Interview with Darkness/Imphobia
Hi Darkness! You've been already interviewed in diskmags very often. How many times do you think? :)
Hehe. Well, I don't know really. A bunch of time I guess, but I've been around in the scene since quite a while so that might be an explanation :)
Introduce yourself in short words (most people will already know you anyway) or long words, what you want. :)
My real name is Jeff Van Audehove and I live in Bruxelles, Belgium. I've been actively in the scene since 1990. My job in Imphobia has been organising the group in general (I also did some graphics at the begining). My main achievement being editing the Imphobia diskmag, the organising of Wired 1995-1998 and producing the Dreams CDs. I also took part in severall other projects aswell.
What are you doing now in the scene? What plans do you have? What do you work on? What do you want to tell the people?
This past year, most of my scene time has been dedicaced to the organising of Wired'98 and the production of the Dreams 2 CDs. All this actually took me a hell of a lot of time so right now I'm considering resting a little bit (if I ever manage too :)). Still I have some project in mind/work at the moment. I'm taking part in the organisation of Reservoir Dogs (a huge multi-artist Music/Art disk due to be released in some months). I also have some Audio CD project together with Dan Wright (who produced the Escape and Freedom CD-Roms some years ago) but that project is still on its early days and there is still a lot of works to achieve on that one. Finally I'm also part of another not-yet-to-be-revealed project (from which you know about Adok :)). Actually it seems I won't have so much time to rest afterall :).
You have recently released the scene CD Dreams #2, which is one of the best scene CDs available for the time being in many people's opinion. How did you get the idea to create a CD-ROM?
Dreams2 is a sequel to the Dreams CD which was released June 96 and included all the best scene productions from the early begining to June 96. The idea behind the Dreams CDs was to make a real scene archive which would includes all the best scene productions, regardless of when or where they have been released. I was fed up with all those scene CDs that included everything, regardless of its quality or which only contained the productions from a given party and which, for most of them, where sold at a very huge prize, so I decided to do my own CDs. People have been quite happy about the Dreams CD as a received many positive feedback, which motivated me to do another issue.. and here we are.
How much time did pass till it was ready? How much work did you have? What does this CD includes? And how can we order a copy of it?
Doing such a CD really takes a lot of time if you want to do it seriously. Actually, the Dreams 2 CDs probably are the most time consuming project I had so far or atleast it's the project that involved the most work on one single production. Dreams 2 is a dual CD (2 CDs), it includes all the best productions released on the scene from June 96 to July 98. Including a collection of +/-150 demos, +/-100 intros, party reports, diskmags, aswell as the hugest collection of new scene pictures ever (4800+ pictures sorted by Artist/theme) and a collection of all the new tunes from a selected range of top scene musicians. The CD was released at Wired'98, the official release date being the 17th of July 98 to be precise. It took me about 14 months, from original idea to pressing to produce this CD. The part that took me the longest and involved the most work was collecting and classifying all the pictures in the graphics collection, this really was a huge work.
The dual CD (2 CDs) sells for 600 Bfr (= 30 DM), including shipping cost to all Europe.. It's quite easy to order a copy. You just have to send me they money cash in a letter and the CDs are sent to you by airmail as soon as I got your letter. For more information, check the infofile (dreams2.zip) that should come together with the hugi #12 archive.. or write me an email at email@example.com.
You've also organized one of the big recent summer parties, Wired '98. How did you get to the idea to organize a party yourself? When did you organize your first party?
In november 94, I attended Wired'94 as a simple attender. Wired'94 was the first real demoparty held in Belgium (not counting the earliest copy party held by pirate group in the early '90). Wired'94 had about 150 attenders, mostly from Belgium. Some months after the party, I contacted the Wired organisers and offered my help and so I joined the Wired organising team, together with PL. I also managed to attract my best non-scene friends Damien in the organising. We really did a lot of work on Wired'95, trying to improve the organising, making publicity etc. We wanted Wired to have a real scene spirit, in opposition some of the later parties which were turning to much into the commercial side. Wired'95 was held in november 95 around 450 attenders showed up from all over South Europe. Wired'95 really motivated us to continue with party organising, the attenders were quite happy and we wanted to offer them even more for the next year. From then, Damien and myself really worked hard the next three years on the Wired. We changed location and later changed date, moving the event to a bigger room and to a more sunny july, and tried to make it better and better.
What problems did you have? How did that change with the further parties?
When you organise a party, you really have to think about a lot of things you wouldn't think about before you've organised one yourself. There are always lots of last minute problems that pop up when you wouldn't think they would ever realise. The big difference between party organising, and doing something else like a demo or something is that you have no emergency exit: You can not say "well, we won't be ready, let's cancel it or do it later". If a problem appears, you have to solve it asap as the party has been anounced and there is no way to cancel it. So you always have to try to imagine all the possible problems that could appear, in order to solve them soon enough, so you'll still have some time left if some last minutes problems appears.
The biggest problems when organising a party is to be surrounded by other capable organisers on which you can count. There are always a whole lot of people willing to take part in party organising, but by experience I must say that a huge pourcentage of those people don't know what being party organiser really means. Many people just think that it looks cool to be an organisers, that they'll have an organiser t-shirt and that they will look cool at the party and are just doing nothing. We had many problems like that at Wired and most of the fucks up we had at some parties was because some organisers didn't took their responsability or were doing nothing. The problem is that you usually can't know in advance if an organiser will be good or not, you only see that during the party and then it's to late if something has not been done or not been done correctly. Of course there are also really capable organisers and it's thanks to those people that a party can work but those people are a minority. The biggest the party become, the higher the number of capable organisers you need, and that's a problems with which many party main organiser have to coop with.
