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Blake Judd talks return, homelessness, opiods and ‘Resilient’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 8:20 PM (PST)

 .The wrongs I committed to support my addiction…I paid for in mental scars that I can never wipe from my mind. All I can do is make sure, every day, that I never, ever make the decision to bring that awful garbage back into my life to ensure that I never have to see or experience anything like that ever again. And through being of service to people who are in the shoes I used to be in today, maybe I can use these awful experiences as a deterrent for others to stop before they go through the hell I experienced.

…I did not “kill” my girlfriend. I did not “use” with my girlfriend. And I certainly did EVERYTHING I could to save her when I found her….but it was just too late. – Blake Judd

We talk about mental health stuff briefly after a celebrity dies and the rest of the time try to ‘trigger’ one another with memes. No wonder some people choose to drop out of society any which way they can. Not that every conversation in life needs to be “are you ok?”, but generally it seems rites of separation are more commonplace than a gathering of those with allegiance to forging deeper opportunities in metal to make the extremity mean bonds, healing and conversation .  At live shows I usually see unity for the most part amongst metal crowds. Though cynicism might mainly be in the world of online trolls, it is good to address stuff head on rather than in the self churning bowels of the comments sections of metal sites and Facebook at times.

I just saw Katie Von Schleicher live in a small venue and was taken out of my daily stress and into a reflective moment, moved by the soulful music. Life is such a fast house of mirrors sometimes and we shine in some and stumble through others, cutting ourselves and fragmenting in the eyes of those around us. Sometimes the process is completely painful and other times it leads us to seeing ourselves differently or more completely as shards are swept up.

Blake Judd is back with a very unexpected EP called Resilient.  They have signed a new 2 album global deal with a new home that includes the Resilient EP as well. Full announcement in late August / early September, but the Resilient EP achieves Blake’s goal of creating an album experience in 3 songs. I have heard it and longtime fans will be thrilled with the variety. Early darker experimental black metal is paired with some of the deepest places you have heard different incarnations of the band go to yet, but as a logical extension of where things left off on the previous few releases.

More BELOW.

All photos courtesy of Nachtmystium.

The EP is going to really startle people. A hint of spoken confessional clean vocals in one of the most accomplished Nachtmystium compositions yet “Desert Illumination” compliment a haunting slow drift that puts to shame the faux-suicidal black metal shock rock or mopey type bands, dragging the gutters of despondency yet sounding frighteningly/ comfortably cold in a psych drift of emotional void and Instinct-trippy textures. But there is a warmer, almost hopeful wash to the song as well before it explodes in a massive nebula of spacious, sky carving black metal.

“This EP is honestly my favorite thing I’ve ever made as a whole. I made that whole record stone cold sober too.Wrote every riff, every guitar lead, every lyric, all of it,” Judd tells me.

I could get into describing the other two songs in advance, but I’d rather save some surprise and let people hear and respond to them themselves, so I will move on now to more pressing matters with a specific question I needed to ask Blake before we could move forward with a piece.

Part One: Resilient and Megan question.

MR: I know someone close to you named Megan died. I have heard mixed accounts. Some people online said you used with her and she was your underage girlfriend or you killed her. As we have not spoken in a number of years and I know there is a ton of online hate directed at you, as well as being unable to find a full account, I was reluctant to draw a firm conclusion. With respect to her family in mind, how much of this can you discuss or hopefully clear up?
 
Blake:
This subject is, without a doubt, the hardest thing in my life to talk about and was without a doubt the most awful thing that has ever happened during my life. Here’s the true / full story of what happened with Megan.

Megan Metcalf was my girlfriend, briefly, from late November, 2015 until the day she passed away, which was the evening of January 18th, 2016. I met Megan in Louisville in late November, 2015 shortly after arriving there straight out of rehab (which I’d gone to in a suburb of Chicago, IL). I went to Louisville, KY because it was a city known for having a huge recovery community with lots of programs, organizations, treatment centers, sober living homes, etc. Shortly after arriving there, I got a job working somewhere (doesn’t matter where…it was a humbling, seasonal minimum-wage job that was required of me to live in the sober living residence I was at, the ‘Talbot House’. And that particular business was in the business of hiring people that were living in sober living / transitional housing post-drug rehab.

