of the future.

so how do you see the scene in the future?

The influences of the dance music will have the influence of the remixes. And as you told me before it seems like the arrangers will be younger and younger so I think the classic era of the c64 will problably be smaller and the newer music from 1988-> will grow stronger.

And do you welcome this change?

The evolution must go forward as most of the listeners wasn't even born when I got my first C64. I've worked with computers for a very long time now so I must say I welcome it. But you must always go back to the roots to see how it once started.

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

The first time I've connected my C64 to my 1701 monitor. Connected the tapestation to it and played Fort Apocalypse, a game which I still play. The moments when I first created music on the C64. It must have been songs like Yankee Doodle. My first remix of a MULE back in 1984-85. The making of my friendship with PHS. I always like music on the C64 when PHS made his
PlaySid (together with Ron Birk) I was one of thefirst who got that. And when he had created the CCS64, the first I did do was to play Fort Apocalypse and Archon.

There has been such an improvement in computers yet somehow these improvements don't seem to recreate the days of the c64, do you feel through technology that these improvements have left an empty space?

We can't stop the progression of the software industries. I don't really like the advanced slaughter games today. It was much nicer back into the 80's. I really hate the violence in the
most of the newer games. And there has not been any revolutionary ideas how to create new games for a while. Well in a shot sentence I don't like the progress of the games.

what do you like/dislike about the scene?

I like the not ever dying interest in the world of C64. The dislikes must be the arrangers who rearrange other arrangers work. In the 80's it's must have been Computerbrains Cracking Service and dislikeness must be all the Lamers of claimed that our work were theirs.

If the c64 remixing scene became more commercial would you welcome it?

Yes, probably.

Lastly, what would you like to say to the scene?

Keep up the good work and in swedish Fortsätt att göra bra remixer.

The Plough has equipped himself very well, in one of the most challenging interviews i have ever done, putting him on the spot several times his answers are creditable.

- Neil

Interview date: 06.11.2001