Interview with Yves Campion (Nightmare)

MER: Hello Yves, how are you doing? I am honored to have this interview with such a veteran Metal musician as yourself and moreover, a founder of the long lasting Metal band, Nightmare. I would like to congratulate you for releasing a new album and for continuing to be at your best after so many years.

Yves: Thanks a lot for those cool words!

MER: Insurrection is the name of your new outing; I must say it’s pretty impressive and powerful as are all your albums since Cosmovision. However it crossed a certain line. It seems that each passing year, although still playing Heavy/Power Metal, you get a bit extreme on your approach. What is the reason?

Yves: I think that the main reason is that the guitar players, especially Franck, are rather more inspired by power riffs. Franck has been influenced by bands such as Arch Enemy, At the Gates, Nevermore and generally more extreme bands. We also wished to focus on more powerful guitars but still keeping strong emphasis on melodies… overall, more thrashy yet, more melodic at the same time !

MER: The new album placed you with tons of bands these days that went out to be produced by modern elements. Insurrection, on its own and like its previous albums, are very different from your earlier mid 80s classics. What made the change and why didn’t you want to proceed on being a Heavy Metal 80s inspired band?

Yves: It was very important to have a modern sound for us and I think that if we were doing, these days, the music that we played in the eighties, maybe we wouldn’t have been here today. We still have some inspired songs of the eighties but it was most important to us to improve and expand in a more modern way. Of course, you cannot sound like the eighties when you have two guitar players who didn’t know this era as they were too young at that time!

MER: Something that I got to know, and I think it will interest the readers, why did Nightmare break up in the late 80s in the first place, and what made you comeback in the 90s?

Yves: In the end of the eighties, we completely changed the line-up. Nicolas and I were the only survivors of the old line up. The new members were much more into AOR and Nicolas was playing more keyboards than guitar but he is a guitar player first. The musical style was really not Nightmare anymore at that time and we felt we lost the identity of the band and that’s why we decided, Nicolas and I, to quit and to stop the band! The other members: Tom Jackson (vocals), Patrick Gorlier (guitar) and Willy Bigolin (drums) could not continue the band, as they were not owners of the band’s name.
That was in 1987. Our comeback in 1999 was the idea of our manager, at that time, Christophe Bailet. After a party where we were quite drunk, we decided to make a unique concert that later became a real rebirth!

MER: Let’s get back to Insurrection, What is behind the name, is there a story involved behind it?

Yves: There is no concept or story behind it. The title came when we had seen the cover. We felt that this title was fitting perfectly with the artwork. However, the songs and themes inside the album are all not linked and different from one to another.

MER: I think that the music on the album, as I mentioned earlier, is stronger than anything you have done before. However, here and there, there are sparks that reminded me a bit of your 80s era. What did you guys find in modern Metal that is so compelling and how do you think that it helped you develop yourselves as a unit? (Beside the production methods)

Yves: The various influences and inspirations of all band members and the way of composing, from which all members are involved in the music even if Franck has made the main riffs , made us as a unit … and we all came up with the final idea that suited all of us. Many times, we changed the first songwriting until we came up with something very strong. The eighties influences were something natural that came probably more from me and Jo the singer!

MER: Insurrection was released through AFM Records, your new label. In the past few years you released your albums through Regain Records, what made you switch labels?

Yves: AFM Records was interested in Nightmare already when we were still on Regain Records. However, we were under contract and could not change labels. We are very proud about what we have accomplished with Regain and we thanked them for all what they have done for us. Nevertheless, we felt that AFM was the right label for us, and an open gate to Germany, which is a country that is more focused on our musical style. When we looked at the roster of both labels, we felt that we were more at home with AFM. In comparison to Regain, we felt we were kind of strangers as all bands on the label were more extreme …

MER: Let’s go back in time to 1979, the year you found Nightmare, how was it like back then in the good old days, how did you guys first start?

Yves: We started as all bands. We were friends, met at school and we were dreaming of being rock stars lol!!!! At that time we were more into punk and bands like the Sex Pistols, The Damned, UK Subs etc… but shortly after we started, we had fallen in love with Iron Maiden and other Heavy Metal bands, from there the real identity of Nightmare began!

MER: As a major, and probably the oldest chip on your local scene, what do you think of it, has it progressed over the years? Are you satisfied with what you are hearing?

Yves: The local scene is one thing and the French scene is another. The bands of the eighties were much more popular from what I see nowadays and the approach is very different! Nowadays it’s very easy to record an album without being signed to a label! You just need a PC and Cubase software and you can record an album. This phenomenon is destroying the quality because many bands, which just started, think they are gods when they are plain ridiculous! The quality of bands was, according to me, much better in the old times! However, some of the bands of today are very good but they are a very few and to point them out is very hard in the middle of this mess hall of shitty bands!

MER: Yves, I would like to thank you for having this interview and on behalf of Metal Express Radio, it has been a great honor interviewing you. Many praises for the Insurrection album and keep hammering our ears!

Yves: Thanx a lot !!!!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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