In the sophisticated shadows of an October renaissance, the lauded TRINITY EP from gothic rockers NFD finds itself re-emerging to the world of music aficionados. To accompany this anticipated encore, NFD (Peter ‘Bob’ White, Chris Milden, Luca Mazzucconi, Lars Kappeler, and Arulei) has woven together a captivating visual tapestry in the form of an updated rendition of “Surrender To My Will (No Mercy),” now intriguingly labeled as The Enchanted Version.
The video, an artful dalliance between filmic ambition and melodic poise, stars the dynamic American alternative DJ and model, Ashely Bad, channeling her inner sorceress as the Witch. Beside her, the enigmatic NFD frontman embodies the role of the Demon. Rather than just a fleeting musical interlude, this video unfurls as a haunting cinematic tableau; an atmospheric, Gothic journey charting a perilous voyage from the depths of inferno to the salvation of the terrestrial. The production is impressive as it is an intriguing, esoteric mystery.
Directed by Peter ‘Bob’ White and supported by a team of industry professionals including DP Vincent E. Toto (Air Force One, Dredd, Mortal Kombat, Predator 2). and special effects wizard Stephen Bettles (Bullet Train, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Star Trek, The Avengers) – particularly for production support and for supplying the prosthetics from his Out Of Kit range of prosthetics.
In the tumultuous early 2000s, NFD blossomed from the seeds of musical collaboration between Tony Pettitt, a founding element of Fields Of The Nephilim, the versatile Peter (Bob) White, and the seasoned drummer Simon Rippin, all seeking solace and new expressions when the anticipated Nephilim reunion foundered. Simon and Peter’s shared history layered their compositions with nuanced depth. Chris Milden and Steve Carey were recruited to enhance the live guitar resonance, with Peter (Bob) White remaining the steadfast heart of the evolving ensemble.
Their emergence was met with more than just the raptured attention of Nephilim’s devoted following; it ushered in a cascade of accolades transcending the ordinary musical approbations. NFD’s musical odyssey has seen them enchant audiences from the UK’s esteemed stages such as Whitby and Dark City to Germany’s iconic Wave-Gotik Treffen, either illuminating the stage alone or alongside luminaries like Mortiis and The Mission, imprinting their unique signature on the gothic tapestry of both realms.
Post-Punk.com discussed the band’s history, their plans, the new album, and what the future has in store in this exclusive interview below:
How has the NFD changed and evolved since forming two decades ago? What have you carried since that formation, and what have you left behind?
The overall mission for NFD was very clear in my head from the outset, create a top tier Goth Rock band, that sounded great, had cool imagery, kicked ass live and lasted the course and a band that would leave an indelible mark on the scene! Big goals from the outset but why the hell not? No one sets out to be mediocre….do they?
We have had many hard lessons on the way and if not instantly then soon enough we have bounced back from them and taken action to move forward even if that meant stopping to regroup for a bit! The core goal still holds true now. The mission is still on, and we intend to complete it! Or die trying…. the latter not being our go-to outcome of course!
We definitely feel more enlightened and better weaponized now. We know achieving this is not easy or for the faint hearted and there are no guarantees, but you have to have conviction in what you love, hopefully that comes as a matter of course. We will follow that dream and desire to the ends of the earth and beyond….
What were some of the band’s biggest challenges and objectives when recording each album, starting with your 2004 debut LP, “No Love Lost”?
Once we got the core band together and signed to Jungle it all just happened. We were having a laugh and enjoying life, being glad to be doing it properly as we saw it and largely on our own terms. We got swept along by the wave of each new moment. So ‘No Love Lost‘ just sort of came into existence from the demos I had. We felt lucky to be getting on with it and have a few weeks at Dave Anderson’s (Hawkwind) studio in deepest darkest Wales to do it. It was exciting and one of my favorite bands, New Model Army, had just been there doing an album. It was a case of just get on and see what manifests.
