Before you ask, yes, I am interviewing myself. I asked Way who would be interviewing me. I’ll do the funny Discord messages to show the exchange, but first I need to say my name in this paragraph to fulfill the search engine optimization quota. imfallinfree. There. Funny message time.
whos gonna spinterview me lmao i want in on this
have an interview
can i use the banner
it’s an interesting idea to be sure
So, who am I? I’m Toast, but you more likely know me as imfallinfree. You also probably know me as the guy who charts anime music, because a third of my charts are anime songs. The openings for Megadimension Neptunia VII, Yuru Camp, Assassination Classroom, and some of the Monogatari series – those are mine. There is the occasional non-anime song like Cold Cold Man or AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE A FUNKY BEAT – but in general, if it has my name, it’s most likely anime.
test header please ignore
Very quickly before we move on – I’m going to fill up my SEO quota. SpinShare for our internal link, and since I can make the outbound link go anywhere, I’ll send you to the Crunchyroll page for Kill La Kill. Go watch Kill La Kill, by the way.
Look, I asked Way for a proper Spinterview but I mean, I can totally do it myself. I do want to answer these questions. To make this “interview” at least…somewhat tolerable to read, I’ll still write the questions in thir-second? I think it’s second person, at least for me. I don’t really know if that’s more or less egotistical, but it makes the article stand out less than it already is from these opening paragraphs. Well, enough of the meta – time for a Spinterview.
What got you into Spin Rhythm XD? How did you find out about it?
See, the thing is that these are two completely different stories. I found out about Spin Rhythm XD by complete chance, while browsing through Steam. It just showed up on my recommended, and I looked at it, and it looked great. In fact, it looked too great. I genuinely thought that Spin Rhythm XD was like, a port of a Japanese rhythm game or something. In my mind, this meant a few things.
- This is a fantastic rhythm game.
- I’m going to need some special controller to properly enjoy this game.
- This game probably has awful support.
As such, I dissuaded myself from buying Spin Rhythm. I didn’t think a game could look so good that someone wouldn’t buy it, but here we are.
Fast forward to about April 2020. Quarantine had hit and I was looking for something new to play. That’s when one of the podcasts I listened to, the Dad & Sons Podcast, happened to mention Spin Rhythm. They praised the hell out of the game, and made me realize that it wasn’t a Japanese rhythm game, and could be played with just a mouse and keyboard, and had actual support, and then I decided – fuck it. I’ll bite. Now here I am, hundreds of hours later.
What made you decide to chart for Spin Rhythm?
If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure. I was never the most musically talented, and I’d never created levels for rhythm games before. I guess I just had a lot of free time, or something.
Wait, no, I remember. It was Bad Apple. Yeah, that’s it. The song that inevitably makes it into every rhythm game – I wanted it in Spin Rhythm. So I tried to make it, learned how to use the editor, and then learned how hard it was to chart Bad Apple. Then an internet outage occurred in my area. So with nothing better to do, I decided to chart a different song – Carpenter Brut’s Turbo Killer. I finished it, posted a video, then Matt invited me to the SpinShare Discord.
That was the kicker. Someone saw what I’d made and reached out, and said ‘hey, I like this! keep it up!’. And that just – I mean, it’s only human to want approval and make things other people enjoy, right? So I joined the server, and decided to make more charts for this silly rhythm game.
What’s your general process behind a chart? What makes you decide you want to chart a song, and what about that song influences the chart’s overall design?
The thing is that I feel like I have two processes: my normal process and a process I call “burst” charting.
My normal process is-I mean, it’s what I imagine the typical fare is for most people. I hear a song, and I think “Wow, that would be a pretty cool chart”. Usually, there’ll be a part with like, a cool drum fill, or a rhythm I think will be fun, or I just really like the song. So I buy the song, then spend a good amount of days charting it.
