The Vampirate Speaks: A Conversation With Nad Sylvan

Nad Sylvan, The Regal Bastard, InsideOut Music, 2019

Tracks: 1. I Am The Sea (7:49), 2. Oahu (4:19), 3. Whoa (Always Been Without You) (7:22), 4. Meet Your Maker (6:36), 5. The Regal Bastard (12:22), 6. Leave Me On These Waters (5:49), 7. Honey I’m Home (3:02)
Bonus Tracks: 8. Diva Time (4:52), 9. The Lake Isle of Innisfree (3:43)

On July 5, the mighty Nad Sylvan releases the third in his trilogy of Vampirate themed albums, following 2015’s Courting the Widow and 2017’s The Bride Said NoThe Regal Bastard finds the Swedish artist subtly transforming his sound for a third time. Across all three albums, his sound has developed and matured while remaining distinctly Nad Sylvan. Nobody else makes music quite like this. He honors the tradition of progressive rock (can a tradition be progressive?) musically and lyrically. The music is complex without being overly technical, and it shifts in style enough to keep the album incredibly interesting on repeated listens. In fact, it is layered in such a way that the listener discovers more with each listen.

Some have commented that some of the songs take a bit more of a pop approach, and if that’s true, then it is in the vein of Steven Wilson’s definition of pop, not whatever trash is currently sitting atop the American top 40 charts. This music is tasteful. And it is still 100% prog.

It is hard to nail down particular stand-out tracks because every song is fantastic. “Whoa,” “Meet Your Maker,” and the bonus “Diva Time” are my personal favorites, but the longer “The Regal Bastard” is also a very compelling progressive piece. You can’t go wrong anywhere on this album. His guest artists, which include the likes of Steve Hackett, Guthrie Govan, Nick D’Virgilio, Tony Levin, and many other talented folks, interpret Nad’s music faithfully while adding their own touch. Jade Ell, Sheona Urquhart, and  Tania Doko return on backing vocals – their voices have helped add depth to Nad’s music in the past, and it is great to hear them return.

2019 has been an especially strong year for prog so far, and even in that environment, Nad Sylvan’s The Regal Bastard stands out. His music is unique and powerful. This is not an album to be missed.

This past Friday, June 28, 2019, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Nad via Skype about the album, his writing process, singing for Steve Hackett, and other related topics. I screen-captured the whole interview, but even the compressed video file is too big for WordPress’ liking. You can still listen to the audio or read the transcript, which has been very lightly edited for readability, although it is wholly uncensored.

Nad: Hello.

Bryan: Hey Nad, How’s it going?

Nad: Oh there you are.

Bryan: Can you see me?

Nad: Hi how are you?

Bryan: Good how are you?

Nad: Hey I’m fabulous. Got up from the… down swimming in the lake.

Bryan: Oh nice! Ya you’re in Sweden right?

Nad: Yeah.

Bryan: Very nice. I hope it’s a little cooler there than it is here in Chicago. It’s definitely hot today. Not too bad, but.

Nad: Well, you guys would measure in Fahrenheit, we measure in Celsius. I don’t know how familiar you are with Celsius. But it’s in about the twenties… I would say seventy for you, seventy, seventy-five, somewhere around there.

Bryan: Ya it’s a little warmer here, but not too bad. Sounds like it’s perfect where you’re at.

Nad: Lovely.

Bryan: Congratulations on the new album. It’s fantastic.

Nad: Oh listen man, that’s what I have here. I got them two days ago. I got the vinyl here [shows me vinyl record].

Bryan: Oh wow, beautiful.

Nad: Yes, I’m very happy with it. And the back cover with me in the hearse. You can see I’m peeking out of the coffin.

Bryan: Yeah, the album art is great.

Nad: Oh, I love the album art. I was the instigator this time. I said, I need this. I need to have a painting of me up in the attic, like a Dorian Gray kind of thing, you know. And also the coffin thing in the back was also an idea of mine. And we made reality of my fantasy – it’s wonderful.

Bryan: So that, that’s actually a painting, not a photograph?