We had a lot more backing and media support than most UK bands in our niche, not the Elder Goth bands obviously, but of the bands that came up in the 90’s and post 2000 like us. We got caught in a no-man’s land where we had a great F1 car but not the sponsorship to race in the F1 league. ‘NLL‘ had been well received but I felt it was felt like a bunch of songs rather than an album, so going into ‘Dead Pool Rising‘ there was definitely a wish to do a better job of that. We put the songs together in the two months before recording and spent six weeks at a friend of Tony’s studio, The Building in Stafford. We achieved some of the goals but did not meet the demands we wanted to achieve production-wise. We were very pleased with our single ‘Light My Way‘ though which was an achievement for us. It was an in-house joke at Jungle Records and a challenge they set us to write something of a radio-friendly length seeing that our first single was over nine minutes long!
By the time we completed our third album ‘Waking The Dead” where Chris and I, through persistence, managed to significantly ‘up’ the production levels, it became clear to us that we were hitting a ceiling as we could not fund or gain access to everything we needed to progress to the levels we wanted. A lot of experience had been gained by this point though and luckily we were wise enough to make use of it and stop the beast before slamming into a wall so hard there would be no way or will to recover.
The journey to that point was full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Moments of creative nirvana and fulfillment of the highest order and moments of cliché Spinal Tap and 80’s MTV TV out of hotel window style stupidity. Enlightenment and despair of equal and epic proportions.
We took the next 7 years to regroup and put ourselves in a much stronger position which led to the release of ‘Requiems From The Abyss‘ as a marker point, an anthology of what we had done so far but also a great introduction for new fans and moving forward. The new E.P., Trinity was a big statement of intent from us and very successful as the start of the second age of NFD.
For our fourth and forthcoming album we have many objectives set for it and challenges to meet and achieve. We have never been more ready and well equipped to do so! A big part of that is some of the NFD team outside the band members. Ed Shorrock has been a revelation and has come on as my right-hand man with the business side of things. Helping organize and make things happen in countless ways. A more recent addition to the team is Oliver Kenny from Holy Rock Studios in Derbyshire. We recorded the drums there in June for the next album and will be returning to mix on the lovely new SSL desk he has installed. The legend that is Gordon Young will be roped back for mastering!
The unbreakable thread through it all has been the love of music and specifically Goth Rock, at least our own vision of it. The desire to make NFD’s masterpiece album is still at the core. We have the best chance we have ever had of making the next one just this!
How has the band’s lineup changed over the years, and how has this affected the band’s sound and creative process?
We have gone through several line up changes over the years. The band kicked off with just myself and Simon (Rippin) for a while, then Tony (Pettitt) came in. That was the original core unit for a while.
Chris Milden joined up early on for some recording duties and live and has been with NFD ever since. Stephen Carey come in after that for live guitar duties and that was NFD for a while.
Simon moved on in about 2008 and Luca Mazzucconi came into the fold on drums. He is still here today. Tony moved on in 2013 and the band has largely remained a three piece with the addition of our violinist Arulei on the latest release. Stephen was replaced by James McIlroy on live lead guitar duties and James also contributed a couple of fantastic solos on ‘WTD‘, before heading off to do his own things a while ago now. Now we have our latest addition, Mr. Lars Kappeler on bass. He has had some big shoes to fill but he is doing so magnificently! We had our first rehearsal with him June this year and will be doing so again at the end of December in London.
There have been some changes over the twenty years but with myself constantly providing vocals, lead guitars as well as other instrumentation, doing the song writing as well as artwork and merch the band has had consistency and stayed truthful to itself over the years.
The next year or so will see NFD return to a five piece for most live performances, and it is looking increasing likely that Arulei will come and join us on stage at a few shows making us a six piece for the first time ever! The Evolution continues.
What are some of the key themes and influences that inspire NFD’s music and lyrics?
Where to start on this one? There are just too many avenues to explore on this one but it is true to say that the overall theme of the lyrics, or a least a near constant one, is that they largely come from personal experiences and understandings. I certainly find it hard to sing about things I don’t have a grasp of or haven’t experienced myself. Isn’t this the same for most singers?
Occasionally, for the sake of creativity and dramatic flare, these things are in dressed up in otherworldly, fanciful or poetic guises. Situations reskinned. This is true of the latest release TRINITY where each of the three songs in turn take the themes of Hell, Heaven and Purgatory, under an overarching theme.
