Magickal Mystical Indifference

Magickal Mystical Indifference

“It’s a life’s accumulation of everything—philosophically, musically, experiences—that has affected me or changed me.” That’s Australian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Bob Nekrasov talking about his one-man psychedelic metal project Rebel Wizard. Equal parts Iron Maiden triumph and black-metal frenzy, Rebel Wizard’s third album, Magickal Mystical Indifference, is a finely honed piece of introspection and contemplation filtered through twisted riffery and lysergic shredding. “I try to do things on a more holistic level,” Nekrasov tells Apple Music. “There’s a thousand things going on in my head when I’m writing, so the songs aren’t really about one thing—they’re fragmented. But making this music is also about letting go of a concept or an idea, if that makes sense.” Below, Nekrasov helps us make sense of the majestic metal on Magickal Mystical Indifference. Heavy Negative Wizard Metal in-F*****g-Excelsis “I’ve always wanted to put a sort of triumphant intro on an album. There’s that fine line of being really cheesy but being really cool as well. That’s the soul of a good beginning of a good metal album, I think.” Raiseth Up All Those That Be Bowed Down “This was the first song that I wrote for the album—the oldest stuff here was written about two years ago. How it came out felt totally unexpected, because the previous album was a bit more sort of guitar-wanky and over the top at times, but this one was way more pulled back. I would say it’s probably one of my favorites on the album. I think it has an empowering feel to it, although it’s not a political song or a Rocky Balboa run-around-the-block-a-thousand-times song. I think music, and metal especially, is such a potent force of energy for that sort of thing. It’s helped me my entire life, and I definitely think that Rebel Wizard is an empowering sort of project.” White Light of Divine Awe Smelling of Sweat and Sex “The concept of the words [in the song title] is that they should evoke certain ideas in the person along with the music. And to be honest, this is probably true for all the songs. If people think they’re funny or stupid, they’ll still resonate conditionally based on the person’s character. So I love what’s going on energetically with this title, but let’s leave it for the listener to digest for themselves. You can grab whatever you want out of it, but I think it’s a nice one for contemplation.” You Are Being Lived, Dear One “I was an ’80s metal kid, but my formative teenage years were rooted mostly in black metal and hardcore—I was also heavily into Econochrist, Born Against, and Rorschach. I’m still a huge fan of all that stuff, so that is pretty strong in this song. And I actually thought I might not get away with it because it’s not as fancy as the stuff that was on the previous album. But the idea of the term ‘you are being lived’ is that who we are is not who we are. We’ve been formed externally, manipulated by outside forces. These ideas we have about ourselves seem like a dream.” Dance of the Duchess in the Pale Pink Light “That would be the romance song of the album. Let’s just say it’s a couples-only dance.” Not Rain but The Wizards Tears “Usually I don’t put too much of my personal day-to-day into the music, but this song is absolutely and utterly personal. It’s about the death of my cat, and that was fucking horrible. As I put it, the cat is sort of the wizard’s familiar. So this was my tribute to her. I normally wouldn’t bring in something that personal, but I’m glad I did, because a lot of people love this song.” Urination of Vapidity on Consciousness “This is just me being funny with a title because it’s better than saying, ‘You’re being manipulated by capitalist scum’ or something. But I’m not pointing the finger at anyone in particular. This is just talking about the way we think and how we respond to each other and, again, how we’re being coerced. You can really feel the onslaught of it this year, with the virus and everything. I guess you could say this is a reminder track, to just be aware.” The Mind Is Not Your Friend “I was actually about to scrap this song. Some songs I’ll work on for ages and then after months of listening to it, I’ll get to the point where I actually hate it. A lot of songs get deleted that way, and this was one of them. But then I sent a bunch of songs to a couple of friends—which I normally don’t do, because any critique just tortures me—and a few them were like, ‘That song is quintessential Rebel Wizard.’ When I tried to listen to it the way they heard it, I decided they were right. So much so that it became a single.” Love Wisdom Everything Nothing “I look at albums as full pieces, so I think this just fits in really nicely and also conceptually. It’s a nice little tie-in to the subconscious narrative. The songs get filtered through your own critique or trying to understand them, and they can get stuck in this sort of prison. That’s where we have ‘The Mind Is Not Your Friend’ or ‘Urination of Vapidity on Consciousness.’ So this song is trying to make sure everything’s getting through, like a tiny piece of heavy metal freedom and liberation.” Magickal Mystical Indifference “It’s funny because album titles are a very contemplative process—and I do agonize over them—but sometimes I’ll just say something silly to a friend and then it sort of comes together. As far as the song itself, I’ve always wanted to do a big, epic closing track like [Iron Maiden’s] ‘Alexander the Great’ or whatever—and I haven’t really done that here, but it’s something like that. I don’t want to give away what I’m referring to [in the title], but it doesn’t mean apathy or nihilism or anything like that. Everything all works as one in this thing, if that makes sense.”

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