Interview with (Hein Holt) Hein Design, former member of Black Mail
What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?
It used to be Hein Design, but now I only use my first name to sign pictures or music I do. The reason for Hein Design is simple, my main activity is designing and it rimes.
Have you changed handles? If so, give us the reason(s) and your previous nickname(s)!
I changed my nickname once. It used to be HPH which stands for Hein Pieter Holt, my full name. After a few years of being just another three letter guy, I thought it was time to change it.
When and where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born on the 13th of November in this tiny shoe-city Waalwijk in the Netherlands. At the moment I live in one of the worst cities in holland, Helmond. But then again I work here as well. And THE Jeroen Tel lives here too. (read in an ironic tone please)
When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?
My (our) first computer was a C64 somewhere back in 1984, but my brother (the world famous TSM) had a Philips Videopac (or whatever) before the toaster came into our lives. I fell in love with the C64 in no time and I still have secret affections for this machine. Doing graphics on the C64 is the foundation for my artistic 'career'. After some time I started working on Amiga500/2000, Amiga1200 and currently are PC's my main eyekillers.
How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?
This friend of ours had some contacts and we started a group called HSP. When the balls starts rolling it will never stop. My personal first contact could be Facet (the one and only) but it also couldn't be. I don't remember.
Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!
My first group graphics were those for Hyper Scientific Power, a family group. After that, we (HSP) joined Orion. We left one demo later and started the group Vision. This group stayed alive (successfully) for quite a long time. When Vision started to become an Amiga only group, I felt sorry for my C64 and joined Density. Nothing done for Density, I joined Black Mail, the group with the most success in Holland. I only worked on one demo (Dutch Breeze) with this group, but sish, I did plenty graphics. In the same period I was asked to do graphics for 'Disposable Hero', a shoot 'm up for Amiga, so I also joined Boys Without Brains. This last group isn't really a demogroup, but anyway. When Dutch Breeze and Disposable Hero were finished I joined Focus, cause Black Mail was tired after all those years. In Focus I did one picture and that was my last C64 picture. My last group must have been Spaceballs, but this wasn't really serious, since I worked on game projects that took all my time.
Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!
The C64 was and maybe is simply the best. Simple but effective. The amiga scene was ok too, but nostalgiously spoken the C64 scene ruled.
Especially one C64 party in Veenendaal Holland was great. Small but dark and fun.
What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?
In all those years of sceneactivity you get to know a lot of people. Most of the Dutch graphics artists have become friends, having about the same job as I do, namely drawing on computer all day. The scene also works as a sort of motivator. Especially once you're voted number 1 in the graphic charts, because it ment that I'm not the only one who enjoys my work. Thanks to all voters.
What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?
I consider going the parties in far away places a waste of time. The first day at such a party is ok, but after 72 hours of bleeps around me, I get homesick.
Also keeping up with the wares and sending to my contacts is a lousy job. I guess I lost a lot of contacts because I didn't feel like compiling a disk to send back.
What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?
My main interest is doing graphics, 1D, 2D and 3D. But I must say that composing music is almost as much fun as drawing.
What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/coding/modem trading organising or whatever you did?
The first demogroup HSP needed logo's and there was 1 programmer and 1 swapper, so my choice was being made easy.
When I saw pictures from Bob Stevenson and Paul 'Dokk' Dockerty I thought: "That's what I want to be able to do, only better". After years of failing I never got better, but different. I'm glad I never got better, since there is no better in artistic work, only different.
What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?
My biggest success (demo's) was 'the collection' part in 'Dutch Breeze'. It consisted of 4 fullcolour FLI pictures. Professionally my biggest success will be at my 35th birthday, I guess. My biggest fiasco must be the death of my dear brother TSM.
Was there any special connection between you/your group and some other people/groups on the scene (co-operation, war, friendship etc.)? If so, what made it start and stop?
I never was at war with anyone. There has always been friendship between everybody I know. Especially Facet.
Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.
As I mentioned before the small party in Veenendaal, Holland is the best I've been. But than again this was back in the eighties when everything was still enjoyable. The biggest fiasco is always the last party I've been to. (In this case 'Bizarre 97') Parties are getting worse and worse every year. People organizers out there, organise a small party with only a few people, that know eachother. Thrust me, I've been to dozens of parties and meetings.
Is/was there any special feeling in your crew, something more than just being in a group?
In the HSP and Vision period, my brother and I were kinda like brothers to eachother (wonder why). Blackmail was a nice bunch of people together. No boosting and other nonsense.
If you are not a C64 scener anymore, when and why did you leave the scene?
I left the C64 scene in 1993. After Dutch Breeze was finished. I left the scene because of professional work at Euphoria's, and I got fed up with the crap.
What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?
Since we're talking about the C64, I'll only mention C64 Gods. The best artists on C64 must have been Bob Stevenson (Just look at Myth and his pictures), Dokk (Because of his great Savage picture, God, have I looked at this picture for a long time) and Robin Levy. The best scene artists must be Mirage (a real artist), The Sarge (one of the pioneers), Sparkler (getting out of nowhere).
The best coder there ever was, is my brother TSM. (emotionally spoken, that is.)
The best group was Panoramic Designs. Great demo's for the price of a bad one.
The best demo I've seen was, sorry I say it, Dutch Breeze. A complete demo, full with good coding and nice music. The graphics were kinda boring. (They must be, after 3 years of stikking shitty pixels on the screen)
Last and certainly not least: the musicians. Johannes Bjerregaard, Thomas 'Laxity' Petersen, Martin Galway, Rob Hubbard, Tim Follin and Jeroen Tel. Also Reyn Ouwehand is worth mentioning, because he's like a jukebox. You name it, he plays it.
Give us a brief description on the development of the scene as you experienced it and computer society in general!
Read above the story of my life please.
What is your profession? What do you do for a living? Does it have to do anything with computers? Is there anything you do in real-life that is similar to what you have been doing on the scene?
My profession is doing graphics. DTP, 3D, gamegraphics, internet and that kind of stuff. In my spare time I like painting and doing music. I guess that without the scene I would do the same, only not starting at my 18th. An education would than be obliged. Now I have to be self-taught.
How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?
My attitude hardly changed. I'm not interested in the highly technical stuff, but I'm interested what you're able to do with it and nice concepts. If someone shows me a super 3d cube, I will be happy for him, but not interested in how he made it so super. If the same guy/woman shows me the same routine with artistic objects and movement, I'll be so interested that they get sick of me.
What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?
I like watching films, especially the black humor ones. Further I like to play a game of pool and karting. Besides that I sleep, go out or smoke joints.
Are there moments when you feel nostalgic thinking back to the past years of the scene? If so what do you do when it happens?
Yep, I get my C64 out of the closset and run some demo's. It's a bit like therapy.
What are your plans for the near/far future?
My plans are to make sure I get a nice job, doing the same as I do now, only at a higher level.
What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?
My goal in life is to become a happy person, and live my life that way through to the end.