Strange Synth Sounds – Welcome Commodore 64 RMB303
Next up on the moofest blog we welcome Rick Baines, otherwise billed as RMB303. Rick has been around the local scene for a while now and many of you may have caught in Semihere, at a Pixel Lust event or at last years moofest were his take on various theme tunes and songs went down a storm on the cowshed stage. Moofesters I give you RMB303:
Whoâ€™s in the band and what do they play?
What band? Oh, me. Thereâ€™s just me Iâ€™m afraid – armed with a laptop filled with various software synths, samplers and effects; plus a few MIDI controllers to fid-dle with as I play Candy-Farm-Jewel-Heist-Saga-Kings, or whatever rubbish peo-ple claim are games these days..
What inspired you to make music together?
Together? What are you implying – Schizophrenia?
The fact that it was possible to make music astounded me, and still does now.
I started by making strange sounds on a synth called the EDP Wasp that my Dad got when I was quite small. I then attempted to compose music using the Com-modore 64â€™s three voice SID chip in the early 80s, before discovering my Dadâ€™s acoustic guitar. I slowly figured out how to play Black Sabbath riffs on one string for a while before buying some books to show me what to do with the other strings.
I then bought an electric guitar which I played for far too many hours a day until my fingers got chopped off in an unfortunate accident. After then I threw myself back into the electronic side of music – which had evolved quite a way by then – and Iâ€™ve been annoying people with it ever since.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music?
Itâ€™s roughly evolved in this order:
Random synthesiser noises and attempts at movie theme tunes, very basic coun-terpoint using C64 bleeps, blues guitar, rock guitar, metal guitar, space-rock gui-tar, badly played jazz guitar, mainly sample based Amiga music, Amiga samples assisted by MIDI instruments, to full blown more virtual equipment than I know what to do with on a Mac in any style I can think of trying that might be consid-ered music by deaf people whoâ€™ve been in a coma for a few decades.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
One cup of very strong tea followed by another cup of slightly less strong tea.
I donâ€™t really do food in the mornings.
Whatâ€™s your favourite breakfast cereal?
Strong tea, and maybe some cheese on toast once Iâ€™ve woken up a bit and had another cup of tea. Are those cereals?
Whatâ€™s the worst job you ever had?
The one that led to me temporarily having only two fingers on one hand. I had the three put back on, but one turned purple and had to be removed again.
What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
Invite a bunch of well respected scientists to bring a group of trustworthy cam-eramen round to my house to film definitive proof of poltergeist activity, and live off the royalties drinking fine whiskies in a large villa somewhere warmer and dryer than England.
Whatâ€™s your favourite ride at the fair?
The arcade games. Preferable from the late 70s to the late 80s.
Thatâ€™s physical enough for me – all that standing.
Have you ever milked a cow?
No, but I have wondered what itâ€™d be like. I wouldnâ€™t like to drink it straight from the source though. Iâ€™m in favour of pasteurisation.
Whatâ€™s your favourite cheese?
Very, very strong mature cheddar – you canâ€™t beat it for cheese on toast.
If Iâ€™m feeling posh, maybe a bit of Roquefort.
Whatâ€™s your favourite sandwich?
Did you have a nickname at school?
Bainesy. I was a bit too insular to ever be popular, so I never really progressed to having a proper nickname
Have you ever written a fan letter?
Do emails count? Iâ€™ve written emails to Will Wright – the guy who made the â€˜gamesâ€™ SimCity, Sim Earth and Sim Life (also The Sims, but not for that reason), and also a few of the guys who wrote some of those adventure game-books in the 80s. I got replies from most of them too.
Whatâ€™s your most disgusting habit?
Staying up till an insanely late time during the week, and then crashing for most of the weekend. My wife would agree that itâ€™s quite disgusting. Sorry.
If you were a domestic appliance what would it be?
An arcade cabinet with an emulator loaded up with every game ever released for the arcades, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Megadrive, NES, SNES, Amiga and original Playstation. Heaven.
Whatâ€™s your favourite word?
I do love Mellifluous, but thatâ€™s a clichÃ©d choice, so Iâ€™ll go with Eldritch instead. Amorphous is also nice.
Can you think of a good poem about moofest?
There once was a bloke named Jamie,
Whose festival asked â€œWill you play me?â€
I said â€œOk, Iâ€™ll go on,
but I shanâ€™t sing a song,
if the throng hear my croaks they may slay me!â€
Tell us a joke?
Whatâ€™s the difference between a duck?
One of its legs are both the same.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Do it. You donâ€™t need much – just your mouth and a phone to record with will do. You donâ€™t even need other people. If you create some sounds that you enjoy mak-ing, and maybe listening to afterwards, then youâ€™ve created some music.
How can the moofesters get hold of your music?
I donâ€™t really do any â€˜seriousâ€™ music nowadays (Iâ€™m concentrating more on other pursuits – but thatâ€™s another story). I just do irreverent cover versions to amuse people when asked to do things like Moofest. I do have a selection of tunes Iâ€™ve used for some local retro-gaming events (Pixel Lust) at: https://soundcloud.com/rickbaines/sets
Any last words?
â€œI do wish we could chat longer, but Iâ€™m having an old friend for dinnerâ€¦â€
Thanks Rick for taking the time to join in the blog, very much appreciated. Rick may claim to not doing serious music any more, we would disagree. If you want a great festival act to watch that you won’t come across everyday make sure you check out RMB303 at moofest.