I spend a lot more time playtesting than I want to admit. I’ll chart something, then I’ll playtest it, then I’ll playtest it again, and again, and again – an ungodly amount of times. I guess I just want to be absolutely sure that a part “feels right”. I put a lot of thought into the patterns in my charts. Questions like “how does this relate to the music, does it match its tone and pitch? Does this pattern flow well in the first place? How does it set up the next pattern? Is there anything else I could do for this section?” are running through my head while charting, although that last one gets ignored fairly frequently when I just end up copying and pasting my chart.
Either that, or “This pattern is funny. I’m keeping it in” like I did with the drifting sliders in Escape or the guitar solo spike in Mousou 4tune.
Burst charting is something I find a bit more interesting. Sometimes I’ll have an urge to suddenly chart something for the sheer sake of charting it. With these burst charts, I usually don’t concern myself with how it’ll turn out in the end. I just try to finish the chart. That often translates to “less playtesting”. As a result, two things happen with these burst charts. I’ll chart them in much shorter times than I usually do (hence the name), and I tend to experiment a bit with these charts.
Disguise was me trying my hand at charting Normal difficulty, PANIC HOLIC was my first attempt at 50+ charting, One Room Sugar Life was me seeing just how much I could get away with in a difficulty spike, round up the facist bully boys was me trying my hand at a barrel-centric chart, stuff like that. These burst charts aren’t typically my best charts, but I’m proud of them, since they’re an opportunity for me to try out stuff I wouldn’t normally do.
Is there any way that you would describe your charting style? What makes it unique, and what makes it similar when compared to other charters?
I don’t really think so. I think my charts are rather basic charts that follow the most prominent rhythms, use less matches than normal, and more sliders than normal while following the same standards as everyone else. One thing that Kali mentioned was something along the lines of “you can tell who came from osu!, because they chart a ton of taps”. And I mean, it’s pretty true. osu! by nature is very input and movement heavy, so that sort of translated over to my charting with my focus on taps and flicks.
Are there any other charts or charters that you look to for inspiration in your charts?
A lot of my early charts were influenced by the Banda and Stride at the time – in particular, Konga Conga Kappa and p4 – Dance! come to mind. Dance! in particular I’d attribute to being responsible for my current charting style, since it was so influential in my early charts, and thus my learning process, that traces of its flow & general style can still be seen in my current charts.
Nowadays, me and Stride have ended up in a sort of feedback loop. I enjoy the creativity on display in his charts (particularly his sliders), and he’s gone out of his way to call some of my weeb charts some of the most fun charts he’s played. Both of us admire each other’s charts, which is kind of strange – the person you put on a pedestal pulling out a reverse card and also putting you on a pedestal. I’ve also been looking into doing some more multidiff charts, so I’ve been analyzing a lot of Slival and Banda charts to understand what’s acceptable for difficulties that aren’t XD because at this point, I’ve completely forgotten.
A lot of your charts tend to consist largely of sliders and taps when compared to other notes. Is there any reason for your preference for these types of notes?
Remember what Kali said about osu! players charting a lot of taps and sliders? That’s why – it’s a sort of emulation of that style of gameplay, where inputs and movement – in particular, flicks and jumps – are more intrinsically linked and encouraged. To me, the fact that taps and sliders are associated with inputs and moving, as opposed to only moving with matches, is what makes them more satisfying to play in my opinion. Taps would be a basic hitcircle in osu!, and sliders are – well, the sliders in osu!. My use of spins also sort of stems from this, because they also tend to play into that flicky nature of osu!.
Sliders are very prominent in my charts because a lot of the songs I chart tend to be charted to vocals. A lot of vocals are obviously held over several notes, so sliders are great at representing that “holding” feeling or whatever. It helps that sliders can be rather dynamic and utilized for all sorts of noises. And obviously, one of my favourite patterns is the boing. Boings are a very fun motion in general – that back and forth movement, either into a spinner or chained into another boing. I think every chart I’ve made after More One Night has at least one boing in it.
You don’t tend to use a lot of matches in your charts, despite them being a major mechanic of the game. Is this a deliberate choice or is this just an artifact of the songs you chart?