I met Megan working there, as she had applied to said-business and was hired there as well. To clarify one thing first: this notion that Megan was a ‘minor’ or ‘underage’, is fucking ridiculous. She was 24 years old. Born, May 15th, 1991, making her 24 years old when I met her and when she died. Anyways – she and I started working together, realized we were both in recovery for heroin addiction, and had both been clean for a few months at that point in time. (Far too early to have started a relationship I later realized, considering what we were both dealing with and how recently we’d been dealing with it…but the heart wants what the heart wants and both of our emotions were all fucked up / out of control due to the sudden shock that kicking a multi-year IV opiate habit has on any one in that situation who’s suddenly sober).

We both were into similar music, attracted to each other, and we were living in sober living residences near one another. (Hers all female, obviously, and mine a house for males). Long story short was that we were both kicked out of the sober living residences we’d been living in just before Christmas, 2015. In my case, I literally was thrown out because I had had Megan over to the house ‘after hours’ and snuck her onto the roof of the house and we “hung out” all night. One of the guys who was living with me caught wind of the fact that I’d had my girlfriend over all night and he went and snitched on me, resulting in me getting told I had to move out immediately as these kind of places are zero-tolerance when it comes to any type of rule violations. She was kicked out of her sober living residence because some other woman started a physical fight with her over something stupid…she was extremely attractive, and in situations like jail, rehab, sober residences, etc with women….that makes someone a target quickly and easily. I have no doubt that was what was at the root of this confrontation.

We both suddenly had nowhere to live (again, I was horrified), but fortunately it was Christmas time. My parents live near Louisville, KY so I told them what happened and they let us come crash with them for the holiday. Once Xmas passed, between gifts from relatives in the form of financial assistance and a few paychecks each in her and I’s pockets, we were about to rent ourselves a small room in a house in Louisville’s west end. Not the nicest neighborhood, but we’d both seen way worse. Aside from not living in a half way house at that moment, nothing really changed for either of us…we were both still working, we were both still attending 12 step meetings, working with our sponsors, etc. I was taking my sobriety VERY fucking seriously, and I was under the impression she was as well.

Things were fine. We never used together…I don’t know where these fucking asshole people on the internet who didn’t know either of us from a hole in the wall came up with this story that we “were using together”, etc…it wasn’t the case. Megan was on parole at the time as well, so if she’d been using – she would’ve been locked up, immediately. Little facts like this that people seem to ignore or overlook (as that information was there to be found online if someone had REALLY wanted to dig a little before making outrageous accusations).

Anyways – the long story short is this: We lived together for about 3 weeks. Everything was fine. Nothing was out of the ordinary…we were actually super happy. We both had been homeless (in my case) or in jail (in her case) for literally months or years leading up to this…we couldn’t have been happier to be out of our shit situations, off heroin, employed and had a place of our own to call home that we could afford. It was a really, really beautiful, albeit incredibly short, period of my life and I’d like to think hers as well, as she seemed super happy.

All I know is that on the evening of Tuesday, January 18th, 2016…my sponsor Brandon and I stopped at Megan and I’s place at about 5:40PM to pick her up (after spending the day together doing 12 step work, as you’re supposed to do with a sponsor when you’re new to the program and serious about it) for a 6PM AA meeting at the Highlands Methodist Church in on Bardstown Rd in Louisville, KY…and she told me that she wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay home with her because something didn’t feel right…but at the same time, I wanted to demostrate to her that I was 100% serious about my recovery and that I knew I needed to go a meeting every day no matter what…so despite every bone in my body telling me not to leave her home alone, I did….and I went with Brandon.

