METALSUCKS INTERVIEWS NACHTMYSTIUM’S BLAKE JUDD
Nachtmystium’s Assassins: Black Meddle Part I is every bit as good as all the hype. Axl and I both placed it on our very-preliminary 2008 Top 10 lists and have waxed ecstaticly about it on multiple occasions; and earlier today, new MetalSucks contributor Sammy O’Hagar wrote a glowing 4.5/5 horns review. I recently had the opportunity to email Nachtmystium singer/guitarist/brainchild Blake Judd a bunch of questions, and wouldn’t you know it, the fine Chicagoan answered them. For Judd’s thoughts on Assassins, his Pink Floyd fetish, black metal, and other interesting tidbits click through the jump.
MetalSucks: Obviously your new album Assassins is inspired by Pink Floyd in more than just a passive way. How and when did you first get into Pink Floyd?
Blake Judd: You’re absolutely right on about the record. I first heard Pink Floyd when I was probably 5 years old. My parents bought me a turntable, as I was obsessed with music by the time I learned to walk, and they gave me a stack of their old vinyl (they both had killer collections, so I got the doubles they had left over), and there were Floyd records in there. I believe it was Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon. The song “Welcome to the Machine” from W.Y.W.H was probably the first really dark music I’d ever heard and it had a profound impact on me. Since then, I’ve been a devout fan of the band and most of Gilmour and Waters’ solo works.
Metal — and especially black metal — seems to be at opposite ends of the spectrum from Pink Floyd. How do you reconcile those seemingly polar interests and make them into a cohesive artistic statement?
Describe what the writing process was like for Assassins. When did you decide that you wanted to incorporate Pink Floyd music as a major theme and how did you come to that conclusion?
Their music, and psychedelic rock music in general, has been a strong influence since we brought the elements in on Eulogy IV in 2004. I decided I wanted to add a new element to the type of music I was writing, and that’s how it came about. Seeing that I like what we’re doing more and more, I’ve run with it writing-wise and it’s a major part of our sound these days.
Is Assassins a concept record?
What are some other ways Floyd influenced the writing of this record?
It’s not just this record; they’ve influenced all the music I’ve ever made in some way or another. I can’t say this entire record is 100% Floyd influence either. Their fearlessness in terms of experimentation in the studio was probably the biggest aspect of their existence that influenced this album.
Explain the meaning behind the three-part “Seasick” piece.
The song is a conceptual piece about drowning at sea alone. We broke it into three segments as the three parts are very different and represent the three separate visions behind the meaning of the song.
Assassins is a pretty big departure from your previous work and I would think will divide your existing fans who claim it isn’t “br00tal” or “tr00” enough. Does this concern you?
Why Meddle as opposed to some of the more well known Floyd records (mainly “The Big Four”)?
Meddle is my favorite record of all time, hands down. Plus, the play on words worked all too well.
Post-Final Cut, David Gilmour or Roger Waters?
I like the two early David Gilmour solo records a bit, but they’re not massive favorites of mine. His most recent album, On and Island is very cool…its almost like his take on a record like Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, another favorite of mine. Roger Waters’ solo work is hit or miss for me, but I love Amused to Death, one of the best records he’s ever done in my opinion. That was actually the first CD I ever bought, I think I was in 4th grade…bought that and Ride the Lightning, hehe.
“Atom Heart Mother” or “Echoes”?
Tough call, but “Echoes” is nearly impossible to top.
Ha, not at this time, but we’re hoping to expand on our stage show as things progress. We need to start making more money live so we can have more of a crew with us…we’re the notorious four dudes in a van (sometimes 5 if we’re lucky and have a merch person), so we’re a bit limited on all that. Hopefully in time we’ll have more in store besides us sweaty bastards playing loud metal at you. ;)
Any final words?
Go buy Obscured By Clouds, no one ever talks about this record…its killer.
[No it isn’t. There’s a reason no one ever talks about it. -Ed.]
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