Nad: The painting on the front is a real oil painting made by an American artist. Her name is Robin Damore. She is in the Bay Area, and she met me in Durham, North Carolina, I think it is, three years ago I think, and she was in the same hotel as me, and she took a lot of photos of me, and then she made this oil painting. And I said, can I use it for my album? She was very flattered, so it ended up on my album.

Bryan: That’s awesome. She did a great job.

Nad: Yes she did.

Bryan: Do you have the original? Is it hanging in your house?

Nad: No, but I’m supposed to meet her later this year, and I think she’s gonna hand it over.

Bryan: Ah, very cool.

Nad: I don’t know, but I get the feeling that’s why she wants to meet me.

Bryan: Probably.

Nad: Yes.

Bryan: Right, so The Regal Bastard. Tell me a little bit about the album and its story and how it connects with the last two albums.

Nad: Well, if you think about it, there are three albums, three specific characters: It’s the widow, it’s the bride, and it’s the bastard. Does something connect them? Mmm yeah! In a way, they do. The widow is the same person as the bride, you know it’s the Vampirate that courts the widow and then she agrees to marry him and of course she rejects him at the altar and leaves. She’s a very naughty girl, but that’s… she’s very vindictive because the Vampirate killed her husband, which was his own son, so really, it’s a bloody story really. The regal bastard is… are you familiar with the previous albums?

Bryan: Yes, yes I am.

Nad: Ok, I just wondered, because there’s a track on The Bride Said No called “The Quartermaster.” So the regal bastard, if you listen carefully to those lyrics, they start with “he was of royal blood by a harlot mother,” though of course the regal bastard is the quartermaster. What happened to him? Now he ends up in Oahu, Hawaii, so the second track on the album is called Oahu. That theme in the second song re-emerges in “The Regal Bastard,” the title track, the harpsichord bit. And, so, if you want to more dig deep, the regal bastard is a metaphor lyrically for more than one thing. It’s not only the quartermaster. It’s also the conflictual relationship I had with my mother. She was a very lovely woman. She passed away ten years ago, but we were always on a collision course of, you know, how I look, my hair, “you should cut your hair short, you shouldn’t be looking like…” She was a wonderful woman, but we were always fighting over stuff, you know, I thought, Mom leave it, I’m 35, I’m 40… fuck off… [laughing] you know it’s like leave me alone. But you know, so, she thought “you look so regal, you…” and so, sort of that side of me that she wanted me to be, that’s the regal bastard that I eventually grew into being anyway because I became this rock star, you know what I mean [laughs]. She didn’t live to see that, I’m afraid. That’s really sad. But the title itself, I had it in my head for years actually. I thought maybe The Bride Said No was going to be The Regal Bastard, but I said I’d better hang on, I’ll keep that for later.

Bryan: So these lyrics are pretty personal for you then.

Nad: Yeah yeah, well I just turned sixty, and I have a lot to dig from in my life now. So much I’ve gone through in my life, a lot of hard things, heavy things, so uh, and also some very good things. You know, as you get older, you enjoy a lot of stuff, but… [Nad’s phone rings] Oh, I just had to, someone was calling, I just killed it. No but also, I have a little bit of a disclaimer, for anyone who takes offense of the use of the word “bastard,” you have to remember what it really means. It means someone’s illegitimate son, you know, outside of marriage kind of a guy, so I’m not being naughty. I’m not being naughty in any sense of the word, so you know the Vampirate harkens back to the seventeenth century where the bastard son was a bastard son. He is the king’s illegitimate son, that’s what he is.

Bryan: Tell me about your writing process for the lyrics and for the music.

Nad: I usually write the, the last thing I’ll write is the lyrics. The music comes very quickly for me. I have a song… I pretty much have a song very quickly. I let it rest for a while. I go back to it and might add a couple of bars, oh this should go here, or something. The music is effortless for me these days. It wasn’t always like that, but it’s quite easy. I find writing the lyrics is a completely different beast. I spend a lot of time writing them, and I try to wait with the lyrics until I’ve done all the music because it makes it easy to me to have, if I want to have sort of a storyline, then I’ll just start to write a book, you know what I mean? You have the music, so that should go here, maybe that person should re-emerge in that song and what have you, instead of just writing a song from word go. It doesn’t maybe connect to something else, so that’s how I write lyrics a lot.

