I got a text message from Wes [Eisold] last week and he put it perfectly. It read, "Nice to see after eight years we still excite/infuriate people.” I think in a nutshell that's what American Nightmare always have done.
I was asked to write a little piece of my five favorite American Nightmare songs. I have been stressing myself out over it because I can't just pick five. It's hard to put down what they mean to me and to so many other people by just narrowing it down to five songs. It wouldn't be fair to what the band was and still is. I can't think of any other band that lyrics were as personal and fitting. I still feel the same connection and the same excitement about the band now in 2011 as I did when I heard them for the first time in 2000 /2001 or whenever it was (you were 10).
In thinking about this little project I decided to focus mainly on the lyrics. The lyrics are one thing that so many people held onto. More than just words recited over loud/fast music.
]I think lyrically is what puts American Nightmare head and shoulders above the rest of the bands that were out around the time. Go back and read those lyrics without music and they're pretty powerful, poetic and fitting.
The music was the perfect frame for the musical picture that the lyrics painted.
1. "Farewell" (from Background Music) - I can't even break this one down... It's real.
Whatever this becomes /Whatever words I say /We are the fortunate ones...
And when the days are done /I won't forget /All I see in you and me
Is a light in the dark of humanity/ And when the days are done
I won't forget /Timid steps - come walk with me
And with your useless words /Come talk to me
There are broken hearts / Now on your stereo
But the broken beats are just too slow /You'll cry - it doesn't change a thing
Kill the lights - and let the rain fall / Recall - the memories
Of yesterdays and better ways /And know - the innocence is gone...
Move on - from this day on /We'll never be the same...
The saddest songs / Make sense to me... /So with your sunken eyes
Come talk to me /Two hour drives /Are two hours alone
But two hour drives/ Are better than home
You'll die - it doesn't change a thing/ You will - kill the lights
And let the rain fall - recall/ The memories of yesterdays
And better ways /And know - the innocence is gone...
Move on - from this day on/ We'll never be the same...
Faster words - and faster kids
Faster songs - and faster ends
The one thing that's stayed the same...
I've lived through days/ I've lived through nights
I've had my loves/ I've had my fights
You gotta know - you have my heart
2. "Hearts" (from Background Music) - It's not fair to ready into something and think you know exactly what written was thinking the moment they wrote it. I look at the lyrics for "Hearts" and I understand...
"Oh my god - It happened again
What's wrong with me?
Screaming gets you nothing
One more night in this town
And I swear that I'm dead...
I drew a heart
Around the name of your city..."
3. "There is a Black Hole in the Shadow of the Pre" (from Year One) - The song title alone was enough to conjure up images of years gone by hanging out in Copley or Newbury. Ever time I see the glass sprawl that is the building I think of this song.
"Everyone I ever loved/ Went down in history...
The blue eyes came/ The brown eyes left...
And the rest is misery /Dreams are trash
On the side of the road / All starry eyed - tongue all tied
There's something you should know /I could have died with you
And Boston is the reason/ I'm feeling so blue - damn you"
4. "AM/PM" (from Background Music) – Beautiful words and an frantic dance part. Perfect.
“The kind of song that makes You want to hang Your headached - head
And I was hoping that I would never fall in love again 'Cause that would be the end
Of everything (you're everything)”
5. "Love American" (from We're Down Til We're Underground) – Okay this is a favorite because I sang on the record…..such a great time in our lives.