On Thursday, June 16th, myself and other members of the First Angel Media staff took a journey to Lovedraft’s Brewing Company in Mechanicsburg, PA to check out Psyclon Nine during their Road to Hell Tour. To say it was amazing would be an understatement to describe the evening ahead.
Let me talk a little about the venue to start off with. With a name like Lovedraft’s, I had a feeling it was meant as a reference to H.P. Lovecraft, and I was right on the money there, with a little more added to it. It was the essentially the perfect gothic hangout spot. There were skeletons and mentions of Cthulhu all around. There was this amazing mural of Cthulhu painted on the side of the building which made it for a perfect photo-op. Along with a stage for bands to perform on, there was a dining area for you to eat delicious food, and the main bar for alcoholic beverages. For the nerdy types, there was a variety of arcade machines to play, including the original Area 51 shooter game which I haven’t played since being a young teenager. On top of that, there was a side bar area that included an NES, Super NES, and a variety of card games to play. I felt right at home, and it was hard to leave such an amazing venue.
Enough about the venue, let’s move on to the concert itself. The Destruct Principle. performed the opening ceremonies quite literally. This is a band that caught my attention from the very first time I witnessed them live. They call their act Live Rituals, and they definitely mean that. Their music is very dark in nature, and almost hypnotic in a way. They draw your attention with their performance as well as their ritual wear, and it’s very easy to find yourself swaying to their rhythms.
After that, Our Frankenstein took the stage. They were a two person act, one on vocals and the other on the drums, and they were very impressive. The lead singer sported a metal mask and with enough energy to be infectious to the crowd. His vocal range was pretty impressive as well, as he went from soothing to roars within a span of a minute. I was left very pleased with their performance and will be paying more attention to them in the future.
Then Seven Factor came on stage, with their music being a heavier style of industrial music. This encouraged more of a stompier vibe to the evening and served as perfect prelude to what was to come. The crowd ate up what they had to offer with much vigor and reverence.
All that was left was Psyclon Nine to end the evening with a bang. Before getting the chance to witness the destruction to come, I had the the unique opportunity to interview the mastermind of the band known as Nero Bellum.
Interview with Nero of Psyclon Nine
You just recently released a single “Money and Sex and Death” from the upcoming album Less to Heaven. To me, I felt like it was taking your sound in a new direction. Is this what fans can expect from the upcoming album?
Yes and no I suppose. Could you rephrase? Like the specific sound of that song is what they can expect? The song is on the album. There are more songs that might fit into that vibe. But it’s almost like a two part album. On the vinyl, you have the first half and the latter half and they are pretty far departures. The first half might be incredibly aggressive like “Money and Sex and Death“. And the latter half being self deprecating and depressing and lower tempo. I just have those two sides to myself, either angry or depressed, there’s not a lot of in between.
You just did the pre save for the album, which is going to be coming out on August 5th, is that going to be available on all platforms?
Yes. Yeah, we just released a very limited edition boxset of the album. So that’s the only thing for pre order right now. But it should be everywhere. Metropolis generally takes care of that. I personally have nothing to do with distribution, or I don’t know, like, I write the music. I send it to the label. And then it appears. Every time I put out an album, if I go to Spotify, I’ll see it there. So I imagine yes.
So you just went on tour starting June 7th. How’s it feel to be back on tour again, playing live for the fans?
It’s strange. Playing live, I feel like that question can be turned into two different answers. But how does it feel to be playing live and how does it feel to be playing live for the fans. So for me, it’s the longest I’ve gone without playing a show in 20 years. I miss the comforts of my home, it was more difficult, adapting to the conditions of the road. Where before I would do this two or three times a year for years, and it felt more… I would feel just as at home on the road as I would at home. I would sometimes live out of a bag, I have like a purse. It has everything that’s important to me. I just transfer that back and forth between the bus and home. And when I’m home I don’t put everything away. I still keep it in the bag. But for the first time, I started kind of transferring things out of the bag. So it’s just kind of, you know, getting used to all these little things again, sleeping in a moving vehicle is always hard to get used to but I’m used to it now. This is show ten with no days off. So at some point your body just, it doesn’t matter if you have insomnia, it doesn’t care anymore, it’s like I’m putting you out. So there’s like the rough side of it. And then the band’s part. That’s the part that gets you through. It’s been great kind of reconnecting on that level. Playing the new songs especially for fans and seeing their reaction. Seeing that they’re happy. A lot of these people, this is the first time they’ve been out since COVID. And we do these VIP meet and greets, and I get to talk to these people on a personal level. You know, it’s nice to be able to provide that conduit for them to finally like enjoy something outdoors again. You know, that was the thing that made them venture out even though we’ve all been out a bit at this point. Some people are still kind of stragglers. This is their first event, you know. So, I’m glad I am able push them out of the house.
Any exciting tour stories that you can tell us? Like any anything that stood out to you while you’ve been on tour?
