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“To truly be into music, you have to understand its roots.” -Nick Black

DarkMedia Interviews Nick Black:

As DarkMedia continues to bring you the best of literature, film, art, research and music in the realm of all things Dark, we’d like to introduce you to an artist we think you should know.  Musician Nick Black has a purity to his sound that’s all too rare in music today.  DarkMedia had the privilege of sitting down with him to discuss his musical influences, upcoming album, and the legacy of Star Wars.

Keep an eye on this one. 

You’ve said your biggest influences are The Cure, Morrissey and Peter Murphy. What is it about these artists that inspires you?

The Cure? Absolutely. I’ve been listening to The Cure from a very young age, and grew up on that type of music. Robert Smith has always had a huge impact on my life, musically, and fashion-wise. Morrissey has as well. His lyrics are very “to the point”, and no bullshit. Can I say that? Bullshit? But, yes, they are. I’m more a fan of The Smiths, rather than Morrissey solo career, but I do enjoy quite a few songs from that as well. As far as Peter Murphy goes, I wouldn’t say he’s a massive influence to me. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly enjoy Bauhaus, and his solo, but Id say that I feel more strongly towards David Bowie. David Bowie is by far my biggest icon. From fashion, to lyrics, to the way he basically took over the world. He’s definitely someone that I look to for inspiration in everything I’m doing. Not to mention, he’s dashing.

Speaking of Morrissey, you have a portrait tattoo of him. What other tattoos do you have and what are the meanings behind them?

I do! I do indeed have a Morrissey portrait. It’s located on my left arm, right around the shoulder area. I have…let me count…23 tattoos. So that’s quite a few to list. I’ll name the big ones, and the meanings. I have a large traditional rose on my right hand that has a banner with “Our Hate” written on the inside. To me, that means that our hate is what pushes us forwards. Our hate is what makes us pick and choose, and makes us decide upon our destiny. Another is a dagger entwined in a ribbon that says “Revenge!”. Those who seek vengeance, get what they want. Whether it be good, or bad, either choice has consequences.

Besides the above mentioned artists, who would you like to tour with?

To tour with? Well, I think it would be an absolute honour to tour with the aforementioned bands, though I honestly don’t see that ever happening, unfortunately. I think at this point, I’d be pretty satisfied to tour with any one of my friends bands. My good friend’s band is actually releasing their 9th…8th?… studio album by the end of this year, and a large US tour is planned. I’ve been offered to open for all the west coast dates, so I’m pretty ecstatic about that. They’re a very large name in the industry, so it would give great exposure, and overall, it would just be absolute loads of fun. Fun is most important.

We understand that you are recording an album. Do you have a title or release date yet?

Yes! I’m currently in the process of it, actually. So far there are going to be 13 songs on the album. All varying in “genre”. I don’t limit myself to one genre, I write whatever comes to mind, and whatever I feel needs to be said. Some are acoustic, some are hard rock. The title hasn’t been decided upon yet, nor has the official release date. Though, we’re aiming for November/December 2011.

You’re a multi-talented artist, who not only sings but plays multiple instruments. Can you tell us which instruments you play?

I play eight instruments fluently, and sing. I started out by teaching myself piano at the age or four, or five. I actually heard a little ringtone from a game that happened to be a piece by good ‘ol Ludwig V0n, and I sat down at the piano and taught myself that song, and moved on from there. I now strictly compose classical music on piano. I soon picked up guitar, bass, and drums. Mostly into hard rock, and metal at this point, it taught me about scales, and progressions. Then I hit my oldies phase. Everyone that has anything to do with music needs to know their roots. During this time I was very much into Elvis, Cash, Louvin Brothers, etc. I taught myself upright bass, and violin. Somewhere along the line I also taught myself cello, and saxophone. I also play harmonica. I’ve taught myself all instruments by ear.

When do you first remember having the passion for music and why?

Growing up, my immediate family was extremely religious. I was forced to church, and other christian related activities… this included choir. I was always the odd man out, but I pushed on. As much as I’m against organized religion, I really did, and still do, love the hymns they sing. All the varying melodies. When living in the UK, I partook in an all boys choir. We toured throughout the UK, and sang and numerous festivals, and even had CDs recorded. You know, all that stuff. It was fun, but I didn’t like anyone. So when? When I was a pitiful prepubescent child in the slums of kilt-land.

