If you are a fan of early Genesis then you undoubtedly know the name Nad Sylvan NAd has been the frontman for ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited project for nearly a decade. During that time, Nad has also continued to release solo records, including his latest Spiritus Mundi which sees him interpreting the words of poet William Butler Yeats and setting them to music. Nad recently took some time to talk about this project and his career.
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On whether he drew parallels between Yeats’ words and other lyrics – Not really, I just put my heart behind all the lyrics and I thought this was going to work. You have to understand that my vocal record, my vocal bits of my singing are pretty much set the tone with “The Second Coming” how I wanted to sing, I just felt that it should be sung this way. So that was the first song we recorded for this album, though it didn’t have that intro. It was just the strumming guitar and we started singing, “Turning, and turning in the widening gyre”. And then we added the intro a little bit later and we thought we should have a nice intro. So I actually asked for permission. I even have to pay the license for using Yeats’ voice in the very, very beginning of that. He’s quoting the “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”, it’s his voice reading a bit of “Lake Isle of Innisfree”, that was the song that we ended the previous album. So now you know where I’m going. So now it’s Yeats doing it, then I continue with speaking, just quoting some of the words from “The Second Coming” before the song actually kicks in. 6:35
On meeting Andrew Laitres – Well, he lives in Vermont, so he came to see, I think, one or two shows with Steve Hacket (Genesis) Revisited definitely in Ridgefield, Connecticut, because that’s where we last met. We met three times. But anyway that was how he first spotted me and thought, “I think it would be nice to have Nad sing on one of my tracks”. So he e-mailed me. I think it was not long after that we were going to do shows in the States and, I can’t really remember now because of all the turns, because it’s a little bit of a blur when you tour so much. But anyway, we sort of hit it off with that song and we started to keep in contact and so our friendship really grew once we started working with this album, very, very steady in contact with him. He’s so happy over this. I really felt for him because he was like just two or three years younger than me, I think is born in1961. When I noticed how clever he was, how skilled he was, he was in the same position as I had always been, I was struggling for about 40 years before Hackett called. I was a very obscure artist from this country. I felt actually I want to help him because I thought this guy deserves a break. But that’s what really happened. I mean, because he was so good. Well, he needed that break. And so our collaboration was absolutely a labor of love from the word go. 8:16