Most likely the latter. A lot of the songs I tend to chart have notes about .5 a beat apart from each other. In my opinion, .5 of a beat tends to feel too slow for matches to be “exciting” in a chart even if they go the whole 1-5 movement, which is why I tend to reserve matches for when notes are .25 of a beat apart. That’s why matches show up more often in songs like FUNKY BEAT or Renai Circulation, when those .25 spacings are more frequent. I love matchstreams as much as the next guy, but a lot of the time, the songs I chart don’t really necessitate matchstreams until there’s a drum fill or something.
Since November, you’ve been organizing a fair amount of megacollabs, often with Fusion Collabs from SiivaGunner or TimmyTurnersGrandDad. Why did you begin organizing megacollabs, and what about them appeals to you? Why these types of songs?
But yeah, megacollabs are absolutely insane. I love them since, to me, they’re a celebration of the SpinShare community. The whole community coming together to chart one song – I love it. You get to see every charter’s individual strengths – some of their weaknesses, too – but overall, you see it all. The styles of each charter, their highs and lows, the sounds they chart to, the way they chart those sounds – I love megacollabs because to me, they represent SpinShare. Hey, if anyone wants to organize one themselves – let me know, and I’ll gladly hand over the keys to the megacollab account.
As for the song choice, it’s definitely something I consider when organizing megacollabs. With fusion collabs, the song will be in one style before changing to a different style. These types are easier to organize since it’s obvious to decide how to split the sections up. Thematically, they also fit rather well, since song styles change alongside the charter. Pluffaduff is a name that’s been thrown around a bit, but I’m dreading having to divide those mashups up since the sections aren’t as clear-cut as a fusion collab. I’d love to branch megacollabs out into more than just fusion collabs. Some of the ideas that have been thrown around are the Sayonara Wild Hearts medley and Reach for the Summit from Celeste, both of which are fantastic ideas.
btw if we follow through on the sayonara wild hearts medley
im taking claire de lune
About a third of your charts are meme charts. Why do you make so many meme charts?
They’re funny. I don’t really know what else I can say. They’re funny. There’s no need to take it seriously because it’s a joke, so you can just chart whatever you want. They also tend to be rather short, so you can do them in like, less than 10 minutes if you’re really dedicated. To paraphrase what juch. said, if a chart is a car that goes vroom, a meme chart is a car that goes BRBWBWBTJITK and you will die.
I actually attribute Clocks and Game Theory – Love is War! as being turning points for when I began making good charts. At that point I hadn’t really charted too much XD, so the Love is War! chart was me beginning to learn what made charting XD different from EX. And due to the inherent restrictions of charting Clockwise-only Clocks, I had to come up with numerous patterns only in one direction. All of those patterns made me realize how simple charting really was – just different variations on moving from lane 1 to lane 5, in essence. Both of those shitposts ended up being critical for me to learn charting essentials.
You’re easily one of the most prolific anime charters on SpinShare. You single-handedly account for nearly a third of all songs tagged ‘anime’ on SpinShare, and a third of all of your charts are derived from anime. Why do you chart so much anime?
The thing is that I haven’t even seen all that much anime recently, nor do I even really listen to anime songs on my own time. Even though I do like the songs, I just feel like a fucking idiot when I listen to anime music, so I’m not really sure why I ended up charting a lot of anime songs. The easy answer is just “I like these songs”. A lot of the weeb music I chart are songs I enjoy from anime that I also enjoy – Kill La Kill and Girls’ Last Tour are some of my favourite shows of all time, so there’s definitely an aspect of me wanting to share my taste in anime and encourage others to watch them as well.
“I just feel like a fucking idiot when I listen to anime music.”imfallinfree
There’s also the whole osu! thing. I’d replay songs like Bye Bye Yesterday, Sirius and Platinum Disco dozens and dozens of times, so I became somewhat familiar with how these songs are interpreted for rhythm games. It also let me know that there was an audience for these songs, one that would likely want them in Spin Rhythm – an audience that included me, most of the time.
