by Julian Guthrie
The Nephili-men of the 80's: Carl McCoy vocals, Tony Pettitt bass, Peter Yates, Paul Wright guitar and nod Wright drums are ostensibly and enticingly dark, dreamy and dramatic. In person, however, these 'heroes of old, men of renown,' are shockingly innocent; blushingly shy, withdrawn one minute, turgid and bombastic the next. Carl McCoy, the Nephs vanguard icon, is simultaneously the most taciturn and opinionated of the group, Carl appears esoteric to the point of autistic. But, like a little boy dressed in a special occasion suit, Carl could remain fettered for only so long.
And they married any of them they chose. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days - and afterward - when the sons of god went into the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown."
Fields Of The Nephilim created Dawnrazor in 1987. Two singles from this LP, Preacher Man and Blue Water topped the English charts. Melody Maker voted Dawnrazor and Preacher Man the top LP and single of 1987. 1988s Nephilim topped the NME charts and its first single Moonchild.
FAD: When did you first hear about the Nephilim?
Carl: My mother was very religious. She told me not to think or talk about the Nephilim because they were the bad guys. But I did and I found out about them by myself. I've always been interested in the bad.
FAD: You're a visible occult advocate with your pentagram paraphenalia. Is the occult the antithesis of God/Good?
Carl: No, it's the potential power in our brain which is hell powerful. It is the most important thing in my life. People on the outside world believe the occult is all Satan worship. They are quite wrong. But there are a lot of people in the occult who do Satanic things. I'm not into doing worship or whatever with other people. I'm really not interested in other people. I'm really just interested in myself. I do my own experiments. I learn for myself, always have. I keep to myself. I don't like the idea of people trying to enforce their sort of politics, and dominate others with their ideas.
FAD: Will man's desire to be ideologically superior be the World's demise?
Carl: Some religions believe the end of the world will be Armageddon-like, where man will be destroyed so that new people will live in harmony ever-after. Others believe that astronauts will come back to earth like Egyptians or something to shape 'em up, slap 'em around and save 'em. Some people believe in the Anti-Christ. I think what will happen is that everything is going to change around again. I mean, the occult is gaining popularity now. Science is becoming more mystical and is accepting occult ideas. There's a hell of a lot of interest in it now. Even psychics are gaining credibility, they're being used by the police to solve mysteries.
FAD: So what specifically will happen in the end times?
Carl: Because the occult will become increasingly popular, there will be someone who will be quite informed in his political world and there will be people who will be prejudiced against him because of their occult beliefs and religions and again, religions will cause the war.
Tony: I saw this show on the tele, it was called the science of chaos, I think. The way they explained it is that there is basically no hope for the world. I believe it because look at the amount of shit we've put into the atmosphere anyway. It just cant' survive.
FAD: Since we're talking about the end of times, how about the beginning. Believe in God?
Nod: I don't believe in Jesus/God but I don't know for sure. I think we're all open to things. We're all looking for the blue print of ourselves.
Paul: I could just as soon believe in St Nick as I could Jesus.
Peter: Yeah, we're all exploring.
Carl: I believe the world was formed out of chaos. I believe in the latent potential in every mans brain. A potential which was once in sync with Nature.
FAD: So, if you don't believe in God, do you believe good and evil is inherent in each human?
Peter: No. Evil is something which you environment gives you. If you grow up isolated on an island or something, you will be basically good.
Tony: Yeah, evil is not inherent. It is what you're exposed to.
Carl: I believe there's good and bad in each person.
FAD: Your single 'Celebrate' off the Nephilim LP reads 'Celebrate, give love and praise/ Celebrate for our lesser days...' What is the beauty in those lesser days?
Carl: Well, that's complicated... Right now, we're approaching the fifth eon. The first eon is the shamanistic eon, where man had to survive by using his psychic powers. In this eon, man was at one with Nature. In the second eon, man was able to build himself up and then he moved on, getting more satisfied. There was the monastic phase when the churches formed and man basically started worshipping himself. Man has built himself up only to regress more with each eon. But as I said, this will all change around again. Man was closer to nature before he got comfortable.
Peter: People get so content. They just live in their little castles and say 'This is what I've got, I'm content.'
FAD: Is this contentment/complacency greater in America?
Tony: The thing that strikes me about America is that most people don't live for their jobs, rather, they live the rest of their lives trying to enjoy themselves. People in England live day to day. Basically, people are really boring now. There's no war.
Nod: After the war money got re-invented.
Paul: There's a difference in England and America because in America people seem to be genuinely happy if you're doing well. But in England people want to take it away from you, there's such jealousy. The working class mentality, though, is something to be cherished.
FAD: Do you like any American bands?
Tony: I like the older ones, like the Velvets (Velvet Underground) and the Doors. I also like Faith No More.
Carl: Yeah, I like the Doors.
Nod: Whatever they played were good times music. You couldn't really pin them down as one type of music.
Paul: American bands today are so packaged, there's lots of money and not much talent.
FAD: How do you describe your music?
Tony: Our philosophy is sorta if it sounds good, do it. We don't like to describe ourselves as one thing or the other.
FAD: So it probably disturbs you to be compared to the Sisters or The Mission.
Carl: They're completely different types of bands, at least in England - they're pop bands. We take a completely different approach to music.
Nod: The thing that annoys me is the people who make the comparison obviously don't understand our band, or they wouldn't say it.
Carl: When people compare you, it tends to imply you're second rate, you're a second rate version.
Nod: Yeah, like a formula band.
FAD: The charts show you're far from second-rate. How do you deal with assaults from adoring fans?
Nod: We've all pretty much got girlfriends. It was hard at first when we kept going away because they weren't used to it, but they're getting use to it a little more now.
Tony: It's good to be away, you find out things by yourself instead of sort of lazily finding things out together.
Paul: We have to think about the freedom they have as well. But the freedom is quite a good thing at our age. There's plenty of time for getting stuck in, ya know.
Peter: It's good because the hardest thing about a relationship is trust.
Paul: After we've been on tour, it's so conventional to sit at home. What do you do when you've been on stage just the other night in front of thousands and now you're just sitting at home. It takes time to come down.
Tony: our lives are filled with contrast. After driving in the van in silence for six hours you have to get out and go into a record store or interview, or whatever, full of people. It's contrast after contrast.
Paul: when we're at home, if we aren't playing, there's nothing to look forward to. We don't have anything in common with the people we knew before the band because they're stuck in the nine to five lifestyle.
Tony: I don't think we've changed. I think it's them. We're still basically the same.