Jen’s Local Music Scene- The American Nightmare
We have all heard of the “American Dream”- the country’s old-time concept of freedom, wealth and success that comes with hard work, regardless of age, gender, race or income. It claims that we are all created equal. Then there came The American Nightmare– a group of young men who worship heavy metal and perceive the “American Dream” in a completely different light- hence their name. I have seen these guys in action and they are insane. I spoke with them about the band and music in general, and it’s clear they’re natural born leaders…err rather, rockers.
Their group Facebook claims that “the purpose of this band is to play zero-bullshit brutally heavy metal tunes,” and that’s just what they do, despite being fresh out of high school. Jared, Zech, AJ and Anthony aren’t even allowed to legally drink, yet they can shred guitars and pound on drums like no body’s business- and they’ve each been doing it since day one…well almost. Chris, who sings for the band, is a bit older than the boys, but fits in just the same.
1. When and how did the band form? How did you come up with the band’s name- is it at all based on the “American Dream?”
I started the band in 2009 with Mike DeMarco on drums. We wanted to start a band that had a nice mix of technicality, brutality, and musicianship. The name was just a term that sounded evil, and fit very well with how we perceive our society. -Jared
2. You went through a few member changes in a short time, almost to the point of a whole new band- how did that affect the band’s aesthetic and goals, if at all?
It made us realize what direction we really wanted to go with our music, and what we need out of our fellow musicians to have things run smoothly. -Zech
3. You guys are so young- some still in high school. Is this just an after-school hobby or is it for life?
Was it ever hard to balance the two?
I am still in high school myself and from personal experience I must say that it doesn’t affect me as much as one might think. When I joined I knew it felt right and since music is my life I made sure I stayed committed and made room. It had affected my college but I am proud of them. -A.J.
4. A.J.- How has your school reacted to your local fame? Do they support you and come out to shows?
At first my peers thought it was just some other local band that sucks at what they do. Although, the first show that my friends went to they were blown away and it quickly spread throughout the school. Now there’s The American Nightmare stickers that are on the social worker’s door, one on the the math teacher’s door, the janitor’s closet, the janitor’s forklift, on almost every kid’s car, and even on the vice principal’s electric scooter. -A.J.
5. Were you parents against your chosen extra curricular choice? I know AJ’s parents are all for it, but what about the rest of you?
My parents have been my biggest supporters of my music since I started playing. They try to make it to every show, although it’s not always possible. They’ve bought some of my favorite equipment for me as gifts, and I’ll always be grateful for them. -Jared
6. Chris is over ten years older than you guys- do you ever butt heads or face any other conflicts because of it?
Not really. He lets us do our thing, but is glad to share his opinions with us. Even though he’s not an official member of the band, he’s like the sixth member. We say sixth because we’re still trying to find our fifth hahaha. He’s helped us out numerous times filling in on vocals and bass, plus we record at his studio in Coeyman’s Hollow, Crunchmaker Studios. -Zech
7. I see most of you are in other bands. How do you all manage your time between the two?
It’s not that hard really. We only practice once a week at the moment, maybe twice if we’re lucky or in desperate need. So there’s plenty of time in between for other practices with other bands. -Jared
8. What do you all hope to achieve with TAN?
Well world domination of course hahaha. Also, we want to make our mark! I know when I joined the band I saw nothing but good and I knew that this could be something that people will remember. All in all we want to make real and brutal metal tunes that someday will be blasting in peoples cars \m/. -A.J.
9. What are your plans for the near and distant future- albums, touring, etc?
We are currently working on our first full length album at Crunchmaker Studios. It’s taking a little while because our jobs and schooling don’t allow us to be able to be at the studio every single day. But the finished product will be well worth the wait.
We’re also trying out new vocalists, trying to find the right guy that gels with us personally and musically. There’s a lot of people who can scream, but finding someone who understands our music and what we’re trying to sound like has been tricky so far. We’ve settled for people in the past, just to have someone fill the spot but we’ve realized we need to spend the time and get the right guy. -Jared
10. What’s your favorite show memory?
Mine is for a show we had recently. I saw familiar and unfamiliar faces running up to the stage at our show with Misstallica at Bogies. Everyone was so into it and thus so was I. -A.J.
I would have to say at our most recent show when A.J. threw a drum stick at our bass player Anthony at Bogies on March 16 -Zech
For me, it was definitely the Metal vs. Hunger show at Bogies this past December. We played really well as a band, and a lot of the other bands were awesome as well. -Jared
Connect with The American Nightmare:
Check the band out by going to their local shows, which can be found here.