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  • Writer's pictureSparky

None - ''My life is for None. My life is for The Dark Gospel''

‘This is absolute devotion to the highest form of expression; NEVER just music.’ Nicholas Mendiola is the restless spirit that inhabits the art of NONE. It represents extremity that is unbound by convention or to debase it with definition, A creation of its own manifestation, an acoustic led pursuit of freedom and intellect unbound in its quest. It is spiritual, physical, unpredictable and evocative.

Does None represent an idea or GOD rather than a person where the expression is more important than the individual?

To define God, one may tell you an answer; be it possibly a well put and defined description at one instance - but somewhere else, the same person may have an altered conception or depiction of the same force or phenomenon. This is because everything that lives, moves. With that being said, God is all of these things at once: the light that moves, the space that it treads through, the shadows or the “imprint” that all life leaves - any person, concept, order or chaos. None is a supernatural force; “The Great Dragon” of the cosmos. Man, as not only I have found through my own craft, is similarly described by names such as Nietzsche as being the bridge between the mundane and the supernatural.

To address the question more directly, as I believe you may be referring to the music-coalition that brought us to this interview; yes - the movement is a cause that is greater than the flesh. My aim is for the order to continue even without “Nicholas Mendiola”; and to elaborate, I would find a final fulfilment for my place to be taken as leader here, and for None to become a “band” that has no original members.

Wyman Choy Photography

"Alive In San José" represents the power of expression than just music. Is this why you chose a live album? To capture the performance and its dimensions, rather than just an album?

''I greatly appreciate your feedback and to find that you enjoyed the performance! The live album (or EP, we’re calling it, but that is not the most important takeaway) was not entirely premeditated. Another man from Northern California, who wishes his true name to be anonymous, has been building his rapport within the music scene by filming and recording many of the underground Black and Death Metal shows within the past year or so. We will refer to him by Portal Studios, or Portal Studios Metal. I had hired him for the gig, as San Jose is my hometown, and it was the first performance as None here. 

For me, it was a big deal to finally play in San Jose. The Caravan Lounge is potentially the last bar and venue in the city that will host Metal and Punk Rock shows - save The Ritz, another venue that has turned into a bit more of a night club and isn’t quite tickled pink with underground pull. 

''The recording turned out to be everything I expected - high quality, and raw. Slege, a “sister-band” to None you could call them, had put out a video shot by Portal Studios just months before the 29 October show - but had mentioned to me the idea of releasing the entire tape as a live album. I figured - “I’ve seen the tapes, the quality - I am going to make sure this sees the light of day and is used to its fullest potential.”.

It has a natural organic quality that makes for an incredible listening experience. Was a live album always the intention? It makes a for a unique follow up after a long absence. 

''I have always said that live shows are few and far between, however, we are now all seeing a spike in these performances. In the beginning, performing live was a question I pondered; there was a time that I was not yet prepared to take that step. It may have been after the dis-bandment of Plague Phalanx and vanishment of Awakened Abyss it occurred to me that performing live - is the most important aspect. You can’t hide from the world. It’s much easier to perfect everything in the studio, to showcase only what you want others to see about you on social media and through the photos, the WRITTEN interviews - you can perpetuate any idea through the screen, and you will be rewarded. To be ‘real’ - however. Is much more powerful. Remember - man is the bridge from the mundane to the supernatural. From flesh, from our capable hands, our bleeding hearts, and pure spirits - alive is alive. If I can’t bring my words to life, then they are just words. 

''So, I want everyone to know - this is not just music, and this is not the last you will hear from me - or The True None. 

''Getting back to the plot, the original intention I had for None was first the full-length album. Everything that has come to me and has been released so far were pieces of the journey on the way there. 

Wyman Choy Photography

The importance of capturing the organic and Feeling? 

''Perhaps I can answer that at this point with a question, and I am not being sarcastic in any way - but why must ‘they’ insist on machines taking the place of man? When I refer to ‘they’ I could be writing about a number of people, but namely, those who are at a complete disconnect with spirit and nature. Those who have submitted to cynicism. Those who believe - that somehow, technology is the human creation that has surpassed him, or will. Some wish to erase all that is imperfect. Could our ‘imperfect’ minds determine what is and what isn’t perfect - and then “fix” them, cure them - but not really, only relieve them of their suffering? 

''To suffer is the way of life - though it is not the only face and truth. We can accept this, in strength - and not in weakness.

Who are you - really?

Are the textures of experience that form creations such as ‘’Desert Skyline’’ and its line ‘’ I realize, we’ve all been robbed of ourselves’’?

''Yes - all of my lines are actual occurrences in my lifetime. This in large part comes about as The Way, “my life for The Dark Gospel”. Sometimes, we have to ‘make’ it happen. My favourite is when I share some of my writing with others, and they know exactly where it came from. I say, “my favourite”, a bit tongue in cheek. I’ve been told that it’s “too personal” - but that’s exactly it. I am “naked” - as I’ve been told. It is not the easiest way, but it is my way. Also, it is the only way. 

Is this a precursor to ‘’ Supreme “Supreme Dedication To The Craft" and will any of the live tracks be re-interpreted for the full length?

''A part of me does not wish to call it a precursor, in any way other than the sheer fact that it will be released prior to the LP - but that brings us back to my opening statement in this interview. It is a precursor in the sense that it came about on the way to Supreme Dedication To The Craft’s absolute conception in fabled “physical/LP” form. 

