Psyclon Nine are one of those bands that grab and hold your attention. In our last interview with Nero Bellum, we said the band had the impact and ferocity of Marilyn Manson in his prime, albeit with much heavier and darker music to peddle. A lot has changed since that time, and now with a new record, ‘Order Of The Shadow: Act 1’ out, we chat to the man himself about influences and inspirations.
S] How do you look back on the past few years of your life?
N] “Hindsight is supposedly 20/20 although, I think in my case, I may require prescription lenses. It’s all a bit of a haze. I dove into some pretty dark places while working on ‘Order of the Shadow…’ and now, I’m trying to recover.”
S] Nero, are you pleased with how the fans have reacted and understood after your return and such a difficult time in your life?
N] “It’s nice to know that our fans aren’t as mindless as the rest of the cultural mass-minders that get caught up in the controversies that are often peddled by magazines that you would find in line at the grocery store. They let the music speak for itself and even if not, Psyclon Nine never hid behind a bubblegum visage. It’s always come from a dark place and I’ve always been upfront about that. Our fans accept and respect that.”
S] What were the biggest challenges when building this record?
N] “Finding a producer. We met with quite a few producers over many, many months and I couldn’t vibe with any of them. I had originally wanted to hire Jamison Boaz who, had engineered our last album [We the Fallen] but, he had taken a day job working on ‘Resident Evil 6’ so, he was unavailable. I eventually befriended Chris Vrenna [Nine Inch Nails / Marilyn Manson] and we really connected on a personal and musical level. It’s very important to me that I work with a producer that truly understands where the music is coming from. Once we began work on Order, it became clear that choosing Chris was the right move. About halfway through, we hit a few roadblocks and just at that time, Jamison Boaz became available and we brought him in as an engineer and that really balanced everything out. He helped bring more of the Psyclon vibe into the recording process.”
S] Talk us through the inspiration and ideas behind ‘Use Once And Destroy’?
N] “’Use Once…’ is a reflection of my views on the underground Hollywood music scene. It also ties in with the overall story of the album in that, its a story of the sin of lust, taken to its extreme. Each song on the record is a story of a sin being acted out by a member of the ‘Order Of The Shadow…’. A few of these tracks really aren’t being generated from my perspective but, from the characters that I created for the story. ‘Use Once…’ is by far the most impersonal track for me. It was fairly difficult to write in that regard.”
S] What about ‘The Saint And The Valentine’ – that’s a great track – what went into that one?
N] “Saint is self deprecation wrapped up in a bitter sweet love story. It began as an idea of using love to lure someone into a very dark place and ended up being a bit of a therapy session regarding my insecurities. Musically, it’s one of my personal favourite tracks that I’ve written.”
S] How do you look back on ‘Divine Infekt’ and your earlier work now?
N] “It’s hard to imagine where I was when I wrote those first two records. Although, I can see why a lot of fans still like those records, I really don’t look at them in the same light that I look at anything from the trilogy [Crwn, Fallen, Order]. As I grew as a musician and lyricist, I was better able to shape the band in the manner that I had really intended to in the conceptual stages of Psyclon Nine.”
S] What types of things and people are inspiring you outside of music at this point in your career?
N] “I find a lot of inspiration in the company that I keep here at home. I tend to be very cut off and hermetic and only let a few people into my life at a time and those that I do, I tend to find beautiful and interesting. They help me to see through alternate perspectives and allow me to enrich my personal world views and philosophies that I end up writing about when it comes time to record an album. I have also had a resurgence of interest in the darker side of the occult world that emerged when preparing to write Order. That never really left me and will continue to remain a large influence in writing the next Psyclon Nine releases.”
S] Will we see Psyclon Nine in the UK any time soon?
N] “I believe that we are currently setting up a full European tour and the UK will more than likely be a part of that. It has been a very long time since Psyclon Nine has seen the UK and it’s definitely time to see it again.”