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Interview with (Tuomas Rantala) Thor of Extend

What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?

Hello, I am Thor of Extend. My handle comes from my initials (TOR), which actually means Thor (The Norvegian god of thunder) in Finnish. Later I wanted to change it because I thought it's too childish, but I had had it for so long that I didn't bother.

Have you changed handles? If so, give us the reason(s) and your previous nickname(s)!

Before Thor I called myself Torso for a little time but I changed it for obvious reason... ;)

When and where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born on the 27th of October 1973 in Ruovesi which is a small country village in Finland. I have lived almost a year now (9th Oct '97) with my girlfriend in Tampere, which is the second largest city in Finland.

When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?

My first computer was -of course- a C64 (old brown breadbox model) and I got it around May '86 as a gift from my parents as I finished my sixth year in comprehensive school. The first one broke down so I bought a second one which also broke down and nowadays I have a flat C128. I also bought an old Vic20 along the way. Never went the Amiga way as most of my friends did.

How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?

Um, I had an ad in a youth magazine (can't remember the title) calling for C64 game swapping (on tape those days). There were a lot of guys to answer but most stopped after a few sendings. Hotblack of Byterapers was the only one I swapped with continuosly for years and he was also the first one on the scene I knew. Phew, it was great to get just 2 weeks old stuff for the first time in my life! But the guy who actually brought me to the scene was Dr. Acid of Extend. He gave my early tunes to Electric who accepted me to join Extend, this happened around October-December '91.

Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!

It is completely useless to mention GTCS (Gigolo & Thor Cracking Service) which did absolutely nothing. Extend is the only 'real' group I've ever been in.

Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!

I couldn't ever afford to buy an Amiga and though most my friend had one I never got interested in the Amiga scene. And I will never sell my '64 away, that's for sure!

What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?

  • Friends. Many friends from around the world that I would never have met otherwise.
  • A healthily nihilistic attitude towards computers.
  • Great memories and experiences (meetings, parties, travelling etc.)

What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?

Can't think of anything else but I should have started coding straight away when I got the machine.

What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?

On the scene: Collecting stuff, being in contact with other freaks, making music every now and then.
In 'real' life: Girlfriend, playing in a band, music, movies etc.

What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/modem trading organising or whatever you did?

I have always been interested in music and as I also play the guitar it was natural for me to start composing.

What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?

Succeeding in compos always warms my heart (I consider having succeeded if anybody votes, even by mistake ;) and also if someone uses my tune in a demo or a magazine I am moved! Fiascos? Ho-hum. Some people think that all my tunes are fiascos.

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 think we are in a continuous co-operation with Topaz Beerline. Why? I don't know, they're our friends.

Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.

I've been to several parties but the favourite one must be the first I ever attended to: Light/Phenomena easter party '92 in Alingsås, Sweden.

Is/was there any special feeling in your crew, something more than just being in a group?

Of course, we are all crazy drunken bastards :) For example, Electric is surely one of my best friends.

What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?

I always liked the old mega-favourites like Dutch Breeze by Blackmail and Red Storm by Triad. Old legends like Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway are still great stuff to listen to.

Give us a brief description on the development of the scene as you experienced it and computer society in general!

Nowadays the scene has refreshed a little and that's good thanks to the internet.

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?

I am unemployed at the moment, I have studied commercial video producing in a commercial college and that had quite a lot to do with computers. Digital editing etc.

How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?

As I stated earlier, I have a pretty nihilistic attitude towards computers. I like to sit at my old C128 and collect stuff for it from the 'net. In fact I do the same with my Vic!

What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?

I also mentioned this before, I play guitar in 2 bands: The Blubberheads (Misfits/Stooges style rock) & Space Rocket (spaced-out difficult-listening pseudo-jazz). I also play the bass in a pop band called Maaginen Teatteri. That's about all I do on my spare time.

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?

Naah, never mind the past.

What are your plans for the near/far future?

Getting some work might be good for my personal economy but nothing much more.

What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?

To make some great music, of course!

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