Interview: This Present Darkness
This time I had the privilege of interviewing a awesome musician! The main man of This Present Darkness. Let's go to it!
The Bearded Dragon: Who am I speaking to? (For the readers)
This Present Darkness: Nicolae Michael Wallace of This Present Darkness
TBD: Could you give a quick background on how you started this project?
TPD: Sure. In 2011 I was already full swing in my first band as the bassist but I was starting to learn more about music theory, music in general, and learning other instruments, so I started experimenting on the side. Long story short, that experimenting became TPD.
TBD: Alright, what is your full discography (for TPD)
TPD: We have four albums total technically: Set the Sky Aflame (2012), There's Much To Be Done Still (2014), Nayenezgani (2014), and the current Dream of Waking Up (2016). The first three are no longer in circulation to my knowledge.
TBD: You say "we". I thought This Present Darkness was a solo project. Is that right?
TPD: Yes, sorry. It's a habit I've sort of slipped into.
TBD: It's fine. Do you record all the instruments on your albums? Or do you hire other musicians?
TPD: I program the drums but everything else is self recorded. I can play drums, just not as well as what I write for the album. Plus it can sometimes be a logistical nightmare recording myself on drums on a budget.
TBD: Yeah that makes sense. What kinda gear do you use?
TPD: For drums I use Superior Drummer. I use a Jericho Avenger 7 Pro 7-string guitar and a Traben Phoenix 5 5-string bass. I direct line both of those straight into the DAW (Mixcraft Pro Studio 7, for those who care) and I've been using an AKG Perception 120 for vocal mics, but I'm planning to upgrade to the Sure SM7B before I record again.
TBD: Ok, I think the genre you use to describe your project, "Djentcore" is an interesting name. Did you come up with that? Cause I haven't heard any other bands using that genre.
TPD: I did. I didn't really feel comfortable calling myself just "djent" because DoWU is a little lacking of the djent tone, and I don't play quite as complex as some other djent bands,but at the same time I felt it was a little too progressive and "djenty" to be just pure metalcore. "Djentcore" seemed like a good compromise.
TBD: I think the genre fits you well! I also think it would fit an up and coming solo project of Jason Wisdom, called Death Therapy. Have you heard that stuff?
TPD: I haven't but I will definitely check it out!
TBD: It's awesome! And that was a part of my next question. What artists/bands have you been listening to lately?
TPD: Lately I've been making an effort to listen to more stuff. As we type I've got a metalcore band from Europe called "The Royal" playing. But lately I've been on a huge indie kick. Of Monsters and Men, Misterwives, that kind of stuff. Been just chilling with the softer music lately.
TBD: That's cool. I'm not a big indie fan, but there's some good stuff in there
TPD: It's not for everyone, just like metal isn't for everyone. But I dig it at times.
TBD: Yeah makes sense. This project is a Christian project correct?
TPD: I wouldn't consider it a "Christian" project. I am Christian, so naturally a lot of my views and beliefs are going to be very prominent, but I feel like "Christian" band is just a marketing gimmick. If you're really following Christ, it should show without you having to put a label on it.
TBD: I see. That's a great answer. I was just asking, for all those kids that are only aloud to listen to Christian metal. (I'm am one of those kids, lol)
TPD: In that case I would say yes I am. Some of the ideas and concepts I cover might seem a little extreme or controversial and anyone is always welcome to message me and ask for clarification, but at the core of it I do still believe that Jesus came to earth, died for our sins, and currently reigns in Heaven.
TPD: I don't know how to do the little thumbs up thing from Facebook or else I would haha. Anyways...
TBD: What other bands/projects have you been in? You mentioned one above, so I'm just curious.
TPD: My first band was in San Diego called A Battle To Fight. I have no idea what genre it was, we just sort of wrote we wanted. I guess progressive hard rock with some metalcore influence? After that disbanded I focused on TPD for a while, jammed in a few other bands on and off but nothing every really stuck. Right now I'm auditioning to be rhythm guitarist in an established local metalcore band here in Austin, but I don't want to give too much away. Hoping that works out cause they're great dudes and I would love to play more regularly than I do in TPD. Oh, I've also got something going on with my label mate Ethan Walls, but that's still very much in the concept phase. I'm hoping to put out some material with him this year.
TBD: That's cool. I'll have to look up that band. Is there anything else you want to say? (For the readers)
TPD: I would just say that the core of TPD and my own personal heart and motives is humanity. There's a lot of debate within the Christian community about how to interpret the Bible (ex: is homosexuality a sin) and while those are important topics don't forget that these are real people we're talking about with real feelings and emotional and spiritual needs and so forth. At the end of the day Jesus loves them, too, and no matter what your interpretation is, you're commanded to love them as Jesus loved us. That goes not just for homosexuality but for everything including other religions, other races, etc. Jesus said the two most important commandments were love God and love each other. Don't lose sight of that and get caught up in the details. That's what I'm all about and that's the biggest message I try to carry in this project.
TBD: Amen. And thanks for agreeing to do this man! It always means a lot to me, when awesome musicians agree to talk to me!
TPD: My pleasure dude! I like what you got going on, keep it up!
TBD: Thanks dude!
TPD: Sweet! I'll spread it around for sure when it's out!
TBD: Alright! Talk to you later!
And that was my interview with Nic of/as This Present Darkness. I agree with what he said about loving people as people, and that we should try to that. And of course I love to talk about music! Speaking of which, go check it out on Spotify and Bandcamp! Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
The Bearded Dragon