The phenomenon known as Nightmare began in the year 2000. Influenced by X Japan and Luna Sea, guitarists Sakito and Hitsugi formed the band in early 2000 while they were high school students. They welcomed Yomi as the band’s vocalist, Ni~ya as the bassist, and Zennin as the drummer. When Zennin decided to take his leave in July, the disbanded Luinspear left Ruka to fill the position.
From the beginning, Nightmare’s music held audiences over the edge. The members immediately began showcasing their extreme appearances and intense songs in small shows within Sendai, Japan, the band’s birthplace. The lives gave each of the members a chance to display their unique personalities: the dedicated and stylish Sakito with crowd-pleasing solos, the reserved yet motivated Ni~ya with a stare no one could duplicate, the expressionless and focused Ruka, who could likely play drums in his sleep, the wildly-outfitted and almost frightening Hitsugi, adding growling vocals to many of the songs, and the energetic and enthusiastic Yomi, who often appeared barefoot and shirtless.
In August of 2001, Nightmare released their very first demo tape titled Zange. After the release of Hankouki, the first single, Nightmare made a bold effort to spread their music. They began performing outside of Sendai while committing themselves to writing and recording new tracks. Three singles quickly followed Hankouki, but they began to define themselves with Outlaw, their first and only mini-album. Outlaw presented fans with six diverse tracks that proved Nightmare wasn’t a predictable band. It was this release that included the song “Star [K]night,” a number the band has since used as a closing track for concerts and tours.
More touring and promotion soon offered them the opportunity to trade in their indie status for the major label. Nightmare’s hard work paid off when they were able to announce to a joyful audience at Akasaka BLITZ that Nippon Crown (now known as VAP) had adopted them. The single Believe portrayed this glorious moment as an evolution in their music. They subdued the loud rage of their early music and transformed it into controlled artwork. Every release that followed was both a learning experience for the band and a display of the inconsistent nature of their music. It was hard to anticipate what Nightmare would bring to the table next.
With the release of Ultimate Circus, the first full-length album, came a tour through which Nightmare gathered many new admirers. The album released on Christmas of 2003 with thirteen praiseworthy tracks, and a DVD of the tour finale was also released. Tokyo Shounen, which came shortly after, became a popular single among new fans. 2004 closed with another tour DVD and the release of their second album, Ribido. The members also created Sendai Kamotsu, their alter-ego band, at this time. Sendai Kamotsu allowed them to further experiment with their musical abilities without distracting them from Nightmare’s activities.
In 2005, Nightmare began a radio show called ‘jack in the box!’, giving fans some insight into the minds of the varying and intriguing members. The Tenka Daibousou tour DVD released in late 2005. They presented three singles that lead up to the release of the Anima album in early 2006, from which another tour DVD was produced. One “best of” album was released, as well as two companion albums that included some of their early songs. It was only the start of what 2006 had in store for the band.
Nightmare’s single the WORLD/Alumina stole the spotlight in the new anime Death Note toward the end of the year. Their tracks were used as the opening and ending themes for the first half of the animation’s airing. This gained Nightmare the attention of new fans, not only from Japan, but overseas as well. Just eight months later, after the release of their fourth studio album the WORLD Ruler, their single “Raison d’etre” was claimed as the theme for the Claymore anime. 2007 also brought two tour DVDs and two more singles.
Nightmare opened 2008 with a singles collection album and their first live album. The live album was recorded from their performance at Budokan, which they named Kyokutou Symphony ~Five Stars Night~. The tour DVD came out the following month. It was a new beginning of sorts for Nightmare. Their encore performance of “Star [K]night” at the event expanded the four-minute song to twelve minutes, plenty of time for the member’s emotions to sink in as they watched thousands of fans share the experience. Once they conquered that landmark, Nightmare began recording material for the Killer Show album, which released in May. They wrapped up the life-changing year with two singles, Lost in Blue and Naked Love, and the Grand Killer Show tour DVD.
In March of this year, Nightmare celebrated their ninth year as a band with two shows, one in Yokohama and one in Kobe, called “the 9th new departure.” The band has already set up a summer tour to promote their upcoming album Majestical Parade. The album will feature nine entirely new tracks, along with two singles, and will release on May 13th.
Next year will be the decade mark for Nightmare. But are they surprised they’ve lasted this long or did they enter the musical world with grand expectations? Whatever is running through their minds, this is a band that makes their work difficult to predict, but it is by no means difficult to see further success for their future. Nightmare is a band that has never stopped moving forward and experimenting with the loose boundaries of visual kei. Though their eccentric visual appearances have faded, Nightmare’s is ever-changing in the tireless desire to captivate audiences with the wonder that is music.
On May 17th (Sun), Nightmare will once again be collaborating with Nico Nico in streaming their concert via the internet inside a live house. They will be performing songs from their upcoming album, “majestical parade.”
People can start entering at 6:20PM and the show starts at 6:30PM (5:30AM EST/4:30AM CST)
Membership to the Nico Nico website is free. Unless you’re signing up for the Premium account, it will cost about 500 yen or so. However, the entire site is in Japanese, so you’ll have to know how to read a little bit in order to navigate around.
Link to the upcoming concert: http://live.nicovideo.jp/gate/lv803607
(They even have a little countdown clock!)
The door on the left are for regular members, the right are for premium members.
Biography submitted by: Krystle
Edited by: Ali