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Interview: NiGHTMARE BOY

5 min read

Scottish singer-songwriter Barrie James O’Neil is the former front-man of Scottish guitar foursome Kassidy and over several years fronting the band with his distinctive vocals, the musician decided to call it quits and move to the U.S to pursue a solo career from sunny L.A under the name of NiGHTMARE BOY. With a single currently doing the rounds in the form of Chivalry is Alive and Well and Living in Glasgow, NiGHTMARE BOY has been hard at work putting the finishing touches on his debut album, set to be released later this year and will feature the new single as well as a song that the musician wrote and recorded with ex-girlfriend, Lana Del Rey.

We caught up with NiGHTMARE BOY recently to chat about the new music, working with Lana Del Ray and what fans of his previous Kassidy work can expect from this new venture into solo territory. Here’s what he had to tell us…

Brendon Veevers: How are you Barrie and where in this big ole’ world do our questions find you today?

Nightmare Boy: They found me in Venice beach smoking, perched on my favorite wall I sit on.

BV: You have released a new single called Chivalry is Alive and Well and Living in Glasgow and the video for the track premiered recently. Can you tell us a little about the single and what’s the track is all about?

Nightmare Boy: I’m fond of that song. I like the chords. It’s for others to decide what it’s about, i don’t care what it means to me. I just enjoy playing it. I wrote it when I was pissed off at someone. And I’m grateful that they did.

BV: The single is going to be featured on your upcoming debut solo record. Any dates you can share with us in terms of when we might expect the LP to arrive?

Nightmare Boy: Next few months maybe? I’m starting another record. So that’s all that’s on my mind.

BV: What can fans expect from the new record in terms of style and general themes that are touched on within the collection?

Nightmare Boy: The best feeling they have ever felt. I don’t know. I wish i knew what people would feel before they felt it. I’ve always wanted that ability.

BV: What would you say brought the most inspiration to you during the writing and recording of the LP?

Nightmare Boy: The gloomy feeling of being scared shitless not knowing if you will ever be able to write a decent tune again. Being isolated a lot. I spent a lot of nights writing. I felt in exile. I like that feeling. If i was a lucky wee boy I’d be in the studio every day and wouldn’t have to talk to anyone.

BV: Do you have a clear direction on how you want your debut solo record to sound or are you taking a more spontaneous approach to writing and recording the songs?

Nightmare Boy: I just write music. I never have a direction. I’ve never had direction. But I like spontaneity.

BV: Would you say you’re a perfectionist when it comes to writing and recording in general or is it more a matter of going with the flow and seeing where it leads you?

Nightmare Boy: I’m an imperfectionist. That’s not a word i know. But you know what i mean. But i do go by the flow of things.

BV: We have followed your career for many years, from your time as frontman of Scottish band Kassidy and now your venture into solo territory. How has the transition been for you so far?

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Nightmare Boy: You’ve been following me? I like having more control of the music.

BV: What do you miss the most about being part of a band?

Nightmare Boy: Company.

BV: What would you say are the key differences between the style of your solo material and your previous work?

Nightmare Boy: More depressing sounding.

BV: Going solo also led you to moving from your hometown of Glasgow and setting up home in sunny L.A. How are you finding your new surroundings and what made you decide to move to the U.S?

Nightmare Boy: I love America. It’s a big nightmare of commercials, and beautiful women. I wish I could’ve brought some friends with me from Glasgae.

BV: Going back to the upcoming record, you have been working with Jim Abbiss and Rob Schnapf and they have previously worked with a long list of some of the industry’s biggest names including Bjork, Kasabian, Adele and Beck. Did either of them offer you any valuable industry advice that you can share with us?

Nightmare Boy: Nope.

BV: Aside from the A-lister filled resumes these guys have, why did you choose to bring Jim and Rob into the Nightmare Boy fold?

Nightmare Boy: Because i trust them both. Jim i knew, Rob only his previous works. I went to Rob because I dig Elliot Smith. That’s an understatement.

BV: You also worked with an ex-girlfriend on the record, the amazing Lana Del Rey and you have worked together a lot over the past few years. What was it like recording with Lana for your new album?

Nightmare Boy: The amazing Lana Del Rey was fun to work with.

BV: I want to ask you about your stage name as Nightmare Boy is quite a striking one. Why did you decide on Nightmare Boy for your solo work and what is the name referencing?

Nightmare Boy: That’s for me to know and you to find out.

BV: Will you be taking the new single and upcoming album on the road at all during 2015 and where are you hoping to play?

Nightmare Boy: Everywhere, and anywhere that will have me. I want to play Glasgow.

BV: Thanks Barrie

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