At 7:15PM when I came home, I found Megan dead on our bathroom floor with a needle hanging out of her arm. If I’d stayed home, I may have used with her if she had already scored dope or whatever….I’ll never know what exactly happened between the time when I left and the minute I walked into our home and found her. And it kills me to not know that. But I can tell you one thing – what DID NOT FUCKING HAPPEN was this: I did not “kill” my girlfriend. I did not “use” with my girlfriend. And I certainly did EVERYTHING I could to save her when I found her….but it was just too late.

Didn’t stop me from administering CPR after immediately calling 911 (despite completely fucking spazzing out , as anyone who found their loved one like that would (Editor’s note: As someone else who also has though they thankfully lived, it was terrifying beyond words and scarred me for life) and doing all I could to help the EMT’s / paramedics when they arrived. I also had the unfortunate duty of having to call her mother (whom I knew and had a really good relationship with. She and I had been in regular touch since the beginning of Megan and I’s relationship as I was indeed 9 years older than Megan and her Mom trusted that I was a little more ‘mature’ about the situation we were both dealing with…in other words, her Mom knew my story and thoroughly believed I was “done” as much as I did, and she was right) and she asked me to keep in touch with her regularly to keep her informed on how Megan was doing with everything, etc as their relationship was not an open one, as tends to be the case between young drug addicts and their parents.

I can say, with certainty to this day, that her Mother nor Father would have one bad word to say about me and that they KNOW for a fact that I was exactly where I was reported to be that awful night, at an AA meeting trying to keep myself sober. Not using with or “killing” their daughter. Megan was one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met…she’d been through more than 99% of people could ever imagine, and she stood tall and faced her fears head-on. She was a warrior and a survivor just like me and so many others….unfortunately, addiction reared it’s ugly fucking head and took it’s swing and delivered a knock-out blow, and the world has been a shittier place since that day. Megan dying is what has kept me straight. To honor her life, if nothing else. I love and miss that girl every minute of every day of my life, and I think about her every single day and share her story as often as possible as a deterrent to others. I still keep in touch with her family, as well. Especially on anniversaries, birthdays, etc. But sometimes her Mom and I will just randomly check in on each other. So – with that being said, if theres anyone else out there who’d like to throw around insanely insensitive and inaccurate comments about what happened in my home on January 18th, 2016 to my dear friend Megan Metcalf, I encourage you to direct them at me, in person. See what kind of reaction you get.

 

Part 2. Deaf Forever Interview (Issue #18 = English Version). Used with permission.

1)     Please describe your today’s life, your state of health and your relation to alcohol and drugs. Have your organs got over the addiction without damage?

Today, I am 19 months and 5 days clean from all opiates (of which, heroin was my specific drug of choice from first use in October, 2009.  My issue with opioid dependency, however, began in March, 2009 during the recording session for Twilight’s 2nd full-length album, Monument To Time End (Southern Lord Records, USA) when I slipped on a wet floor at a local grocery store and broke my fibula in my lower left leg.  I was prescribed oxycodone, an opioid pain medication while healing from my injury and the addiction began in the wake of the accident while recovering).

  There was a period of time since October 17th, 2015, the last day I used heroin and checked into detox and then on into a 30 day inpatient rehab center outside of Chicago, where I began occasionally smoking marijuana again.  I decided within about two months of this marijauna use, however, that this was not healthy for me as any use of mind altering substances for me means I am not completely ‘sober’, so I stopped immediately upon this personal revelation.  Aside from this, I have not touched a single drug since October 17th, 2015.  I do not drink alcohol at all either. I actually stopped drinking about 4 years ago simply because I don’t like what it does to me.  As for my organs being damaged, luckily, I did not do major damage to any of my organs, nor did I contract hepatitis C or HIV, which I am extremely lucky to be able to say. 

I did, however, greatly damage my hands, fore arms and lower legs skin.  I have scars all over all of them from abscesses forming as the result of missing my veins when injecting heroin.  This is common in long term addicts of IV drugs, as you destroy your veins with repeated daily use, making it hard to find / hit them.  When you miss, an abscess can form and causes massive bacterial infections and deep scars.  I nearly lost both of my hands on a number of occasions and was told numerous times that if I didn’t lose them that I most likely would never play guitar again.  Its a miracle I was able to learn how to play again after the 3 surgeries I had on them between 2014-2015 and the large amounts of scar tissue that is now present as a result.

