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Arriving in Austin, Texas this week for their stretch of SXSW tour dates, Los Angeles based band Nightmare Air bring no shortage of reverb-laden soundscapes and shimmery vocals to their live performance. Consisting of Dave Dupuis, Swaan Miller and Jimmy Lucido, Nightmare Air have already been on the radars of Filter Magazine, Deli Magazine and Toronto Star, to name just a few. ANON Magazine was eager to interview Dupuis and Miller about the music scene in Los Angeles, their favorite spots to hit up in Austin, and their love of childhood arcades.

 

ANON: Nightmare Air has played large festivals from the likes of SXSW in Austin, Texas to Plissken Festival in Athens, Greece. Do you have a preference between playing festivals as opposed to smaller and more intimate shows? 

Miller: I’m not sure I have a preference since they each have their own certain appeal. At large festivals there is an excitement in the air that is palpable and contagious. Everything moves quickly, like you’re riding a roller coaster, and the sheer number of bands and fans inspires the gig. At smaller and more intimate shows it’s nice to have the ability to really connect with the audience and share that moment in time.

 

ANON: Where are your favorite Austin spots to frequent in between playing showcases during SXSW? 

Dupuis: Austin changes so much each year and we’re usually running around nutty the whole of SXSW it’s hard to say. In general one my favorite aspects of SXSW is just being able to reconnect with folks in the industry that I haven’t seen in a while. It’s great to actually be in the same town for a whole week, as opposed to one quick night on a tour. I will say though I love meeting friends at El Camino Casino for the dope burgers and beers.

 

 

ANON: With my family living in Vermont and then venturing to the rainy Pacific Northwest in Vancouver, I noticed you also had a similar path growing up in the east coast (New Hampshire), then spending some time in Seattle, while currently residing in Los Angeles. Are there any particular cities or areas that you’re most drawn to? 

Dupuis: Seattle is great, LA has so much to offer, Toronto has a tame wild energy I love, New York is always inspiring, Amsterdam is like relaxing in the new old word… too many cool spots to live in. That said, LA is home now and a GREAT place to live especially for one that tours a lot like us. However, if there was a good reason to go to anther great city I probably wouldn’t argue. Keeping my feet moving has been a  wonderful curse.

Miller: I’m not sure I’m necessarily drawn to a particular city, rather I’m drawn to exploring multiple cities over time, staying in one spot long enough to develop a relationship, and then leaving once the urge to explore something new has come. Where I grew up in New Hampshire it is beautiful and nostalgic, as most homelands feel, however it just doesn’t have that city buzz that is so addictive and inspiring. Seattle is an incredible city, great size, great music scene, and the scenery is breathtaking. Everything seems bigger, like mother nature decided to exaggerate its features in that part of the world. Huge trees, huge mountains, so lush… And the nearby rainforest. What?! The northwest is truly amazing. But LA. Wow. LA is awesome. People love to talk trash about Los Angeles, but there is so much here to offer. Beautiful weather year round, the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, the desert, Mexico… all at our doorsteps.

 

ANON: What would you say the pros and cons are of the music scene in L.A.? What are your preferred venues to catch shows at?

Dupuis: The biggest pro of the LA music scene is the simple fact that a lot of the industry happens here. Yes, the industry in general is in a odd mess (when isn’t it) and recording studios and venues are struggling, but it’s still LA. It’s a great place to be a band with tons of cool little venues popping up all the time around LA. Some of the old haunt venues that I always enjoy hitting are The Bootleg, The Echo, The Fonda and Satellite. The cons of the LA scene is that there are just a lot of damn bands, sometimes making it hard for a new, cool, genuinely talented band to get any attention or assistance it might need. That said, although LA is vast landscape of talent, if you are good and keep at it you will stick out.

 

ANON: Where would you like to tour next? 

Dupuis and Miller: Japan!

 

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ANON: What shoegaze/noise bands would you deem your favorites? 

Dupuis: Such a funny and wonderful thing over the past five or six years this whole shoegaze becoming a recognized, widely respected and slightly more defined genre. Just five years ago when I was playing and touring with Film School, interviewers would bring up the term shoegaze and I would kind of scoff it off. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, at least in my circle of music nerds, it was a bit of a negative term for bands that were boring to watch that just made too much shitty noise and hid behind a handful of guitar pedals they didn’t know how to use. All that said, my favorite bands that I keep coming back to 10,15, and 20 years later are definitely some of the staples: Swervedriver, Sonic Youth, Slowdive, A Place to Bury Strangers… and the list goes on.

Miller: A Place to Bury Strangers!

 

ANON: I read an interview with you and Step On Magazine stating that one of your favorite jobs in high school was wearing the mouse mascot costume at Chuck E Cheese. Is that also a place you frequented as a kid? What were your favorite childhood indulgences? 

Dupuis: Did I say that was my favorite job in high school? I must have been high on too much coffee that morning! I do suppose it was fun enough to walk around an arcade dressed as a six foot tall mouse in a tuxedo and constantly (and accidentally) knocking to the ground three year old kids because my eye holes were too small to see though… but the answer is no, it wasn’t a place I frequented as a kid. I lived near two amazing arcades as a kid, Dream Machine and Funspot and riding my bike around town and heading to arcade joints was probably the best Saturday there was. Dream Machine is long gone, but Funspot still remains, and I think actually still holds, vintage arcade competitions each year. If anyone has seen the documentary King of Kong, the actual Donkey Kong game that holds the world record resides in New Hampshire at my old haunt Funspot.

 

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Nightmare Air will be taking over our Instagram account on Friday, March 18th, so be sure to follow us at @anonmag for their SXSW adventures! If you’re in Austin, Texas this week for SXSW, be sure to catch Nightmare Air’s sets at the following spots today:

3/17 – Tiniest Bar in Texas, 817 W. 5th, 3:40pm
3/17 – Carousel Lounge, 1110 E 52nd, 6:20pm

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Trish Connelly is the Austin-based guru who does booking and promoting at Cheer Up Charlies under The Nothing Song. She’s always down to collaborate and plan a show or event in town. She’s an expert with mixtapes (for all musicians out there you’ll want to send her your stuff!), and making connections with the cool kids. She may have a tad obsession with comics and Corgies, but she keeps it under control. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.