Nad Sylvan – An Interview with the Vampirate

(And so as part of my ongoing project for this difficult period, on the day following my Bob and Hilary James interview, I was able to interview Nad Sylvan. As well as being an artist in his own right, Nad is the lead singer with the band led by ex-Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett).

(In the following conversation, NS denotes the comments of Nad Sylvan, and DH those of Darren Hirst)

DH: Thank you for making some time for me today in these strange circumstances. How is the weather with you?

NS: It’s very cold. It’s only like six degrees. it was up to 15 last week with sun, and you know, scattered clouds. But it’s pleasant enough. And we get to make a huge bonfire tonight because on this date every year it’s called Valborg. When we celebrate spring and we’ll all light a bonfire – the only day in the spring that we’re allowed to do that. I have a load of dead wood ready to go.

DH: Well, we’re in the middle of a thunderstorm at the moment in London, so if you hear any strange noises in the background that’s the explanation…

NS: Okay, cool.

DH: Now, I have to admit that I’m not a huge progressive rock fan, but I enjoyed the work that Peter Gabriel did with Genesis, and I stayed with Steve Hackett’s music until he left Charisma. And although I’m not very nostalgic  a few years ago I decided that I would go along and see one of the Genesis Revisited concerts. And I first encountered you as a vital part of that band. And this very unusual combination that you have in those shows of Steve, who whilst being a wonderful guitarist, is not the most charismatic performers . And yourself a great vocalist, and a tremendous showman. And it makes for a very interesting show if I can put it that way.

NS: I think maybe it’s what. the show needs. It needs someone to front the songs. And I think that’s why I got the gig.

DH: Then I started looking into your other records. I found the Agents of Mercy albums, which I’m going to ask you a little bit about in a moment. And then I found some really, really obscure things. I don’t even know if you remember this one.

(holds up a Christopher Stewart single from many years ago)

NS: (laughs) Oh, where did you get that?

DH: It’s amazing what you can find in old record shops.

NS: In England.? A Swedish disco single that is 37 years old

DH: Well, we’re not going to dwell on that further but I want to talk to about your three solo albums, And I guess about the new material that I read a little bit about which you’ve been working on – presumably for release when all this is over.

So, first of all, could I ask you about how the Agents of Mercy project came together?

NS: Yes. Prior to Agents of Mercy, I had released Unifaun, which was basically the springboard to why I’m recognised  in the progressive rock scene.  It was a tribute to Genesis with my own songs. Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings heard that and while I wouldn’t say he fell in love with it; he really liked my singing on it. He was at that moment on a hiatus from Flower Kings and he was making a solo record. And he just asked me, in fact he sent me an email and asked if I would be keen to track my voice onto three songs on his solo album, which I did. But I added so much more to them like backing vocals and harmonies and stuff. So, he ended up pitching more songs my way and said “Okay, do you want to sing on this too”. And all of a sudden I had recorded six or seven songs for him, and he said, you know, I can’t put this out as a solo album. You have so much input into this now. So, let’s call it Agents of Mercy and see what happens. So, it was very unintentional. The band was never supposed to exist, but it did for a couple of years.

DH: And how do you feel about it now, looking back on it?

NS: I’m not particularly keen. I don’t disregard it or actively dislike it. I just see it as a stepping-stone. We didn’t really take off, and I think maybe we started with a very low-key album, The Fading Ghosts of Twilight which is a fine album. But. I think maybe the Black Forest was more exciting. and I had much more opportunity to stamp my identity on it. And I was a bit more confident as a singer. I’m not that keen on my vocals on the first album. To be hones,t it’s the first time I sang on other people’s songs.  I’d been singing my own stuff all the time. So (on the first record) I was very much conducted by  Roine about he wanted me to sing, how to approach it, which perhaps thar was an adventurous way of working, and I learnt a lot from that.

But now I’ve been singing other people’s stuff for a long time and I’m getting better at it, you know, because the music isn’t tailor made for me. I have to adapt my vocals to something that’s already been written.

DH: Would it be fair to say that for quite a long, and large part of your professional life, you were perhaps a voice and a personality looking for an opportunity to present yourselves in the way that you would prefer?