Nothing that wouldn’t get us canceled. I kind of feel like you have to be careful about what you say these days. That said, you know, I’ve been sober for eight years. You know, I’m just here for the show for the most part. A lot of the stories I could tell you, that I couldn’t tell you would be boring. Our generator on our bus died three times. First time in Las Vegas on the way to Salt Lake City for the first show. It was about 110 degrees in here, so we all had to strip down to our underwear to sleep that night. It was 105 outside and then you’re in here and there are these tiny little windows in here, but without the AC, and you’re in these coffins back here, and with those leather buttons or whatever, it’s just like a little oven. If you look back you can see the little air vents in each one. So the AC is piped directly into each bunk. And without that is hot, incredibly hot. So that happened, what else? What else has happened? It all seems like one long day to me.
Has there been one real positive moment during the tour?
We had a Karen. Apparently, there was a local homeowner who hated the owner of the venue we played at last night in New Jersey. And every time a tour bus or vehicle would pull up anywhere near the venue, she calls the police and tells them that she can’t find parking. And she lives there. Of course, it’s public parking. But we had like four or five squad cars out there that I had to talk to yesterday. And they were a little nit-picky about how our trailer was positioned. So we had to get the entire crew, including one of the police officers to lift the multi-thousand pound trailer and move it over like two feet. A little bit closer to the curb. Just because of this woman raving, and I saw her husband there with her who just looked defeated. You know, like imagine. It was a pretty sad situation. You know? Who cares? Like, I don’t understand that mindset, you know? “Oh, look, someone else is doing something, and I don’t approve of it. I’m gonna do something about that.”
It wasn’t directly next door either, I think it was a couple places down. They didn’t like that they put cones out for us. And like just, didn’t like anything. Apparently, that’s the type of person that just walks outside every day and just has a problem with everything. Apparently, we were the target. The police were nice to us though. Typically they are, you know, it’s strange, that I feel like if I didn’t have a tour lanyard, you know, if I was walking by myself, or driving my own car, it would have been a different story. But when police see a band, they’re like, oh, that’s fucking cool. It’s kind of hypocritical and shitty. And I almost kind of feel like a weird, it’s like hashtag band privilege. Actually, I felt some guilt, to be honest. They shouldn’t be treating us better than anyone else. They pretty much treat everyone like shit, so I don’t know. I don’t want to get into that.
That’s kind of what I wrote “Money and Sex and Death” about. It just seemed like everyone cared and got really excited when George Floyd was killed. To the point where you know, everyone was “Did you see the news today, did you see the news today?” This happened, this happened, this happened, and it’s disgusting. You open Facebook, and all you see is like, we live in a world… First of all, I’m like pro sex workers, alright? But we live in a world where we have to have OnlyFans, like we have to have these extra sources of income to survive. It just seemed like all any one cared about was just money, sex and death. Everywhere. Every time you open Facebook… OnlyFans, someone trying to sell something, someone died, and you know, just millions of views. That’s all it is. It’s just, we’re a world full of press, we’re all press, and we’re all running to the scene of some fucking tragedy and shining light on it for everyone else to watch from home. It’s fucked up, you know, and I find myself caught up in it. You know, I am not immune, but I also try to put myself in a position where I can step outside of myself and look at myself and the rest of humanity for what we are kind of a thing. And that’s what I write about. The flaws I find in myself and what’s going on the moment.
So after the album drops? What’s next? What do you see happening in the future?
More tours. More music videos. I’m working on a follow up release already. It’s going to be an EP. And that allows me some leeway to try some things I haven’t before. We’ve done some remix EPs in the past where I’ve been able to get some remixes from friends. But this time around, I’m going to collaborate on a few originals with some other artists, as well as remixes. And we have some people that are delivering remixes that are crushing. I got my friend JD who is with Nelly and Justin Timberlake. So unlikely, right? An unlikely pairing, but his fucking remix of “Money and Sex and Death” is so fucking dope. And other artists, I probably shouldn’t say their names yet. Snakes of Russia, electronic artists I have a lot of respect and admiration for that happen to be my friends. It’s just a way of kind of like bridging things and working with people who I respect and putting it out in a way that doesn’t necessarily represent Psyclon Nine. Here’s the remix EP, here’s a couple of b-sides, you know, it’s not a full length album. You know, here’s this other thing. It’s like a little gift. There’s that, that’s gonna be the next thing. So I’m guessing more tours for this album cycle, immediately release something else and more tours.
Anything you like to add in that you don’t feel we’ve covered?
I don’t think so, I think we’re alright. I appreciate it.
To be able to talk to this man was quite an experience I never expected to have in my life. So I was grateful to be able to meet with him, and he was very respectful and appreciative to his fans.
Then the performance of Psyclon Nine happened, and it nearly blew the roof off the place. They played a mix of newer songs and songs from their past releases. Being familiar with their music, I knew to expect something aggressive and loud, something to stomp and dance to. I got all of that and so much more. They played quite an extensive set, and the crowd reacted positively to what the band had to offer. Being there to witness their live stage performance was so surreal, and I became an even bigger fan in the process.
If you are afforded a chance to do so, I highly recommend coming out to one of stops during their Road To Hell Tour. It will be an experience of a lifetime, that is for sure.