These songs are also really fucking similar, when we get down to it. I’ve joked about how I have one chart that I apply to every anime song known to man, but I mean – am I wrong? All of these songs are easy to chart since they’re very structurally similar and have very straightforward melodies and rhythms. I already knew anime music was formulaic, but charting these songs especially drove home just how formulaic they were. A lot of what’s created for one weeb song can generally be applied to another weeb song not long after. If you chart one weeb song, you can generally chart another.
Your first big charting project was a showcase of several Persona 5 songs, a soundtrack full of jazz influences. What drew you to chart the Persona 5 OST? How do you feel about these charts in retrospect?
The Persona 5 soundtrack is so fucking good. That’s it. They’re really good songs. I really enjoy jazzy type stuff, but a lot of actual jazz is li-it’s wild to even try to set up a chart for them, much less actually chart them. Thankfully, the Persona 5 soundtrack has the style but none of the hassle – everything is typically straight 4/4 in one BPM. So even when I was still relatively new to charting, they were straightforward enough for me to chart somewhat competently.
Looking back at these charts, I’m cringing a lot, but they were undoubtedly paramount in me being a good charter nowadays. You look at the chart I made just before it – Regain Control, and it’s obviously from someone who understands how to use the editor, but has only a partial grasp of the basics of charting. Then you look at Last Surprise – night and day. The basics are more well understood, it follows standards better (although there’s still some odd points) and it’s overall a lot more confident. These were definitely the first “good” charts I made, but I’d certainly like to revisit them someday.
What about your other “one-off” charts? How do those end up coming to fruition?
Yeah, when I gain sanity for one second, I chart actual music. Songs like Cold Cold Man and AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE A FUNKY BEAT were collabs I got approached for since I’d been friends with the charters, and they also knew I really enjoyed those songs. I’d love to return to Saint Motel one day. My other one-offs aren’t really anything more than “I like the song”, I’d say. Actually, Tokyo Drift I charted just to use the name – and then I kickstarted the whole Checkpoint Cinematic Universe trend by pushing for Kali to name hers “Checkpoint Forever After”.
Are there any other artists or songs that you love outside of Spin Rhythm? Any that you want to chart, but just haven’t gotten around to yet – or you just don’t think their music would be a good fit for Spin Rhythm?
I have a whole Spotify playlist of songs I want to chart eventually. Of course there’s a ton of anime openings like those of Your Name., Gonna be the Twin-Tail! and Konosuba, but there’s a good number of one-offs. Stuff like Take on Me, Weight of the World, and Dissolve are songs I’d like to do as full-diffs, but I keep getting sidetracked by other charts. Full-diff is also somewhat of a struggle for me to chart.
I’m a big fan of Biting Elbows, and one of their songs was even one of my first charts. I’d love to return to them eventually, but I just keep getting sidetracked by other charts that I end up wanting to do more. The fact that their songs will need to be manually tempomapped is also something that makes me hesitant to try to chart them, since I want to do them justice.
There’s a lot of stuff I’d like to chart eventually, really. Synthwave is one – I’d really love to chart some darksynth like Perturbator and Carpenter Brut, or some synthpop like PRIZM and Gunship – and obviously a lot of the Hotline Miami soundtrack. Some other video game soundtracks like those of UNDERTALE, PAYDAY, and more Necrodancer remixes would be cool, too. I’d also like to try my hand at some of that hardcore t+pz stuff, he’s really good. I’ve tried starting a lot of these, but ended up sidetracked by either life or another chart.
…You know, I’m starting to realize that I just haven’t charted these songs because I keep getting sidetracked.
Alright, now let’s finish up. Of your charts, are there any that you’re particularly proud of? Which one was the most fun for you to chart?