NS: Good question. I was very much locked up, deep into my own studio, just writing songs, trying to, you know, get a more solid identity as a singer / songwriter – so I could go anywhere with my voice. I could write in any style and in any flavour. When I found an opening in the world of p rog rock, it was like, OK, it has to be prog rock now for this time and so it was easier for me to write and to dedicate my  music, to dictate my music in a certain way. But I always felt that the stage was a place where I felt very confident. And I started, to work in that area with Agents of Mercy and, I guess, I have now done more than 600 shows with Steve.  And I just feel I’ve grown into this guy who I am now on stage. I always wanted to be on stage. With Agents of Mercy I started to elaborate more on these medieval kind of clothes and the vampire look but also pirate clothes and once one of the staff in America said, “you look like a pirate and a vampire at the same time”. And then I thought, I know, I’ll be a vampirate. And I Just began to think about it then and then that idea became solid and was established. I don’t know whether I’ve answered your question, really, but I’m doing what I always wanted to do now in that sense, I have my own record label deal, so, I can also do my own records now that somebody else isfunding finally.

DH: Here’s something that might be a difficult question as well. One of the other things that I do professionally is acting in the world of Shakespearian theatre. I wonder when you go on stage in a concert setting whether you are consciously inhabiting a character as opposed to just going out there and being a typical rock singer. Is there some element of acting that goes beyond the mundane and carries you into a realm that exceeds what some others might be capable of?

NS: Well, it comes very naturally to me. And funny you should mention Shakespeare. There was one review from when we had played somewhere in America –  I think it was in Arizona – and the reviewer was somebody that really liked my stage persona. He said that on stage I am like a seasoned Shakespearean actor. And that’s part of me. That is  just a beautiful, beautiful accolade. Yes. I don’t want to be a stereotypical rock singer. I do have my  long hair. But, you know, hey, people have long hair in the 17th century, too. And that’s where my soul belongs. It’s in the 17th century. I just-  I’m so intrigued by it. And also, men looked a little camp back then. it was just posh to be a little camp. You know what I mean? It was a way to show that you had fine breeding. I love to be camp in my own kind of way. I just don’t like to fit into a stereotype I mean, I don’t mind it in others, but it’s not for me. I have to do my own thing. And there was a lot of quite harsh words in the beginning towards me, you know, because I acted more confident than I really was. But  now that criticism has toned down and people recognise my singing as well as some of the theatrical (elements). But the acting or the theatrical, in the beginning, was a lot of cover up for me being a bit insecure. To be honest. I didn’t have the touring experience. I hadn’t done a lot of shows and then, all of a sudden everything was on a totally different scale. I had been touring and playing in front of a smaller crowd every night. And then joining Steve’s band – it was a shaky year for me the first year.

DH: My theatre company were producing A Midsummer Night’s Dream last year. I got in touch with Steve Hackett and asked to use his music that was inspired by that play and to be honest I just expected a blank. No. But  he said, yes, straight away. And was very, very helpful to us. How is he for you to work with?

NS: He is so easy to work with, it’s ridiculous. He’s so humble, even makes excuses  when he makes mistakes and he’s the opposite of every artist you might expect – he has no ego he’s not a diva. It’s nothing like that. He’s very helpful. He played on my solo albums for free. He even played some of my arrangements. He’s just a sweetheart. If you look at it his entourage,  the people around him, they have been working for him for, 20 or 25 years because it’s easy to work with Steve Hackett. And I’m not surprised he was that helpful because that’s the guy. Yes.

DH: As I said  we were in a situation where I expected him to say no but I felt we had nothing to lose by asking. And then I expected that the cost of it would be beyond our budget. And he didn’t ask for anything in a monetary way. And he was just so helpful on that. And when I met with him, afterwards, he was just so gracious. He gave us a completely free hand.

It intrigues me the fact that because he is very much a head-down guitar player playing the solos and so on – even back to the early Genesis days he was most comfortable seated. It must be quite an unusual balance for him having someone who is the more flamboyant lead vocalist,

NS: But now, wow ,it’s different (than it would have been in Genesis, it’s his band. It works because of the give and take. I think you see it in the show we produce. It sounds and looks authentic. We’re not just copying the old songs. We are developing them. And Steve said to me that (as well as the stage persona that I bring to the show) “you’ve got a Genesis kind of a voice. You’re not mimicking anyone. But it is sounds like your voice belongs to the material”. And that’s the nicest thing you can hear really from him. And it does. And Steve understands that element of the current band very well. He doesn’t want to lose me. I know that.

