Article by Jon Bauer
In a castle in the San Fernando Valley lies the lair of music icon Gary Numan. Outside is an enormous statue of a dragon, inside a St. Bernard (almost as large) greets you on arrival. He’s a new addition to the family – a rescue pup, and huge. The lord of this manor could be as outwardly intimidating as this entire set-up, but he’s a humble presence. Notorious for hits such as ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ and ‘Cars’, Numan’s early career was too often misconstrued, tainted by a sometimes fraught relationship with the media and challenged by the hostility of the music industry at the time, still deeply committed as it was to the guitar, bass, drums approach of old. Numan, however, stuck to his guns, outlasted his naysayers, and became renowned not just as a pioneer but as an institution. Today, with a career that has spanned nearly four decades, his approach to electronic music remains an inspiration to artists across genres and eras, from stadium goliaths such as Depeche Mode, Prince and Nine Inch Nails to alternative heroes such as Beck, Damon Albarn and Marilyn Manson. Even Kanye West owes him a debt and David Bowie once credited him with ‘ writing two of the finest songs’ in British music. It’s no surprise he recently received the Ivor Novello Award for Inspiration.
Named after a skateboard movie from an 80’s skate film, Los Angeles band Nightmare Air emphasizes sonic momentum, during both live performances and in the studio.
Nightmare Air’s Dave Dupuis, a veteran of L.A. shoegazers Film School (Beggars Banquet Records), and Swaan Miller, whose stark acoustic album on Important Records melted hearts and faces everywhere, meticulously layer boy-girl harmonies, pulsing pop synths, psych noise loops and glam soaked walls of guitars. Add to that Detroit heavy hitter Jimmy Lucido on the drums (The Strays / TVT records) in their combined years of touring, these road veterans have supported heavyweights from Smashing Pumpkins to the The Jesus and Mary Chain. Headlining clubs and playing festivals around the world Nightmare Air have shared stages with The Kills, The Dandy Warhols, Teenage Fanclub, Cat Power, The Black Lips, The Soft Moon, No Age, The Wedding Present, The Buzzcocks, Ringo Deathstarr, Fishbone, The Cult and many more.