Sam and Django have both played in other musical projects that have been featured here on BandWeblogs.com over the years, so it’s good to see that they’re working together in Nightmare and the Cat. They have a cool sound, I’ve always liked both of their voices so was curious to know how they decided who would sing lead in the band. Sam, however, is also a great guitar player so either way, it’s a win.
Read the exclusive BandWeblogs.com interview with Sam Stewart from Nightmare and the Cat:
Jenny May: How did Nightmare and the Cat form and how did the members meet and end up in the band?
Sam Stewart: It started over a phone call from me to Django while he was in London. I asked if he wanted to come to LA for 10 days and write some songs with me. We were so pleased with the results that Django stayed in LA and we formed Nightmare. We asked Claire to join even though she had never been involved with a band before because she has the purest, most angelic voice we’ve ever heard. Spike and Scotty are a tight rhythm section and great guys, they were both in Django’s old band; Django James & The Midnight Squires.
Jenny May: You both have done lead vocals in other musical projects in the past. Is Django the lead singer mostly for Nightmare and the Cat? How did you decide who sings lead?
Sam Stewart: Django is a natural born front man. Even when he was a little 6 year old kid, he had a really soulful voice and was a great dancer! Although I sing also, I am more comfortable behind a guitar geeking / rocking out.
Who writes the songs – do you collaborate together? What was your songwriting process (who writes lyrics and instrumentation) for your ‘Simple’ EP?
It’s pretty much 50/50 with Django and myself on almost every song. We share equally in writing lyrics, music and melodies. Sometimes it will be more of one of us but not usually.
When did you start working with artist Gary Baseman and how did that come about? How do you work together usually, does he present ideas or do you?
Claire was very instrumental with us meeting Gary. She introduced us to his work and then we randomly met him at a party. He was dressed up as a ‘Chou Chou’ and started slow dancing with Claire! We hit it off and he started coming to our rehearsals or recording sessions, always sketching away in his sketchbook. We feed off of each other’s creative energy and the results are often pretty beautiful.
Where did you film the “Be Your Own God” video off of your new EP? How long did it take?
We filmed it in our practice space in Burbank, CA. It didn’t take long to shoot at all… Maybe 2 and a half hours… Ed Shiers edited it in about a week.
Nightmare and the Cat – “Be Your Own God” video:
How did the tour with Bastille and Little Daylight go, musically for the band? And you just played with Sky Ferreira, how was the show?
The Bastille tour was amazing! We had such a great time and we really benefitted as a band from playing in front of such lovely, receptive audiences. We sort of stood out musically on the bill as we were the only non synth-based band but I think it worked in our favour ultimately. The Sky Ferreira show was really fun too. We love the El Rey and it was really exciting to be on that stage again.
Any particular “story” from the road that you want to share?
Let’s see… After our show in Chicago we went to a little hotdog stand called ‘Wiener Circle’. The staff there insulted and cursed at us and the other patrons which was funny but the real outrageousness is featured on their menu… The $20 chocolate shake. They convinced Spike (our drummer) to order one and well… You should probably just look up ‘Wiener Circle chocolate shake’.
Where in the world are you right now and where are you going from there?
We are in Los Angeles writing and rehearsing some new material. We have a few more LA shows lined up but we won’t be out on the road again until the beginning of next year.
Do you spend most of your time in California? How often do you go back to England? What are some things that you miss about the UK when not there?
We pretty much stay in LA unless we need to travel for band related reasons. Maybe the odd weekend trip here and there. We try to go back to England for Xmas each year but it is difficult as the distance is so great and flights are very expensive. I think mainly miss English bacon… Oh yeah and my friends… them too.
Nightmare and the Cat – “Simple”:
What plans do you have for Nightmare and the Cat in the foreseeable future?
Well, as I said before we are mainly writing, rehearsing and playing LA shows through the end of 2013. Next year, however, our debut album will be coming out in the spring and we will be touring heavily in the US and overseas.
Are either of you playing with other musical projects outside of Nightmare and the Cat?
Claire and I have a little project we call Claam. We recorded an EP a while ago and played a couple of shows but it is mainly just for fun. Both Claire and myself occasionally perform with our friend Carina Round.
What do you like to do, to have fun outside of playing music?
Um… I like to… play music…We also enjoy playing board games, particularly ‘Settlers of Catan’.
For the latest music and more, please go to:
Nightmare and the Cat Official Website