SurfWatch Interviews: Simon Linden

SurfWatch (SW) recently caught up with Simon Linden (SL) hitting up a Tukso Okey show in Second Life.  Simon agreed to talk to SurfWatch about the Second Life music scene from his perspective.

SW:  Hi Simon!  We've seen you at multiple live music events over the last year - tell us about the first live Second Life show you ever saw?
SL:  My first show was a bit of random chance.  I was out with my alt, sitting around chatting with a new friend.  At some point, they asked me if I had ever seen a SL show.  I didn't know they even existed, so I went along.   Wow - it turns out my friend was the performer, and I was blown away.  It was such a nice surprise.

SW:  What drew you to the music scene in SL?
SL:  I've always enjoyed live music, and it was wonderful to find musicians sharing their art.  The atmosphere and crowd are great, so I kept looking for more.

SW:  How long have you been in SL and what got you involved?  Was it work related first or is your music attendance in world a work function or a personal choice?
SL:  I've been in SL for almost 11 years.   I made my first account when I heard about a job opening and wanted to see what Second Life was.  I didn't do much outside of work for the first few years, but eventually put in more time, made some friends and discovered the music scene.

SW:  What do you do for Linden Labs in Second Life?
SL:  I'm a developer and work mostly on the region servers, creating lag.  I enjoy fixing problems, trying to make SL run better, and building new features.

SW:  Who are some of your favorite SL live performers and why?
SL:  I prefer performers that are all live, with no backing tracks.  It's tough to pick names, but some of the ones I follow these days are Tukso Okey, Jed Luckless, Lisa Brune, Boney Mosely, Joe Paravane, Winston Ackland, Suzen Juel, Twostep, Max Kleene, Jack Slade, Bat Masters, Beth Odetts, Mason Thorne, Blindboink Parham, Funky Freddy, Gweeb, Oblee, Amforte, Ed Lowell ... I hate trying to list them as I'm sure I'm forgetting some.   I've seen over 300 different performers over the years and am amazed at the talent.

SW:  Do your SL music preferences reflect your RL music preferences?
SL:  They definitely do.  I'm a Deadhead, so I tend towards similar musicians who like to experiment and jam.   That said, I really like it when someone plays something new and I'm exposed to different music.

SW:  Do you have a favorite type of venue?
SL:  I like ones that couldn't possibly exist in Real Life.  There are some that try to mimic a real club, and that can be fun but I'd rather be in a place that has lots of space for avatars and no walls or roof blocking my camera.  It's amazing to see how imaginative builders can be, creating spaces that are different and beautiful.

SW:  Some of my early shows were technical disasters learning to stream and dealing with that side of a performance.  I've also had my dogs howl during a show and various other unexpected interruptions.  What are some of the most memorable performances you've been to and why?
SL:  It's always fun when there is a surprise like that during a show, and it brings everyone closer.  I think some of my most enjoyable shows have been where I brought someone along who likes music but has never seen a live show in Second Life, and suddenly they find themselves with a group of other music lovers, everyone is dancing and chatting, and there's a talented musician playing.   That's a magical moment when people discover how much fun it can be.

SW:  Have you ever tried SL surfing?  Or would you be willing to catch a wave with me?
SL:  That would be fun!  I tried it years ago, but it would be cool to do it again.  We Lindens occasionally organizes outings, so maybe we should set it up so you can teach a bunch of Lindens to surf.

SW:  Thank you for the interview, Simon!  SurfWatch is looking forward to meeting again to discuss the more technical issue of lag and setting up a Surfing Fun Day for a Linden group outing!  And hope to see you at a Tauri Tigerpaw show sometime!

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