Nightmare interview (11/2005)

With: Alex Hilbert [Guitars]
Conducted by: Jeff
Published: 26.11.2005

Band profile:


- Hello!!! To begin this interview, let me ask you the inevitable first question that is, "can you present the band to the readers?"

Well it's a quite a long story. They basically started back in the early eighties and their official first gig was as support of Def Leppard on the "Pyromania" era in March 1983. From there a lot of doors opened for the band and we signed to cult british label Ebony records to release two albums for them : "Waiting For The Twilight" in 1984 and "Power Of The Universe" in 1985… Then they changed once again line-up in 1987 to finally disband in 1988 after having made many tours and concerts to spread the name worldwide!

Now the band played a mix between classic power metal and modern, dark and aggressive metal. We use powerful riffs and melodies combined with "Dio-Lande" voice of Jo.

- Who is the new guitarist Franck Milleliri? How did you recruit him?

We were lucky to find such a great guy and guitar player at the 2nd audition we made. He played in a local band called "Dark Light", and even if we're still sad of loosing Nicko but Franck made us cross a new step in the Nightmare' musical evolution.

- Now let's talk a bit about your new album "The Dominion Gate". Can you present it? What are the principal topics? Do you have any messages on this album?

Our album is, in my opinion, our most rich album in the musical, production and songwriting way. It's more powerful and melodic than "Silent Room" who was (according to the concept) more dark, in a way, it's a good mix between "Cosmovision" and "Silent Room" with the best of both sides of Nightmare.

- Is it a concept album like "Silent Room"? Because there is this "Paranormal Magnitude Part II" then maybe that it is even linked with the precent album?

No the song "Dominion Gate" is illustrated with the cover, but every song has its feeling.
"Paranormal Magnitude part II" is linked to "Paranormal I" in the musical way. The song is based on a harmonised clear arpeggio composed by Franck many years ago and one voice of the harmony was very similar to " Paranormal part I" and we decided to use the other voice and make "Paranormal part II".

- When I listen to your new album, I have the feeling that you took some risks. I mean that it sounds a bit more progressive this time and also you even have some grunts on a song (and if I'm not wrong this is the first time that we have such vocals on one of your albums). How did you come to create this "original" music for a band like Nightmare?

You're right, we always take risk, we can't do the same album two times and our music is always evolving, we're not locked in the 80's. We take the best of what we like in every styles of metal…except from Neo metal.
We all are very open mind, we just make the music and love with no commercial pressure. There were little parts of grunts in "Last Flight to Sirius" from "Cosmovision" album and in "The Death Toll" from "Silent Room" album and we wanted to do more because of the voice contrast with Jo's voice. We love death metal with bands like Death, Carcass and also black metal bands with Emperor or Dissection but we love also the true heavy metal like Iron maiden, RJ Dio, Judas Priest, Gamma Ray etc….And this mix of influences give this sound to Nightmare now…..

- Talking about grunts and then guest musicians, I know that you'll play one more time with After Forever in Paris for the "Vibe In Paris Festival" in November. Floor and Sander sing on the new album and it seems that you have a "special link" with this band since the Metallian Festival 1. Am I wrong?

You're right again, we're friends now and we'll be on European tour in January/February.
The Metallian festival I was a wonderful land amazing experience for the four bands and the last day, it was very hard to say goodbye.

- A question a bit "technical". Can you tell me how it was possible to work with the choir of the Opera of Aix En Provence? It's maybe a stupid question but is it hard for a metal band to work with an organism like a Opera? How was the reaction of these singers when they heard that it was vocals for a Heavy Metal band? Did they have any prejudices? Maybe that some of them were already fans of Heavy Metal actually?

In fact, only 3 womens and 2 guys from the choirs who recorded many tracks !!! They were already on "Cosmovision" and "Silent …", they are working with Terje, our producer, they are not really in metal but they like the freedom, they can have in their interpretations compared to classical background.