There are exceptions to this. ‘The Highwayman‘ on 2013’s ‘Reformations‘ was based on a TV show by Glen Larson of the same name. I had been spending time with him in Los Angeles over the space of a couple of years and I had known many of his shows since being young. I discovered this one during that two years and felt inspired to make a song about it. It was good at the time to do something a bit different.
As far as music influences go, that is another big one! There are obvious ones such as TSOM, The Mission – all the Classic Goth stuff you would expect and The Cult, NMA, Killing Joke. It goes without saying that FOTN had an influence on NFD. Not just Simon and Tony’s influence of course and what they brought to NFD, but all the musicians from that band joined together to make FOTN something special, a sum of their parts. I thought it was great, and I absorbed that music. NFD would not have even begun without myself and Simon becoming an inseparable pair back in those days of Sensorium and onwards, and then Tony. Creating a mischievous and highly connected trio.
There are also some bands I listened to before Goth started to take hold of me with a stranglehold during the mid 80’s. Stuff like Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Diamond Head, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, loads of things that pop into my song writing, sometimes less obviously. Bands like NIN, Ministry, Rob Zombie, Ramstein also had a huge influence, Toyah, Adam & The Ants…..the lists go on and on and on….
Who are some of the artists in the Gothic Rock community you have collaborated with over the years, who are some of your favorites from these collaborations, and what was it like collaborating with them?
NFD have not really collaborated much with outside musicians over the years. We did have Peter Yates join us for a number of tracks in the first year or two of NFD. That was great and his contribution to ‘Break The Silence‘ was epic. The guitar duet he and I did on ‘Lost Souls’ is a personal favorite of mine. Pete’s guitars and especially that slide was such a fundamental and creative part of the FOTN sound.
A couple of years back I worked with Babis Nikou on a track for his Angel’s Arcana album, Selva. He had some other guest vocals on that release and approached me do one. He sent me a fantastic piece of music which immediately got my attention and he was happy with me doing my own lyrics to it, which was important to me. The experience and result was extremely rewarding and we have talked about working on some more songs together which I really want to do when I have the time. He is a very talented guy and a good person to work with.
The track is called ‘Metamorphosis Pt II – The Astral Dragon’ and it is most definitely worth checking out along with the rest of his music!
One of the most recent collaborations is on our current E.P. Trinity. Firstly, with Mark Gemini Thwaite producing an epic remix of our lead track ‘Surrender To My Will (The Demon & The Witch)‘. It was a real moment to hear what he did, taking and reworking the many original elements of the track and then doing his own thing with it! Mark did us proud, and I hope we can work more closely on something in the future! I already have a few ideas if he is up for it.
The other one, again from this release, was the tremendous Ben Christo (TSOM) version of the same track. I have known Ben for some time now and we have had a few adventures together in London and L.A. over the years. It was overdue that we did something and working on this version over the space a month or so. It was an experience we both got a lot out of and enjoyed.
NFD are more open to exploring collaborative possibilities than ever and happy to hear from anyone that wants to look into it!
One collaboration that is very much overdue is doing a track with a friend of mine I have known since my days in Colchester back in the 90’s, Evie Vine. We have had a bond over the years, and she is such a special and talented musician and performer. We throw a rock at each other’s heads about once a year wondering when we are going to get around to doing it. I very much look forward to the day that happens.
How does the band approach live performances, and what can fans expect from an NFD show?
We have always loved performing live and we always prided ourselves for being an extremely tight band delivering a kick ass performance. We have played hard and partied hard but there was room for much improvement. In truth the latter sometimes began before the former and our performance sometimes gained extra energy and benefited from it and sometimes not so much! I was as guilty of this as anybody! More so through some periods of our existence.
Now we are all a bit older it is important for us to deliver 100% every time on as many levels as we can! A lot more preparation will be going into the new shows, both in the band’s performance but also the overall show and presentation.
Expect the new shows to be a level up from before but not losing the Goth and Roll danger and edge that runs deep in our veins! We have not suddenly turned in to saints overnight!
What are some of the most memorable moments from the band’s touring experiences, and how has the band evolved as performers over time?