Bryan: Musically, these three albums… they’re, I hear similarities, but they’re also very distinct. Each one kind of has its own different sound, and it seems like it’s kind of been building towards this, and, this one sounds the most baroque classical, to my ear. I don’t know if you’d agree with that or not.

Nad: I understand, because I’m using the harpsichord a lot more on this one. There is a track on the previous album called “The White Crown” where I use a lot of harpsichord. I also did on “The Quartermaster.” That’s sort of the Vampirate’s seventeenth-century kind of style, you know what I mean? That’s his sound, and I kind of like that. I probably find the songs on this album maybe a little bit more direct and maybe a little bit more pop oriented. I didn’t really plan it to be like that, you see, songs come to me. I don’t look for the songs, just like I get melodies inside my head, or I get riffs, whatever I get, comes from… if I were a Christian I’d say that it comes from God. Now I don’t believe in God, so it just comes from somewhere else… not saying there’s anything wrong with believing in God, it’s just that I don’t. I’m just like a… a medium for music. It comes from somewhere, and it’s a gift I believe, so I didn’t plan to write this album. The music came to me, and this is what came out, you know what I mean.

Bryan: Yeah. So you do most of the music, like the actual instruments, you do most of that yourself, right? And just work with a few collaborators here and there?

Nad: Yeah, I play all the keyboards on this album, apart from two songs where I worked with Anders Wollbeck, who also is a keyboard player as well as guitar, so he’s done the lion’s share on those two songs and I basically tracked my voice. Well I did a little key but the rest is all me. It’s all the keyboard work and most of the guitar work. The only guitar work that I haven’t done are the guitar solos for “I Am The Sea,” “Leave Me On These Waters,” and “Honey I’m Home.” That’s Guthrie [Govan] and Steve [Hackett].

Bryan: And a great job they did, I mean two of the best in the world.

Nad: Yeah, they’re beautiful solos. Yeah, I love them.

Bryan: And it’s Nick D’Virgillo on drums, right?

Nad: Yeah virtually on all the album apart for the ones where I worked with Anders Wollbeck. He worked with someone else that I haven’t met. Yeah, I’d say 90 percent is Nick D’Virgilio on the album.

Bryan: He’s fantastic. That’s kind of cool. It seems like some of these things that have grown out of working with Steve Hackett is you’ve been kind of introduced to a lot of these other fantastic players that have been able to add a lot to your sound.

Nad: Well believe it or not, Nick was actually introduced to me ten years ago by Roine Stolt. He went on tour with my previous band, Agents of Mercy, I had with Roine and Jonas [Reingold]. So he went on tour with us in the States. I think about ten shows or something, so I was introduced to him that way, and then I was looking for a drummer, some musicians for Courting the Widow and I was talking to Jonas and he said, “Why don’t you ask Nick? He would do it.” And of course, I know Nick, oh he’s brilliant. Do you think he would want to play on my album? But you know, he did! So Nick plays on all three albums, as well as Doane Perry from Jethro Tull. Now Doane didn’t end up on this album. He was busy doing other stuff, but Nick’s been playing on these three albums. Tony Levin played on my previous one, and he plays on one track on this album. He was supposed to do more work for me, but all of the sudden he was too busy. That’s, you know, these guys are professionals.

Bryan: Yeah, it’s hard to manage all that when these guys are touring and stuff. I mean, Tony Levin with King Crimson, it seems like they’re just nonstop, so.

Nad: Yeah, they’re working all the time. But Tony’s a complete sweetheart. I mean, the bass he played for that song, “Meet Your Maker,” I think is incredible. He would stick to my arrangement, but he would add so much more finesse to it, you know what I mean?

