NOTE! THE FOLLOWING USER IS NOW REFERRED AS Murray HOWEVER IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THIS INTERVIEW THAT YOU KNOW HIS PREVIOUS USERNAME WHICH WAS Bahamut.
Interview No. 52
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest has been here once before. I chose him for his contributions to Newgrounds and for being a very helpful user. It's funny how he's being interviewed once again for the exact same thing, but now he's doing even more by assisting with the Icon Moderators, he has even won the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Trophy for Best User of Newgrounds. He is once again @Bahamut.
Q: Last time we talked one thing that I brought up was you becoming a Forum Moderator. Now you are also an Icon Moderator. How did you come about getting this position and for those who don't know, what does an Icon Moderator do?
A: I've been an icon moderator since June 2010 when the new icon format was announced. A year before I was one of the original genre mods helping out with Tom to update flashes with genres and tags which will come to full use with the upcoming redesign. When it came to the announcement of the new icon format as well as recruiting icon mods, I didn't even need to think twice about the position since updating flashes with genres and tags as well as making new icons was simply hitting two birds with one stone.
Icon mods update any flashes that have yet to have a 140x90 thumbnail and so far at least 50,000 flash submissions have new thumbnails. It isn't that hard of a job to find a good screenshot to represent the flash movie/game and crop it on Photoshop, GIMP or whatever but the real challenge is the motivation to keep on going. Not only are these icon mods helping out with the upcoming redesign, they're also coming across many great submissions they may have overlooked all this time. I've added at least 90 flashes to my favourites thanks to my icon/genre modding duties.
Q: You and I have spoken about you winning the 2009 Mid-Year Awards and 2009 BBS Awards for Most Underrated and the 2010 Mid-Year Awards for Best Poster. Now you have received The 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for User of the Year. What is your response to this and did you think somebody else was going to win? If so then who?
A: I was really amazed how I won the tank award for User of the Year. Out of all the users who visit the site on a regular basis, they awarded the trophy to me. I was 100% sure it was out of my league up until the point when Tom was commenting on the work that needs to be done for the upcoming redesign. It was then I knew I won User of the Year 2010. As for who I thought could have won it instead of me, it could have been anyone with a true contribution to the site. I thought someone like Oney or HappyHarry would have been the ideal User of the Year 2010 since not only do they make flash content that's loved by many, they also make many appearances at NG events and do interact very well on the site.
Q: You sir are certainly quite the writer. A journalist if you will. Your series "Gaming Bullshit Rants" have been fun to read. You have now started yet another writing project and that is Metal Monday. Could you tell us about Metal Monday and what inspired you to create it?
A: The idea occurred to me when I was thinking of all the underrated songs in heavy metal. I've been looking further and further in underground heavy metal where all these bands would never have a spot on the radio or any music channels and the best recognition some will ever have is a track appearance on Brutal Legend. It also depresses me when they have little to no reviews on Metal-Archives or barely have any comments on YouTube or Last.fm where others can express how good or bad a song really is. The idea for Metal Monday is to talk about songs that are severely overlooked in general and talk about the song as a whole. I can't really do that on Metal-Archives due to the no track-by-track review rule so this is a great opportunity for me to talk about individual songs.
Q: Whenever someone undergoes a project like the one you've taken on the one hard choice is how do you start it and how do you end it. I think you've started it wonderfully with Black Sabbath - Master of Insanity. You've stated that...
what better way to start things off than to begin with the band who are often considered the pioneers of heavy metal.
Do you stand by this statement and could you give us a more detailed reasoning to this?
A: I'm definitely still happy with that statement, especially when Black Sabbath are well regarded as the true beginning of heavy metal. Although some metal elements may have been present in the 1960s, it wasn't until Black Sabbath came along that showed what the sound of heavy metal is meant to be like. I honestly couldn't think of a better way to kick off my Metal Monday project than to cover the band that started it all.
Q: I believe that one of your more interesting posts to Metal Monday is that of Christopher Lee - Act III: The Bloody Verdict of Verden. Christopher Lee has been a favorite actor of mine and this is just fascinating while at the same time bizarre, a combination that can bring forth disaster or pure Rock. How did you come across this and what made you want to write about it?
A: Over the recent years I've mostly known Christopher Lee for his voice role in Rhapsody of Fire's albums (before that it was his role as Saruman in Lord of the Rings). They have him for narrative roles in their concept album series known as The Dark Saga which they started with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Saga in 2004. For his voice appearance in Rhapsody of Fire's music, it's less surreal to me that he'd make a metal album (well, somewhat) of his own. I just heard about it one day and had to pre-order it as soon as possible. When considering the songs for Metal Monday, I had to throw in one of Christopher Lee's songs for a laugh.
Q: I dug up something old when I asked you about your first post on the Newgrounds BBS within the thread pokemon fans only. Looking back on that and your posting today would you say you've grown?
A: Most certainly! I signed up at the age of 14 and I'll be turning 21 in July. I'm more relaxed, knowledgeable and more capable of dealing with debates on the forums. Time sure changes on Newgrounds.
Q: If you could change anything about Newgrounds what all would you change?
A: One thing I would like is the return of the hourly picks on front page. This was on the site up until the 2007 redesign and it randomly picked three submissions every hour that have less than 1,000 views. I think there was another that picked a few submissions daily that never had a daily award but it's hard to recall now, it's been that long ago. Still, bringing that back would at least give the small flashes a chance to shine, even if it's just for a brief period.
Q: What can we expect from Bahamut in the near future?
A: Just my ongoing work but I do have the London meet to attend in August. Hopefully there'll be another meet event in England sometime in early 2012 just like how we had the Manchester meet back in January but with us moving away from London next year due to the London 2012 olympics, it might be that we'll only have one England meet next year. Additionally, I'd like to attend Pico Day 2012 at the NG office so I'll have to make travel arrangements in six months time. I really should have been there for this Pico Day but what can we do now? Anything else, we'll see what happens but after winning User of the Year 2010, it's really hard to do any better than that. Still, the site will continue to grow and there'll be opportunities to do other things.
Not only is Bahamut a very helpful user and moderator he is a dear friend to many people here and more than deserves his award for Best User. I'm happy for him for winning it and I honestly don't see anyone more deserving of this than him.