A Nightmare Upon Us gets interviewed and talks about their "Song For The Heartless single, their live shows and much more.
From: Aylesbury, UK
Sounds like: Alternative Metal
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “A Nightmare Upon Us” and is there any meaning behind it?
L.J.Pheonix (vocals/guitar): We've all been doing music since our early teens and we never set out to do it on a pro level even now things are getting smoother. We just jam and let it flow, sometimes it can get real low and then when its really low all of sudden a big break or wave of awesome just pops up.. music is the same. Singing for me came out of nowhere drunk down the weavers on the karaoke one night and got hooked up by my old band for it. With A Nightmare Upon Us, it just flows from natural abilities with all of us. There's a lot of connections with me and Lawrence previously from Devil Inside where we worked for years together on guitar so we work off each other, Tyrone was a guitarist way back in Civillian, the project that then became Devil inside. We are all working hard so it's like a team/group of friends some could say family. Being friends does help and having similar interests and goals.
Amii Bloodlust (Bass Guitar)(female member): The Name A Nightmare Upon Us I thought of it when I was a teenager at Mandeville school, I was too engrossed with cosplay at the time so I never strived really until recently. My boyfriend taught me bass and we built a project together. We were looking for a name, I suggested it and it just felt right.
The Law: The name A Nightmare Upon Us, Could be the oppression of man in its different forms through the centuries and how we now challenge that now. Society and government, war torn lands and poverty are all a nightmare upon us. The inequality of mankind Or being human itself is a nightmare due to the juxtaposition of consciousness.
2. What do you want listeners to take away from the "Song For The Heartless" single?
L.J.Pheonix: That little spark, a deep and meaningful pack of punch. It's a track for them and that's why it's free at: http://anightmareuponus.bandcamp.com. We wanted a new metal sound. All you got these days is shouting and some of it is good but there's too much of the same. We wanted some hooks in there that give a little taste of what's coming. My favorite section of the song is when I get to play the guitar solo. Although on the recording we all mucked in, it's a little different live as I get to only come in on the beasty bits. When writing the lyrics, I delved into some really dark moments and thought there's a lot of people out there really going through some moments where literally they get to a point where they can become heartless and quite ruthless. I have done some bad stuff to a lot a good people and some good stuff for a lot of bad people in my life and wanted the lyrics to speak out to other people who are heartless, and hopefully save them from those same mistakes. As we are all human in the end. It's more about the essence of life and that is growth.
3. What can people expect from your live show?
L.J.Pheonix: Each show is different and we dress up in mad outfits too so I'd say the pub gigs we treat like it's the big stage and not a lot of bands these days do that. Pub stages, etc. are all important as a lot of people are seeing us for the first time. Big solos and a storm of alternate sound. It's a unique sound so worth coming and checking us out as we got few heavy numbers like "Heartless" but we got some really smooth vocal songs and some hard rock numbers too. We throw a lot of treats in for the audience and whats nice about the pubs is we get to have a drink with everyone and socialize a bit more. The ticketed venues and 02s are harder to achieve as you're glued to your backstage room. Security is definitely a lot tighter at the larger venues. Now we got signed to our first label over in USA we got a whole lot more to throw at ya! It's a small label called From The Depths Entertainment - http://www.ftdmusic.com/
Tyrone: You'll experience an atmospheric and energetic show.
4. What's your favorite track to play live?
The Law: Favorite track to play live would be "Before the Hate" as it's our first or "War Torn" as it has a crushing verse riff. People can expect a great performance live, fun and energetic, big sounds and wanting more when we are done.
Tyrone: Favorite track to play would be the new one "War Torn" because it's heavy and has a lot of energy and some good time changes.
5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?
The Law: Metallica, Bullet For My Valentine, and In Flames.
L.J.Pheonix: Iron Maiden for me counts as three... but yeah I'd say definitely All That Remains as well and Korn would make my life.
Tyrone: Iron maiden too. I would love to tour with Iron Maiden, In Flames, and Metallica.
Amii Bloodlust: Baby Metal, Band Maid and Shinee.. (asian metal/pop bands).