2)     Are you still in medical or therapeutic treatment?

No, I have not needed medical treatment of any type since September, 2015.  I do go to 12 step meetings (alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous, namely) on a regular basis, which is my preferred method of therapy for staying clean.

3)     Do you take methadone or other chemicals against the drug illness?

Absolutely not.  Methadone is nothing more than switching one addiction for another.  It corrects nothing.  Its also much harder and much more unpleasant to detox from.  I personally think methadone is worse than heroin and I think its awful that medical professionals treat addiction with addiction. (And profit from it.)  The only opioid dependency drug I think has any real value is Suboxone (buprenorphine), but only as a detox drug to help with the awful withdrawal symptoms when a user is detoxing from heroin or pain pill addiction.  I am of the opinion it should be used for the immediate first 5 to 7 days after a user decides to enter a detox / rehab, and it should be on a taper schedule where you take a smaller and smaller dose each day to ween you off the drug and keep you from being extremely physically sick and psychologically miserable.  Long term use of buprenorphine as ‘maintenance’, like methadone maintenance, is again just trading one drug for another and you are still just as addicted to that drug as you were heroin.

4)     Your addiction to opiates began in march 2009. Is this right? What happened exactly?

Correct.  As I mentioned in question #1, it came as the result of breaking my leg and the pain medicine i was prescribed.

5)     How was your relationship to cocaine and other drugs before march 2009?

Definitely that of an addict.  I’d been in active addiction with cocaine and alcohol since my early 20’s.  It got way out of control around 2006 and became a near-daily thing by the time I was ablut 25-26 years old (2007-2008).

6)     You had different therapies in rehab between 2009 and today. Are you sure that this time you will be successful? Finally?

Addict that says he or she is ‘sure’ they will be sober forever is bound for failure.  It’s also a very arrogant / ignorant opinion to have regarding ones own personal recovery, considering the historical documentation of addictive behavior in human beings in the modern age.  I personally worry about today.  I do whatever I have to do to stay sober today.  And that is not overwhelming for me.  Only since I began to take this approach, which is the way that any 12-step program clearly tells you is the best way to do this, have I had any success. 

Considering that not a day passed from the time that I was about 12 years old until I was nearly 33 years old that I wasn’t making finding a way to get high, in some form or another, my top priority, despite numerous attempts to stop (but an unwillingness to really give rehab or 12 step programs a chance, due to arrogance), but today I can say I am coming up on 20 months sober because I surrendered and began to work the steps of alcoholics anonymous and stopped trying to think I could ‘do it myself’, I think I have a much better chance of not getting high today, every day, for the rest of my life than I ever had before.  And I believe that as my life continues to improve at the rapid rate that is has since surrendering, it will get easier and easier to fulfill this daily goal.  Today, I hardly even think about using…and when I do, it generally gives me a chill and I feel so grateful to not have that horrible need and craving every day that I had for so many years and caused me to make choices that hurt everyone around me, my family, my friends, my bandmates, my fans, my business partners, and most importantly…myself.  I do not wish to ever go through that hell again and to lose what I have worked so hard these last 19 months and 5 days to rebuild.  I am so very grateful that the universe decided to spare my life and give me a chance to get it right.  Not all addicts are so fortunate to get another chance. 

7)     Please explain in detail which debts you have with fans, record companies, mailorder companies and others even today.

I have debts to about 80 to 85 fans who ordered t shirts or audio and did not receive them.  The internet would lead you to believe it was significantly more than that, but its not the case.  Typical media sensationalizing.  Labels:  $300 to Nuclear War Now and I believe about $400 to Hells Headbangers.  And that is it.  By no means do I think that is ‘not a big deal’, it certainly is and it is being addressed in the cases of the fans who were cheated. 