- When I listen to your music, at the opposite of a lot of bands who play mellow Heavy or Power Metal, I feel some "Thrashy" riffs (and let me tell you that a lot of people like that). Why did you do this choose to plays such aggressive and powerful Heavy Metal instead of follow the trend?

Yes!!! I learned guitar with old Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer songs. The thrashy riffs are our contribution (Franck and I) to the new Nightmare sound, for this records , we tuned down our guitars to sound eveer more thrashy

We don't care about trends and we like kick ass music !!

- If I'm not wrong, it's Johann Porcher, the singer of Kaizen, who was the director of your new video. First when will we be able to watch it? And 2nd, why Johan?

Yes, the clip video was supposed to be on the new album on a DVD part, but for some unexplained time and business reasons, we didn't manage to do it. So it will be on our website very soon. Johann had contacted our management 'cause he wanted to work with us. Johann is working in the video producing, but he's also the singer of the French band Kaizen…the result is really amazing…No!! Compared to "Silent Room" video that was realised by ourselves with no budget….

- You changed of label, and you're now with Regain Records. Can we know why? And what are the advantages to be on this Swedish label?

Napalm records is more now in the " Big tits gothic singing girls bands" than in heavy now, so we had to brake amicably our contract with them to find a more interested in power metal label.
Regain records love our album and have a better worldwide distribution…..

- The cover of "The Dominion Gate" is in my opinion one of the best of the year. JP Fournier is a famous French artist in the Metal scene, but how why did you choose him to draw your cover?

Thanx for him, he's a friend, he lives in same town than us, and is a fan of the band. We were not really happy with the cover of "Silent Room"..No budget in that time for a painted cover, but here I think, he made one of his best covers as good as what he made for Immortal.

- Will you do any tour after the release of the new album? (Only in France or also in the others European countries?) When will wee see the name of Nightmare in the Line Up of a big Festival? (Maybe that you would like to play @ Wacken, Grapsop or God Of Metals?)

Yes, we're on European tour with After Forever in January/February and we love plans big summer festivals, but nothing is done for now. And we have already played twice in Wacken in 2000 and 2002 ….and also in Rock Machina in Spain or New Jersey Metal Meltdown at the USA.

- You were in Raismes in September any words about this festival? Was it good for you? Actually, it seems that it's hard for the Metal festivals to survive in France (ex: Fury Fest). What is the problem?

It was our first show with Franck and the first time we played some new songs from "The Dominion Gate". It was excellent !!! So, good live report from the press and good response from the audience it was a very nice festival. The problem is simple; there are less and less peoples going to concerts in France. The festivals are paying big band to attract fans but if the metalheads aren't coming …They lose a lot of money.

- You're not newcomers, then what do you think of the young French bands? And also do you know why is it so hard for the Metal to attract a lot of people here?
Last week I did an interesting poll, about music on French radio and TV, for the French organism Mediametrie. If I had a lot of questions about Hip Hop and RnB (I have nothing about such music actually, but I don't listen to it) I didn't have any questions about rock and I even don't talk about Metal… What are the problems with our French radios and TV? In your opinion do you think that it could change? What are the solutions? We have a lot of good bands, but our medias don't help the scene, it's a bit sad…

There are many very good bands in France now like Manigance, No Return, Malediction…etc but metal is not supported by the medias, you will never ear metal on nationals radios or see it on TV so it's a kind of big underground music! France isn't and will not be a metal country…It's sad but true

- Before that I finish this interview, I know that Joe and Yves love Football… Then what are your reactions after the qualification of the team France for the World Cup 2006? Do you have a prognostic for this World Cup ?

- Yes Jo and Yves loves football just like our tour manager and guitar tech ….and their opinion are divided ….but me I hate sport fuck off!!! I play guitar and really heavy it's my only sport!!!

Oki, this is the end, thank a lot for your precious time, and in my case I will be at the "Vibe Fest" in Paris to support you) Ciao !!!

Many thx go to Alex and Nightmare and to Jeep!!!


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