You do THE best cover of The Used’s “Taste Of Ink”. What other covers have you done or would like to do?

I do a lot of covers for myself. If I really enjoy a song, I’ll do a cover of it. Almost none are released thought. I’m not sure exactly why I do this, but I’ve done it for years. I believe the first cover I ever did was of a David Bowie song, being ‘Heroes’.

Your musical tastes are very diverse. Is there one genre or sub-genre that you like best? Why?

No. Not really. I don’t limit myself to specific genres. I listen to just about anything. Yes, even country. I believe anyone that says “I listen to everything, but country, and hip-hop” is severely lacking in their musical beliefs. To truly be into music, you have to understand its roots. I belief I stated this before, but I’ve said it again. Rock came from Rockabilly (Elvis,Buddy Holly) , which was originally derived from what southerners called ‘hillbilly’ music (Louvin Brothers). Hip-hop is the same. It’s been around for a very long time, though honestly, the most modern songs they’re putting out these days don’t tickle my fancy. They’re very plain, and over-computerized. But back onto “Rock”, we all technically have ZZ Top to thank for the wonderful music that’s put out today. (That’s a joke, I love ZZ Top. Pick up the Eliminator album. I promise.)

Having been to so many places around the world, do you have a favorite country or city to play in?

Paris. Paris, London, Glasgow and a small town in Germany that I lived in called Stommeln-Pulheim. It’s so lovely there. I really miss it, and would love to go back someday. Hopefully soon. Paris is wonderful and has perfect weather. London, which I used to live slightly north-east of, was raining. That, I do not miss, though I do miss the country of England itself. Scotland is my home. It always will be. Don’t piss me off, I’ll put on my kilt and Celtic you to death.

Rumor has it that you’re a Star Wars fanatic. What is it about Star Wars that fascinates you?

The entire story line. I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. I have nearly all of the lego sets. Almost all of the book series, a Star Wars encyclopedia, an R2D2 trash can, and my friend just recently gave me a Jedi bath robe. So stoked on that. I’ll wear it everywhere. It’s such a wonderful story. I grew up on everything Star Wars. My father was a Star Trek fanatic, so it was natural to battle him.

Which Star Wars movie is your favorite? Which character would you say you identify with the most and why?

Episode V.

Because where else are you going to find badasses living inside a stomach cavity on a torrential sub-zero planet?! I identify with R2D2.

What’s your favorite horror movie? Non-horror movie?

I’m a pretty big fan of Hellraiser, Evil Dead, Interview with the Vampire,Lost Boys. It’s really hard for me to just pick one. I honestly can’t. I’m a huge cinephile. I watch a minimum of 3 movies a day. Non-horror? I’d have to go with anything by my favourite Director, David Lynch, or Jodorowsky. I’ll occasionally throw a little Ed Wood in the mix. Gotta love a man in angora sweaters.

You’ve professed a deep interest in the supernatural. Can you describe what it means to you and when you first became interested in it?

Have I? I just find it all extremely fascinating. It’s unknown. There’s forces out there that can’t be seen, or heard. It’s all a bit overwhelming, really. To think that at this very moment there’s a presence watching you, standing behind you, inches away from your neck. But you can’t see them. Perhaps there are also people from an entirely different dimension around us right now, but we’re both moving at different speeds, so we can’t see each other. It’s all very strange to me, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand it. Though, who will?

Can you recommend some books and authors that DMC members may not have heard of?

Anything by Anton Szandor LaVey, or Nietzsche. They were both fantastic philosophers.

What is it about cemeteries that draws you into them? Do you have a favorite?

Death, despair, destruction. Y’know, the usual. But really, mostly because it’s calm. You can go there to think, and no one bothers you (except the occasional lawn mower). You can vent to the dead, and they don’t talk back. Well…. sometimes they do.

It’s a pleasure to interview such a diverse artist. Can you give us three words that best describe you?

Such an eloquent way to describe me in the question, though i’m about to give you a slightly less delightful response.

Three words: Speed (Take that as you may. Vehicles, or illegal), Horizontal Stripes, and Alcohol.

Where can people find out more about you?

Internet. Everything can be found on the internet. In fact, I just got around to creating a YouTube page. I’m ridiculously late to the game, I know. But better late than never!

______________________________________________

Nick can be found on DarkMediaCity on YouTube and Facebook.

Many thanks to our contributing music interviewers, Annie & Kelly.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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