My manager, Martin von Falkenstein and I have databased a list of the people who were not sent their merchandise and we have already begun issuing refunds and will continue to do so until every single fan has been paid back.  There are also plans to create a special release that at a later date we will manufacture and send ONLY to these individuals, for free, and those will be the only copies of this release ever made.  I hope to include a hand-written personal apology letter to each of these individuals as well. 

I hope in doing this and issuing full refunds on top of it, that it will show them that I am truly sorry for allowing my addiction to cause me to stoop so low as a means to feed my habit instead of seeking the professional medical help I obviously desperately needed, let thesr people and the rest of the metal community know that I am a changed man today, and only then will I feel ok about releasing and selling new music and merchandise in the future.  (I will not, however, refund record labels who printed and sold demeaning tshirts with my mug shot / arrest photo on them with my full legal name printed on them to their buyer base.  They got their money back through that as far as I’m concerned.  If the circumstances were different, i would have hired a lawyer and sued them for slander and for using my name and likeness on merchandise without my explicit permission, which is completely illegal in the United States.  I think they realized this and it is probably why they no longer sell these tshirts.  It’s in their best interest to never print them again for this reason as well.)

8)     How many debts have you paid back so far? How have you paid back these debts? How do you want to finance and pay back the remained debts?

I am not sure off the top of my head where I am at with refunds, I just began addressing this in the last two-three months, and the money comes directly out of my paychecks from my day job, and I do not make much money at this job.  I try to pay one or two people back every time I get paid, which is every two weeks.  I will continue to do this until Nachtmystium plays some of the shows we have coming up in July and September of this year and will then use some of those funds to pay off the remaining debts.  In the event that we sign a new record deal between now and then and get some kind of signing bonus or publishing advance payment, the funds will come from there.  Let it be known loud and clear that the new ‘Resilient’ EP was done with NO BUDGET (not a single dollar).  There was zero advance for publishing either.  That was paid for by the band.  Part of the motivation for doing that was so that we can generate some money upon its release and use those funds to pay back these debts if they still remain unpaid at the time the album comes out.  

9)  How did your survive 2013 and 2014? How much money per day have you needed to be able to finance your addiction?

2013 I spent most of living with the guy who had me arrested over the guitar…so that was pretty much fine in terms of my basic needs (having a home and a bed to sleep in, food to eat, etc.)  This individual is a spoiled brat that I have known since I was 11 years old…his parents give him everything and pay for everything, including his drug habit.  He’s a 33 year old man who has never had to work a day in his life.  We lived on the 20th story of a high rise luxury apartment building in the extremely rich Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, literally on the lake front.  Its about the most expensive place to live in Chicago.  It cost me nothing…his father is a filthy rich lawyer and just paid for his son and his friend (me) to live in this gorgeous apartment and do whatever we wanted.  It just prolonged the inevitable for me.

I had been evicted from my last apartment of my own in January, 2013.  That is when this guy told me I could move in with him.  Looking back on it, I wish he had never popped back up in my life, because I would’ve become homeless then and probably found my way to rehab much sooner.  After I moved out in mid-September (immediately after the recording of “The World We Left Behind”), I moved in with a stripper girl I knew whom I had met through a heroin dealer in Chicago, and I lived with her from September, 2013 until I was arrested for the guitar pawning situation on October 4th, 2013. I was put into Cook County Jail in Chicago, IL and was locked up there until November 1st, 2013. After jail and being released, I found myself with nowhere to go.

I had an uncle who lived in Chicago (my only immediate family member that lived in the Chicago area, everyone else was hundreds of miles away.) He took pity on me and let me live with him until just before Christmas, 2013. At that time, a very dear friend of mine named Ashley got back in touch with me (we had dated when I we were in our early 20’s around 2004-2005 and had been estranged for many years prior to reconnecting via social media in late 2013). She was living out of the state in Kentucky at the time, and I explained my situation to her and she offered to come pick me up from my uncle’s home on Christmas eve, 2013, and she took me back to her home in Kentucky. Ashley had been struggling with extreme opiate addiction in her personal life as well (nothing to do with me, just coincidence), so naturally, she had a different understanding of what I was dealing with than most of my friends would have at the time.

