Rebel Wizard Bandcamp: Link
Rebel Wizard Facebook: Link
Rebel Wizard‘s unique brand of Heavy Negative Wizard Metal struck quite a chord with me recently when I reviewed the Invocation Of The Miserable Ones EP (which you can read here, and the EP can be downloaded via Bandcamp), one of numerous releases by the Australian one-man act released in 2015. Wanting to learn more about the idea behind the band, as well as that descriptor, I sent off a few questions to NKSV. Here’s the responses!
1 – ‘Heavy Negative Wizard Metal’ is a pretty distinctive descriptor for your music. For those unfamiliar with your music, can you describe what it means? And how did you settle on such a description for Rebel Wizard?
Rebel Wizard represents ‘the new wave of negative metal’. The term negative means to do what is not – it’s not negative as in ‘depressing’ etc. The underground has become very conservative and repetitive; and moreso ‘glossy’. It’s very much a conformist culture now. But that’s only as it seems the common realm of human is so increasingly conservative – there are no rebels anymore. The death of Lemmy and Bowie were so horribly symbolic of that.
For me, growing up, it was an outsider realm – it was what was ‘not’. I suckled at that horrid metal outsider boob forever, gleefully.
So, Rebel Wizard represents that, hence ‘heavy negative wizard metal’. It’s very fashionable to be a retro nwobhm or super rancid skull crushing doom band. It’s fucking banal now. However, in saying that, there are some incredible gems that do shine through and I listen to a lot of it – so please don’t misjudge this as a slag off to it!
The varied elements in the Rebel Wizard songs ‘should not be done’ etc – the mix of styles or whatever. But it’s a very honest project. 30 years of playing and being nourished from metal when it represented something quite powerful. Although it’s very meat and potato metal, the feel is a little unique – at least I hope so – and it gives those other rebel wizards a bit of soundtrack outside the onslaught of banality out there in the spotify/amazon/farcebook realms.
It’s a very solitary process. It’s not a band, not on a label, doesn’t play live, I don’t really mix with scenes or others much – the influence is all subconscious and possessive; like some lonely sad negative wizard wanking weepingly in a flame lit amethyst cave. Haha.
I’m actually surprised Rebel Wizard hadn’t been used before! It encompasses the ONLY TRUE essence of heavy metal. (I only wrote that for blog comments and retweets)
2 – You’re also involved with Nekrasov, which is a very different band to Rebel Wizard. Does the creative process for each band differ at all, and what inspired you to start up Rebel Wizard?
They are both quite difficult to work on. Rebel Wizard allows me to keep a bit of balance. The Nekrasov stuff is heavy duty void work which requires a complete breakdown to answer.
Focusing on actually making Rebel Wizard a thing was all pretty natural. It just happened. I have always enjoyed writing and recording. I’ve actually always wanted to do it but have been restricted by many things. With both projects they are just things that I want to listen to that I can’t find elsewhere. I don’t really think too much about it, it’s all a part of how I grew up and what I did. There’s a bit more freedom now as one gets older the better and more horrible it feels.
3 – 2015 was a very active year for you in terms of releases, and there’s already been a new Nekrasov album released this year. Do you see 2016 continuing in the same way?
I don’t know. I hope so! I go in and record most evenings – there’s a ton of stuff I am working on all the time. It’s annoying and I try to finish things, delete things and move on.
But currently I am working two RW eps, some bones to another Nekrasov album – and I have a track for a 7” split to do soon.
4 – Are there plans for any more physical releases?
I am doing a limited CDR release for the Nekrasov album that was just released. But that’s about it. I seem to have a curse when it comes to labels and things. I have been on labels and they always do nothing with the releases or they fold. Haha. I’m not a big seller to the kids but the kids definitely need to slit their throats on the altar of negative metal, that’s for sure.
I’m hoping to get the RW releases onto a limited polycarbonate vinyl thing if I can summon the funds. But it’ll probably never happen.
However, eventually people will want to trade it or sell it only to find no one wants it so I save them all that effort by having the music available ‘ethereally’. You’ll thank me later.
But if people want a cdr of the anything, they should ask and I’ll just make them one. Personal edition, one off for everyone! Fuck the multiple same shit release. Wrapped in a nappy, whatever you want.
5 – Following on from this, the packaging for The Early Years Of Negative Wizard Metal CD-R was pretty, um, unusual. Can you tell us how that came about?
It took me ages to ‘find that’ idea. I was getting asked over and over for a release. Feels like everything had been done by the year 2015 – then I saw a nappy. Literally, I was agonising over the cdr layout idea and I looked over, saw a nappy and lighting struck in my headmind.
6 – You’ve been writing and releasing metal for quite some time now; how do you think the scene has changed over the years? Would you say things are any easier/better now for independent musicians compared with when you started out?
It depends on what you’re trying to do. I don’t consider myself a musician. All the music that I do, I have just always done it – just a part of who I am and what I do. It’s more type of being that sustains this particular life force like sports or eating yogurt does for another. It’s never been a career (or projected as such) – and you can very much tell by the music that I do that’s it’s not going to get me no diamond rings.
With scenes, I was part of the punk scene in Melbourne back in the early 90s, but that’s it. I find scenes repulsive and haven’t bothered with all that for 20 years.
It’s always and ever been about ass licking and conformity and telling ‘the people’ what is cool and important by other people. But within that there’s always been people seeing through all that and doing their thing – those folk are getting harder to find.
For me, something like bandcamp is really good. As mentioned, I have a hard time with labels so now I can just release stuff when I want. People will ask for a physical release and I’ll make some limited cdr things. I will (hopefully) get more into that side of things. I used to screen print 1000 covers etc back in the day but I just don’t have the time.
But, recently, it’s great, there’s a small crew of people who actually donate money to rebel wizard, it’s fucking beautiful. Answering this question has enabled me to reflect a little on how good things are – I am completely free to release how and when I want and I can even wrap cdrs in nappies as little special treasures to the awesome weirdos of the world.
7 -What’s the most unexpected thing anyone has ever said about your music?
The fact that anyone even says anything about it! Haha
The joy in doing both projects that are considered ‘polarising’ etc blah blah is that the interpretations that come with it are really enjoyable; both the positive and the negative. Due to its fairly ‘obscure’ constructions, people have to dig a little deeper to find some kind of reference to what they are hearing so that comes out in all manner of interesting themes.
It can’t be referred to as ‘classic nwobhm’ or totally mercyful fate style metal in the case of RW or ildjarn style BM with Nekrasov. Both projects are easily dismissed either by the vocals (RW) or the fact that’noise fuses with black metal’ is a no no (nekrasov) by those we hope to weed off quickly. So those that do ‘get it’ find something unique in it. So I guess how I am trying to answer this is that the response by those have some kind of ‘deeper’ feedback on either project has been very much unexpected – as I old such little hope for humanity. Haha.
8 – Any final thoughts you want to finish on?
Oh,I was just getting warmed up. Thanks for the interest and for the kind review. I like the title of your blog. The word is the bastard!