The UK tour with Mortiis was a special one for me, it was a good match both in style and people. They guys were fantastic and I think it is often good to mix thing up at least a little so all the bands on a bill have a bit of variations in crowds. It is better for the bands as it introduces more new people to you and makes for something a bit different. Most of the festivals were good for one reason or another. Chris loved sharing the night liner with Mortiis, he really felt like this is more like how things should be.
I know it was a hell of moment for Chris when he walked out on to the main stage at M’era Luna Festival and that will always remain indelibly etched into his memory! That was a great moment for us all and I remember Simon saying afterwards that although he had headlined with FOTN this meant a lot to him! We had gotten there completely under our own steam.
I will mention Castle Party, the audience was amazing and completely up for it, a very special one for me. WGT was great, as was Zillo. There were a number of smaller German festivals that were really personal with close contact with our fans throughout the day which made them something very special!
What role has social media played in the band’s career, and what can you say about your interactions with your fans online? Are there any new methods you are using to engage them?
Social media has been a big failing of NFD in the past, we really didn’t put in the time or give it the attention we needed to. Not to say we didn’t do any at all but woefully little. Since revving things up again, starting with the ‘Requiems From The Abyss’ boxset we have improved on that front. It is such an integral part of staying in contact with all our fans, letting new fans hear what we are about.
We have recently started an NFD YouTube channel, an Instagram page and revamped the website. Bandcamp has been really successful for us. This is possibly a bit of an unusual set up as we have that running in tandem with having a traditional record company and distribution, but we have managed to find a way to make that work for all parties concerned and we find it a strong way to operate with the best of both worlds. We are looking to increase our reach all the time and will be looking for people in the scene to help us with this in the future. If this is you then please feel free to contact us!
The way people access music these days and find out about bands has totally changed. You need to engage with these modern systems to some extent to get to the people that will like what you do. Reach is eminently important. Not just on social media. It has always been one of the things that ultimately stops a band from getting to the level of success they envisage. If all the people that would like them just knew they existed a lot more bands would have enough fans to make a career of it. This has been a problem for us in the past and is one we are attempting to surmount!
How does the band balance its experimentation with different styles and themes with maintaining its signature sound and aesthetic?
This is something we talk about a lot and is something we pay great attention to. Most of us at some points have had our favorite band stray so far from what we loved about them that it completely freaks everyone out, mostly the long-term followers. They hate it even though they may come back to it many years later and can’t see what the problem is any more. Why they thought the change was too much!
Some bands can constantly redefine themselves without alienating their followers and I admire that greatly. The three Sisters albums were all different styles and Killing Joke has definitely developed its sound over years but to good effect. I can enjoy the songs ‘Kings and Queens‘ and ‘Millennium‘ equally.
The example we refer to internally and that has remained as a reminder to not play it too safe and boring is ‘When The Sun Dies‘ It actually seems a bit silly to us now that that there was any question about it but at the time it was quite different to what we thought people may expect and want from us. Certainly, more metal in many ways than Goth.
Most of the band loved it regardless though, Myself, Tony, Simon. One member initially said they would leave the band rather than play it to which we responded “Fine, see you later.” They decided to stay.
It has become one of the fans’ top three NFD tunes, possibly higher. When I look back I can’t see why we thought it was so edgy for us. I think the opposite issue applies to a lot of Goth especially in the 90’s I heard endless bands that sounded like they had taken one Mission or Sisters song and stretched it into a life of releases. At least it came across that way to me, like something over diluted.
Whatever musicians do I think you have to risk sticking your neck out and getting it chopped off. More often than not when you think you have gone too far you have only just gone far enough!
What are some of the most important lessons the band has learned over the years, both in terms of music and the music industry?
There are some basic things that I believe remain a constant and others that change. Some of the constants are that you need to learn your trade, be professional and put the work in. Put the music and the performance before your own ego and self indulgence in taking the rewards before you do the work. We, and most certainly I, have not always achieved this in the past.
You need to put a massive amount of effort into becoming great at what you do and never ever think you have it all worked out or know it all. I promise you, you don’t. That is a sure-fire way to come to a quick and sticky end or worse. A most horrifying situation is to never be aware of why you didn’t succeed. Failing and always laying the blame on others. If you want something enough, you just have to find a way. It is often what people see as unacceptable sacrifices that are the pivotal, crucial elements of success.