I went back to Kentucky with her for a month or two, but due to being on probation as a result of my arrest and subsequent conviction in November, 2013, I had to be back in Chicago on the first of the month, every month, to check in with my probation officer. Plus, I was technically not supposed to be out of the state of Illinois during the duration fo my probation, and had I been caught being out of state, I would’ve been sent to prison for the duration of my probation sentence (which would’ve been two years at the time). So, we came back to Chicago and moved into the old Nachtmystium rehearsal room. We lived there (illegally….it’s completely against the law and against the rules of the facility where the rehearsal rooms are, to live in the band practice spaces.) until late May, 2014 when the landlord discovered us living in the room and immediately evicted us from the space. At that point, we began bouncing around in “S.R.O.” rooms (shady hotels, SRO stands for ‘single room occupancy”, basically ‘hotels’ that the rooms tend to be occupied by prostitutes and drug addicts. They’re disgusting, and definitely just a step above homelessness.

 

At $45/day, we were only able to sustain the cost of the room daily and our daily drug habits ($50 to $100/day between the two of us, easily) for so long before it was just no longer posible, as neither of us could hold a ‘real job’ of any sort. It was during this time living in the “S.R.O.” hotels that the pre-order incident for The World We Left Behind happened. Those orders were paying to keep us off the street. I hate to admit that, it’s very embarrassing and makes me feel like a piece of shit to this day to admit that, but it’s the truth. We became homeless shortly thereafter and remained that way until October 17th, , 2015.

10)  How many relapses did you have since October 2015?

Zero. I have not touched a single opiate since that date. Not once. This question is offensive, as the wording is presumptuous. The polite and respectful way to ask this question to someone in my position is “have you been able to maintain your sobriety without any relapses since you decided to begin your journey into recovery?” Considering you’ve obviously done your homework about the subject of addiction / opiate addiction specifically (based off of your awareness of things like methadone, for example), I’d expect that you’ve read about how sensitive of a subject relapse is to people who struggle with opiate addiction.

11) Was music, the music scene and the activities in Nachtmystium rather conducive for your addiction, or did the R’n’R business play no role at all?


I can’t blame music or my musician lifestyle for my addiction issues, but it certainly didn’t help. It also didn’t help that it seemed like our label, at one point (particularly in the promotion of the ‘Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II’ record, which was not meant to glorify drug abuse, but instead to tell the horrors of what it is to be an addict.) was glorifying our, and partmy, drug addiction issues and using it as a marketing tool. Seemed like marketing us as these ‘really extreme guys who use hard drugs to the extreme and play black metal about it’ was their priority for a while.

Perfect example of this was a limited edition version of the album that they attempted to release called “The $15 bag” which was a copy of the CD that came literally packaged in a zip-lock baggie that was screen printed with the The lawyers, fortunately, shot this down last minute.bands logo and the album title and said “The $15 Bag” on it, and within the CD, underneath the disc tray on the left side (the part of the disc tray that is visible on the front of the jewel case) there was a literally a metal ‘coke straw’ with Nachtmystium’s name engraved on it. The lawyers fortunately shot this down last minute.

They were actually produced (I believe a limited edition of 300 or 500) for sale in North America, but never made it to market because of the potential of massive lawsuits for promoting hard drug use. I was absolutely disgusted at this gesture by the label…who obviously missed the point of what that album was all about. I never wanted anyone to think we were sending the message that this was a “cool” way to live. It was a conceptual piece about the horrors and helplessness and misery that comes with addiction. The video for “Every Last Drop” should’ve showcased that this was nothing ‘fun’ or ‘cool’. To have the people who are helping market and sell my music, which is how I was making a living 100% at the time, is pretty awful. Instead of asking “hey, do you need some help? Is everything ok?” it was “Hey – let’s make a product that makes drug use look cool and put a tool in your package for your new record that your fans can use to snort hard drugs with!” That is FUCKED up.

 


12) What about your parents, close friends and social enviroment: Have they tried to preserve you from the fall’?

