Vancouver Canada’s Nim Vind is possibly the best band to be widely overlooked by the indie elite — at least up till now, as they finally gain college radio play across North America. Nim Vind, along with brothers Anthiny Kilz and Rob Kirkham, plus Joseph Blood, craft a kind of rock that is dark, catchy — sometimes terrifying — and always incredibly well-made. The music will dig under your skin, and there’s not much you can do about it. From his official bio: “Nim Vind is music for Outsiders and all those who want more. The ones who resist the sticky fiber of the assimilating web. The ones who read the words in between the lines. Nim Vind makes music that affects the Heart and Soul. Messages in the music are sent in capsules of emotion and psychological effect. He has performed his charms on many foreign soils. His albums are audio textbooks used in the study of your troubled Motor Cortex.[…] Those who experience Nim Vind are advised to do so with the understanding that changes to the Psyche are permanent and uncertain. Nim Vind is an “at your own risk” experience and he cannot be held liable for changes made.”
Holly Q, Horrornews.net (HN): Nim Vind is a person as well as a band; can you give a brief history of the band? How did it evolve from your previous band, Mr. Underhill?
NIM VIND: Mr.Underhill was a band I started back when I first started playing music. It’s where I learned to write a song, record music, play live and so on. My two real life brothers both joined Mr.Underhill at different stages to finally make it a three brother band. We had an entertainment lawyer — Nickelback’s Lawyer at the time — and we tried for a major record deal and got very close, although the constant near misses and ridiculous nature of the business wore on us and we eventually restarted our careers with two new bands, being The Vincent Black Shadow and Nim Vind. It was a great time period. You can get the [Mr. Underhill] EP “Phantasm Drive-In” on iTunes now if you want to hear what it was all about.
Looking back, a popular writer in Vancouver wrote a piece on us in which he said, “If Mr. Underhill was located in New York or LA, A&R would be circling while salivating”. There was just no label here in Vancouver Canada to recognize what we were doing…maybe not anywhere in the world at the time. We did some great shows, had great fans, but things didn’t materialize in the form of a major record deal. But in the end, who gives a sh*t about that. Those companies didn’t get what we were trying to do. We were a decade ahead of the music happening now. And, thanks to the internet and sites like Mp3.com, our music really got around.
People call me now and ask me how we never cashed in on the whole emo, “Twilight,” dark music explosion, and my answer is that even though it may seem like it, we still didn’t fit in. I don’t know what emo is. I recognize the haircut but I don’t have one. We never really fit in. I don’t fit in now, and maybe never will, but that’s cool to me. Fitting in means you have the same ideas as every other band out there. That was never my idea. I don’t do music to be a star, I do it to be an artist. Art isn’t relevant to monetary developments. Being “Top 40” famous would be fun and nice in some obvious ways, but really isn’t relevant to the end result. I play when the show is cool, I make albums my way on my time and dime and when a cool company comes along like Silverdust or Fiendforce and I can work a deal, I do it. I’m very proud of what my brothers and I have accomplished as artists so far. Mr.Underhill still lives on with people finding it and hearing it. That part means a lot to me.
Nim Vind is Mr.Underhill continued in the direction I want to go. Oddly enough, my brothers still play in Nim Vind…so maybe I’ve been in Mr.Underhill all this time!
HN: You’re involved with Germany’s horror scene, which many would say is one of, if not the, best in the world. I was introduced to your music via Germany’s Fiendforce Radio — What drew you there initially?
NIM VIND: I found them by finding their online store. I was unaware of them before that. It was the first label in Horrorpunk that seemed like a real legit one. Their package and operation seemed professional and fan-friendly. As usual, I didn’t really fit the mold, but it was close enough to roll with it. I liked Thorsten and Paddy too. They’re fans of music and art first which is what it’s about for me. Fiendforce puts out quality releases that are packaged great and fan-friendly. I love a lot of the great bands they work with, too. They put out my first album, “Fashion of Fear.” I think it was a great place for it.
HN: As an independent artist, you’re active in social networking. What impact do you think social media today has on music and art?
NIM VIND: It’s great for anyone promoting something. Fans can consolidate themselves as an audience and help you. You can get the word out about things in seconds. Word of mouth has never been so powerful as it is now. In that way, it’s the best development ever for starting bands and even established ones.
Where we lose bigtime is the theft of the music through illegal downloading. People need to realize that if everyone steals the album the band can’t operate. I can’t figure out how so many people can’t get their head around that. If you’re going to download my album because you want to hear it first then fine, but if you like it, then buy it… it’s ten dollars at most digital retailers. Don’t be an art thief… the Nazis were art thieves.
As for these “blogspots,” I can’t understand how people think it’s cool to give away a band’s whole catalog they spent countless hours and serious money to create. I could never do that to my favorite artist or any artist. The weird thing is that some people actually think they’re helping artists by doing this. They do it to their favorite bands! If you’re one of these people, hit yourself in the head with a hammer right now. The internet is mainly running on the honor system right now for music and some people are really showing that they’d rob you if leave your door open.
