Friday, 18 March 2011

Followers of Honour and Darkness ... #4

Nick Diak
Nazgul thought it high time the wider community met Nick Diak in this, the fourth outing in the Followers of Honour and Darkness series.

Nick and Nazgul have been in contact for sometime now, and Nazgul is proud to list Nick and his partner Michele amongst his friends on the North American continent. Not content with merely being fans of the music, Nick and Michele have recently been involved in shooting a video for one of Hugin's songs, more of which in another post.

Nazgul hopes you enjoy this insight into another of our own kind...

Q1.Hello! Tell us your name?

A1. Hello! My name is Nick Diak, or Nicholas Diak if you want to be proper.

Q2. Where do you live?

A2. I've just moved from rainy Seattle, Washington, to sunny Orange, California.

Q3. Your age, Nick?

A3. 28 years old, almost Logan's Run time for me.

Q4. And what do you do for a living?

A4. I'm a master's student at the University of Washington, with aspirations to be an academic author on Italian vernacular cinema.

Q5. Your favourite style of music?

A5. There's a few genres I like quite a bit: industrial, neofolk, military-pop, synth-pop, dream-pop, bit-pop (video game-esque music), black ambient, aggro-tech, and EBM.

Q6. Your favourite other bands (non-Hugin)?

A6. I've been an ardent follower of KMFDM for 14 years, they are probably one of my all time favourites. Other bands I hold with high regard include Changes, Werkraum, Von Thronstahl, Armageddon Dildos, Chandeen, DE/Vision, Bandaloop, The Stranglers, Death in June, Der Blutharsch, T.O.Y., Farmer Boys, Galaxy Hunter, Hyperbubble, Juno Reactor, Kirlian Camera, Laibach, OOMPH!, S.P.O.C.K., Waldteufel, Welle:Erdball, Weissglut, and Lady Gaga (don't laugh!).

Q7. The first album you ever bought...?

A8. I don't recall the first CD I ever bought but the first 2 CDs I received as gifts were Barenaked Ladies' "Stunt" and Rammstein's "Sehnschult". It was a red pill/blue pill moment and you can see what musical path I went down...

Q8. ...And the latest album you have bought?

A8. I bought 2 at the same time from my first trip to Amoeba records near Hollywood: Kirlian Camera's "Not of This World" boxset and the new Die Krupps EP, "Als Waeren Wir Fuer Immer". The godfathers of industrial metal are back! I have a pre-order for the new Armageddon Dildo's album (after so many years of silence) and the new Massiv En Mensch album. They should arrive soon, hope they are good!

Q9. Your favourite food?

A9. Jalepeno pizza, Paneer Masala with Pankoras, Chile Relanjos, white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake: Om nom nom nom nom

Q10. Your favourite film?

A10. Probably my all time favourite movie is either Lars von Trier's "Europa" or Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colours: Red". "Wicker Man", "A Clockwork Orange" and "Amelie" are also movies I love.

Q11. Your favourite book?

A11. "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson is probably my favourite fiction book. I read a lot of film books, and my two favourites are "Nightmare USA" by Stephen Thrower and "La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film" by Mikel Koven. Both books have had a profound influence on me and the way I perceive films.

Q12. How long have you been reading Honour and Darkness?

A12. Early 2010. My first email to Nazgul was when he took a quest to the States and I said he should stop by for a drink. Unfortunately he already departed and much later did we get a chance to establish a rapport.

Q13. How did you first come across Hugin's music?

A13. Ahhh, sit back and grab your favourite beverage - this will be a tale that could take a while. One of my musician friends is Marcel P., a prolific and great musician who has been in a plethora of projects. Much like Hugin, I like to support Marcel by taking an interest in his projects and buying some of the releases he appears on.

At the tail end of 2009 he informed me of his appearance on Allerseelen's new "Sonne Golthi-Ade" single put out by our one and only Hugin's Beverina and W.A.R. Productions label. I was able to procure an email contact for Hugin (I don't do MySpace so getting hold of him at first was problematic) and order a copy of the very limited single from him.

Now as we all know, Hugin is a pretty shameless promoter. In my order from him I got some postcards. One postcard that was noteworthy was of Hugin in chainmail brandishing a sword. Now I'll be honest, at first I laughed thinking the photo was rather silly. However the image's advertising capability must've worked because next thing I knew I was checking out Uruk-hai's discography.

