Sean-Paul Pillsworth of NIGHTMARES FOR A WEEK discusses Pedigree, camaraderie and Cincinnati
Posted by Christine Palmer
Nightmares For A Week is from Kingston, NY. Having honed their songwriting in bands such as Jerk Magnet and Anadivine, Sean-Paul Pillsworth and Bill Manley recruited Steven Markota, formerly of Astronauts to complete their lineup. Since 2008, NFAW have released an EP, A Flood Tomorrow on Broken English Records and a 7″ and a full length, Don’t Die on Academy Fight Song Records. I got a chance to talk to Sean-Paul about Pedigree, camaraderie and oddly, Cincinnati.
Brian: Bill and Sean-Paul had previously been band mates when you guys formed NFAW, which was a significant departure musically. Did you find it easier to write together despite the difference in the style of music?
Sean-Paul: Writing in NFAW has been easier, towards the end of Anadivine everything felt forced. There was no real musical goal or even an influence that was holding AD together, and ultimately it’s what tore it apart. NFAW has always been on the same page when it comes to writing. Bill and I have been writing songs for over a decade so we know each other well, having Steve in the band is a great way to regulate ourselves and throw some new ideas into the experience.
Brian: The Kingston/Woodstock area tends to be a haven for many different styles of high caliber musician. How has growing up in that musical climate affected your growth as a musician?
Sean-Paul: I would say it has affected us, maybe not always in a positive way. I remember seeing local Kingston/Woodstock shows when I was younger and thinking “Man I’ll never be able like that, nor do I want to”. I do remember going to the Sleeping Turtle in New Paltz and seeing Lounge and Cooter and thinking “I can do this”. One thing that the Kingston/Woodstock scene made me realize was that you shouldn’t come out of the basement until you’re ready to play. I’m not saying you have to be amazing, but I remember playing shows for a while and bands wouldn’t have bass players, singers just because they didn’t find anyone yet. That was alien to me, I was always under the impression that when you started a band/project that you should be “ready to play”, I’ve seen some rooms clear out pretty quick.
Brian: When I listen to you play, I feel like I hear some None More Black influence and of course Jawbreaker. Who do you guys consider your biggest influences as a band?
Sean-Paul: Our biggest influence as a band would probably be the Replacements. I can’t say that’s everyone’s individual main influence, but their music and their attitude/outlook on being a band is inspiring. They really didn’t give a shit and they were having a blast.
Brian: From your inception as a group, to your songs themselves, through your growth, it seems such a large part of who you are as a band is based on camaraderie, friendship and a genuineness that comes out in the music. How do you find playing shows and recording different with such a genuine and positive vibe as contrasted with other projects you’ve been involved in?
Sean-Paul: When we started NFAW we had one thing in mind, have fun. We really never expected much to happen, maybe play some local shows drink beer and that was it. A large part of our sound is because we still hold on to that same mentality. So the genuine/friendship/positive vibe we give off is a direct result of that. I’ve played in a lot of projects and it seems the overall reason they’ve all fell apart is because those core thoughts were gone. It’s interesting to see what happens to people when they get bored in a project or even the opposite, they experience some sort of success. These situations usually are followed by reinvention. Which in a lot of the bands I’ve been in was a terrible idea, why mess with what got you to where you are?
Brian: You’ve played a lot of shows and ranged out extensively, including appearances at the last two Fests. What cities are your favorites to play in and what bands are your favorite bands to play with?
Sean-Paul: Our favorite cities are anywhere but Cincinnati. Our favorite bands to play with are Aficionado, Caleb Lionheart, Gameday Regulars, Measured in Grey, Drag the River, the Parting Gift, Dead Unicorn…there’s a million more.
Brian: With 2012 setting in, a New Year beginning, thoughts tend to turn toward the future. What’s next for Nightmares For A Week?
Sean-Paul: 2012 will bring at least two new releases, touring and a lot of partying.
Brian: And last, unfortunately it took a great loss to make it happen, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Jerk Magnet reunion show. What are the odds of seeing another Jerk Magnet show at some point in the future?
Sean-Paul: I would never rule out Jerk Magnet playing again. We all still talk (for the most part) and I think we all still enjoy the music we made. It did take a real tragedy to have us play a show again and I hope if there is a next time it’s just because a group of people want us to play a basement and drink beer.
Brian: Thanks for taking the time to do this!
Nightmares for a Week is embarking on a short Northeast tour
January 26, 2012 New Paltz, NY Bacchus with Nightmares For a Week and Year on a Mountain
January 27, 2012 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus with Grey Area, Luther and Nightmares For a Week
January 28, 2012 Philadelphia, PA The Fire with Grey Area, Luther, Nightmares For a Week and One Win Choice
January 29, 2012 Albany, NY Valentines with Nightmares For a Week, The City Never Sleeps and Orphan Legs
For more information on Nightmares For A Week-