Last night when I was just about to go to sleep I checked the NCS e-mail, and the most recent message sitting there was from an Argentinian magazine named Jedbangers telling me about a 3-hour interview of Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd they had conducted by phone in June, with a link to an excerpt of the interview they’ve recently uploaded to YouTube. Figuring that I would regret the decision, I chose to put off sleep long enough to start listening to it.
Having read so many despicable stories about the guy (including some from his former friends that weren’t intended for public consumption), I wondered why I would be bothering with it — but anyway, I started the YouTube clip, expecting to hear some self-serving bullshit. But before the interview started, these words appeared on the screen:
In October 2013, Nachtmystium’s frontman Blake Judd was arrested in Chicago on misdemeanor theft charges and spent a month in jail. It was the last straw in a series of events that included his departure from black metal supergroup Twilight, dozens (if not hundreds) of ripped-off fans and a long and well documented heroin addiction.
After his stay in prison, Judd resurfaced with ‘The World We Left Behind’, Nachtmystium’s final album, only to put the band to rest and disappear again soon after a new scam regarding an album bundle pre-order was exposed.
What you are about to hear is part of a 3 hour interview Jedbangers Magazine conducted with Blake Judd on the last week of June 2016. During the interview, Judd claimed he’s been sober for a little over a year, and this time for good. He also discussed everything that happened to him since he went under the radar, including his addiction, the scams to his fans, his life as a homeless person and the death of his girlfriend.
This was the first time he spoke with anyone in the press in almost two years.
After reading that, I began to think that maybe the interview wouldn’t be all that sympathetic, and so I let it run. In this 21-minute excerpt, which seems to be the first of a 3-part series, you don’t hear the interviewer, merely Judd’s edited responses. And he’s certainly not very sympathetic to himself. I found what he said articulate and cold-eyed enough that I stayed with it to the end.
Even Judd’s confessions in this interview may be gilding the lily — only those people who were closest to him during the times he’s talking about would probably know for sure just how much of what Judd says is the truth — but he doesn’t paint a very pretty picture of himself. At the same time, he doesn’t come off as feeling sorry for himself or looking for sympathy either. Regardless, I doubt he’s going to get any sympathy, or forgiveness either. But I could be wrong; people in our country have a peculiar history of forgetting and forgiving the sins of some of the worst people.
I know that some people who’ve been deceived and mistreated by Judd think that any publicity he receives is itself a crock of shit, and just plays into his hands; this interview may well indeed be part of a “comeback” strategy by Judd designed to clean up his image. On top of that, our site doesn’t usually spend time on scandal, gossip, or titillating news items. But I’m still going to leave the interview here, because I confess that I found it interesting, and others might as well. Just make sure to take it with a grain of salt (or a whole shaker).
I was a big Nachtmystium fan. I was really into Addicts And Assassins. I remember when Judd announced he was going to do one more album and then put the band to rest, I was really excited. A little ways down the road, I went and tried to pre order The World We Left Behind. Now for whatever reason, my Paypal account was acting up. I was unable to order it. I went and contacted the Nachtmystium facebook account and expressed that I was having problems and that I still wanted to pre order the album. When I did this I didn’t realize I was going to be talking to Judd personally. He was very adamant about me placing the order in any way I could. Not in any kind of dickhead way, to be truthful, but enough to know something wasn’t right. I never was able to place my order but I had a friend who did and when it wasn’t fulfilled by Judd and it got out that he had scammed everyone, my friend was so mad that he didn’t even care to go to Century Media to get his copy. He would have rather not owned anything by the guy.
I know that this guy did some shitty things and that he pissed off thousands of people with his antics but man, I still hand it to the guy. He was a great musician in my eyes. It sucks the way things turned out and that Nachtmystium dissolved but from what this interview shows (which I understand there’s still plenty not discussed) it was all for the better. I’m glad he’s doing alright and on a better track these days. I may be one of the only people on the internet that has this opinion from what I have read around the internet but the internet is also a cruel and harsh place.
“the internet is also a cruel and harsh place”… yes it is, even to people who just post interviews of Blake Judd without being sympathetic to him, as I can now testify. 🙂
It was very fucked up for him to do what he did. He took advantage of his fan base to fuel his drug habit. Ultimately, it came around full circle and he got what he deserved. From the things he had said in this interview he was able to meet the hell he created for himself first hand. I am somewhat more sympathetic of the hold heroin had on him. Not the decisions he made caused by heroin.
Thanks for posting, excellent interview, speaks a lot about medicine and addiction. Gabor Mate writes about this subject a lot, for those who want to do more research on it.
Hopefully the guy can get right. As an addict who quit my poison 20 years ago, I can attest to the fact that people can at least try to turn it around. Three of Nachmystium’s albums are stone classics in my rotation, soI’m pulling for him to get back to a place where he can be productive and make worthwhile music, if that’s what he chooses to do. (And maybe kick some money back to the people he ripped off?)
Yeah, he could definitely do a tour release album that has rare tracks and stuff like that, Novembers Doom did it on the Agalloch tour and it was like five bucks I think. Damn album got stolen, which sucks, but that would be cool.
I’m one of those trendy posers who thinks Nachtmystium is one of the better bands of the genre, so I absolutely agree.
I knew him a bit at that time. i could tell sometime was wrong was wrong with him. i saw him get from the top to bottom fast. I am very forgiving and understanding kinda of guy. But he got what was coming to him and I have forgiven him and i wish him the best. but i will never deal with him just in case.