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An Interview with JosSs


Another artist interview! Read up on the Spanish scene as Christofori interviews JosSs. Find out what he's been up to, and catch his interesting perspective on the tracking scene!

The Interview

Christofori: So let's start with your name, age, and where you're from.

JosSs: Okay, my name is José Manuel Pérez, I'm 31 years old (WOW! hehe) and I'm from the wonderful city of Madrid in Spain.

Christofori: Ah, cool! 31 eh? Don't see many active trackers around that are your age anymore :)

JosSs: jajaje... sure. I think the real scener spirit is not compatible with real life in 100% of cases; but for me... musical life is a tracked life.

Christofori: You're probably right. Speaking of the scene, how's it look in Spain, how big is it there?

JosSs: Well, in my opinion, the scene in Spain is really alive. A lot of groups are "ON" in the scene... and the most important, some great parties are the "hot spot" for all da people here in Spain.

Christofori: That's great! Have you been to many scene parties then?

JosSs: Nahh... life is hard for me (with my age, work is important so I must be in the office most weekends).
I only joined one party "in real life" (and a 90% gamers party) in Seville, where I won the multichannel compo... I also joined BCN and Euskal Party with co-op entries :)

Christofori: Really, sounds like you've been fairly active then!

JosSs: Yeah! In the last 2 or 3 years, I have discovered the internet....

Christofori: That recently, eh? :)

JosSs: Oh sure! It's been a revolution for me! In my first years (before the internet), my songs are "for my ears" only - I had more than 50 songs finished but... they sat on my hard drive. Well, one day, I decided to buy a modem, and I uploaded some songs to TraxinSpace and to the Mod Archive... I also joined some online-compos, did pretty good; won them!

Christofori: So the world got to hear JosSs for the first time, and on a really strong note, at that! :)

JosSs: Yep :)

Christofori: Yes, the 'net makes the world seem to be a smaller place; it seems that it's really helped the scene.

JosSs: sure

Christofori: Could you imagine a scene without the Internet? What would it be like, you think?

JosSs: pffff.... nah! Impossible. The internet is the only way to the scene today.

Christofori: It certainly is the most accessible.

JosSs: Yeah... but some years ago, the BBS were cool; but now, scener life is not possible without a internet access - the internet lets you know people all around the world! Now your "scener country" is your "scener planet" :)

Christofori: So very true. You mentioned BBS's -- did you ever send your music out on any of them?

JosSs: nah... I didn't have a modem back then...

Christofori: Ah, okay then.

JosSs: I sent some songs to magazine contest here in Spain (Like pcmania and etc.) - and only 2 songs!

Christofori: Right, how'd that go?

JosSs: Some people may remember these songs a lot of years after this! But some people don't like oldskool demostyled songs (i had sent "spanish summer" and "Special Emotion" in to the magazine). I thought they were cool :)

Christofori: Yes, I remember hearing of the magazine days; is that how you stayed informed on the scene before you found the internet?

JosSs: No, not really... one friend (a crazy-amiga and c64 user) show me the firsts demos and cracktros...

Christofori: Ah, okay...

JosSs: I was saying wow! The music of these productions makes me... Well, you know... That's the kind of music that I liked for a lot of years. I still have quite a few cassettes with all da best oldskool music :)

Christofori: So is that what you started with, then, when you began tracking?

JosSs: Hmmm... well, my first try at tracked music was made on my old zx spectrum 48k - on a really basic program called "wham! the music box" - it had 2 channels

Christofori: Oh wow!

JosSs: Hehehe.. sure! I don't remember the year, but it was a lot of years ago!

Christofori: I'd bet.. the earliest most people remember are the great 4-chan mods from the amiga days :)

JosSs: Well on the spectrum... As the games became better and better, music of the games did too. I can remember a game called "firefly" - it used 2 channels and a drum channel which was incredible for the spectrum! luty (an old friend and coder) used to disable the music routines and I changed the notes with a hex editor! Wow, those were old times! :)

Christofori: Hahaha, indeed! So since the spectrum, and your first track, how many tracks would you say you've made in all?

JosSs: Hmmm... approximately 150 finished, with more than 500 unfinished - but... life is long :)

Christofori: That's an impressive lot! Yes, you're right on that.

JosSs: I keep uploading to the net - now I have 50 (or so) tracks at the Mod Archive - but soon there'll be massive oldskool update!

Christofori: Very nice - I look forward to that! So have you always tracked, or do you also play other musical instruments?

JosSs: I've always tracked... no more instrument than a qwerty keyboard :) Do I need more!? Tracker tool r00lz!

Christofori: Definately! What would you say is the most important thing about a song? Like, what inspires you to sit down and write a new song?

JosSs: Well... inspiration for me is all da good music tracked around the scene... I want to be like all the great composers.

Christofori: What kinds of music do you listen to, then? Just tracked music, or..?

JosSs: Well, tracked music and all kind of "real" music. My favorite style IRL is Jazz Fusion.

