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MELODY MAKER MAY 20 1989
TALK TALK TALK
THE ORIGINS OF PSYCHONAUT AS EXPLAINED BY THE NEPHILIM

Psychonaut. What is he, this cybernautic creation that has sprung fully-formed, from the dark wells of Carl McCoy's troubled imagination? Is the "Psychonaut" a 21st Century update on Nietzche's "Ubermensch", restless at fleshy bands, roaming fearlessly into new dimensions of space and metal, on pain of losing his soul to Mephistopheles, having made the most fearful bargain of all, pace Faustus? Or is he a metaphor for our inner human being, that bleak wasteland that is already, in a sense, "post nuclear" having been blasted into a state of post-modern confusion, it's very fragments radioactive with meaning? This was my question to Carl McCoy, the Frankenstein like creator of this terrible monster and Nod, his Igor, if you like.

"Er yeah, there's something in what you said" admitted Carl, looking very thoughtful. "Especially the dark bit. I get most of my best ideas in the dark. Sitting in the dark."

"Or in the bathroom, having a wank!" interjected Paul, the bassist. "Shut up!" shouted Nod, the compact but outspoken drummer of the Nephilim, "Carl's tranna fink."

Carl seemed oblivious to the squeals of his small but unfaithful drummer as Paul lept up, sat on his head and twisted his ears. "See they're spending all this money and that on space projects and that, sending men to Mars and Venus when they haven't even discovered half of what goes on in here" Carl tapped his skull meaningfully. "There's unchartered regions of the mind that no man has travelled to before. Nay " added Carl for emphasis. "See I reckon that they should design mini space probes that they could inject into peoples brain tissue. And the probes could be manned by specially trained fleas."

Fleas?

"Yeah!" continued Carl, warming to his theme "I mean you're always hearing about performing flea circuses and suchlike. I bet it'd be no trouble to train a small elite of fleas to be psychonauts. Cos a flea'd be small enough to fit into a human brain. But they say a fleas brain power is a thousand times greater than it's overall body mass. Er - they say" observed Carl uncertainly.

"Why don't they send Nod? He's small enough!" jeered Tony, the guitarist.

"Or they could send Nods nob. That's definitely small enough" guffawed Paul.

"Shut up!" hooted Nod. "I wouldn't go. Not unless you wanted me to, Carl" he added, with touching faith in his mentor.

"I think we should send Nod up in a probe up Carls arse, cos that's where he spends most of his time" suggested Paul. "Come on Tony".

Carl, meanwhile elaborated on his fantastic theorem. "Course, the trouble would be, once the fleas were in there, how we'd know if they'd seen anyfing. I 'spect we'd have to develop a special sign language with fleas. They'd see our signs all right, but we'd have to look through magnifying glasses to see theirs" Carl seemed to drift into inner space himself at this point. He seemed unaware that his comprades Paul and Tony had ganged up on plucky little Nod, emptied a goldfish bowl and planted if forcefully over his head in some hideous parady of the psychonaut and were now attempting to "launch" him, like some human battering ram against Carl's rear.

"I pity the flea that had a glimpse of some of my thoughts" mused Carl to himself. "Sometimes my thoughts are so frightening I have to turn the lights on and fink of somefing else. I thought I saw a five-headed monster at the bottom of my bed the other night but when I turned the lamp on I realised it was only my foot. Still..."

Carl was now lost to his own troubled reverie. Meanwhile Paul and Tony were still swinging Nod back and forth into Carl's rear, shouting "In you go Nod, in you go!" as Nod's face turned blue and condensation accumulated on the inside of the goldfish bowl. Was their clowning an inadvertent harbinger of the fantastic experiment to come.