If you were one of the unfortunate people that got scammed by Nachtmystium frontman Blake Judd (we were!), consider yourself lucky. Not that there are any winners in the sad saga of a drug-addicted artist , but losing some money is getting off easy compared to what those who were in his inner circle went through. In a visceral, sobering read, Krieg vocalist Neill Jameson, who was in Twilight with Judd and had been friends with him for years, opens up to Noisey about how he continually found himself being taken advantage of by Judd. When Nachtmystium were forced to pull out of our CMJ Metal Insider showcase last year because Judd wound up in jail, it was because he’d stolen a roommate’s guitar and sold it for drugs. And when the recent scam he pulled with The World We Left Behind cost him more fans and his record label, Jameson was more sad than surprised, since it’s a pattern he’d seen firsthand over and over again.
Judd and Jameson were close enough that Jameson was in his wedding. Judd was in Krieg for a short time, which led him to not only claim that he wrote the entire Blue Miasma album, but to sell the CD rights to the first two Krieg albums. Jameson also mentions several times where he fronted Judd money for albums that he never got back. When recording Krieg’s The Isolationist in 2010, he talks about his run-in with Judd:
I had tried my best to avoid him during this trip, but on the night I was meant to leave there was a terrible snowstorm. Blake offered to put me up at his place until the weather cleared and I could fly back home, so I decided to stay in and get some sleep. He woke me up around 3 in the morning by sitting on my chest and holding me down. I was aware he was fucking around with heroin under the misguided idea that it would help him with his music. His idolatry of Kurt Cobain was very well known amongst his friends. He told me when I woke up that we were going to take a cab (in a fucking blizzard) to the ghetto to buy heroin. He told me that I was a “poser” for covering the Velvet Underground without ever shooting up. We got into a somewhat physical altercation and he told me “You need this. It’s time you had another tragedy in your life” before calling me a “faggot” and leaving. By the time he got home with the drugs I was asleep on the floor of O’Hare. That was the last time I saw him in any kind of good physical shape.
He also flew to Chicago when Judd offered Krieg an opening slot for Nachtmystium’s summer tour, only to find out once he got there that all but two of the shows were cancelled. Upon further investigation, none of the promoters knew the shows had been canceled, so he had to tell each one. Also, Judd was selling “tour-exclusive” merch that didn’t even exist. Yet Jameson still did a third Twilight album with Judd:
The night before I was to fly out to record Blake called me in tears. He told me that the money that was sent to cover my expenses and my cut of the publishing advance (totaling around $1500) was gone. He told me that his wife had left him (no shit, Helen Keller saw that coming) after they got into a fight; He threw her and she broke her leg in several places. When he took her to the hospital they would only accept cash because they didn’t have insurance. He fucking sobbed and said everyone in Chicago wanted to kill him and he couldn’t leave his house and he hoped I didn’t hate him. What the fuck was I supposed to do? I already had paid for the flight and was in the hole from the “tour” a few weeks before.
When I got to Chicago, Blake’s place was a shithole, sort of like the den from the opening of “Trainspotting.” I didn’t enjoy it for a second, but I was there to work. Every morning I would wake up, move his needles out of the way in the bathroom so I could brush my teeth, and clean blood out of the shower so I could bathe. I have never been more psyched on the decision to bring my own towel anywhere ever. Sometimes I’d come out of the bathroom and there would be a dealer in the kitchen, always courteous enough to ask me if I too wanted some heroin. Blake barely did anything except check his paypal and smoke my cigarettes.
In short, Jameson writes about his former friend to urge those people that haven’t been scammed by him yet to wisen up. Given that there are a decent amount of fans that have bought things from him that he didn’t deliver on, you’d think that most people know by now. But Judd is such a manipulator that he found himself back in his orbit time and time again. He ends the article by hoping that Judd, who “spends his time between a notable drug motel and the streets these days,” gets picked up for the scams he’s perpetuating and thrown in jail long enough to dry out long enough to think about the people he’s hurt. From the tone of Jameson and this article, he doesn’t seem to think that’s going to happen.