DH: If we could talk a little bit about your solo albums. Did you or start recording the first one with it in mind at that point that it would be part of a trilogy?

NS: No. The idea of three albums that were connected came later. Yes, It came with the second album. I had the sketch of a song called The Bride Said No, that I wrote in 1989 but I didn’t get to finish it back then. I thought it was so intriguing… Back then I just had the riff but the whole song came together in time for the second album. I thought I’d have Tania {Doko} running up to the mike at the end and just say “no” and by then we were almost done.

DH: That’s so clever.

NS: That is the best part of the whole album, apart from another song that I really like called What have you done. Well, so when I came up with the bride and the bride said no and I thought, hang on, there was a widow back there on the first album. I’ve got to go somewhere with this. So, that intrigued me and enticed me to make a trilogy. And since I had a  three-album deal with Inside Out at that time, it made sense to me.

DH: Is there a linear storyline there that the listener can figure out? For example, if I compared the three albums with The Lamb lies down on Broadway  – on that Genesis album there is a story – even if it gets a little fantastical and the listener can follow it. In Peter’s idea of the story of the Lamb there is a linear story. I’ve never quite been able to figure out with your trilogy exactly how the three fit into a storyline. Is there a plotline to be found? Was it deliberately mysterious?

NS: It’s not a story. It’s a mystery. It’s the same characters who are in the songs. For example, the Quartermaster appears in other songs He comes back. He’s the regal bastard. So, it’s not really a story. It’s more stories about characters, really. I’m not that clever that I could write a book.

DH: (laughs) Well, I think perhaps you underestimate yourself. But that’s another question. If I could ask you about a couple of songs on each album as we come to them.

NS: Yes. Of course.

DH: One of the songs on the first album “To turn the other side”. One of the things that I admire about this song, it is almost a suite of songs rather than an individual song. But hey, this is progressive rock, so we make it one song, and it manages to be 22 minutes long without being boring or repetitive. How do you feel about that in retrospect?

NS: I started working with that song in 2012 and came back to it, shelved it, and came back to it again, for like two years or so. I added bits, took out bits, but a lot of it was done on the fly. I just went for it. After that, I didn’t change. I set my mind on this is how I want to do it. I used those sounds and I made the most of what I have. Yeah, I’m fond of it. I don’t really  listen back  to my albums. But I remember I was very intrigued, to attempt stuff I’d never done before. Well, there’s some interesting parts, some nice harmonies and some grooves and some very bombastic bits with percussion and stuff. I thought I had done something I hadn’t done before, so that made me feel good. And that’s always what I do. If you listen to my albums, you’ll hopefully hear that. Oh, he’s gone another direction now. That’s because I don’t want to repeat myself. I don’t want to do the same thing. I don’t want to be predictable. Now, if you listen to albums, you’ll be able to say that’s Nad Sylvan but hopefully that will be because of my way of singing and the voice and I have my own way of thinking and especially when it  comes to chord sequences or whatever. On the first album particularly, there’s a little bit of the 70s, maybe the Genesis vibe comes every now and then a little bit of this and that but that’s in my DNA that can’t be changed. So, yeah, I like that song. I think it’s very well put together.

DH: It’s a tremendously brave step for someone who was just starting out on a recognized solo career to put a song on of that length.

NS: I know some people would say, oh, he’s trying to make another Supper’s Ready – which was not the case at all. I just wanted to fill, one side of music on vinyl like many others artists have done, especially in the prog world. And so, I feel that it’s something I’m not ashamed of,

DH: You mentioned Supper’s Ready. The British band, Marillion, at the very beginning of their career, recorded  Grendel, which was so obviously like, Supper’s Ready. This is not at all derivative in the way that was

NS: I think it helps that I have such  writing experience. Enough that I have my own identity. I don’t need to nick ideas from other artists. I got my head full of my own ideas, you know.

DH: Sure. The other song that I wanted to ask you about from the first album is he totally opposite one in terms of length, which is Ship’s Cat, which I love. I’m a cat lover myself. We have three cats here. And this whole idea of a talking cat or, I don’t know, a cat that is devoted to the person it is addressing the person in the song and telling him what a wonderful, cool person he is.  Where did that come from?

