THZ Exclusive: Interview with Sam Stewart of Nightmare and the Cat

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Early Thursday evening I had the opportunity to sit down – not literally sit down so much as we chatted on the phone with a mysterious apparition looming in the background – with Sam Stewart, guitarist, lead singer and founder of the band Nightmare and the Cat.

Sam’s carefree and posh British accent filled the speaker of my broken iPhone and he immediately opened me as if we were long-lost buddies reconnecting after many years. Granted, he probably doesn’t even remember my name – but we all dream. Skipping over the generic questions I used as an ice-breaker, I’ll get right into the gold of our conversation as it was quickly unearthed by Sam’s unabashed openness.

Me: Why is your EP called “Simple”?

Sam: All of the songs on the EP are from our album, Simple. But it’s not simple at all. It’s a rich complex record with lots of different influences and styles.

Me: So, in a way, the title is a misnomer.

Sam: Exactly.

Me: When’s the album coming out?

Sam: This Summer!

By the way, it’s completely appropriate to read Sam’s dialogue in a British accent if you aren’t already. I know I am.

Me: Speaking of influences, what kind of music do you like?

Sam: I like a lot of different kinds of music… I like old R&B, but at my roots I like to listen to a lot of Rock music…

Me: Do you like Jazz or Blues?

Sam: I like a little Blues. But, I’ve never quite understood Jazz… It’s not something I would put on for my own personal entertainment.

Me: Well, the reason why I’m asking that is because your song Goodbye So Many Times sounds a little bluesy to me –

Sam: Well that song is a perfect example of [the diversity in the album]… I was inspired by a lot of late 50s [and] 60s doo-wop.

Me: What about Alvarado? That’s another one of my favorite songs from the EP. What’s that one all about?

Sam: Well, [that one was] written when my brother Django was living at the corner of Sunset and Alvarado [in LA]; I lived down the street… Django came up with the melody; he left me a voicemail singing the melody [into the phone]. The song paints a picture of that part of LA and our lives at that time. Sort of a stream of consciousness [narrative] about the surrounding area.

If you don’t already know, Nightmare and the Cat’s album, Simple, is set to drop this Summer. That’s right – bold and italics. That’s a subliminal message that means keep your eyes peeled and your wallets open.

I asked Sam about the track listing, and he delivered. However, I’d rather build some anticipation with a tiny spoiler. One of the tracks is called Desert Heir – “That’s “Heir” as in H-E-I-R, like the heir of the desert,” Sam explained. Thank God he quickly broke that down for me, as I was about to spit out a monotonous “the desert air is dry”. Why? I’m not sure. Moving on.

Sam: [The song] is old; we wrote it about 3 years ago. It’s about living somewhere that’s not your home and having to get used to it.

Me: Speaking of home, do you ever plan on moving back to the UK?

Side note: Sam is from North London.

Sam: I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it… But, as of now, I have no plans to move to back to the UK. Right now, LA is home.

Sam: In my life, I’d like to live in a bunch of places.

Me: What places do you want to live in?

Sam: New Zealand.

Me: With the Kiwis!

Sam: (laughing) Right!

Overall, I found Sam to be very laid-back, honest and enchantingly quick-witted. Not only is he a talented musician, he is a travel junkie and a true artist in every definition of the word. After spending his adolescence and teenager years playing in a Rock band across the pond, he, along with brother Django Stewart and bandmates, have made a home, for themselves and their music, in the US of A.

Watch out for new music to be released very soon. And make sure to check out their website for their information/dates regarding their upcoming summer tour!

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