Bryan: When you write, do you think of specific collaborators in mind when you’re writing, or does that kind of work itself out later, or…

Nad: It works itself out later. No, I don’t… I can hear where a song is going, and I can pretty early on hear that, oh I should probably have Steve Hackett play on this song, or I can, you know, but that comes a bit later because I gotta, I have to finish the song. It’s hard to put down in words how this comes to, you know how it really works. When you start working on a song, it’s like a fetus, it’s like an embryo, and it grows into something and you start to add layers or you take out layers and, “oh this is too much,” and thin it out. But, after a while, and you know already because you’ve been working with these people. So I guess maybe in my subconscious I already know who’s gonna play, but it’s very much going on inside here that you, subconsciousness. It’s incredible what it can do to you. I might be writing a song for a particular musician and I don’t even know it, but my subconsciousness does. Yeah.

Bryan: Especially if you’ve worked with someone in the past too. Maybe that’s what’s kind of going on in the back of your mind.

Nad: Yeah… I’ve gotten very fond of these musicians, and I trust them very much, and they seem to be waiting for me to ask them again, to be honest. So, this time around, I feel that Anders Wollbeck, he summed it up very nicely. I said, “Don’t you find this album very diverse?” “No, it’s lovely because you don’t get tired of it. It’s like, the songs are being linked in a very funny way, but it all works.” And he said, “I think this shows you have matured a lot. This is a very mature album.” And that’s a compliment to me.

Bryan: Yeah, it grows on you. The more I listen to it… at first I liked The Bride Said No better, but the more I listen to it, I think I like this one better. It really grows, and like you said, it matures and stuff. The more you kind of listen to it, it digs into you. It’s good, it’s very good.

Nad: Thank you! Well, I’ll tell you, people will say that, “I like this album, but The Bride Said No is the pinnacle…” I have no problem with that because I sometimes, you know, I’ll have days when I agree with them. I feel that The Regal Bastard is a natural evolution. If you listen to all three albums, one thing, my forte is, I believe, as an artist I do not repeat myself that much. It’s not like I’ve found a formula, this is what I’m going to stick to. I still want to explore new waters. I want to go somewhere else with the vessel, and I think I’ve done that this time again. [Laughs]

Bryan: Yeah, listening to all three albums, that’s amazing how the sound has developed and has progressed.

Nad: Well wouldn’t it be boring to hear the same old album all over again? [Laughs] I need to explore new stuff. I need to go elsewhere, I need to use new sounds, but you can still hear it’s me.

Bryan: Yeah.

Nad: And that’s what I think is so cool. It doesn’t sound like a completely different artist. It’s just like I have matured, I find new ways of expressing myself. I do believe this album is a little bit more direct, but there’s nothing wrong with that. You still get your prog fix, you know, “The Regal Bastard” is a huge piece of music, and I believe, if you listen carefully, the last song, before the bonus tracks, but the last song with Steve Hackett soloing away, it’s called “Honey, I’m Home,” it’s the same theme from the song “Whoa.” The chorus from “Whoa,” but it’s been, it goes in a different time signature, you know it goes in 6/8, whereas “Whoa” is just like straight 4/4. But it’s the same melody. And I also borrowed a little bit of melody from Courting the Widow, from “Carry Me Home.” The chorus comes back in there from that song. It’s like going full circle, if you like.

Bryan: So, is this the end of the road for the Vampirate theme in the music?

Nad: For now it is. You never know, it might come back. [Laughs] But for now it is. Yeah, I’ve finished the trilogy, and I have plans for doing something completely different next time I come up with a new record.

Bryan: So is that, the Vampirate thing, did that grow out of your stage persona?

Nad: Yes, yes. I can tell you where that originates from. We were playing Ridgefield Connecticut a couple of years ago… ooh long time ago now, six years ago… and one of the staff working there, she looked at me, and I was wearing my gear, full regalia, and she said, “You look like a vampire!” “Oh do I now?” “Yeah, but you sort of look like a pirate too. I know!” she said, “a Vampirate!” And I said, “Well there you go, let’s do it baby.” [Laughs]

Bryan: [Laughs] That’s great.

