Sergio interviews Nim Vind, the self-proclaimed rock ‘n roll outsider with an affinity for the dark side.
Nim Vind, the self-proclaimed rock ‘n roll outsider with an affinity for the dark side, chatted to MusicReview about his latest projects, touring, The Vincent Black Shadow, The Misfits, and the evolution of music formats. This is one interview that you don’t want to miss!
Firstly, thank you so much for your time. You describe yourself on your Facebook page as a “rock ’n roll outsider”. Why do you term yourself an outsider?
I’m a person who does things his own way. I’m making my own path. I have no choice. People in the “business” of rock n roll don’t accept me or understand me. It’s not a big deal, but it’s me and I’m proud of it. I think it makes me who I am and it breeds the kind of art I create. If you like it, that’s great. I do it for me and for the people that are interested in it. The sales industry side of music can choke on a sweaty sock.
You juggle between two bands, Nim Vind and The Vincent Black Shadow. How do you manage to separate yourself? In other words, how do you know that a song you’ve written is strictly for Nim Vind or TVBS?
I write mostly for Nim Vind. If a Nim song seems like something TVBS might like, then I show it to them. I’ve written on a few TVBS songs like ‘Control’ and ‘Fears in the Water’. On the latest album [El Monstruo], I contributed a full song in which I sing called ‘Taste of Copper’. It was a Nim Vind song that seemed more like something TVBS would do. When I sit down to write it’s based solely out of creativity. I don’t have a purpose for the songs or know where they’ll go or end up. I just record ideas and look back at them later and pick what I like and what I think might be fun to take to a recording studio or play live. Creativity is necessary therapy for me. I do it for real.
You have a new album out now, Stillness Illness. Tell us more about the title and how long it took you to record?
It took forever. This is mainly because I was so damn busy at the time. I just couldn’t make any significant progress on it because the promotion cycle for TVBS just kept on going. I couldn’t say no to them, they were providing me with a musicians living that was actually decent. It was a great time and was full of learning for me. We travelled incessantly and far reaching. Nim Vind did shows in between and I recorded whenever I could get time. I finally finished it last year and now it’s out. I’m glad. I have another album almost fully written. I think it’s going to be the best one. I can’t wait to record it. It’s going to sound unstoppable.
As for the Stillness Illness title, it was my view of the music industry – Stillness Illness. You’re lost at sea and when you wash up on a desert island, you feel motion sick and insane. It’s a business for crazy people.
If you were trying to convince me to buy this album, what would you tell me? Why should I care?
I don’t tell people what to do, and I don’t like being told what to do. Do whatever you want to do. I buy albums that are made by real artists who care about the experience of hearing music – same thing with movies and such. I support artist who I want to keep seeing new art from. Buying things is voting with your dollars. If you buy my album then you vote for me to remain creating. I especially like to vote for artists that are financially on their own. This means no label help. I like this because when I buy something I know the artist is seeing the financial reward personally. I don’t particularly like supporting major labels. They are bad for business. The faster they close shop the better the “business” will be for everyone. The consumer will get better albums because artists will have to take their own financial risks and they’ll see the money directly instead of having to fight the label for it. I’m totally self sufficient. Vote for me.
I just did Europe this past summer. It was a blast and I played to my biggest crowd yet at the sold out Summer Breeze festival – 25,000. I only really want to do shows that are going to spread my art around properly. It needs to be a great stage and a great billing. Everything else isn’t my cup of tea. When it’s done right, we all have a great time.
Please tell us of the funniest tour incident that you can remember?
I get asked this a lot. It’s really a collection of inside jokes and small things. If something big happens that wasn’t planned for, it probably sucks. The best things for most touring artists are all the little things that are part of relationships that you find as you go. It’s the most memorable and beautiful part of the experience. …ok, I saw our tour manager shit his pants waiting for a public toilet to clean itself in Germany. It was priceless!!
Any pre-performance rituals?
No. I just like to focus on nothing before I play. Clear my mind. Let my imagination and adrenaline mingle somewhere else. I usually find this ultra clear focus, like a lazer, when I get onstage after this. It’s a natural high. It’s therapy. It’s like nothing else.
Which medium do you prefer? Mp3s or CDs?
I think the iPod is amazing. Where was that thing all my life?! Do you have any idea how many CDs get lost on tour? Or ruined? My only beef is with the sound of digital albums. It sucks. Guitar is washed out and vocals lack emotion. It’s seems like the drums are where the vocals used to be. We’ve improved the technology and now we have to catch up. At the end of the analogue tape days in the late 90’s, we had tape albums sounding incredible but it was expensive to work with and required much more work, gear, people, time, resources, etc. Digital/Virtual media is supposedly the closest we’ve got to the actual sound that is happening live. Every other recording medium has a much higher degree of manipulation or loss happening to the actual sound. We just need to get better at using and understanding the digital technology and how it translates to listening experiences for the listener who just wants to hear a great sound minus the creation details.
I assume that you obviously enjoy the choosing or even designing of the album artwork. What’s going to happen when the death of the CD inevitably happens?
Nothing. It’s dying now. Whatever medium of listening happens next will incorporate the art. My prediction? The art will be on people’s iPhone, iPod, or computer – and it will be animated like a cartoon. It will be like a mini animated story book that will play along with the songs. Albums will be a commercial for the brand and will be free. It’s heading for that more every day.
Horror rock is huge in Europe, with countries like Germany boasting large horror rock festivals. Why do you think it’s exceptionally so popular over there?
Europe is older. They have a much stronger sense of classical music tradition. All classical music seems morose and sad to us now because the instruments are soft and require concentration. There is no loud instant hook gratification that repeats until you finally pay attention enough to catch it. People over there connect more to the darker sounds and chord changes because of the classical connections of their roots. America was the birth place of rock n roll and party music and it evolved into the club music we see so popular here now. That’s the short version of the story anyways. The story for music in the 21st Century is the end of genres that we have now and the emergence of hybrid music that combines styles and also the way we listen to music. Maybe we’ll have technology to move parts of the songs around to make our own arrangements of our favourite songs on our iPod or phones. Who knows?
I have to ask this question: Team Danzig or Team Graves?
Both. The amazing thing now is the new generation of Misfits fans that no longer care who started the band. They aren’t loyal to the history. In fact, the newer stuff likely sounds more relevant to them. It’s weird. I actually just heard the very latest Misfits. You may have to add a name to that question soon.
Thanks again for your time, Nim. Any last words for your fans?
Thanks! Do something amazing with your talents and include my songs in your instructional video, movie, demo reel, sketches, surfing vid, cooking show, whatever it is. Or send me a letter and tell me about your talent or project. It means the world to me to be a part of it in any way. “Fans” change the lives of artists, not the other way around. I’ve received so much amazing stuff and dedication. It’s incredible and inspiring.
- Sergio Pereira
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