Some things will always be necessary: To have good songwriting skills, good imagery, give something special live and be sincere in what you do. I think people will aways be attracted to and appreciate that.
It is better to do what you know how to do well and do it from the heart than to be contrived and start trying to mimic things that are just not you. Never go chasing a trend. Just be the best you can be. It is you and the things you are that give you something special to offer the world. Don’t worry about what someone else is doing or what is being successful beyond knowing that a whole lot of people who are and have been successful were just being themselves. Success means many different things to many different people. What is success for you?
How does the band approach the process of creating music videos, and what have been some of your favorite projects to work on?
A music video can be a luxury item for a band and doing them with high production levels is beyond most. We were very grateful for being able to do them at all!
The first proper promo video we did was for ‘Light My Way‘ and that was quite a moment for us. I had not done one before and that was the same for some of the other band members. Tony had, of course, done quite a few. We got a crew in through friends to do this one at a budget that worked for Jungle and we gave them some basic outlines, smoke, dust, silhouettes, Goth…the classics. Then they went away and formulated an idea and we shot it over two days at Elecktowerkz in London, home of the infamous Slimelight club, somewhere I had been a member and weekly attendee for over twenty years at that point.
For ‘When The Sun Dies‘ we ended up doing a live performance video filmed and edited by a friend on the London Scene. We had intended it to be part live performance and part story line but the story sections did not work well in the end, mostly due to lack of directing and film experience on my part. This was something I had improved on a lot by the time we got to doing ‘Spiral’ & ‘Return To Dust’ although both were very much produced by free access to equipment and locations through my job and calling in favors. It entailed being inventive, making the best of what you have and pushing yourself further than you might normally to get the job done for the greater good. That sort of attitude has always been part of the NFD ethos.
‘Got Left Behind’ came to us though a friendship forged out in the States with an amazing film maker named Adam Mason, a super talented fellow and someone I learnt endless things from, especially at the start of my deep dive into film production out in America. Adam Mason along with another Adam, Adam Chilson (known for the Wasteland Weekend Festival, Mojave Desert) providing pyrotechnics, came together and made an epic postapocalyptic video for us with Mr. Mason doing the camera work and editing as well as directing.
Our latest and most spectacular video for this year’s release of ‘Surrender To My Will’ will be launched on 23rd September. This has been the most prepared, organized, and funded NFD video venture ever. A set was built at the studio I help run and I got an amazing crew in, gathered by associate Vince E. Toto (who has film credits including Dredd, Mortal Combat, Predator 2, Air Force One). Vince also was the Director Of Photography on the shoot. My long time friend Stephen Bettles (Star Trek, Bullet Train, Hotel Artemis, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood) helped with both the set and the prosthetics from one of his companies Out of Kit and put me in contact with make up artist Jenna Mogensen. Model and DJ Ashley Bad plays one of the main two roles in it. She did a fantastic job, performing well, working hard and putting up with freezing temperatures at night in the Mojave Desert last January. MGT, her partner also came along for the shoot! It was a team effort all round and everyone did a stunning job. We are very excited to see get this out into the world!
Has the band’s music ended up in any unexpected places?
One radio show I was shocked (in a very happy way) when our music not only showed up once as a featured artist for the ‘No Love Lost‘ album, but then a track got played every week for eight weeks on the release of ‘Dead Pool Rising’, was the Bruce Dickinson show on BBC Radio. Before the wave of Goth overtook me mid 80’s I was mainly obsessed with Iron Maiden, in fact it was because of them I had started playing guitar so when this happened it was quite a moment for me.
Tracks have appeared on a few TV shows which is always cool. One other occasion that springs to mind which had us and the guys and Jungle rather amused, was on the release of ‘Break The Silence’. We got a mention on the cover of Weed Weekly and a great review for having released nine minutes plus of pure stoner heaven! We laughed about that one.
How has the gothic rock scene evolved over the years, and how does NFD fit into this broader cultural context?
