ISSUE #55 -- Summer 2006
CARL MCCOY INTERVIEW
BY MICHA KITE
Carl McCoy is more of an elusive enigma than a man. Rarely has he ever granted interviews preferring to let the music do the talking and let the listeners resolve their own conjectures about everything from the lyrics to the artwork. There was a dark period when the devoted was in doubt of ever seeing an apposite FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM release again (for some, ZOON didn't cut it), but truly MORNING SUN is omnisciently reflective of a dark timbre. I've been privilege to talk with many a musician and artist but getting a chance to delve into the mind of Carl's mysticism was a devout honor.
KITE: The vast army of changelings laid waiting for what seemed forever frothing at the mouth with suspense. Just as one was about to lose oneself in hopelessness, there came a sign.
MCCOY: After the ZOON album which was in 1996 I had started a couple of projects that weren't happening and I had a couple of problems with record companies releasing stuff without my knowledge and it kind of slowed the whole process up really. I spent quite a few years not being able to release anything because problems had been caused for me by them. Mourning Sun was actually only born about two years ago and that's when I started the concept of writing and recording so for me it's not that long for the record to be complete. I guess what is meant to be is what is meant to be.
KITE: A mighty gap unhinged the horizon and many fell into the mire of the netherworld. For without a fire there would be no will to forge. Somehow, the watchers found their way home to pastures where angels reside.
MCCOY: We had made an album called ELIZIUM a few years ago and after that I kind of broke down the band and decided I wanted an answer back to ELIZIUM which had different band members involved and the music was a bit more extreme -- I felt at the time anyway. So I decide to put ZOON under a different name so the old audience didn't feel they were being tricked into believing it was the old, typical FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM sound. In retrospect it does fit into the whole scheme of things but at the time it didn't seem that way. It was out of fairness to the audience so that I could point out that the ZOON album was a bit different, but now it fits totally. I just think it's one of those things but it's all NEPHILIM to me.
KITE: Though the clouds enshrouded everything keeping all wings unlit, the raucous thunder of their plight arose in a hauntingly familiar way shaking the terrain and breaking the shackles that constrained the lost souls.
MCCOY: I've always been composing anyway but I don't have any members from the past. The bass parts aren't played by Tony but a friend of mine who's been around and who I've known for years. There's a few people honestly that I know who have similar backgrounds, flavors and tastes and it's obviously an important part of the sound of the NEPHILIM. I suppose you're referring more to the kind of "Straight to The Light" sound that's kind of reminiscent of "Psychonaut" and I kind of found some of the tracks from the past we never took further and I found that a bit disappointing really so obviously I wanted to pick those things back up. That's part of the concept of THE NEPHILIM and I think that's part of the whole picture of it and it's not down to individuals. I think that's kind of how I picture the whole sound anyway.
KITE: For 10,000 moments the great beast writhed in the works of TYPE O NEGATIVE, MOONSPELL, TIAMAT, LACUNA COIL (as well as countless others) as all were heavily worshiping at the feet of FOTN (MOONSPELL even blatantly sampled the spoken work from Alister Crowley). But even as these false idols cast their shadows across Nod there was no sign of Leviathan's return.
MCCOY: I kind of follow me own nose, I mean I'm aware of what goes on out there but it's nothing I would drastically strive for. I think with THE NEPHILIM and the concept of the band there are a lot of light and dark areas out there and we should use them because there are a lot of emotions to play around with. The influence of ZOON was in me more than anything. KITE: Still, the changelings viewed these demigods as simple liasons from the womb of the musical goat. They were viewed as false tears, but soon there was going to be an eruption. A painting of volcanic soundscapes. A gnashing of teeth -- a rebirth.
MCCOY: It's always different and I don't have a format. It's always a chaotic approach and I've normally got sounds and pictures in my head so I kind of scratch down a soundtrack to a movie in my mind and I spend a lot of time on my own, especially on Morning Sun. I didn't see the light of day much and I didn't see many people when I was involved either. It was a bit of a reclusive process but sometimes it's necessary for you to see the truth rather than being influenced by the outside. It's not something where you go away and consciously go, "all right, I'm going to make this record like this." It's like a jigsaw puzzle where you lay down a couple of parts and it becomes obvious where you're going to go with it. It kind of unfolds before your eyes and before you know it you've created a record or a mess (laughter). It's a chaotic approach really. I suppose the esoteric plays a roll as well as it's my nature and it's my character and I have to be true to myself and whatever inspires me. Its part of the whole thing and it's part combination and chemical reaction of chords, sounds and vocals that you can't have one without the other. As long as it conjures up the emotions and feelings intended that's what's most important. It is a kind of a magical process really.
KITE: They say there was the hour of Horus, the dawn of man, and now the age of science, but as technology rears its bestial head it strips the soul of the analog art form. Is it a killing technology leaving us all in limbo?
MCCOY: I don't feel it's very fitting for us because a lot of the audience collects the music of THE NEPHILIM. I think they want the package, the artowrk and the actual physical hard copy. Same for me really. I mean if I like something I like to own it. I don't like to view it there as a lot of zeros and ones on my computer. I think it loses something and it's like when you go out and buy a book you want the hard copy and you want to take it with you and own it. You don't want to download it and print it out yourself. I think there will always be a case of people actually wanting to buy the product.
KITE: All the false signs of stigmata had finally come to an end and there was a deafening roar as the coiled one came into view accompanied by Behemoth and Ziz. It wasn't Christ the Seraphim had evoked, but McCoy.
MCCOY: Yeah, that's me on the cover. I always create me own artwork and it's part of what I do really. Its part of the imagery and what goes on in my mind when I'm making a record. In fact it often comes first. They go hand in hand and I can't do one without the other.