NS: The melody came first, and I was in my bed. And I knew that I had to write another song to have all the material I wanted for the album. And it was the last song that I recorded. And. It took me two days and I needed to work on the rest of the song and where I am talking to you from now is my studio and I will walk over the footbridge so you can see how close my master bedroom is. I was I was lying there and just rushed to my studio over the footbridge and just fired up the studio in two minutes. And I had the verse done in like ten minutes or even five. And then I went back to bed and slept. And then I continued the next day and I had a song finished. Everything was finished in two days, including recording Skrut, –  including my cat Skrut. I held her in my hands against the microphone and she was moaning. She was the way she sounded like that. She wanted to be put down. I refused to. She got more and more furious with me.

DH: You just have the one cat.

NS: Yeah, I just got one cat,

DH: So, I think that is such a clever song. It is almost the antithesis of Turn the other side. But the fact that they are kind of back to back on the C.D. is quite something

NS: The reason why I put it after Turn the other Side was just that. I wanted to present a song that was,a complete opposite to Turn the other side. A short song. A more scaled down, not so heavy instrumentation. I was thinking almost about a ship about like say, the Titanic. On a big ship and a little sad. It’s in minor chords. I don’t remember how it goes exactly right now, I just wanted to try something very different to Turn the other side.

DH: Just going back to Turn the Other Side for a moment, when the title talks of to turn the other side is that a similar idea to the phrase “to turn the other cheek”. Is that what that means?

NS: A little bit of wordplay, But, it also just means to turn the other side of the vinyl, you know?

DH: So, let’s move on for a moment to the second album.

NS: Yes, The Bride said no.

DH: If I could just ask you about a couple of the songs from here. We have the song The Quartermaster. Does the quartermaster appear on the first album?

NS: No, he’s not there.

DH: So, this is his debut appearance.

NS: Exactly.

DH: And how do you picture that guy?

NS: He’s a complete c**t,  (laughs) I’m just being playful. The quartermaster is the drinking buddy to the vampirate. The Vampirate drinks blood. The quartermaster drinks wine, but it looks the same. He says that he had found a deserted  island. Let’s all stop there – he had spotted it through his spyglass. But then, they left him ashore and went.  So, he shouts, “oh, you c**ts during that song. The rest of the crew doesn’t want to follow suit, so they put him there. Now he ends up in Oahu, but that’s on the next album. So, that’s what happened to the quartermaster. And that’s where his story continues.

DH: And then a very different song. A French kiss in an Italian Cafe, which is probably kind of the height of romance on the second album.

NS: I am a very romantic person, you know, and I feel you can be romantic in a song without singing I love you. Oh, look who comes here

(Nad holds his cat up to the camera)

I thought I would show you her, since you said you were a cat lover too.  Where were we now? The romance in French Kiss in an Italian Café. That’s right. That song came about a new, rather peculiar way because I had the second part of this chorus that follows the real chorus and that was on its own. That was the only bit I had to begin with. So, the rest came and was built around that because it sounds that can be a “b”-chorus. It doesn’t sound like a real chorus. No, I was really pleased because the verse came together in just one  hour and then the rest of the chorus was something I had in my head for quite some. So, it was written. It was three different segments put together. And I think Tony Levin plays fantastic bass on that.

DH: How did you get all of these guys to play on your albums when to a large extent you were just beginning to gain exposure in the industry?. It seems quite an amazing, amazing achievement. Was it because you were in Steve’s band?

NS: I didn’t know Tony through Steve. I was meeting people all the time on the road. And Tony was always so sweet to me. And so, I just dared to ask. I did get his contacts through Roine. Nick D’ Virgilio played on the first U.S. tour with Agents of Mercy, so I knew him already and Guthrie (Govan) was through Nick Beggs. I got the contacts and asked them, and  one thing led to another. I am a nice guy and people know that

DH: And you’re modest (laughs). On the third album, let’s talk about your song, Meet Your Maker. Along with the video that was made for it, it almost seems in the Hammer Horror vein. Do you know that film tradition?  A British film production company from the late 60s and early 70s, A kind of slightly-more-family-friendly horror film, if there can be such a thing…

NS: A sweet horror film. A kind horror film.

DH: There’s a kind of a spookiness about it without it being terribly nasty. Do you feel that is a fair representation of the feel of the song?