Christofori: Yeah, that's really popular with a lot of people these days.

JosSs: Groups like Acoustic Alchemy, The Rippingtons, Dave Koz, Pat Metheny Group... Wow!

Christofori: Ah, Pat Metheny ;)

JosSs: Oh sure :) "We Live Here" - a great album, and my favorite song is "Flamoco Loco" by Acoustic Alchemy.

Christofori: How much of what you hear, then, would you say influences you and your music?

JosSs: Well , 90% of the influences in my music are scene-musicians... people like Purple Motion, Skaven, Moby, Jogeir, Peter Salomonsen, 4mat, Dizzy (oh dizzy :) and most recent trackers, like Carlos, Reed (reed really r00lz) and a lot of people!

Christofori: Great! Do you have any other interests with the arts than music?

JosSs: Hehehe... I'm architect in real life...

Christofori: Ah, very cool -- interesting combination; music and architecture :)

JosSs: Yep :) One of my first songs was called Cosmic Architecture. With me, it's always architecture and music, I love them both.

Christofori: So you must be very creative then. What about creating things do you like most?

JosSs: It's my life! To track a good song - the best song - it's like to design the best building. When you've got it, you know - and you feel great! It's a really powerful feeling, too; I love making music and designing (architecture).

Christofori: So how much time, per week, would you say that you spend tracking?

JosSs: In the most recent months, probably no more than 15 minutes per day (I only have time to track some little chiptunes). Some years ago, though... it was more than 3 hours/day... and all da weekends! :)

Christofori: Ah, yes, the weekends :)

JosSs: Hey, but I'm not only a chipper! People know me for tracking chiptunes, but chiptunes are just for fun. I like to track them.

Christofori: That's cool, everyone's got their style they like.

JosSs: ...but my favorite styles are demostyle and jazz-funk! :)

Christofori: What's your favorite food and color, and are you a morning person, or a night person?

JosSs: Hmmm... I like Chinese food, my favorite color is blue, and JosSs is JosSs at night :)

Christofori: Ah, another night person :)

JosSs: Sure! Night is when I can relax... do the internet stuff, spend time with my girlfriend, and my friends :)

Christofori: On another random note.. where did the "HisSs" thing come from; it's like your 'calling card' when you enter the IRC channel. :)

JosSs: jajajaj :) I really dunno.. but now JosSs is JosSs when HisSs appears.

Christofori: Just something you picked up along the way?

JosSs: Yep.

Christofori: All right; I'd always wondered if there might be some story behind it. :)

JosSs: Hehe.. well, the first time I entered the modarchive IRC channel... I didn't use mIRC; I think I entered from the java client... Anyway, I had no nickname (or I didn't know how to change it). I started to use hisSs to say hi, and... well... here I am :)

Christofori: so HisSs was born :)

JosSs: Yep! :) A lot of people now know "hisSs" - it's like in the mods, in the last part of the sample text; " - JosSs Was Here - " :) dunno why...

Christofori: If you suddenly became very rich, what would you do with all the money?

JosSs: No my friend, no money here. I've only been working 2 years (I got a late start because of University and military service...) So I have no money... and "I need a house!"

Christofori: Well, I mean, if money were no object, and you could have one thing, no matter what, what would you ask for?

JosSs: A house! Sure! :)

Christofori: Ah, okay! You mentioned the military; what did you do there, and how long was that?

JosSs: pfff. In Spain, serving in the military is now optional.... But 4 years ago :( How long? 9 months.

Christofori: Ah, you had to join then.

JosSs: Sure :( And my career... was postponed 2 years more for this. The military was a bad thing for a 28 year old; it put my career on hold.

Christofori: Yes, it can do that, that's the unfortunate thing when you must serve as you did.

JosSs: Yeah.

Christofori: Well, will we hear any new music coming from JosSs in the next few weeks?

JosSs: Oh sure :) In #modulez (on EsperNet) they are working on a new music disk... Soon, "Da feeling" will be in this MusicDisk... "Glamour" and 2 or 3 chiptunes are 90% finished.

Christofori: Which of your tracks would you say is your best, or most favorite?

JosSs: Hmmm.... "Da feeling" in multichannel (soon available), and "fuck da ripper" in chiptune.

Christofori: Is there anything you feel we've not covered that you'd like people to know about you?

JosSs: Nah.. I think it was a good interview and if someone wants to know more or ask something... just email me. My English is bad but I'll try to reply!

Christofori: Your English isn't really bad!

JosSs: Nah.... It's really bad but, then again, I never learned it in school. I learned English from the internet! And music of course...

Christofori: Haha, such a great tool isn't it :)

JosSs: And great teachers!

Christofori: Sure thing, of course :) Well thank you, JosSs, for taking the time for this interview!

JosSs: Thank you Christofori, it was a pleasure. :)

Christofori: No problem, likewise here :)

JosSs: Greets from Spain!

Christofori: Make sure you check out some of JosSs' music here.

Article by Christofori, April 2003