What is your opinion about the Wired'98, its atmosphere, its release? How did the attenders enjoyed the party?
Well, it's always hard to say how a party really was while being an organiser. From the organising point of vue, you always tends to see things too positively or too negativly. For example, sometimes something fucks up and makes you stress a lot during the party to arrange the problem and you have the feeling the party is not working right at all, but then by asking the attenders you realise that the problems didn't showed up from the outside and that the party is doing really fine. We really tried to make of Wired'98 the best party ever. Wired'98 has been the party for which we really worked the most, trying to get sponsors in order to offer more to the attenders, improving the party in every ways possible. We had around 850 attenders at Wired'98 (87% being foreigners), wich was really a cool number.
Of course, some things didn't turned so well, we had a bit more power failure than we had the other years, due to the huge amount of computers at the party. A power failure usually comes from the fault of one guy who didn't install his equipment correctly or fucked up with the cables, and the more computers there are, the more chances you have of something fucking up.. but we had a quite good electricity crew this year and the power failure problems have been solved quite fast. We also had some huge delay in some of the competition, due to some of those last minutes problems I mentioned above.. but I think the party was a really nice success, judging from the reactions I had from many of the attenders and the atmospher was really nice. There weren't many gamers and, as mentioned above, the number of foreign attenders was really high, which gave a really nice international feeling to the party. We had some really nice releases this year, even if we had less releases than some of the previews year (is the scene getting lasy?). People should really check the winning demo competition entry, "Shad" from Cocoon & Syndrome, this one is really a killer.
There is something more I would like to say about parties in general.
There are always people who complain about everything. As soon as something isn't going the best way it could, some people are complaining saying "party sucks", "organisers sucks", "network sucks" or other things like that. Many people usually don't realise what organising a party really stands for. Party organisers spends months setting up a party, organising everything, planning everything, for the sake of giving the scene a nice event and all this without making any profit out of it. Some attenders think that, as soon as they payed the (minimal comparing to what they get for it) entrance fee, they deserve everything, they want everything to be perfect and if there is a problem the only thing they can do is complaining. Instead of that, those people should be happy that the organisers are doing their best to make the party working and should better try to help out instead of complaining. Attenders should support the organisers for what they are doing for the scene. If you are one of those above mentioned party attenders, think about it!
You announced that Wired'98 would be the last Wired. Is that true?
Yes. The main reason being that Damien and me (the two main organisers) both have less time to concentrate on party organising this year. Damien has finished his studies and has now a full time job taking a lot of his time and I will also have less time this year as I'm entering my fourth year of law studies at the university. We didn't wanted to organise another Wired without having enough time to concentrate on it and making improvement and didn't wanted to organise "just another party", so we prefered to stop it. But who knows, we might organise another Wired in the future if we find the time and motivation, but don't expect a Wired in 1999.
Finally, you main-edited the famous Imphobia diskmag for some years. Why have already two years passed after the latest Imphobia issue? Do you want to resume making Imphobia? Why do you think so?
Well (as you also probably know being editor of Hugi) producing a diskmag such as Imphobia really takes a lot of time and those last two years I really didn't had the time to work on the Imphobia diskmag together with my studies, my real live, organising Wired and doing the Dreams CDs. At a moment you always have to make choices, and I had to make mine.. After being editor of Imphobia since 1991, it was more appealing to me to work on some other project. Right now there are no issues of Imphobia in the work and no issue 13 has been planed, but I wouldn't bet that there will never be another Imphobia issue, somehow I have the feeling I might once get back to it and release a couple of more issues.. I guess one just have to wait and see :)
What is your opinion about the current state of the diskmag scene? What do you think about the latest diskmags? What is good about them, what do they lack?
Well, I could write a lot about that but time is running here so I will keep it short. The main problem with diskmags has always been to get enough support from the readers. Most diskmags that have ever been released where lacking articles in quantity and in quality. Diskmag editors had to coop with this problem in the early days and it seems it hasn't changed since then. Since the release of Imphobia #12, the diskmag scene hasn't been much active imho (I'm talking about the international diskmag scene here). Pain is a nice diskmag, it doesnt have so much articles and is mostly a Swiss scene diskmag (but getting more and more international lately!), but it's released regulary and that's a very good point.
Restless 2 was also very promising.. I was also very positively surprised about the last Hugi, its internatinal vocation and its new improved interface really made of Hugi a very promising diskmag, and from what I heard, this new issue of Hugi will be even better with even more English articles. I also hard Daskmig might come back anytime soon. So it seems the international diskmag scene isn't quite dead yet afterall ;).
Do you want to say anything about today's scene in general?
Wake up!, be productive, Prepare the scene of the future by helping beginers to find their way in the scene, support non commercial parties, write articles for your favourite diskmags, and also don't forget to also have a real life, there are more important things than the scene!
What is the best way to get in touch with you?
The best way to contact me is to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I do check my email almoost daily.
Do you want to say any final words? Any greetings?
First of all i'd like to great YOU for lately putting so much effort into Hugi, to make a real scene diskmag out of it and keeping it up to the standard. I know what amount of work such a thing involves, and you're doing pretty well. I would also like to greets all the cool french blokes I met at the RTS party this last weekend.. so hello's to Dr.Yes, LLuvia, Chandra, Bonie, HCL, Frigo, Tbf, Walken, LightShow and the others... those people are cool. Also thanks to all the Wired attenders those last five years for making this event possible and giving it his extra feeling. Oh, and thanks to you, readers of Hugi, for reading those lines. Support Hugi, it deserves it!
Also check the freshly opened Dreams 2 site at http://nl.scene.org/dreams2