This is a stupid question. Of course my family did all they could to help me. I am human, just like anyone else, and I have a family who love me. My “real friends”, at the time this was all going on, certainly tried to help me. The ‘social environment’? Not sure what that means, exactly, so I can’t comment on that. The bottom line, though, in regards to my family and few real friends I had at the time that shit was hitting the fan in my life is: an addict in active addiction can only be helped by one person at the end of the day, and that one person is themselves. Until the addict has had enough pain and suffering at the hands of their addiction, they will not stop no matter how many people try to get them to. You have to hit rock bottom.

It took me a long time to get there, and looking back on it, I wish I’d hit my bottom sooner than I did. But that’s not something I can change today. It is what it is, what happened – happened. I can’t undo any of it, I can’t rewind the hands of time. If I could, I certainly would, because hindsight is always 20/20. All I can do is learn from what happened, do my best to stay sober today, every day for the rest of my life, and do my best to be of service and help others in recovery as a means to make living amends for the wrongs I committed while in active addiction.

13) In their song “Just One Fix” Ministry say: “Never trust a Junkie.” Please comment this.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Someone who is strung out on heroin is someone who can and will lie to you as a means to an end. It’s sad, but it’s true. However, that’s not a stigma that someone who USED to be a junkie and is now a recovering addict deserves to have ‘pinned to them’ for the rest of their lives, and people who believe that are fucking ignorant and intolerant. People who think like that are about as intelligent as saying “if you’re black, you must be a criminal” or some other ridiculous, racist moronic perspective.

14) When have you realized that you have lied constantly to feed your addiction, and you can’t continue with this?

I realized that my entire life as an addict was not something I could live with anymore progressively during September and October of 2015, eventually coming to head in my mind on the night of October 16th, 2015….had a long talk with my friend Ashley, whom I’d been homeless with for over a year at the point. We both broke down in each others arms standing on a train platform in Chicago, crying our eyes out, completely exhausted and defeated, mentally and physically. We had seen and experienced things that 99% of the world can’t possibly imagine or understand…horrors on levels that no words in this interview can possibly explain. Violence and crime I never dreamed possible that I would be witness to. I had been shot, I had seen people killed in front of me at point-blank range simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I had seen mothers abandon their children for days on end, I have seen a man who froze to death because he couldn’t get somewhere warm over night on a Chicago winter night, I have seen acts of cruelty that I never wish to speak of again. And I’d had enough.

I couldn’t take one more minute of it…

…The wrongs I committed to support my addiction…I paid for in mental scars that I can never wipe from my mind. All I can do is make sure, every day, that I never, ever make the decision to bring that awful garbage back into my life to ensure that I never have to see or experience anything like that ever again. And through being of service to people who are in the shoes I used to be in today, maybe I can use these awful experiences as a deterrent for others to stop before they go through the hell I experienced.

15) Please describe your way back to the stages and concert venues, and please describe the doubts and skepticism of the scene/business against you.


I don’t have an answer for this, Wolf. All I’m doing is trying to create music again because it’s my passion. If a record label will release my music, I am grateful. I am flattered that there is still an audience…because I have been through shit since I last wrote music that has inspired me creatively in ways I never had before. As a result, I know simply based off the EP I’ve made already, that I am capable of making music that says more than anything I have ever made before. I have things to say and hope and light to share with people who want to hear it. If I get invited to play a stage, big or small, I will do it. If I don’t, that’s ok too. I make music and art because I have to. It’s in my blood. It’s always been my calling in life. But today, my music doesn’t dwell on negativety and selfish, superficial bullshit like it used to. I have a message of hope, survival and resilience. I am stronger than I ever knew I could be. And I will use that for good. I hope people will listen, because I finally feel my creative output has a real purpose…more than ever before. Thank you for the difficult interview….not all my answers were friendly, but neither were your questions…What we both gave and got back here was honest, though. And honesty is the most important thing in the world when you’re Blake Judd from Nachtmystium in 2017. Good night and thanks again for the time.

XXX

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