6. Any crazy show stories?
No not yet but there will be many to be made. Well there is one. This one time Law and Jam's old band all ordered KFC/Chicken Cottage and there was food for about 8 people. Everyone was so drunk and tired they passed out. L.J.Pheonix however was very hungry and very hyperactive and there was so much food he ate all of it. Two giant buckets, four large fries, drank the gravy, even tried gnawing the bones. Anyways what was left was beans and no one wanted the beans. They were in a giant tub, about a liter of beans, nice and warm. L.J.Pheonix downed them all in one big hit. A bad ass shot of beans. His band members faces at the time I think the shot of beans was worse for them than the night before. When we got back to the flat, of our vocalist at the time (L.J was just guitar then) we all ordered pizzas as a disappointment hoping to fill what L.J had devoured He then gnawed his way through about three and a half pizzas and tried pinching the starters and garlic breads too. Outrageous. Some call him the lungs but my god what a stomach, and he's a skinny bean.
L.J.Pheonix: I have to feed myself and the demon inside me too. He's always hungry. Sometimes I just gotta eat. To this day I'm still unsure how I ate that much as I now struggle to eat one pizza. I'm not allowed to eat pizza with my friends anymore and they don't get chicken takeout when I'm around. I see statuses and photos uploaded online and I feel kinda sad these days and left out. On hot dogs Super Bowl nite, I eat all on my own. When everyone is sharing sweets they hide them now because I'll eat them all. The worst I have ever did was about when I was age 6, Grandma laid out a lovely table for all the family and cousins. The cake, I ate it all, all of it, all before the barbecue even started. I robbed most of the sausages when they were put on the table. So like people had celery sticks, and odd crisps all the beetroot was gone too I had eaten so much beetroot my other end was beetroot. My pee was beetroot and my skin was beetroot. Being so young I thought I was dying so I screamed "Mummy help I'm dying". At first they thought it wasn't me as I wasn't in the room when they discovered. It's same with the band, doing the shot of beans gave away who ate the chicken.
7. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?
You can't really compete and extortionate rates with our first release, it would have been silly. We have ours out for free anyways. To us at this moment we are unsure on the state of the industry but for a lot of bands it's really hit. Particularly with underground scenes, a lot of labels have collapsed or closed their doors to new artists as it's really hit hard. There's a lot of big bands working in cafes and bars. A rumor I heard was that Green Day's bassist still works in a cafe. I'm unsure if it's true but there's a lot of guys in big bands at restaurants and bars on weekends due to this crushing the industry. Even signed artists, it's really hit home for a lot musicians and I think if people knew they'd perhaps have respect for the bands they love and actually buy it in stores. Some legal sites too are taking percentages and it's degrading us in the industry too. A lot of people these days including McCartney, Coldplay and a lot of mainstream people have been self releasing and reaping the benefits a lot more than they would have initially as they saw 100 percent returns. Due to illegal downloading not so much as they had hoped for but still enough.
8. What’s next for A Nightmare Upon Us?
Amii Bloodlust: Working on a new tasty release and several videos. There's possible tour ideas in the works but nothing major until the new year so keep an eye and an ear out. We are working on new material too with the new lineup which is pretty cool. We are all excited to be onstage with the new lineup so please come check us out. You can follow our nightmare and engage in your own personal one at: http://facebook.com/anightmareuponus.
9. Any shoutouts?
We all wanna thank L.J.Pheonix's parents for rehearsal in the living room and Brian next door. We gate crashed his newspaper tea break too much. We apologized if we knocked ya coffee off through the vibrations. Lots of love for our neighbors especially Patrick and his lovely wife on the other side as without them the music wouldn't be possible as they have been very supportive which is very rare. It's a lovely experience to have friendly neighbors who appreciate our music. Big shout out to all our friends and families, also wanna thank John of Skeletor music for extensive bookings at the 02 Oxford, as well as the White Swan (Aylesbury) for support. Old owners and new ones especially Kyle, Mark and Graham we really got heaps of love for you all at the Swan. What you guys do for community really has paid off and turning the venue back to its former glory with a new twist has really helped the community rebuild as well as the local music starting to resurface at the Swan. It really does mean a lot to us all so thank you. Big shout out to Amii Bloodlust's dad for being there and getting us to and from gigs a lot, also for helping us out by giving us the slogan "Your Nightmare Is Coming". Pretty awesome having a metal dad amongst our supports need more metal dads out there man! Never too old to rock and as Metallica once said "Without long hair you cannot rock"! True That!