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The Fall of the Heretic Interview by Hail und Kill
Reviewed by Jul 23rd, 2009


If the music industry were a forest, the big labels would be the trees while the independent solo artists are the mushrooms proliferating underneath the foliage. Funny analogy, eh? Not so funny after you read about this guy behind The Fall of the Heretic. His name’s Chad Nottingham and it’s a strange, winding path he walks as an artist, having just wrapped up his 100% DIY “Shadows of a Black Sun” EP. For those who want their death metal mixed with a touch of melody layered by rawness, this dude’s Myspace (www.myspace.com/thefalloftheheretic) might be your next destination. Here’s Chad on everything you need to know about his musical baby.

So, uh, you intend to remain all by your lonesome on this project?
Chad Nottingham: I do. I find it a little easier than having to deal with complaining musicians.

But you have played in bands before, right?

CN: I have. I’ve played at Tremont Music Hall with my band Lethal Threat and I released a two-song EP with my former band The Fall Of Osiris.

When did you decide “The Fall of the Heretic” was the best name for your one-man band?

CN: I was debating names for my band while listening to the Dream Theatre song “In The Presence of Enemies Pt. 2” which has a verse that goes “Angels fall, all for you, heretic…” and I pulled the name from that. It had a double meaning at the time, because believe it or not, it started as a Christian metal project, but I’ve moved beyond that.

It’s a nice name. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the songs I’ve listened to. It’s not really your musicianship but your vocals. Too raw for my taste.

What kind of feedback have you gotten so far for “Shadows of a Black Sun” (even if it isn’t out yet)?

CN: I’ve gotten a lot of good critique. Many of my friends say if I write an angry song, such as “Brutal Betrayal,” I tend to sound possessed when I sing it for them. Unfortunately, several of my hardcore thrash friends have said my vocals are the downfall of the EP. But hey, to each his own, eh?

You’re quite the well-rounded musician. Which instrument are you most comfortable with?

CN: I love playing the guitar. It’s like an extension of my hands.

As a songwriter, do you constantly jot down notes or lyrics that you’ll use for your compositions?

CN: I am constantly thinking and writing. I’ll be hanging out with my friends and I’ll suddenly think of a random line, take out my cell, and write it on my cell’s notepad.

How did you develop an ear for writing good material? Have you ever worked on a particular song for some time and then just scrapped it?

CN: Over time I’ve found that some riffs don’t tend to sound good after listening to them again. And just recently, I was writing a song that I had worked on for a few months, and I completely scrapped it. New album maybe.

Where did you go to for references on the finer points of music recording and audio engineering?

CN: I went to my general manager, Rory Fleming. He had some good advice that brought my production quality way up.

What were some of the problems that kept pushing your release date for SOABS forward?

CN: I have had equipment failures, lack of writing time, and I’ve had to remaster quite a few tracks over and over.

Are you working from a home studio or is there a place you’re paying for?

CN: I work from the home. At this point I can’t afford a professional studio so I record on this free audio program called Audacity.

So “Shadows of a Black Sun” is 100% do-it-yourself? Have the expenses burned a hole in your pocket yet?

CN: I have not actually spent a whole lot on the album. I did, however, have to buy a new guitar to record a few of the songs, so that was the big purchase.

And you’re handling the distribution, I guess? Have you cut any deals yet to get your music out there?

CN: I have not. I’m looking at some small labels based in the blood-soaked ground of metal music.

What would be your biggest incentive for getting signed to a label, even a small, indie one? I know the answer to this question seems pretty obvious, but for the vast majority of artists, getting signed isn’t really an indicator of long-term success.

CN: I need a source of income. I will NOT sell out, but I do need a source of some income.

Sorry man, but the resolution of my PC monitor is pretty crappy. What’s going on with the cover art? Is that a cloud I see?

CN: The cover art is a blackened sun, with a city in the darkness and fog.

Are there a lot of ideas already swirling in your head for album number two?

CN: Indeed there are. I have a name for it, actually. It’s “…And My Bloodletting Begins” and it’s going to cover some new ground for me.

Whose albums do you think were integral in shaping your own vision fo r the death metal you play?

CN: Decapitated certainly influenced me. Bands such as Rush and Metallica threw some variety into the mix. Cannibal Corpse, All That Remains, and Slayer were some huge influences as well.

Based on previous interviews I’ve done with one-man groups, these people usually have wide and eclectic tastes. Do you have a sizable CD/music collection at home?

CN: I do. I have everything from Eric Clapton to Metallica, Slayer to Lamb of God, Dimmu Borgir to Emperor, Kreator to Cannibal Corpse.

You like watching movies?

CN: It depends on what movie. Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey is one of my personal favorites.

What’s the music scene in your hometown like, by the way?

Any bands you’d care to mention?

CN: It’s mainly (unfortunately) rap junkies and hardcore scene kids. People like me and my manager, Rory Fleming, tend to stand out. There is a new band called Perpetual Nightmare that is worth keeping an eye on.

Well, good luck on the album, The Fall of the Heretic.

For my last question: What are your highest goals as an independent musician?

CN: I want to put quality music out there, music that shows passion and the blood, sweat, and tears that I’ve put into it.

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