Following the release of their awesome new album Order Of The Shadow: Act I (you can read our review here), we interviewed their frontman Nero Bellum. Check out what we asked and how he responded below!
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the band?
One might take precaution and wear gloves before shaking my hand. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Let the ceremony begin. Where to start? I suppose I could introduce you to the band by telling you that Psyclon Nine is more of a therapeutic tool than anything else. It’s a vessel that allows me to clean some of the dirt from the recessed corners and crooks found in my heart and in my head. I’m thoroughly convinced that if Psyclon Nine didn’t exist that, I would have ended up writing “ritualistic serial killer” on my resume at some point of my life. Psyclon Nine is my sedative.
How did the band form?
When I was 17 years old, I had joined a cult called The Order of the Dragonfly which was loosely based on and affiliated with Crowleys Golden Dawn. I had met another member who was also a musician and as it turned out, we shared a lot of the same vision. We decided to form the band in order to express and share a lot of our philosophical and metaphysical beliefs as well as some of the messages received while engaged in our spiritual endeavours.
You’ve just released your new album Order Of The Shadow: Act I. Could you tell us about the writing and recording process of it?
The Order of the Shadow was what was left of the Dragonfly once I was thrown out and split into a rival faction. The lyrics and concepts that started with Crwn Thy Frnicatr and followed with We the Fallen are beginning to be summed up in Order. I’ve been becoming a lot closer to realizing the vision that I had 10 years ago when we started this project. The music is something that I have always struggled with. When I began writing the music for Psyclon Nine, I was deeply into pure, electronic industrial which, I felt would be a good place to start when shaping what would become our first album but, that changed rather quickly once we began performing as, it was always very difficult for me to express myself on stage when I felt that the music wasn’t heavy enough to truly represent what I had originally set out to accomplish.
Thus began a very long road of slowly shifting the sound from our first album to what you find now with Order. Order was the most natural recording and writing process that I’ve been through as, the entire process was simply organic. A lot of the previous albums relied heavily on my computer programming and tinkering and with this album, everything was played live in the studio. Even down to drum samples that I would actually play out on triggered pads and dialogue samples that I played using a midi controller and soft sampler. I wanted everything to have a live feel to it. Most of what I hear in the Industrial world really doesn’t translate in that regard. I wanted something real and I believe that I was able to achieve that with Order.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge than others?
Those would be the tracks that I threw away during the production phase. Some songs just don’t work once you begin to polish them up and attempt to squeeze them into a coherent plot line. I think Glamour Through Debris was the track that we went back to the most for tweaks though. I redid the vocals on that track several times before I felt that it was finished.
Which song is your favourite on it?
That’s a very difficult question to answer. I find myself listening to Shadows Unveiled, Afferte Mihi Mortem, Take My Hand While I Take My Life and The Saint And The Valentine quite a lot though. Then again, Remains Of Eden: II and Glamour Through Debris are always on my playlist as well. I really enjoy performing all of these tracks. Afferte Mihi Mortem, Shadows Unveiled and The Saint And The Valentine are by far my favourites to perform. The fans tend to get really violent for the first two and I really rely on violence to feed my performance.
I especially liked Use Once And Destroy – could you tell me a little more about that one?
This song is more or less about my feeling regarding Hollywood culture. The Hollywood sign could be seen gilding a seven headed serpent.
How would you describe your live show to those who haven’t been lucky enough to catch you yet?
Our live show is a physical manifestation of the sounds that you will hear on the album. I try to capture that world and present it at every performance.
What would you say your best show has been?
Each show has its moments. I would be very hard pressed to tell you which show would be better than the others. I try to treat each show as if it were the last I would ever play.
And what about the weirdest or strangest?
At one point we had a blind sound engineer that put his mixing console onto a pinball machine and placed it in front of our bass player on stage. It was difficult to take ourselves seriously and perform while this was happening.
If you could play a show anywhere, where would it be?
The Warfield in SF, CA. I grew up watching bigger metal acts play there and I have not had the chance to do so myself as of yet.
If you could choose a band to cover one of your songs, who would you choose?
For marketing purposes, I would have to choose someone along the lines of Justin Beiber. He has a lot of eyes on him right now and I’m sure that if he ended up covering a Psyclon Nine song that, we would end up getting quite a lot of attention.
Similarly if you could collaborate with any band or artist, who would you choose?
I think most of my idols are dead or, just past the place that they were in their lives when they did anything interesting. I tend to work alone and I really enjoy keeping it that way.
And finally what are your plans for 2014?
We are currently setting up tours throughout the USA and Europe as well as working on a companion album for Order. We will be very busy. Keep your eyes peeled.