Some people like to keep Goth under a glass dome spanning about 8 years in the 80’s. I must admit that a certain part of me does that as well sometimes.
In truth though, the scene has never stopped evolving, I don’t think any scene ever really can if it wants to remain healthy and relevant to new generations. If something stops growing and developing it dies or becomes a museum exhibit. To keep a scene alive you need fans but you also need the bands. Some of those bands are happy to repeat the past but others will want to make their own mark on it and that will inevitably mean change.
There are bands that are scared to put new material out for fear of destroying an idolized and cherished legacy that is working for them. Why take the risk? I do get it and don’t criticize them for playing safe. Maybe we would all do the same in their position? Bands like The Mission get my admiration though. I love The Mission regardless but even more so for taking risks and not only living on past glories. This is true of NMA and others as well.
We have drawn on music that inspired us, not always from obvious places and combined it in our own way adding things that maybe others haven’t before and imposed our own desires on it and that is the NFD sound.
As to where we fit into the big picture? In some ways we are very traditional, in other ways we are a black sheep in a field of black sheep, both the drunken fun uncle and the grumpy old git in the corner that won’t play if they don’t get their own way. We are quite happy with our own company though and would rather be true to ourselves than in the cool gang. Take us or leave us. We are at peace with that. We love, embrace and encourage this. We are proud of this as this is what we are and will always be.
What are some of the band’s favorite songs to perform live, and why?
I know Chris loves ‘Senseless‘ as it gives a real feeling of pure epic coolness that is difficult to match but he is very excited to get out and play some of the new tracks. ‘Keep a Light Shining’ is a particular favorite of Luca’s. He enjoys the drums and the song has a lot of personal meaning for him.
The classics are always fun to play, ‘Light My Way‘, ‘When The Sun Dies‘, ‘One Moment Between Us‘, Turbine. Those always get a great response from the audience!
Lars has been looking forward to blasting out ‘One Moment‘ and ‘Senseless‘. Both epic classics and he will be getting to do just that with at least one of these at the first new shows in 2024.
Got Left Behind will be a regular in future sets and I look forward to playing ‘Descent‘ again. We also look forward to playing some of the TRINITY tracks next year as well as a bunch of new album tracks and new singles. By then we will be spoilt for choice with tracks to pick from and the thought of this is exciting in its own right. To have such a wealth of material to pull from means that we can create some exceptional set lists.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about NFD, and how would the band like to be perceived?
We really don’t have any idea how people see us or have any requirements for people to see us in any particular way. I have realized over the years that many people don’t pick up on the diverse influences we have and many times when I have pointed out say that that guitar part is not goth for instance and it is extremely close so Jake E. Lee from when he was with Ozzy. People have thought I was joking until I played them back to back and their jaw hits the floor.
I think this is normal though. I remember people refusing to pick up on the Led Zeppelin influence in the Mission guitars because that would mean it was Rock and not Goth but everything came from something including the Goth scene. My love of the 80’s Goth scene is deep and strong though and I have drawn many times from people like Wayne Hussey, Craig Adams, Gary Marx, Simon Hinkler, Tim Bricheno, Peter Yates, Paul Wright but also as mentioned Jake E. Lee, Lindsey Buckingham, The Edge, Trent Reznor, Al Jorgensen and, of course, Adrian Smith, the guitarist that inspired me to pick up a guitar myself.
Can you tell us what went into recording the Trinity E.P. and how that differs from previous records?
This latest release was produced between California, the UK, Italy and Hungary. The most international production so far and, although many bands have been forced into this scenario by the pandemic over the last few years, this scenario really worked for us on this release.
Luca and I work best when we are in the studio together – he is an outstanding drummer. We took my initial drum ideas to the next level by bouncing ideas off each other in person. Luca is able to take ideas I express to him and interpret them there and then as well as showing me his ideas, so I can react to them instantly. It’s a great way of working and one we both love and that was how we did Reformations and Waking the Dead and how we are working on the forthcoming album.
For TRINITY we only had the drums down for two of the songs that way but for the third track this was not possible. To get it done I sat in on a 12-hour overnight session between The Mojave Desert and Italy via video and then the studio sent the files here for me to work on. It was not ideal, but we made it work and the drums on that track sound incredible and we certainly got the result we needed.
