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The MK ULTRA Interview: Nathan Reiner of Third Realm

Interview by John Wisniewski

Third Realm recently unleashed their new album entitled ‘Into Oblivion’ with the awesome Pittsburgh-based label Distortion Productions. Third Realm first signed with Distortion to release both “The Suffering Angel” in 2017 and “Dystopian Society” in 2018, so the new album is a coming home of sorts for the prolific Buffalo-based project. Third Realm mastermind, Nathan Reiner, was not kidding when he stated that, “stylistically, it’s a lot darker and heavier than recent releases.” In fact, ‘Into Oblivion’ is a masterful opus, a sonic experience that will captivate listeners and transport them into the darkest and most atmospheric realms of music. A place where EBM flavored Industrial collides with moody erotic Darkwave. Thankfully, we at MK ULTRA were able to pin down the elusive Nathan Reiner to shed some light on all this wonderful darkness he has given us over the years.

John Wisniewski: Nathan, when did Third Realm first form? Was there a particular sound you aspired to in the early years?

Nathan Reiner: Greetings. I wanted to start off by thanking you for putting this interview together. The concept of Third Realm formulated around 1995. I started off primarily writing lyrics and the addition of music didn’t begin until 1998. The initial demos were extremely experimental. I was aspiring to achieve a Cold Wave / Industrial sound at that time.

JW: Tell us about the recording of ‘Into Oblivion,’ was it a challenge? Do you consider it to be a concept album that conveys a specific message to your listeners?

NR: It was challenging in the sense that I put a lot of time and effort into it. In the past, I didn’t always go back to critique details as often. With the new release, it became somewhat of a tedious process and yet was worth it in the end. While the album stays closely within a consistent genre throughout, it’s not necessarily a concept album with a specific or ultimate message. Each track has a life and story of its own.

JW: Since you combine many different sounds, what genre do you prefer Third Realm to be considered?

NR: I’m currently going with Dark Wave / EBM / Industrial

JW: What first influenced you to make or flirt with dark music?

NR: I always seemed to be interested in the obscure, even at a young age. I listened to a lot of black metal bands before I started getting more into Electro-Industrial. Darker music seemed to express my emotions accurately, so I embraced it.

JW: Are there any specific keyboards or recording gear that you like using that you would like to mention?

NR: I’ve been loving the Korg Wavestate and microKorg Synths. While I use a lot of “Soft” synths and plugins as well, these smaller analog synths contain impressive warmth and wicked sounds. In terms of recording, I’ve been using a portable vocal booth called “ISOVOX” for thepast several years. It’s a must if you have neighbors or are self-conscious about people hearing you sing. Further, it helps to achieve a consistent isolated recording without background noise (especially when combined with a mic preamp).

JW: Do you like any new emerging bands that you can recommend to our readers?

NR: I’ve been listening to Gentle Ropes and Romanssi quite a bit lately.

JW: Outside of music, what do you most enjoy doing? Any obsessions or hobbies?

NR: You know, life gets hectic as you get older. I honestly don’t do much outside of work and music, but you can throw in karaoke, video games and an ongoing passion for cross-country running.

JW: Any upcoming tours, releases, videos, projects or plans you’d like to mention to our audience?

NR: I will be performing at the Dark Force Fest Pre-Party, which will take place at QXTs in Newark, New Jersey on Thursday, April 18th. More TBA soon!



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