‘’I have a profound interest in the unknown and uncharted, specifically in music’’ Declares Old Nick. not only is he a a stalwart of the US black/metal scene. He is an incredibly driven musician.
"Always the riff. When it comes to metal and rock ‘n’ roll, it’s always about the riff.” From working with Abigail Williams ,Thy Emptiness and Motor Throne He is the the driving force and multi-instrumentalist of Mysticism Black a project that began in 2002, The Dark Erudition was unleashed in 2006. Bloodhammer (drums) joined the project in 2014 and the long awaited follow up Return of The Bestial Flame finally arrived in 2019. Epic Song structures and grandiose elements combined with brutal riffing and vast experimental passages.
Such was the progression that 2 years later, is he still happy with such a complex record?
‘’Looking back I’m overall happy with it. A few things with the production I would have done differently with it, but that’ll always be an issue for me. I am currently working on a new album and hope to have it released sometime within the year or so.’’
Mysticism Black is a idea that constantly changes
‘’Mysticism Black has no direction. The writing is completely free and natural. I was a young man with very different aspects of life when The Dark Erudition was written. I’m sure the influences over the last 13 years helped change and shape what was written on Return of The Bestial Flame and I’m sure that progression will keep going.’’
‘’Mysticism Black was originally a solo project until Return of The Bestial Flame, but ultimately I still write all the music and structure. The only interference is my own.’’
Will we see more epic structures such as Return of the Bestial Flame?
‘’Yes. I’ve always tended to write longer/progressive epic songs since my youth.’’
The track Glory Beyond Life.
‘’That song was actually written about the drummer on Return of The Bestial Flame, Matthew Mattern. Matt was apart of my other project, Ceremonial Castings, and we’ve been performing live together for over 15 years. At one point he needed a kidney transplant and things were looking rather bleak. The lyrics & song are an interpretation of the thoughts and feelings of someone facing the unknown and the ultimate power of overcoming it.’’
‘’Matt ended up finding a match and his journey continues on stronger than ever.’’
Being labelled black metal.
‘’Personally, I don’t care what it’s labeled and I don’t want that to influence. I don’t care to “fit in” with a scene or a sound. All I can say is I’ve always been a fan of dark, thought-provoking music and art and I’ll always work in that realm.’’
the biggest misconception of being a black metal musician.
‘’That you must be depressed, which is anything but true.’’
Is there a particular area musically you wont experiment on ?
‘’Anything that has no artistic value.’’
US Black Metal is gathering momentum, is it about time? does it get unfairly treated?
‘’I don’t think it’s about time, it’s just how it happened. Every decade is different for all genres of music and it will continue to cycle in and out years to come.
‘’I also don’t think there was any unfair treatment per se. I do specifically remember in the 90s that many had opinions of US Black Metal being not good, but music has always been subjective to my personal feelings and taste. If other’s do not take the time to listen to something because of anothers’ opinion, then they are only holding themselves back.
Should extreme music stay underground to remain important ?
‘’That is not for me to say.’’
Other musical projects?
‘’I have various projects that take up all different amounts of time. I am a self-taught classical pianist and that work will always remain the strongest yet always influences me to write metal albums.’’
What is it about extreme metal that keeps you within the genre?
‘’I love it. Nothing else to it. It’s an addiction that I can’t quit.’’
‘’I was hearing bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in my youth. I always enjoyed the melodies of those bands and yet also the heaviness. That pushed me into finding bands like Mercyful Fate, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, and many others before I was even a teenager. I continue to search for new underground metal albums every day and seeing groups go for 30+ years has always influenced me to keep writing and progress no matter what the cost.’’
Your original influences and Inspiration..
‘’Too many, but King Diamond has always been a large one for me. As for new music it’s a lot more far and few between nowadays, but there’s still some albums I hear that keep me interested every few months.’
Plans for the future ?
Only to continue the journey of creating music until I cannot.
Tops 6.. 7 albums of all time..
This is always a hard question for me. Here’s 7 extreme metal albums I keep listening to throughout my life and that can be considered greatest of all time:
King Diamond – Conspiracy
Mercyful Fate – Melissa
Abigor – Nachthymnen
Bathory – Blood Fire Death
Impaled Nazarene – Ugra Karma
Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion