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In Words: Nightmare

- Nightmare - Oct. 2009 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Nightmare

Nightmare - October 8th 2009 (by email)

Nightmare are veterans of the French metal scene and are now celebrating their 30th anniversary with a new album called Insurrection. Time to learn a bit more about the French band!

First talk about the beginning... The band was founded 30 years ago. I guess it wasn't easy that days to start a metal band in France... Was it difficult to get a band together?

I think it wasn't more complicated that to form a band nowadays. I will say it was maybe easier as the market was in better shape. The market was not killed by internet... It started as always with friends from school wanting to do like their favorite artists and at that time it was Iron Maiden...

One of the French bands who were active in the 70's was Trust... Did they had any influence on you? At least in the beginning?

We admired them at this period that was the best for them! They were a huge band in France and very engaged with strong and effective lyrics... But our influences were more into the more melodic heavy metal style with bands like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest... The Trust singer wasn't really singing! He was more doing some political speach! lol!

Then in the early 80's some interesting bands came from France... like Sortilége, ADX, H-Bomb. But then it seemed to stop or was more underground. And Nightmare broke up in 1987. Did the scene kinda implode?

It was a great era that is over now, even if some of the bands like ADX for instance reformed... It was the French wave of heavy metal that made a name of itself at that time with also bands like Warning, Vulcain, Blaspheme who are back today and more... You can say that the scene imploded as its exactly what happened... Then came another French scene that made a name of itself also abroad, but this scene was more extreme with bands like Loudblast, Massacra or No Return...

You took a 12 year long break, so to speak... What make you return?

A birthday party!!! lol !! Well, at that time we were in touch with a friend that become our manger for some time and this guy was a specialist of making old French bands reforming... He contacted me to organize a meeting beween all band members, still in contact at the birthday party of Jeannot Strippoli, one of the former guitarists... So we all met there, had fun and a great time and we were all very drunk an decided to make a rehearsal to play some songs just for fun... And from there the rehearsal party it became a real concert for a reunion booked by a big local promoter in a big venue... The rest is history... Until now...

So, let's talk about the new album - Insurrection. When did you start writing songs for Insurrection? Or are you constantly writing?

We started to write songs one year ago just after we finished to peform at some important summer festivals... We are not constantly writing as for writing good songs, you must be very concentrated! We are not among those kind of bands that can write new songs when touring and still promoting their previous album. We need time to write good songs, because it takes us quite some time to be satisfied about one song... And many changes also...

What inspires you musically? The album seems to be heavier...

We are all inspired by different things and we all listen to various musical styles. Guitar players like the strong heavy riffing of the Scandinavian wave of bands like Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom etc... And that's why we are very focused on guitars, especially since our previous album, Genetic Disorder.... We all like power metal and also bands like Nevermore for instance... Its maybe the reason why from the album Genetic Disorder our albums became heavier...

Please tell us a bit about the lyrics! It seems you cover quite different topics... Decameron, Cosa Nostra, etc...

The topics are varied and strong! Decameron is talking about the black plague in the North of Italy which occurred in the year 1348. Cosa Nostra Part I is about a guy living in Sicily who will enter the Mafia... The Part II which will feature as a bonus on a limited edition is about the decline of this guy in the Mafia... We like songs about this topic and we already did write such a song in the past on the Dominion Gate album and this song was called Secret Rules. We have also a song about the Earth becoming crazy and turning to a glacial era: It's the song Eternal Winter that speaks about itself... We have also a 8 minute song about the power plant accident that happened in 1979 in Pennsylvannia...

The cover is again futuristic, but even darker... Who had the idea? Who realized it?

The idea came from the Swedish artist, Par Olofsson who also did our previous cover of Genetic Disorder. We liked one rough design that he made and from this design he decided to make our cover... He trusted his imagination as he is a very good artist.
It's dark and futuristic of course and depicts quite a lot the album title! Don't you really feel the title of the album when you see the artwork?

What about live shows? Will you be able to tour?

This is where we are in the best environement! We always try to be as close to the albums live as we can and to display the power that we have on the albums live... This is also where the heavy riffing of some songs are the most effective. We are now working on a full European tour for early 2010 that we hope to finalize soon... All depending on the agents working for us...

These days only few bands can survive by making music... And making music is time consuming. Is it difficult for you to manage now? Or was it tougher in the 80's?

It always was hard to survive by making music even before... Maybe because we didn't choose the right musical style? Maybe if we were doing pop music... Maybe today we would have become rich and famous! I don't know...
It's always a huge investment in your life, but the best moments from this investment are when you can share what you have built with the audience on stage...

About playing live... I guess one of the best experiences was the show in Tel Aviv, any other shows which were special? Which you remember?

All shows we have made are nice experiences... The concert in the USA at the New Jersey Metal Meltdown was also a great experience as also some appearances in cult summer festivals like Wacken, Gods Of Metal where we could share the stage with such big names like Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen, Judas Priest, etc...

Is there any band you would like to play with? Or a musician you would like to play on some future release?

For me definitely Crimson Glory ... But now with the death of Midnight... I am very sad... Whitesnake and Dio are also bands I really wanted to support... Overall all musicians who made us dreaming! To think about that one day we can share the same stage is a dream to come true!

Last, but not least... What's coming next for you?

Thanx for the support!!! See you on the road soon hopefully!!!!

Keep your eyes open and check out Nightmare live, it seems that the stage is their home... And after 30 years they are still hot to go out on stage!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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