Nad: That’s where it derived from, and I elaborated on that.

Bryan: So have you, the regalia, have you been doing that your whole career, or is that something that you did specifically for the Hackett shows and then it kind of grew from there?

Nad: I think it started with Agents of Mercy, my band I was in with Roine Stolt. Very tentatively I was shy at the beginning, and I was just kind of more casual on stage, and then past every album I thought “maybe why don’t I try a little bit of this,” and I brought in a sword on stage, I was waving around a sword on stage. And the Vampirate, even before I started to call myself that, so it emerged slowly. I think it started with us playing in Quebec City back in 2011 or 12, I don’t remember what year. I walked into one of these medieval shops, you know where you find all kinds of stuff, and I basically raped my Visa Gold card. [Laughs] And I just went “I’ve gotta have that, I’ve gotta have that,” and then I came out on stage the same night with, you know, full regalia with new stuff, and I felt like a king on stage. That was sort of, that really defined the next level of my performance. I felt absolutely fabulous, and I thought this is the way to go. And I’ve been elaborating on that look ever since.

Bryan: Well it works really well for the Genesis music, especially considering what a showman Peter Gabriel was with them back in the 70s.

Nad: Well, but I think that’s one of the reasons why Steve wanted me in the band, because he said, “You’re doing your own thing. You’re not mimicking Peter at all, but it’s like you’re bringing in the Genesis music in the now, with some new theatrical stuff,” he said. And this is what I keep getting from fans, “we love that you do your own thing with it.”

Bryan: Right.

Nad: But it still has theatricalness like it used to be with Gabriel, just a new take on it. A little bit like Adam Lambert singing with Queen. He… it’s not Freddie Mercury, but it’s still as flamboyant.

Bryan: Yeah, he kind of does his own thing.

Nad: I think this music lends itself towards, you know, a flamboyant approach. Theatrical. You need to entertain the audience. You have to do something more than just go through the motions and just standing there, I feel.

Bryan: It’s funny, those first few years… I don’t know if you read Phil Collins’ autobiography from a couple years ago…

Nad: I read it.

Bryan: I thought that was really interesting how he talked about how he wasn’t going to put on a dress and wear a flower and dance around. He had to deal with the stage fright and not being behind a drum kit anymore, and it kind of, how interesting that was, and how he kind of dealt with all that and how he had to grow into his own person being thrust into that role.

Nad: Well you know he didn’t want to become a singer at all, you know that don’t you?

Bryan: Yeah, they searched for a long time for somebody else, and they realized oh he’s better than anybody else they’re trying out, so.

Nad: That’s what it was. He didn’t want to leave the drum kit, but he realized, “ok I’ll deal with it the best way I can.” I really think he was the best singer, you know, after Gabriel, they couldn’t find anyone better than Collins, so you know, they had to stick with their guns.

Bryan: Well and you do such an amazing job in that role. I remember the first time, I think I’ve got all the DVDs and BluRays of all the Hackett live stuff, and I remember the first time I sat down with my Dad, he’s a huge Genesis fan, played that, and he stopped, opened his mouth in awe and looked at me, kind of “where the hell did Steve Hackett find this guy,” because it just sounds so identical… but it’s still you, you know what I mean?

Nad: I usually say that, “how come you sound so much like…” Well if you listen carefully, I really don’t, but it’s like I have respectfully reproduced the singing just as much as the rest of the band respectfully reproduce what they play. I tend to sing the songs the way I’ve heard them, you know, I’m not trying to change anything, but I’m not Gabriel, I’m not Collins, so I could never sound just like them, and I’m not even trying to. I’m just basically channelling the vibe of Genesis in my vocals.

Bryan: Well frankly, you might have a better voice because I don’t think they could sing that stuff at their age, and you know they played that stuff when they were in their twenties.

Nad: True, they were in their twenties and I’m now sixty. I’m blessed with a vocal technique that I invented myself. I never, you know, no schooling at all. I’ve done some mistakes in my past, but I’ve corrected that, and I now have developed, fine tuned my singing over the years if you like, over the years. I’ve done more than 500 shows with Steve Hackett now.