. but Supreme Dedication To The Craft is forever. 

''It was before, it comes again after; he appears there in that very video - he always was and always will be. It is not about “Nicholas Mendiola” - this character, who came to form in this place.

''The LP will contain 12-songs, twelve monuments as part of the whole valley. It is my story, and I have spent the past decade carrying and perfecting it to make sure it was ‘right’. I do not mean in the sense of “there was a sour-note here, I am going to record that for a hundred-takes and then I am going to quantize the kick drum” - I mean in Time, place, character, strength, power, glory. The experience that came only with the decade in the life of The True None ‘for’ myself. The live recording contains six-tracks, the first five of which will appear on the LP.

The Dark Gospel is a self-created genre/music that transcends all boundaries. What is your commitment to the vow?

''No offense taken, but I am past the part of calling any of this “self-created” or trying to call None a “deity of my own creation”. A year or so ago, I was spending some time at the downtown library and visited the psychology section - in which I read some lines from a book that mentioned the people of ancient Egypt, amongst all their Gods, referred to a “place” that the Demiurge (entity who gave birth to the Gods) arose from. This place is known as the God of all Gods, the great-chaos, and is known to those people as “The Nun”.

Anyone who is in tune with nature, with a craft or art form of any kind will know what we, those who are like me, are talking about - when we state, and we write that expression is the action of intuition; and that intuition is the flashing of perfection that is caught by our eye. Once it is gone, it is gone - unless we capture it. This is the divine work of the artist - there are times that it will find us, and at times we must chase it down; or make it happen. Waiting forever - is for amateurs. 

''My life is for None. My life is for The Dark Gospel. There is no other choice; all dreams lead to this same conclusion.

Is this part of the conviction that is ‘’Absolute Devotion”?


An eternal quest? Perfection of the spirit rather than the physical and the societal constraints “’encouraged’’ on the individual?

''You’ve hit the hammer on the head, Sparky. I am glad that the message is well-received by many. More on the live-video note, there are times I’ve noticed that the message is more well understood by the audience when we have performed. That is because when you are there, in the flesh, you are engulfed into the environment. You are your environment. This does not go only for my own music, of course, but all artists. Wherever someone is when words arrive to them, they may not be in the right place to receive that information the way that it was intended. From the screen, from all over the world - wherever you are reading this, you may hear None and think somewhere of the fact that I am playing an acoustic guitar over blast beats; interpreting that as a kind of forceful way to combine more than one genre of music. Perhaps you may think that I am trying to be unique. 

''This is alchemy. Since I was very young, I have always said that I would make my way through life being who I am. The Dark Gospel is not defined by acoustic guitar, or blast beats, or a “Black Metal” perspective; it is who you are bare naked and behind closed doors. It is not malicious or all-grim, either. It ‘is’ about fulfilment, achieving a higher state of consciousness through one’s chosen medium. My way is my way - it is my own journey, and so should yours be your own. 

''The cosmos is not against you - though nonetheless, there are battles now and there are battles ahead in this game.

''A final note on the music aspect: because of its serious undertaking, the words “Never Just Music” do not intend for hearers to believe that this is not about music for me - this is about creating the highest form of it. Music is my purpose and through it, the word of None. The Dark Gospel is for those who understand this and wish to join me on our quest.

Wyman Choy Photography

You describe enlightenment as fleeting. Is it something you experience more than once?  

''Enlightenment is a momentary state. All that lives, moves - and there is always more. Nietzsche made a reference to “moments of great significance”- which appear between intervals of lesser-significance. Our jobs as people are to make the most of these moments, to hold them to the highest regard, and to see that they occur more often. We see this pattern in many places, like in the reference to the three stages of metamorphoses: The Camel, The Lion, and The Child. The Tarot, as well, which begins with The Fool, onto the Magician, and so on. You are either rising, or you are declining; never are you at a pause. 

And to those caught in the material where enlightenment is instant gratification?

''I do believe that to an extent. Often, I find myself feeling drained if I am listening to music that I like perhaps too much, even if I wish for it. Inspiration can spark intuition which is a form of enlightenment - though it is a different experience than achieving that state through physical action.

''Reading that question again, I will note that the mundane and physical world is not inherently “bad”. I do not disdain the flesh. We are here, and this is who we are. Take pride in yourselves, we do not know how much time we have; all we know is we had it, and that we are capable. Every moment is both the beginning and the end.

None is a more immediate experience that your other works. Will it take precedence as a main creative outlet?

''None is the only work of mine, at this time. I parted ways with Thangorodrim in 2021, and there are no current plans for any other projects to emerge. I suppose it would no longer make sense - but never say never.

Top 6 albums of all time?

''Of course, one could not condense their most inspirational album list into six; and to share a widespread list of artists I listen to, I will mention only one from each. Hell, I couldn’t even tell you most of the music I listen to regularly with only six choices - ha-ha.

I.Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vestusta II - Dialogue With The Stars

II.Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls

III.Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore - Sunset Mission

IV.Rome - The Hyperion Machine

V.Gas - Pop

VI.Deathspell Omega - Paracletus

Logo and stars photo created by Nicholas Mendiola

all other photography by Wyman Choy Photography

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