NS: Yeah, maybe. Perhaps it is more that way for you because you have seen the video and the video is, of course, animated. I think it really works. And I think it captured the spirit of the song and a lot of the lyrical content.  I think he reflected the lyrics really well with his imagery. You know, the vampirate is a nasty character, but he’s still very sweet. He doesn’t look sinister. He looks like a sweetheart – a bit bitchy. But I guess it’s the bitch in me that comes through.

DH: I think my favourite song on this album is Leave Me on These Waters.

NS: The same for me. That’s my favourite, too.

DH: Which has this great guitar solo.

NS: Yes. You know, that is Guthrie.

DH: Was that a first take or was that something that he played a solo and you said, well, it’s nearly there. Did it take a while to get what you wanted?

NS: Yeah, it took him, I think four or five different solos. And, a  thought,  I just remember, I said to him Guthrie, you keep going back to F sharp and every phrase ended on F sharp can’t you go somewhere else with it. And he realized, oh, yeah, you’re probably right. So, it was a lot more bluesy at first. But I didn’t want him to do, you know, a solo like he did. On “What have you done” on the previous album? I didn’t  because that is just never ending. He said, “I should probably go to the Stratocaster”. Yes, it should definitely be a Stratocaster. That is perfect for this song. Yes. To me, that’s the highlight of the album. I know a lot of people favour other songs, but that my favourite because that came out just how I wrote the whole song in my head during the course of a couple of years. It was all bits.  I came back to and I just heard it and I just knew when I sat down to record it what to do with it and elaborated, of course, a little bit on the vocal range that wasn’t there from the beginning. Yes, I feel very content with that song. Yes. It is my favourite song on the album. No doubt. Thank you for noticing that song. No one ever spoke about it.

DH: It’s in the section that’s such an important part of the trilogy which goes from The Regal Bastard, which also I like a great deal, and then comes in to Leave Me on These Waters and then, Honey, I’m Home, which is kind of almost the overture or something to bring everything together.

NS: Well, on Honey I’m Home there are bits from Carry Me Home, the first song on the first album. I reprise that and also from Long Slow Crash Landing.

DH: That was what I had in mind when I said it It brings the conclusion of the trilogy together in a cogent fashion.

NS: And I realized that when I was working on the songs and I thought I probably should bring in some of the stuff from the first album just to conclude things (on those musical themes) and In a conclusive manner. And I think I think I did good with that.

DH: One of the things that is interesting with the C.D. format, which obviously you wouldn’t have got on vinyl back in the day, is this business of bonus tracks. Now, somebody said to me that on the first album there’s a cover of a Bread song.

NS: Yeah. The Guitar Man,

DH: I couldn’t find that on my copy.

NS: It depends on what player you have. Obviously, somebody found it and put it up on YouTube. So, it’s on YouTube.

DH: Okay, I must look for that.

NS: It’s a track I did back in 1992, so it’s really old. It precedes the first track of the album on the disc.

DH: And then on the second album, my favourite of all the bonus tracks that you put out there is the Black Sheep of the Family,. which is a song I can really relate to. I’m a guy who grew up in the north of England. I never fitted into my family and at my sister’s wedding somebody referred to me by just that phrase. “It’s not hard to see who the black sheep of this family is” And the first time I heard your song I just broke down into tears. The song touched me so profoundly. Has that grown out of your own experiences?

NS: It’s an old song. It was recorded 22 years ago in 1998. So, that’s what I’ve done with the first two albums. I go back in my history, to songs that people were supposed to hear that they never got to hear because I could never get a record deal back then. I felt they were so good. So, I thought, let’s play them now that I have an audience.

DH: I want to thank you so much for releasing that track that really mattered to me. The thing is that there are some songs in your life that are just kind of you hear them and they become pivotal in understanding yourself. And that’s one of those songs for me. So, I was like I was saying, thank you for releasing it.

NS: Thank you. I was a complete outcast. You know, I was severely bullied from when  I was six until I was 14, 13, 14. I was the oddball Well, I guess that’s my forte now these days. I’m known for that, I’m a nonconformist. I just go my own way and people don’t like it. They can just go elsewhere –  miles away.

DH: And then on the third album – you don’t describe it as a bonus track, but as an encore, Diva Time is wonderfully wicked and playful

NS: That bitch. Wake up and smell my perfume. Yeah.