Most importantly, in my book, by stealing items online you are giving weight to the side arguing to regulate the internet. This is something we all don’t want. It would be regulated by government, who is heavily influenced — if not run — by big corporations, which means you’d only have the option of buying their products and visiting their sites. That would be not fun at all.
HN: It’s hard to describe, but you blend horror with music in a different way. Some of the influences, such as ’50s rock ‘n roll and ’60s pop, are shared with other horror rock projects, but the result is distinctive.
NIM VIND: I don’t consider myself a horror band. Being in a band is fun, not horrible. I love the Misfits and bands in the genre, but the whole idea of being something so very specific is not for me. I want variation. I love a ton of different things including Zombies. Music for me is all about creating an emotional response, sensations, feelings, atmosphere, and I need all the tools out there to do it.
Imagine building something with one specific tool? Hey, build a sundeck with a pressure washer. My music is like eating too much sugar while shooting fireworks on Christmas dressed in black leather at a Motorhead concert in a Guns N Roses T-shirt holding a Misfits CD while having a serotonin crash in a Happy Days episode.
HN: Awesome description!
What are you listening to right now? Any current musical addictions you’d like to share?
NIM VIND: I just listened to the Slash album after seeing him play last night. I’m also about to put on Megadeth “Endgame.” I like Deadmau5 a lot. The sound of his latest album is really heavy to me, even though it’s house music. I’ve been listening to The New York Dolls album “One Day it Will Please Us to Remember Even This.” Marty Friedman’s instrumental album “Dragon’s Kiss.” Bauhaus — this time of year [October], you need Bauhaus. We’re in the process of tracking new material for my other band The Vincent Black Shadow.
HN: You’ve posted on your Facebook about new tracks, including one called “Master Spider.” What can you tell us about the new songs?
NIM VIND: The new album is fully written and is Nim Vind but expanded and in more new directions. I think it’s the strongest batch of songs I’ve ever had going into recording sessions. To be honest, it’s the first time I’ve had a full album written before the sessions started. Usually I’m writing it as I go and working on the final direction of the album. This time I’m ready right now.
Actually, that being said, I’m still writing. I just wrote a song that may end up on the new album called “Undead Monkey”. This album is a real production of music and both of my brothers are playing on it, which is extra cool. I wouldn’t go as far as to compare it to Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” albums, but it’s got a size to it that I’m excited about.
As for “Master Spider,” it’s about rising up against slavery…specifically indentured debt slavery. I feel that we, as a group of people on the planet that make the society function everyday by driving things, mailing things, planting things, etc., should rise up and tell these banks, politicians and taxes to go die. Slavery through debt is orchestrated by a select few to control us all like a pyramid scheme. I feel that as the public gets smarter, and the world gets faster at spreading information, it’s getting tougher to keep us indentured slaves willing to do the bidding of our masters. The answer is to make our slavery to debt all incompassing and endless until we’re dead…which is not the “fun” part of “funeral”.
Other lighter ideas on the album are ones like “Atomic Comic”. Oh wait… “Where I’m From” is another track. It’s about the the poor man you walk past everyday, step over, look down on. You should respect him or her as a human. One day he or she might want to kill you. Or you may trade places… you never know.
HN: There’s a US indie/college radioplay campaign going on — is there a possibility of a US tour in the future?
NIM VIND: The radio campaign has been great. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! Today they told me I was “number 38 with a bullet” on the CMJ Chart. Bullets are cool so that must be good. I have a bullet belt and it’s very cool. Check out the list of stations on my site at www.nimvind.com. If you’re near one you can request me by phone. Once again the internet provides, thus making it possible for you to email or twitter a request at any station via their website. You can even call them and tell them how much you hate me and my stupid band; it’s all the same thing as long as you say my name right.
As for touring: I hope so. I love touring and definitely want to tour the USA again. The thing is, I’m not going to tour for the sake of saying “I’m on tour.” It’s got to be a cool idea, set up right, and be something that myself and my audience can get excited about. When it’s done right it’s usually amazing. My next live stint will be on the Hell Nights Tour in Germany for this Halloween. Last Halloween I filmed an acoustic set and posted it on youtube. That’s an idea I really like. It gives people a chance to be a part of the endeavor wherever they are. It’s something that can be passed around and used by fans as a tool to recruit new audience members. I like the idea, too, that people can view you performing in different periods of your career over time. They can see how you develop and how your sound and persona evolves. I think it’s even cool for people to see how you change with time and age. I think that’s something fans like to be a part of and it’s a refreshing idea to be able to share with people.
You’ll definitely see more filmed performances from Nim Vind. It’s that kind of world now. Your concert comes to them — on their phone. People say they still want the live experience, but seem too preoccupied with texting someone to pay attention. They leave concerts they paid $70 to see before it ends. It almost seems antiquated to tour some days. Maybe my next release will be a phone app. Jk… lol… wmd… barf… lmao….
Current Nim Vind public works include The Fashion of Fear (2005), and The Stillness Illness (2009). Other published works include, but are not limited to, “Killing Saturday Night” – Audio Single 2009, “Killing Saturday Night” Video Single 2010, and “The 21 Century” Live Video Single 2010.