Hi, welcome on Industrial Complexx and thank you for this interview. NONE is a recent reality in the world of American neofolk, characterized by strong experimental leanings touching black metal, noise and industrial and even a peculiar “spiritual message”. Would you like to further explain the nature of the project and its aim?
Thanks for having me on, the pleasure is mine. For me, None is both the source of being and recipient of my unrelenting devotion. The same sublime energy that has come to me time and time again disseminates through all of my sacraments as do vibrations in limestone.
Your new album “Interdimensional War Poetry” sounds as a refinement and evolution of the sound developed in works like “INFERNAL TEMPLES OF THE MEDITANT” and “Chaining Ethereal Comatose”, where all the previous elements coming from black metal, noise and industrial are retained, but are perhaps better integrated in the global vision of the work. What do you think about it? How was the album conceived?
Similar to the previous EP release of “Infernal Temples Of The Meditant”, “Interdimensional War Poetry” features a couple of previously released singles as well as a few new tracks and a re-recorded and finalized version of “Battlefields” – now with the extended title and additional lyrics. The new record drives a more straight-forward approach than I.T.O.T.M, and not only features much more guitar-heavy and lyric driven compositions but showcases a series of guest musicians throughout. Perhaps the message is only becoming evermore clear with each release and as time progresses.
Let’s focus on the themes of your music: your message is about our reality and the multiverse, as well as the past, present and future. I think this is quite fascinating, especially the idea of divinity as a personal reality as a mean of discovering oneself. I would like to further elaborate with you about it, how was this message born?
“Born”is something it never was – as one of the principles of None is never be pretentious and I believe that something like this cannot be made up. The discovery, however, in this contemporary life came to me when I was 9 years old and I knew that I wanted to learn to play guitar and to sing. There was no doubt, no question and only certainty that this was the way. Skipping over the next ten years, I came to some of the darkest and lowest points of my life and was faced with the horrifying truth that I had already known; all or nothing. Do, or fail. I learned that everyone and everything that has ever happened from my perception had been for None.
Other projects in which you have been involved are the dungeon synth outfit Thangorodrim and the death/black band Plague Phalanx, among others. For sure these experiences have left some traces in your current sound. I would like to know about the music with which you grew up, and that currently influences you.
For clarification to readers in case of confusion; I currently play in Occult Rock band Thangorodrim as well as play session guitar for Awakened Abyss. Previously I’ve been a part of Plague Phalanx in which I was the final and longest standing guitarist (there had been a few of us). I’ve also played live with Raw Black Metal band Slege and at one point filled in for a band called Mudface that had been started by a member of Death Angel. I had began playing music via the electric guitar, and when I was a young pre-teen I was heavily into the neoclassical shredder type like Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, etc. . This lead me into the technical Death Metal like Anata and I eventually found my way into Black Metal around the same time at age 14. I’ve always been all over the place, and it wasn’t until I was about 18 that I started to take my acoustic guitar playing much more serious. “Some are influenced, and others are inspired” is a quote I take from one of the members of Plague Phalanx that has always stuck with me. Nicholas Mcmillian showed me that the true and most proper way to take in the art of others is to find what resonates with a part that is already within you. To name a few artists who inspire me today or at least have left the greatest impression are Blut Aus Nord, Death In June, and to what will likely be a surprise to many is Marilyn Manson.
At the moment live shows have come to a halt due to the global pandemic, but we all hope we will soon be able to attend them again in safety. How important is the live dimension for your music? Do you do shows? Is there a difference in the way it expressed in a live setting?
The live aspect is crucial to me. To date, I’ve performed live for None only twice (3 if you count the livestream) – one of which had taken place in November 2020 at a small venue here in California. I had been asked to play just a day beforehand as a band had dropped off of the bill, I showed up myself and played to a great crowd that I was proud and glad to have had the chance to attend. Currently I’m working with others to book some more live dates for None in the very near future, as many events are beginning to appear on flyers and venues are looking to book their opening dates. Thangorodrim will be booking tours as well following the upcoming album release, so due time will tell how everything will pan out.
Neofolk has received quite some attention in recent years with underground projects like king Dude and not so underground ones like Me And That Man discovered by a bigger public linked to post-punk, metal and “alternative” music. What do you think about it? Is it an opportunity to let more people into this kind of sound?
I was excited to see King Dude perform a few years back before he had dropped off the bill with Taake and the tour had been pulled. Personally, I like both artists you had mentioned and I’m definitely one to support the idea of the new. The artists that I listen to are the standouts – who speak honestly and from the soul. They have to mean it.
Thank you for your time, feel free to add anything you want for our readers.
There is no way I could consolidate or capture what it is that I live for into one passage – nor could I belittle, lower and limit the potential of None and the self perfected by doing so. Every moment that I have ever lived and anyone who has ever crossed my path has become what drives me. Until next time, thanks again for having me on the site and take care.
Interview by Davide Pappalardo.