I like the way you move
It's time to take yet another jump into the PORTAL to feature and interview another talented member of the indie community to get the scoop on what makes him/her and sometimes them tick.
For this interview a certain Mr Olly023 decided to E-mail one of his fanboy heroes purely on the off chance he was as cool as his work.
After receiving a very warm reply he decided that this was indeed the case and now everyone on the earth reading this will see.
The one, the only...FantomenK!
Now, you may know him from his collaborations with the infamous Keith Apicary through the musical backdrops he supplies, or you may well be an indie game fan (very likely, you're on RGG's Portal section after all!) at which point you'll know him from the epic soundtrack to the critically acclaimed Rad Raygun!
Or just perhaps...Through the wonders of the internet you just stumbled upon his work, or maybe you have still yet to recognise his tuneage? Whatever the case, we all hope you fall in love with this super-talented man and his musical madness!
So, without further ado; it's interview time as RGG sit's down with the man behind the ninja eyes...
Keep this fequency clear! Time for some quality questions...
RGG: First up, who on Earth is FantomenK?
FantomenK: A Swedish guy in his mid 20's, lets keep it at that :).
RGG: When did you first start making chiptune tracks and was there a particular catalyst that encouraged you to take the VGM-style route with your work?
FantomenK: I've always loved vg-music and I had as a tradition every Christmas to browse my huge sid-library for "xmas" and listen to the various Christmas-remixes. One Christmas back in '07 I decided to give it a go myself. The day after, I downloaded some trackers and that's where it begun.
RGG: With your epic Bubbleman Remix and other remixes for MegaMan stages, is it safe to say you're a big fan of Capcom's blue bomber?
FantomenK: Absolutely! Fun gameplay, dorky robot masters and insanely awesome music, what's not to love?
RGG: Personally I've got a lot of love for Yuzo Koshiro, do you have a particular idol in terms of video game music composers of the retro ages?
FantomenK: Sure do! I love the works of David Wise and the Donkey Kong Country soundtracks have got some of my all time favourite songs. Tim Follin, Reyn Ouwehand and Koji Kondo are other favourites.
RGG: One of my favourite indie games of the past year was the XBL version of Rad Raygun, as you composed the games soundtrack was there any specific influences you brought on board for the MegaMan-esque Game Boy-style platform run-n-gunner?
FantomenK: I hope so, I was asked to make the soundtrack + sound FX. I was told what type of stages there were going to be and made the music to their description. The mastermind behind the game told me he listened to my tracks while making the game so I hope they inspired him.
Alright stop! Collaborate and listen. Olly's back with brand new question's
RGG: There's been recent talk and video footage uploaded by the brains behind Rad Raygun about a sequel/expanded version called Super Rad Raygun; any news on that you can share? Will you be doing the OST again this time round?
FantomenK: I know that it's received an overhaul and will be bigger and better in most aspects, and yeah I've agreed to create the music for it.
RGG: It's a standard for us here at RetroGameGeeks to ask a desert island discs scenario. With that said: Giant spiders that can shoot lasers from their silly amount of eyes have taken over your hometown. Clint Eastwood is on vacation. You're chilling in a tunnel system til it all blows over, or rather when those pesky eight-legged freaks are blown up. There's electricity down there and an infinite supply of retro gaming systems, but you have to bring your own games. FantomenK, I ask you this...what would those five retro games be and why!?
FantomenK: Oh man, brrr I hate spiders. But to the question. Hm, I'd probably go with things I can play for a long time. Harvest Moon for the SNES is a no-brainer, love that game and I still haven’t been able to finish that game without being scolded by the parents. If I had somebody to keep me company I'd be sure to bring a copy of North & South for the NES. Also Super Smash Bros for the N64, there's almost no need to leave the tunnel if I'd bring that! Also, don't know if im cheating now but one of those pirated NES carts with 100 in 1. Oh and that Mega Man X game I haven’t played yet, don't know if it X2 or X3. With these I'm all set!
RGG: It's impossible to mention FantomenK without people thinking of Nathan Barnatt, or should I say at least; Keith Apicary. Whets your relationship like with the retro gaming equivalent of Borat meets Napoleon Dynamite?
FantomenK: I'd like to think that I can stand on my own with my own merits. There's no denial though that the amazing comedian Nathan Barnatt has been a huge help to my career and im extremely grateful for all the exposure I've gained due to his videos. He and I talk from time to time over mail, he knows I'm willing to help with whatever I can sound-wise and I always look forward to see what the crazy guy comes up with next.
RGG: Is there musically speaking anything in the works you're excited about right now and fancy telling all the retrobates here at RGG about?
FantomenK: There are some cool things happening, although they are top secret, but hopefully you'll find out soon enough! I'm looking forward to releasing a new album, It's been a while since I released stuff and I'm hard at work creating new tunes!
Last night at the proms.....Big finish moment... The crowd goes wild!
RGG: Alongside bandcamp and soundcloud, YouTube can be an obviously powerful tool at the disposal of an artist such as yourself. What are your thoughts on YouTube as a site and of the retro community that thrives there? As its topical, share your thoughts on all this rampant Google+ integration we've seen of late...
FantomenK: Most of my favourite channels are retro-orientated, I never miss an episode from The Game Chasers, Didyouknowgaming, JonTron or Cinemassacre, I could go on forever, the retro community on YouTube is as good as it's ever been. I really don't like what they did with this whole YouTube Google+ merging, usually I adapt to changes pretty quick but this new layout is still getting me confused everyday. I hope there will be some sort of compromise between the Google folks and the people.
RGG: What would you say is your all time favourite retro games machine, home or handheld?
FantomenK: Probably the NES. That’s the first console I had. It's probably the thing in my life that gives me the most nostalgia, the look and sounds of it takes me back every time.
RGG: How do you see the future panning out for yourself as a chiptune artist? Further soundtrack composition, further collaborations, etc? What do you look forward to?
FantomenK: Actually, I'm finishing music orientated game dev school. When finished I'd love to start a small company with some talented people I've met over the years and. I'd love to make sounds and music to various things and make a living that way.
RGG: On behalf of RetroGameGeeks and the retrobates at large I would just like to thank you for your time and responses to my questioning. Is there anything you want to add?
FantomenK: Thank you, I enjoyed answering them. I wish RetroGameGeeks best of luck in the future!
RGG: I have a feeling what the answer will be, but as is commonplace round these parts...Mario or Sonic!?
FantomenK: Mario games have tight controls, Sonic games play themselves. Mario all the way! :)
And that's FantomenK!
Make sure you follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, subscribe to him on YouTube and, of course; check him out on iTunes, Bandcamp and Soundcloud to support all the wonderful music he continues to make.
Clearly a Nintendo boy (who speaks ill of Sonic), but that's cool (even if Sega is cooler, d'uh!). Remember, Segaites, we don't hold it against them. They just don't know yet. We here at RetroGameGeeks look forward to what the future has to offer and reading what he has to say, hopefully you all do to.
I immediately got a good feeling about him after he happily responded to a fanboyish e-mail from myself and the following interview and conversation only backed that up. He's a great guy and very approachable, who above all else; is a master of his craft.
Hopefully this interview has been enlightening for some of you retrobates out there reading today (or tomorrow, or in the year 3127 (sup future peeps?)) as this seeks to only open up The Portal further in shining light onto those within the scene keeping that retro spirit alive.
I've been Olly023, he's been FantomenK and this has been RetroGameGeeks.