Establishing our variables and categories here!
THE PAST: In the late '80s and early '90s, classically trained musician vervanE Cielo (sometimes performing under the name Nicholas Nevermore, formerly known as Nicholas Dwyer) was a seminal figure in the Los Angeles-based cult industrial rock band Bombtime. Think Pigface, Ministry, early NIN and other similar bands of the time, with a sprinkling of heavenly female vocals, sardonic funk, shoegaze, and dance thrown in for good measure. Popular song topics: Time, Fate, and how these related to pain, both personal and towards others. They had a definite decadent occult vibe. vanE provided synths, songwriting, some vocals and guitar, and a violent stage act where he would strap himself into pierced manacles attached to his keyboards. The band signed with a major label and were hugely favored to break into the mainstream, as many "alternative" acts were doing at the time. Too bad a mysterious explosion during a Santa Monica concert in 1991 resulted in the disappearance of several members of the band. vanE survived, but was forever changed after that night and disappeared from the music scene -- there were whispers of intense drug addiction and drop-out. What a surprise, then, when he reemerged somewhat of a new man a dozen years later, reasonably sober and with new music in tow.
THE PRESENT: Though he eschews concerts and public appearances and has not performed live in many years, he continues to produce music under the name herbasacra, released digitally and through specially-produced, limited-edition CDs, LPs, and cassettes. These days, he’s moved away from industrial rock and into the realms of post-industrial, dark ambient, neoclassical darkwave, and experimental electronic, weaving melancholy soundscapes with haunting vocals and samples -- though his music's grown a bit more aggressive again in recent months. He no longer works with large commercial record labels, preferring his own imprints or small labels.
Also, damn. He looks good (and quite young) for a guy who's got to be fifty-ish...
...but why, after so many years, is he calling himself Nicholas Dwyer again?
Dat Cult Fame
Not Madonna-famous, Lady Gaga-famous, or Justin Bieber-famous, but famous, especially if you like so-called "dark" music. Famous as vervanE Cielo, anyway. Isn't Nicholas his "dead" name?
Wait, isn't he the reckless Acanthus with the crazy cabal in the '90s who blew up his girlfriend with Time magick? He still has a rep, despite spending the last few years trying to make things right in his long-time home of San Francisco.
New to Portland, Old to SF
Speaking of San Francisco, maybe you knew him there. Nicholas has owned a house in the Mission since the mid-'90s. He hasn't been in Portland long at all. Why is he even here?