DH: Yeah. You sound like you enjoyed recording that.

NS: Well, those are my lyrics and my top line and my melody over Anders Wollbeck’s chords. It didn’t have a top line. So, I came up with that and the lyrics and you can tell it’s the same guy who I co-wrote When the Music Dies with. He’s a bit more modern sounding than I am. And I thought, why not? You know, let’s do this. But it didn’t really fit this plot or the characters on the albums. It didn’t fit the vampirate tale so to speak but it was a nice track. And I wanted to feature it somehow. And I did. And I thought it went really well. Which brings us to the last bonus track – The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

DH: Why set a WB Yeats poem to music?

NS: I was approached by Andrew Laitres from Vermont, in the United States, asking if I could track a vocal for his solo album. And I did that with that song. And it came out so well. I said, would you mind if I put this song as a bonus track on my new album? He was absolutely in heaven over that and even withdrew it from his digital platform in order to make that work, so it just ended up there. And so that’s something maybe of a giveaway for the future, because what I’m doing next is a whole album of Yeats’ poems now with Andrew.

DH: OK, that’s cool. The guy I was interviewing yesterday, one of the tracks on the album that we were talking about, he had also set a poem to music an ee cummings’ poem and that seemed so out of left field that we spent quite a while talking about that. And it’s the same way with somebody like Yeats. If I was talking to Van Morrison or somebody like that, then I wouldn’t be that surprised. Although  if I was talking to Van Morrison, the interview might be much less fun because he does have a reputation as being a miserable interview… but the whole idea of setting someone else’s well-known poetry and adapting it into rock music is a very brave step.

NS: Well, these poems are so good, and they are also public domain. You can use them as you wish and experiment. And since there are so many of them, And I already had a book with his poems. And I had a song that needs lyrics I’m going to find the right lyric from Yeats. But that’s the only song I’m going to be musically writing on my own on this album. Everything else been co-written with Andrew. Because I thought it was important to bring in new blood. To  go musically somewhere I haven’t been before. Again, that’s what I do.

DH: Is this album that you’re working on going to be less identifiably progressive rock?

NS: Yeah.

DH: One of my bugbears with progressive rock as a term is that the majority of music that ends up being labelled as belonging to that genre isn’t going anywhere new. A lot of new progressive rock things that I hear sound like they might have been recorded in 1972, – it’s almost stuck in a time warp.

NS: I know what you mean. And yet you can go to two ways with progressive. Either you refer to the classic sounds of Mellotron and Minimoog and what have you and so that’s progressive rock to some people. Whereas some people would define it more like going forward musically. And that’s what I always tried to do. So, I think Courting the Widow is a good example of the first category. I’d been working with Roine. I had been singing Genesis. I feel is was very much in the 70s with that album. I think as the trilogy has progressed; we have started to move on in time with the sounds. And with this new album that I’m working on everything is more scaled down. There’s a lot more acoustic instruments. You can tell I’m a proggie still  0 when you hear it. it’s not that far removed from what I’ve done before, especially my vocals – although even my vocals are more in focus on this one and there are more elaborate vocal arrangements and harmonies and stuff. But, yes,  there’s a lot of instruments like acoustic guitars and there’s more funk, A sort of funky folk, I would say, I like this new album a lot. It’s coming along very nicely.

DH: Is it going to be on the same label?

NS: Yes. I have just amended my record deal for two more albums. But I look at this album like an interim album – before I go and make another more obviously prog album again. The intention is first to make something that is not  what people would expect me to do.

DH: I think it is very important as artists that. we define the art rather than the art defines us. The danger of is becoming stuck in a particular pigeonhole is, we might say, in England  where your audience are not anticipating something new. They want you to make the last album again.

NS: That’s never gonna happen. That’s not who I am.

DH: That’s great.

NS: That’s when it gets really uninteresting to me  – when it’s a rehash of the same formula again. There is a good reason why David Bowie only wrote a song like Life on Mars once. I’m not saying I’m like Bowie, but I fully understand when an artist wants to move on and do something new. And that’s the recipe for success and sometimes fordownfall. It didn’t always work out for him with his new ventures.

DH: Well, Nad, thank you for making time for me today. Enjoy your bonfire and stay well in these difficult times.

NS: Thanks a lot. It’s been a pleasure.

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