That was the ethos behind this whole production, find a way to get it done, one way or another.
The big bonus we had this time was almost unlimited studio time my end where most of the work was getting done. My other job affords me easy daily access to a decent studio. I was able to take a lot of time getting this release exactly where we wanted it to be. That was both a luxury and a necessity for this release. I, with strong support from Chris who had high expectations for this release, used this time to bring it to the final form that everyone is extremely proud of.
We spent more time on this release than we have ever spent on anything before, and it paid off big time. Although the next recording will be more centralized, we will not be rushing any future releases. We will make sure they get the time needed to do them justice.
What was your experience and process in curating and assembling the Requiems from the Abyss box set, what makes this collection special, and how have fans responded to this release?
This was something that Chris and I put a lot of work into. We considered the track list inclusions over a long period of time and altered it endless times. There was a lot of digging around through old hard drives and back up CD’s burnt from studio sessions. This task was made harder by things not always been labeled efficiently. The curse of the creative moment.
It was important to make the collection tick many boxes. It needed to represent the band’s releases up and to this point, but we didn’t just want it to be a straightforward compilation so where possible on discs one and two we put alternate or unreleased versions even if it was not massively different. We dug out some rarities such as ‘Witness’ which had only ever been on a very limited promo CD, before signing to Jungle Records. Fans had sought after this for a long time, and we couldn’t envisage a more perfect time to let this into the wild.
We also got an opportunity to do one two overdubs on a couple of tracks curing a few annoyances from aging mixes!
We felt this still was not quite enough to give the long-standing fans what was needed so disc three was filled with a new version of ‘Spiral’, six unreleased demos spanning back to near the start of NFD, three live bootlegs and a lively and amusing 10 minute excerpt from an interview Tony and I did for The Bat Cave on Total Rock back in 2006!
Mention must be made of the incredible job Gordon Young did mastering this monstrosity. The diversity of what he had to pull together would have been a challenge to anybody. He put endless hours in and put up with all my reasonable and unreasonable requests. He did a blinding job and will have my respect eternally for what he put into this!
Ed and I went to town on the packaging – we put together additional content with a stunning 24 page booklet filled with rare and unseen pictures, stories from the band’s history edited by Mick Mercer and all sorts of info from over the years. Painstakingly laid out to great effect. We included 5 artwork postcards and a fold out poster and packaged it all in a high-quality clamshell box with gold and silver inks. Orders direct from NFD’s Bandcamp site come with a limited edition enamel badge as well! We really went to town to create something special, and Ed and I nearly killed ourselves doing it but it was absolutely worth it and has been extremely well received by fans new and old and the press alike! Any NFD fan should definitely have this in their collection.
What’s next for NFD, and what can fans expect from the band in the future?
That is simple! Everything and more! As you know we have the new STWM video promo coming out September 23rd, the Autumn Equinox. There will be another Gothtober themed video release on Friday 13th October. Then we have a track (or two) being released on October 31st! Via Bandcamp initially and then it will be out on Spotify and the other usual suspects.
Following from that will be a new album first quarter of 2024 with singles before and after its release and then finally some live shows for which we cannot wait!
We now feel like a band again with addition of Lars and it was amazing to make some noise rehearsing again this June past and we can’t wait to do so again in London this December with a new live guitarist as well!
We have a great team and we like to acknowledge that when we can, Chris, Luca, Lars of course. Top class musicians and all round top chaps.
We are very excited to see what happens when we can get Arulei out to a few shows! She is a beautifully soulful musician and has already been welcomed by us and fans alike, adding an extra dimension to what we do.
Ed, what would we do without Ed? Not much! Ed keeps the beast moving while I run around in a creative maelstrom!
We are excited to have something soon for our front of house sound man, Rob Barham to do! The guy is a legend and getting back on stage is well overdue!
Gordon will be getting bombarded with new tracks to master early next year. I can hear him running for cover already!
And our newest addition to the NFD family, Oliver Kenny will be deep in mixing the new album with me at Holy Rock Studios in December!
There is much coming more besides that but that will do for now!
So Let It Begin…