Nightmares For A Week don’t follow the norm. They’ve carved out their place in the niche market that is the almagation of pop, indie, folk and punk and they deserve all the accolades that will surely be coming their way. Their most recent release, “Don’t Die” contains catchy pop hooks, well written musical orchestrations and above all, lyrically its easy to relate back to the trials, tribulations and jubilations that one experiences in day-to-day life. All these qualities combined are the result of these three talented musicians doing what they love to do and nothing else.
Sean-Paul spoke to Dying Scene about the bands history, recording vs. the live set, originality in music and he gave us three reasons just why you should give Nightmares For A Week a spin. Check out the full interview here.
Photo credit: Andrew Katzowitz
For those not familiar with your work, can you give a brief background of the band?
The band came together in late August 2008, Bill and I had been playing music together for around 8 years (on and off) at that point. Ultimately Bill had a handful of songs he was recording by himself and asked me if I would want to pursue starting a new band, we asked Steve to play drums and we really never looked back.
There are a variety of instruments littered throughout “Don’t Die”. How did you decide on the orchestrations of the songs?
Nightmares (so far) has a pretty standard way of writing, Bill usually sits down and records acoustic ideas on his laptop. Sometimes he’ll have even three or four at once! We usually let the songs settle in and after listening to these demos. Then, Steve and I start to add our opinions and ideas. Sometimes songs get done in a night sometimes we over think and don’t come back to the idea for weeks.
Did you play all the instruments between the three of you or did you have guest musicians work on those parts?
We were lucky enough to have a handful of talented guests play on our record including our friend Frank Mcginnis on keys, James Felice from the Felice Brothers on the accordian, Bill’s father Tony Manley on saxophone on the song ‘Lightning Rod’ and Walter Schreifels with guest vocals on ‘Breath’s as Hard as Kerosene’.
Will those elements that appear throughout the album be lost in a live set? What do you on stage to fill that void?
When we released our first EP ‘A Flood Tomorrow’ we had not played a show. It was supposed to be a demo we were going to give away but soon after we finished recording it, Broken English decided to digitally distribute it and this seemed to create a buzz. It was exciting, but when we started to become more of a live band we found the EP wasn’t the best representation of our live show. ‘Don’t Die’ was written and recorded to take on more of our live sound. Of course when you make a record you may add bells and whistles that won’t be there live, I don’t believe this takes away from our live show at all. I wouldn’t say there is a void, we give every show 110%. It’s a raw, energetic, and overall positive outlet for us and hopefully those watching.
Have you (or any one in the band) ever had nightmares for a whole week?
(Sean-Paul) I haven’t.
Listening to “Don’t Die”, for me, the most obvious comparison to make is with The Get Up Kids. Where do you draw your influences from?
The Get Up Kids are on the list of influential bands, but I feel we most get tagged with that because of Bill’s voice. We draw a lot of influence from bands like the Descendents to Uncle Tupelo.
Do you think originality in music is still possible?
I do. I know that they say all art is a copy and of course at this point in time you hear the influence of generations creeping out of every album on the shelves. You can’t help that, but if you create something, even with a mountain of inspiration and influence pouring
out of you, you still created it. Unless you’re one of these factory bands put together by someone with money your music is original.
Two-thirds off the band come from post-hardcore backgrounds with Anadivine yet Nightmares For A Week are the polar opposite of post-hardcore. What inspired the change in direction?
We’ve spent a lot of time over the years (after Anadivine) playing in various bands. Nightmares is the combination of age and influence. We were in a different spot back then.
For myself personally, sometimes I find the simplest songs are the hardest to write. Do you run into any barriers when writing music or does creativity constantly flow?
There is a chemistry right now that keeps the creativity flowing, we’re not trying to brake that mold. We test it from time to time to keep the ideas fresh. We’re a simple band.
“Don’t Die” has been described as ‘honest’ by both yourselves and the press. What about it is honest? Do you think someone can write a complete lie of an album?
I’m not sure if we have ever deemed our music “honest”. If we have ever been called “honest” by any press, I would take that as compliment. We put everything we have into our music. In music, listeners seem to know if the music you put out is a genuine statement. If people recognize that, that’s great! If not, at least we can say we have made something we are all proud of and can live with for the rest of our lives.
What’s next for NFAW?
Touring, writing, P.M.A. “One Nation”
What are 3 reasons that people should listen to Nightmares For A Week?
1. There’s something here for everyone
2. You’ve got nothing to lose
3. Can’t hurt
Any last words?
Thanks for your time, we hope to see everyone soon!
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