Here's the latest article from Pop Ethos. Check the site for a bunch of other interviews including jmbt02, The-EXP (Indestructotank), and Riftmaster (Badlands series)!
After mainly talking with artists and flash designers these last few months, I was really excited to finally get in touch with a musician! Eighteen-year-old Norwegian Christian M., a.k.a. Waterflame, has been writing music since he was twelve. One quick listen to any of his tracks will prove his experience, but how did he get started?
"I don't really know for sure where the inspiration or fascination came from, but my first encounter with music production was with a really old Mac program I don't even remember the name of. I was about 12 years old then I think. Later I tried a demo to the Sony Playsation 1, Music 2000. I started playing around with it and I noticed there was a riff editor, which basically allowed you to make your own songs and even sounds from scratch. Later I got the full version of the game/program and I started to compose music there. Songs like "Thunderzone" and "Corkspin" here on Newgrounds were originally composed there."
Christian eventually moved from his Playstation to his computer to utilize a more professional array of tools, "Now I use Fruityloops 5, Acid, and I'm currently learning Milkytracker. Most of my sounds are taken from Soundfonts, free sounds from Internet, or made by me, either from a pure wave sound or something I record with the microphone."
"As for the work process, it varies a lot. Sometimes I just start with inspiration or just the feeling of wanting to make something. Then just play around and see what emerges. Other times I have a melody I've been thinking about that I nail down soon as I get home, and work on it later. But most of the time, I have the mood planed out and the rest comes flowing. For instance, if I feel kinda gloomy one day, and the weather outside feels the same, something like my song "Gray Morning" might come out. My music is mostly driven by my feelings."
Christian hopes someday to work in the music industry, but doesn't see that as a possibility yet, "To release a CD would be one of my small dreams. But since I don't play at any clubs or places in my hometown, and people outside Newgrounds don't really know of me, I don't think of it as an option just yet. I'm afraid it would have turned out bad. Simply cause I lack the reputation, not necessary the skill. And to be honest, I don't really know where to go from here."
Even so, he has his foot in the door, "I work for a small software company called Nibbo. They make kid's games in Mexico, and I make most of the music tracks and sound effects for the projects they work on. They only do one project a year more or less, so it's not something I can live off at all, but its fun to be a part of it, and I do make some money off it."
One of the things that impressed me was the range of styles he'd touched on and some of the great original sounds he had come up with, "I try to blend and mix styles. Since I started off learning about music on my own, and never had any lessons of any kind, I constantly bend the rules of genres a little and come up with new ideas. I personally think break-beat is fascinating, since the beat and rhythm is so alive, and controls the whole song. Compared to other genres, in this one, the drums control the bass and melody outcome, not the other way around, like it is usually done. I also generally just like the sound of it."
"Apart from that, I also enjoy orchestral and classical music, which I would say, almost speaks for itself. But what I really like about it is that it's a genre where the melody controls it all, there is no need for drums, vocals or anything. And the melodies are simply awesome. What I'm trying to do with some of these songs is to get these to genres together and create a new genre. It has been done before, I know, but to me that is the ultimate genre."
Christian just released a new title, "Trainstation Dukeout," which he describes as a techno/breakbeat song mostly containing drums, bass, and chug guitar. I asked him if he had anything big in the works and he said some technical limitations were holding him back at the moment, "I wish I could say yes about the big release, but I just got a new computer, and sadly Fruityloops 7 wont work here for some reason. So until I find a way to fix it I'll use Fruityloops 5. I am constantly working on songs though, and I've made twice as much as I've submitted. I make music at least 1-2 hours a day I think. When I'm not doing things with people that is."
Christian leaves us with this advice, "I would say the most important thing is to try new things, experiment and to always test your limits!"
Be sure to visit his userpage and listen to all the great tracks!