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Blake Judd

Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd Speaks Of His Dark Days On Heroin, Scamming Fans & More


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Blake Judd of Nachtmystium fame has had a turbulent few years with heroin addiction largely derailing the last 5-6 years of his career, leaving him homeless at at one point in jail for theft. In a newly uploaded interview with Jedbangers conducted this past June, the once again sober Judd speaks of how he got addicted to heroin in the first place, the rock bottom he hit and his infamous scamming of Nachtmystium fans. The first of three parts of the interview to be shared can be heard below and I’ve transcribed some lengthy passages for you:

On how he first got hooked on the drug:

“It was in 2009 I broke my leg. It was right in the middle of recording Twilight‘s second full-length album, ‘Monument to Time End” and I walked into a grocery store across the street from the studio we were recording at one evening to just go buy some cigarettes and something to eat and I slipped and fell—there was a flower display that had been watered recently and was leaking—there was no caution signs or anything like that, I didn’t see the water—and I slipped and broke my leg. I was given a pain pill prescription for my injuries, which is common.

In the United States especially these—I’m sure it might be true worldwide—there’s a massive heroin epidemic. They say that somewhere between 80-90% of the cases of people in their 20’s and early 30’s who are using heroin, it’s the result of an accident that was treated with opioid pain medicine. Doctors were just passing it out like it was no big deal and these medicines have become very strong. Oxycontin in particular, that’s what I was given for my broken leg.

I always stayed away from opiate-related drugs when I was engaging in recreational drug use prior to this accident my entire life because I knew that I have an addictive personality. I know I like drugs and I was getting away with doing all the cocaine and the drinking and partying and stuff. It wasn’t costing me every penny I had, I didn’t have to do it every day. I wasn’t physically addicted. It was a bad habit, but it wasn’t ruining my life and it didn’t control me physically and mentally. And I always stayed away from opiates because I knew that they would be the ones to get me.

Heroin is the granddaddy of all drugs and it’s killed so many people and it just ruins life. It’s pretty much a guarantee that if you start messing around with heroin it’s not going to end well. You’re either going to die or wind up in prison either for a possession charge or for doing some kind of criminal activity as a means to obtain money to support your heroin habit, or you’re just gonna live a life of absolute destitution and misery and the latter is what wound up happening to me.

Like I was saying I always avoided those types of drugs. I mean I wouldn’t even mess around with the lighter pain medication—something like Vicodin that is like a Tylenol that has a bit of opioid medication in it, but it’s not as strong as the more serious painkillers that are given to people when they, for example break a large bone in their body, like I didn’t have surgery and everything. I legitimately needed that pain medicine.

But I was on it for about three and a half months and the doctor was happy to refill my prescription, you know, two weeks before he was supposed to, knowing damn well that I was at home eating way more of them than I should have been and he was unaware of a fact that I’m an addict. And I became severely addicted to those pills and as soon as they were gone I started buying the pills illegally and began injecting them with a needle. This was all in early 2010—right around the time we recorded “Addicts: Black Meddle, Part II” ironically.”

On his label at the time, Century Media, sending him to rehab:

“The part where I can’t hold myself in this like ‘victim stance ‘look at it is I had many opportunities to get help before I got help. Century Media actually paid to send me to rehab in Los Angeles, CA in 2011 and hooked me up with a program in the United States called MusiCares—which is a foundation that has been established by very, like real rockstars… Century Media was aware of this foundation and suggested that I call them and in cahoots with Century Media they pulled together $40,000 and they paid for me to fly to Los Angeles on 24 hours notice.

But they wanted me to go right away, they didn’t want to give me time to think about it too much or decide I don’t want to go cause confronting heroin addiction, you’re planning to go through detox and it’s extremely unpleasant, that’s part of why people don’t stop. You get physically ill in a way that… I would rather have the worst flu or any kind of natural sickness that I have incurred in my life. The thing that you could compare it to the most I think would be a really horrible flu.

Vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, hot/cold, hot/cold—so you have all that going on and then on top of it you can not sleep. And that lasts, in me, it used to last 25-30 days. I went on tour once for forty days and kicked the heroin habit raw going over there, with nothing to help me deal with the withdrawals and I did not sleep the entire time I was there. Not once.

I was awake for a month and a half from going through withdrawal, it was terrible. The other sickness doesn’t last that long but for me, the not being able to sleep, that was what always brought me back to the drug after a tour where I had stopped using or after rehab or whatever. It was just this really horrible thing.

So anyways—I went to Los Angeles, this was all paid for for me—the record label was looking out for me. A lot of people will turn their backs when they hear they have a heroin problem and here I had my record company well aware of what was going offering to help me and manage to get me, not only into a drug rehab, but a very, very comfortable exclusive drug rehab that’s kind of made for people who are professional artists in some form or another—be it actors or musicians or whatever and who gets that? Most people aren’t so lucky.

And here I am, I go out there and I stayed there for two weeks and I got through my detox—I wasn’t sleeping, but I wasn’t sick anymore. I was just wasn’t done, I’m realizing now. Because I told myself and everyone else, ‘I got this,’I’m good, I don’t wanna use, I wanna go home’ but in the back of my mind I knew ‘fuck this, why would I stop?'”

On his own vanity feeding his drug addiction:

“I wanted to be more of a ‘rock star’ or whatever, it was so sick. It was really fucked up. And also as a ‘rock star’ in my mind it made it my divine rite to be all fucked up on drugs. It’s a rockstar’s right to be all fucked up in the corner of his dressing room. That’s what you want your fan to walk in on. You don’t want your fans to walk in and find you on your laptop Skypeing with your wife and kids, drinking a soda before your show, that’s not very rock n’ roll right?