Being attracted to the cover art of "Lost Songs From Middle Earth", I was soon re-contacting Hugin to place and order for that CD as well as WACH's "Experimentum Solaris" (impromptu purchase). WACH didn't impact me much at the time, but "Lost Songs..." did. I soon pounced on the pre-order for "Black Blood/White Hand" box-set which pretty much cemented me into Uruk-hai, which led to delving deeper into Hugin's other work.

Q14. Which of Hugin's projects do you follow most attentively?

A14. Uruk-hai is the one I follow them most with Hrefnesholt a close second. The subject matter of the dark woods in Hrefnesholt really resound with me growing up in the forests and rivers of southwest Washington. I don't follow every release of every project for one simple reason: tapes. My AIWA has been sitting in storage for years, and I've made the full conversion of importing my CDs into iTunes and onto my iPhone or onto my Pandora (a little mini Linux box that looks like a Nintendo DS). This way keeps all my nice collectible CDs safe and sound and I got a portable library full of Hugin's music at my disposal. I still buy limited edition records since they look like works of art, but tapes are not too much my thing.

Q15. What was the first thing you bought that Hugin composed?

A15. The SkullLine anniversary compilation "WHW" back in 2005. I was not aware of Hugin's projects at the time and bought the compilation purely for the Von Thronstahl track "Return Your Revolt Into Style (Boss/Lagerfield Mix)" which turned out to be a terrible version of the song.

The Bonemachine track "Rhythmus Der Einsamkeit" didn't leave an impression on me at the time when I was exploring the compilation, and I wouldn't revisit the material until some years later when I was fully immersed into Hugin's projects.

Q16. What was the last thing you bought that Hugin composed?

A16. I just picked up Bonemachine's "Erste Rotation" over the holidays. I am trying to listen to more Bonemachine, and this seemed like a good place to start. Love the cover!

Q17. What is your favourite release from Hugin's discography to date?

A17. My favourite release of Hugin's so far is probably "Angband", and for a few reasons. Firstly, Runenstein Records did an awesome job at presentation. Though I am not so lucky as to have the version that comes in the metal box (see below), the normal release is presented well: the artwork is cool, the map is fun, and for some odd reason, the CD case reminds me of the CD case Final Fantasy 7 came in 14 years ago, so looking at it makes me feel nostalgic.

Secondly the sheer quantity of music on "Angband" is staggering, and based on probability alone there is a song for everyone. I don't care for all the tracks on "Angband" (specifically those with 'shouty' vocals), but there is a large population of tracks (particularly on later discs in the set) that I enjoy.

Q18. What items/release(s) do you most treasure in your collection of Hugin's stuff?

A18. There's four particular items in my collection I probably treasure the most. Aside from the aforementioned "Angband" (based on pure utility), the other commercially available item I feel quite proud to own is the "March to War" limited vinyl. The other two items I treasure, and actually treasure the most, are two custom made releases. The first is my personal copy of Hrefnesholt's "Rabentanz" album as seen in Honour and Darkess entry on October 30th 2010. The second is a special "Michele & Nick" edition of "Cirith Ungol" that Hugin made for my girlfriend Michele and I. A truly generous gift from Hugin.

Q19. Are there any particular releases of his that are you looking for?

A19. I am sad my copy of "Angband" is without the box so I wish I had that. I wish I had alot of the tape material, only I'd want them on CDs. I really like things in boxsets, so I'd love copies of Bonemachine's "Vogelfrei" for example. I kick myself for not getting the new "Darkness" box, but I was afraid the state of Cali would detain it at customs due to the seeds and stuff inside, so I missed a good opportunity.

Q20. Do you have a particular message for Hugin?

A20. Hailz Hugin! I hope this new year finds you in good health and much success with your projects. I hope you can realize some of your ambitions, get some good music released, and of course set aside some copies for yours truly to order from you.

Q21. What message do you have for your fellow readers of Honour & Darkness?

Q22. Comrades, my fellow connoisseurs of good and sub-altern music! My hats go off to you for supporting such music. Perhaps you'll in turn become inspired and make music yourself. Perhaps you'll start a D.I.Y. label and contribute to the canon of the underground. Or perhaps you'll relax in a comfy couch with your favourite drink and rock out. Regardless, I wish you all the best in your endeavours (and if you do wind up making some music, send some my way!).

Nick Diak, one of the good guys. Nazgul sends his thanks across the pond for this interview.

As always, should you wish to be featured in this occasional series then Nazgul would be delighted to hear from you via the usual email address.

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