Bryan: Wow!

Nad: This is my seventh year with him, though I’ve become a lot more confident. Confidence is the key word. If you’re confident, you will pull it off. If you’re not confident… self doubt is a horrible feeling when you’re on stage, you lose a lyric or something, and you start feeling, oh they all hate me now. I’ve been through that too, but not often. But it’s, you know, it all comes down to confidence.

Bryan: What’s the most difficult Genesis song that you’ve had to sing?

Nad: Technically it’s… oh it’s a very good, you can tell, there’s one of the DVDs where I was very unwell. I was completely under the weather for that show, and I’d had cold for weeks and it wouldn’t go away and I ended up having to find a way… I think it’s the Birmingham show two years ago, I don’t sing as well as I usually do. So it kicks off with “The Eleventh Earl of Mar.” That is consistently high that song. It’s above my comfort zone. I have, it’s completely in my head voice. It’s not so much baritone. Songs like that, and “Squonk,” are not written by singers, they’re written by something else. [Laughs]

Bryan: It’s funny because that’s like the first two albums where Phil Collins was singing, and not, you know, where he was just getting into that. He wasn’t used to that, maybe. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

Nad: No, he didn’t write those songs, but he was only, he must’ve been 24, 25, something when they recorded that. Those two albums, and as you get older, your voice tends to drop, and you lose a little bit of your really high falsetto. For instance, I could sing a lot higher when I was 25 than I can now, but I couldn’t sing as deep as I can now, so I gained, you know, and range and depth in my voice now, and I think that’s more, has a nicer appeal overall. So, to come back to your question, those two songs are really tricky. I don’t particularly enjoy singing them.

Bryan: So how’s this particular tour been? You’re on break right now, right, for a few months?

Nad: No we came off, came back from Malta on June the sixth, so really fresh. We were out for two months, seven weeks or something, and we’re going back to Italy in two weeks from now to do one week of outdoor shows. So it’s been a couple of weeks off now, and then we don’t go out on the road again until early, I think second week of September we go to New York. North Tonawanda I believe is the first show. No Riviera Theater, ya no it’s Tonawanda. Then we do the East Coast and then we do the West Coast and we’ll go through Arizona and bits. Then we go home for a couple, I think a week or ten days, and then we do the UK tour. That’s for four weeks.

Bryan: Yeah, I’m gonna be at the Grand Rapids show. I haven’t seen you guys yet. I feel like I’ve missed every single tour, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

Nad: We’ve played there before. This is a nice venue. It’s the same venue, and it’s a nice venue. I kind of like Grand Rapids. It’s kind of a small town, isn’t it?

Bryan: Yeah, it’s pretty small, but it’s still big enough to feel like it’s somewhere, you know. I spent last summer there, so it’s a nice place.

Nad: Yeah, I like it a lot. The place we went to, I think it’s two years ago, I don’t know if you’ve been there, but it’s, I believe it’s in New York, the state of New York… it’s called Ithaca. It’s a funky town a little bit reminiscent of San Francisco for some reason. It’s very quaint sort of old town. It’s almost got this sort of almost Indian kind of a vibe too, as well, like Santa Fe or whatever. But I kind of like it. So I’m looking forward to this sort of thing. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Bryan: Do you ever hope to tour your own music?

Nad: Yes, I would love to. I just gotta find the time for it and be able to afford some fabulous musicians, because my fans expect me to put on a spectacular show. I know they do. I need some help, to be honest. I need to talk to some people that can help make it happen. But I’m so committed to Steve for at least, well I’m committed to him for at least another year. At the earliest I could go out on my own probably August September next year.

Bryan: Have you thought about doing a, like a one-off show or something, like one of those prog cruises where everybody kind of gets together and you might be able to get some of your collaborators together for a show?