No you want them to walk in and see the pile of cocaine and the empty fucking, broken whisky bottle and the needle hanging out of your arm and you know people waking you up to get you onstage and then go onstage and put on a kickass show. And I did that man, I fucking almost overdosed in Houston, TX, like literally 20 minutes before we played on the Cradle Of Filth tour.

Somehow I scored heroin on the road—which is really hard to, it’s not a very social drug. It’s not a very cool thing to ask for before a concert I found out. You can ask for cocaine and weed and stuff but you start asking people for heroin and they look at you like a fucking terrorist or something, like ‘What? Get away from me man, gross.’

Of course because I don’t want to have that conversation with anybody, I made the guy selling our t-shirts, that was his job. I said you have to jobs on this tour: your first job is to find me heroin at any possible juncture. Your second job is to sell t-shirts. But primarily I want you asking anybody that looks like they might have a drug problem if they can get me dope. And by some chance he got it for me in Houston, he got me a whole bunch of it. I had now idea how potent it was… I just took this shit in the bathroom, I hadn’t used in a couple weeks, I was really excited, immediately that became more important than anything, including my show.

I didn’t even consider the possibility that my tolerance was down and I might overdose. I was right near Mexico so the chances are that it had just come across the border and it hadn’t been cut very much and probably very pure compared to what I was used to up north and that’s exactly what happened man. I just did a whole shitload of it all at once and Sanford came into the bathroom of the dressing room and found me passed out on the wall turning blue with a needle hanging out of my arm and just had to throw water on me, like cold water, and slap the shit out of me to wake me up.

So that moment. Dude I told that story, I can’t tell you how many times. Probably starting that night to people, like it was cool. I thought it was cool. I still kind of think it’s cool. That’s rock n’ roll as fuck and we went onstage and played a great show, but it’s not healthy. Just because it’s rock n’ roll. Like Lemmy was a methamphetamine addict—that’s not cool. But it was cool that he did it his whole life and lived. He’s Lemmy, cause he’s fucking Lemmy.

The guys who have left the biggest marks on history are people who have died in bathtubs of drug overdoses in foreign countries or strange hotels room in god knows where. Or you know, killed their girlfriend and then overdosed and died—Sid Vicious. Or fucking Kurt Cobain blew his brains out after he shot a bunch of heroin even though he was a millionaire and had a wife and a new kid, like these stories don’t end well.

And these are the people who made the music that is considered to be the most legendary in the genre of rock n’ roll. So why the hell wouldn’t I want to—like if I was going to die—while I was making Nachtmystium‘s music that if it wasn’t my tour bus rolling over on me, like Cliff Burton style, I would much rather know that I died backstage in my dressing room shooting heroin twenty minutes before I was supposed to play to a thousand people.”

On losing everything to heroin, scamming his fans over the internet and this scathing piece written about him by his ex-bandmate, Neill Jameson saving his life:

“I wound up homeless. In six months I went from living in a high-rise apartment on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago—which is some of the most expensive real estate in the city of Chicago, which isn’t cheap to begin with. Six months later I was literally on the street with nowhere to go, had lost all of my belongings, most of my clothing. I had a couple of bags and was staying at a homeless shelter at night.

Getting in a line with a hundred, two hundred other guys, to sleep in a big hot room together in bunk beds from 10 at night to 5 in the morning only to be woken up to someone flipping on a very bright fluorescent light, yelling ‘get up, get your breakfast, you have to be out by six.’ And then having nowhere to go, all day. And figure out how I’m gonna afford my drug habit, which cost me at the time, I could really only pull together like many $20-$30 a day.

My whole day was spent doing that. I didn’t consider buying food. I didn’t consider trying to figure out a living situation, I didn’t reach out for public aid… I couldn’t even do that for myself. I could not do that for myself. All I could do was worry about how am I going to hustle up enough money to get myself high today and buy some cigarettes. Those two things were priority #1 over anything and I just didn’t care anymore.”

“Now I will say this, Neill Kreig wrote a really scathing story about being my friend that Vice published that you may have read online. Now I will say this, 30-40% of what is in that article is not true. He didn’t need to say the things that weren’t true or fabricate the things the way he did. And only he and I will ever know what’s really true in there. And I don’t think anybody will ever believe me saying ‘of course he would want to deny that.’ But he made up some stuff that just straight up didn’t happen and I don’t understand why he did, because the things that did happen, that he did mention, are terrible enough, that he didn’t need to exaggerate.

But in a weird way, Neill—who was my best friend for twelve years—Neill kind of saved my life by writing that. All the shit that I read… Strangers saying about me online, they were just the people I stole money from online. They were an email address. They’re a name on a screen, they’re not a real person. Which is why I was able to do what I did to the fans. I could never take money from a fan that was standing right in front of me.

Much like I’ve never shoplifted, I can’t steal, like even from a business, a big corporate business. I don’t steal from… I wouldn’t steal from McDonalds just because I don’t do that. I don’t pick something up and take something that’s not mine. I didn’t do it as a kid. I didn’t do it as an adult. I did not do it as a drug addict. I didn’t do it when I was desperate, you know? But if you’re just an email address, you’re not really a person standing in front of me. I don’t have to look you in your eyes and lie to you.

It’s basically the most cowardly way to take from anybody when you think about it. It’s the easy way and you don’t have to have any memory of looking at that person or seeing them excited or seeing them disappointed. No, they’re just an email address and if you don’t want to open their email angry at you, you could just delete it like it didn’t and it was like they were never there. And that was how I operated and it’s so fucked up man.”

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