One Room Sugar Life, without a doubt. It’s interesting because that one was probably a burst chart, but also ended up being one of my best charts in general. I heard that fast talking section, and I knew I just had to go as ham as I possibly could on that section – as stupidly fast and hard as I could feasibly play. That was some of the most fun I’ve had when making a chart, since I didn’t even try to restrict myself – I just charted whatever I wanted.
I’m also rather proud of Mousou 4tune. I just really love that song and the Neptunia series, and getting an opportunity to go nuts on a guitar solo was a ton of fun. It was also my first experience with triplets, and I think I nailed my first encounter with them. I’m very happy with the way that chart turned out in the end, since it’s my favourite opening from Megadimension Neptunia VII.
Any charts that you consider your favourite, or any that you feel got overlooked?
Too many to name, really. There’s a lot of really good stuff like both Zick & juch.’s OVERKILL, Kali’s Preach, Stride’s p4D – Dance!, Tree’s ON FIRE, among others. I think the #1 spot would be Scattered and Lost, which is a chart that came out of nowhere but almost instantly became my new favourite. It’s 6 minutes long but doesn’t feel like it – Pick was throwing in new ideas left and right before culminating in one of the most fun drum fills in any chart I’ve played. It’s a ton of fun and I highly recommend it.
I think a lot of people also ended up sleeping on Slip by Haxton. In a game populated with EDM and stable BPMs, I love when unconventional genres get charted, in particular, jazz or songs with jazzy interludes and influence. There’s a lot of cool concepts going on in Slip, and while it might not be the cleanest, it flows great. It’s a real hidden gem of a chart and one that I’d like to see Haxton build upon in another jazz chart.
Any patterns that you’re fond of charting or playing?
It’s about what you’d expect – the boing, quite obviously, and the extended Zick Triangle. I’ve explained my fondness for the boing already, but as for the extended Zick? I will continue to defend the extended Zick Triangle until I die. I know, I know – filthy freewheel player cringe, but listen. The extended Zick is, honest to God, one of my favourite patterns. It’s a flick and wind down feel that only one other pattern is able to replicate, and that pattern is much more situational than the extended Zick.
Anything that you have to say about the SpinShare community?
I fuckin’ love this community, man. Spin Rhythm is easily the biggest thing I’ve ever been involved in and I wouldn’t have gotten in so deep if the community wasn’t so awesome. I’ve never met a community full of such kind, funny, creative, and passionate people as y’all. I’m so glad that this community is as cool as it is. I’m glad that I can be a part of it.
This community has also ruined my sense of humour, because now lober is the funniest shit in the world. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m supposed to be a good writer but I’m honestly at a loss of words to express how much I love this community. Again, I fuckin’ love y’all.
Any advice that you’d like to give for charters?
I mean, this is the standard fare I give to all charters, really. Charting standard is one thing, charting fun is another. And chart for yourself first – others enjoying your charts is just a bonus.
For new charters though, I used to think that like, “you get better over time” was just an easy weasel way out for general advice and isn’t helpful in the slightest, but – I mean yeah, it’s pretty accurate. While it might not be “helpful”, it certainly is true. Finding out what works in a chart is a process of trial and error, and it’s really something you just end up having to develop a feel for, which is something that can’t really be taught so much as it’s learned. Getting recognized is certainly an uphill battle – but once you conquer that hill, you can take a rest because now, you’d have to actively try to go down that hill if you really wanted to.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Uh, trans rights, go play Hotline Miami, go watch Kill La Kill, listen to the Unmade Podcast and the Dad & Sons podcast. I think that covers my bases.
wait and no anime
except Kill La Kill watch that
One last thing: one pattern must be made illegal. Which pattern is now illegal?
Patterns that consist almost entirely of spins that alternate directions in rather awkward ways. Theoretically, they’re some of the simplest, but fuck am I bad at them. I’m looking at you, Deep in the Night.
I lied, there is one more thing I want to ask: when are you finishing your outstanding collabs and outstanding showcases?
How am I getting attacked by myself
oh shit wait
kadd i’ll get back to you on RMP i swear
as for the others
when they’re ready