Carl McCoy

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Carl McCoy
Carl McCoy-FotN.jpg
Carl McCoy, WGT 2008
Background information
Birth name Carl McCoy
Born (1963-01-18) 18 January 1963 (age 55)
London, United Kingdom
Genres Gothic rock, gothic metal, death metal, industrial metal
Occupation(s) Musician
Graphic designer
Years active 1984–present
Labels Beggars Banquet, Jungle Records, Situation Two Records, Sacred Symphony
Associated acts Fields of the Nephilim

Carl McCoy (born 18 January 1963, Lambeth, London, England)[citation needed] is the frontman for gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim.


The band formed in 1984. Following on from two EPs, their first album Dawnrazor was released in 1987. They produced two more full-length albums, The Nephilim and Elizium, plus a live album called Earth Inferno and a handful of singles, before splitting in 1991. McCoy went on to form Nefilim. The 1996 release of Nefilim's album Zoon saw a departure from the ethereal gothic sound of Elizium in favour of an industrial metal and death metal direction.[1]

McCoy's most recent studio album, Mourning Sun, was released in 2005. Although it was released under the name Fields of the Nephilim, McCoy has been secretive about the musicians who play on Mourning Sun, with John 'Capachino' Carter the only named contributor. The album was conceived and produced in McCoy's studio.

McCoy frequently uses mystical and occult references in his lyrics. Samples of Aleister Crowley's voice were featured on Elizium;[1] one of Fields of the Nephilim's biggest hits, "Moonchild", shares a name with one of Crowley's novels.

In interviews, McCoy has hinted that he sees his on-stage performances as theurgic, magickal or shamanic workings.[2][citation needed] He is also an admirer of Austin Osman Spare (the name of the Fields of the Nephilim live album Earth Inferno comes from one of Spare's works) and has thanked "AOS" in dedications on his albums. In another nod to chaos magic, Fields of the Nephilim's song Psychonaut shares its name with a book on the subject by Peter J. Carroll, and quotes lines from the Necronomicon. McCoy's lyrics are heavily influenced by the work of H. P. Lovecraft, and mention Cthulhu in several places.

McCoy owns a graphics company, Sheerfaith, which has supplied art and design for all of his musical projects. Sheerfaith has also produced artwork for other projects, such as for the Storm Constantine book Hermetech and Andrew Collins' 21st Century Grail. He himself is a 3D artist, a longtime user of LightWave 3D.[3]

McCoy appeared as the nomad in the motion picture Hardware (1990), directed by Richard Stanley,[4] who had previously directed a number of videos for Fields of the Nephilim.

Personal life[edit]

McCoy has two daughters, Scarlett and Eden, with his long-time partner Lynn. The Nephilim's 1996 album Zoon was dedicated to Scarlett. Both girls sing on Mourning Sun. McCoy comes from a religious background; he grew up in England with his mother, who was deeply religious, a Jehovah's Witness.[1] McCoy later dealt with his relation to Christianity critically in some of his songs such as "Chord of Souls".[1] He has talked in interviews about his belief in paganism.[5]



Further reading[edit]

  • Baddeley, Gavin: Goth Chic: A Connoisseur's Guide to Dark Culture (Plexus, 2002)
  • "Interview with: Carl McCoy ..." Alternative-Zine. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2009.