Nad: Well, it’s always a possibility, but the thing is there’s so much work behind everything. You have to have someone. I need a musical director because you see I can’t read music. I do, I play everything by ear, which is beneficial in some ways, but also very hard to direct people, this is the key, this is how it goes. I need to start looking at that, but one-off shows, I think probably not. I think I should focus on getting it right and do more shows because it takes time before it gets good.

Bryan: Like time to practice and kinda get everything squared away.

Nad: It just takes time to mature into everything. It’s a nervous kind of a thing, go out there and just do one show. You know that, oh fuck, ten shows, fifteen shows down the line we’ll be much better than this. And I think I owe it to the music and owe it to the audience to do a proper tour. And then when I’ve done that, I can do anything. I can do the Cruise to the Edge, because then I have an entourage.

Bryan: That’s right. So is there anybody you’d like to collaborate with in the future that you haven’t?

Nad: Yeah, there’s some Swedish musicians that I would love to work with, and go into a proper studio in Sweden and record stuff, because now I’ve done everything in the box, as we say. They send me stuff through the Internet, and I add it on to my project. I’d love to do that. I’d love to go into a studio in Sweden and work with Swedish musicians. That would be nice, for a change.

Bryan: Yeah, it seems like some of the most innovative progressive music is coming out of Scandinavia these days. A lot from Sweden and from Norway.

Nad: Yes, there’s some fantastic guys. I hardly know them, but I know they’re around. [Laughs]

Bryan: Well I won’t waste too much more of your time. Is there anything else you wanna tell the fans at Progarchy?

Nad: Is this going out like on a radio… are you taping this to broadcast on a radio show or writing this down, or how’s this gonna work?

Bryan: Well, I’ll probably transcribe it. I’m screen capturing the thing, so if that turns out halfway decent with the sound, I might but that on the website too, but it goes on a blog format website.

Nad: I see, okay. If there’s something I want to tell the fans, basically, you know, give them a huge hug and a kiss and thank you so much for supporting me and my career and believing in me and buying my albums. I have a huge fan base that follow me everywhere. They’re just beautiful. I don’t really know how to thank them enough. If that’s enough, just a big thank you and I love them.

Bryan: Can people still get the new album signed through your website?

Nad: Yeah!

Bryan: Cool, I’ll put the links to that down in there as well.

Nad: Yeah, I sign it. I personally sign it, and I personally mail it and go to the post office myself.

Bryan: [Laughs] That’s a lot of work.

Nad: Yeah, I’ve just signed and posted about 150 CDs today. I know, it takes about thirty, forty CDs per hour to do it all, you know signing and doing the envelope and all of the duty stuff and all that goes with it. Yeah yeah it takes a lot of time, but I like it.

Bryan: There you go. Well thanks so much for your time. I know we’ve kind of missed each other the last few weeks trying to do this, so I really appreciate your time to talk to me. This is great.

Nad: Well you’re welcome. No problem.

Bryan: Congratulations on the album. I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it does well.

Nad: Thank you so much. Good talking to you.

Bryan: Likewise. Take care.

Nad: You too. Bye bye now.

Bryan: Bye.

Nad: Bye.

Nad signs all the CDs purchased from his store: 

For a vinyl copy of the album…

Big thanks to Roie Avin for setting up this interview!

6 thoughts on “The Vampirate Speaks: A Conversation With Nad Sylvan

  1. Nad ,is so sweet and tells us everything about his style .
    So lucky to hear him speak !
    Each three of these albums are great 👍
    Soon it will be nads greatest hits .
    Would love our Nad to do a prog festival .
    Fingers crossed .
    Joe Glasgow .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kruekutt

    Great interview, Bryan. And thanks to Nad for the pro-Grand Rapids shout-out! October 3 can’t come soon enough.

    And of course a tradition can be progressive! “Traditio” means to hand something over to someone else — and to keep it going! Think of a river that flows from its source, gathering speed & volume as it goes. When tradition doesn’t keep getting handed over & stops becoming cumulative, it dies — either by stopping at a certain point (where it stagnates), or by cutting itself off from its source (where it dries up). From theologian Jaroslav Pelikan, who journeyed from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy: “Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.”

    Liked by 1 person

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