interview with Lightmares

Have any of you played in other bands? A few, nothing too serious. A short lived side project called the Sea Lions, which consisted of our rhythm section and a friend of ours. The three of us also backed two talented MC's for a while - The Troubleman and EZG - with mixed results. Oh, and an alter-ego band called The Cookies, where we basically just rip on music that we find silly. However, that project is currently on an indefinite hiatus while they work through substance abuse issues and some troubling DNA test results.
How is it that you started playing music? It seemed like a fun thing to do. Jamie and Nicholas are brothers, so when Jamie bought a guitar (with money he saved from a job wherein he dressed like a chicken) he pressured Nicholas into picking up the bass (which he later bought with $50 he collected one night fetching drinks at a party their parents had). They later met Zack in elememtary school, who fit the bill because he had a drum set and wore a hat with a Nirvana patch on it. They picked a suitable basement in which to jam, and have rarely looked back.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Jamie Millard, 25, lead vocals and guitar
Nicholas Millard, 23, bass, vocals
Zack Tymchuk, 25, drums, vocals
Have you had other previous members? We have not. We've toyed with the idea of adding members, but it never really made sense.
Did you make music even when you were young? We've been playing with this band since we were in elementary school. None of us grew up in especially musical families, but I think we've all had a great appreciation for music for most of our lives.
Where are you from? The band formed (and still resides in) Sudbury, Ontario - though none of us were born here. 
What year did the band form? I want to say 2005.
What's your style of genre? To put it as simply as possible, we usually just say rock & roll. But garage, alternative, indie or punk probably all suit us just fine. To be honest though, like most bands, we try to avoid the question.
What inspires you? Good songwriting, exciting live shows, unique perspective and approach.
How often and where do you rehearse? Generally a few times a week at Jamie and Nicholas's parents garage, which used to be a fairly reputable, independent all ages venue. But the neighbours grew tired of that. So now we jam and record there.
How have you developed since you started with the music? Maybe not as much as we should have. We're still the same three dudes, holding on to our instruments for dear life.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I'm going to say no. 
What made you decide to make this music? We make the kind of music we like to hear - or at least we try to. Sometimes its pretty, sometimes its ugly or gross. Sometimes it toes a very fine line. Nobody ever feels the same way all of the time, we like our music to reflect that. And most of it is just very fun to play. We get to jump around and crawl around on the floor.
What are your songs about? When we were younger, we wrote about pirates. Now we're a bit older and we write about privates.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Jamie writes the lyrics, and usually comes to the band with the embryo of a song. From there, the band composes together.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? They sort of come at the same time. Jamie will fool around until he finds a riff and a melody that work together, then ad-lib words until they start to make sense. Its that easy, kids.
Do you compose in a certain environment? Usually our garage, purely out of circumstance. Maybe there is a certain magic in there though, I'm not sure.
Have you done any covers live? Yeah, we usually like to have a couple floating around in our repertoire, but we learn and forget them rather quickly. In the past we've done Add It Up by The Violent Femmes, Wasted by Black Flag, Basket Case by Green Day, TV Eye by The Stooges.. not to mention annual halloween shows where we'll dedicate an entire set to a specific band. Last year we were involved in bands that did The Doors and The Replacements.
What language do you sing in? English. 
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Least is probably like none. No, maybe more like 3. Most is harder to come up with. Usually we're so excited that people came that we forget to take stock. Though, its not like we've ever sold out a ballroom or anything.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? I'd say anywhere between 15-30. Though, when our parents come out, that changes the median age.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? It varies. There are certain songs we really enjoy playing, and they'll usually stick around until we've played them to death.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? Locally, our favourite spot as of late has been The Asylum. A fairly new bar that does AA/licensed events. Cool stage, good sound, and they have a drink named after us.
What was your first gig like? Technically, it was a talent show in our schools gymnasium. We played an instrumental version of Metallica's For Whom The Bell Tolls, followed by a rendition of the King of the Hill theme song. The crowd ate it up, because we played louder than we were supposed to, and they were little kids (as were we). Come to think of it, that might have been the most people we've ever played to.
What was your latest gig? We played the Asylum with a great local band called Dirty Princes, as well as Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs from Toronto, who absolutely slay. 
Have you had to cancel a gig? Yes, mostly for boring reasons. But we have had to cancel a show in Oshawa, ON one time because of vehicle trouble, and when we called to tell the promoter he said "Lightmares... why does that sound familiar?". I guess it was an open mic, and we had no obligation to be there anyway.
Where have you played live this year? A few spots around Ontario, but its been a slow gigging year for us so far, as we've been working on a record.
Where do you plan to gig the coming year? We are planning a tour of western Canada for the fall, and will likely head back through Ontario, and out east after that.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? I don't remember when exactly, but we currently have LPs and shirts for sale. We have in the past had CDs, tapes and buttons as well. I like when bands sell weird stuff like underwear or beer cozies. We know a band called Pervert that had a run of toiletries. Maybe we'll get into that. 
Where can people buy your merchandise? Currently, at our shows. We do not have an online store set up, but get in touch and we will gladly work something out.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? For a band like us, it doesn't make much sense to complain about it. Realistically, the only ways people are going to hear our music are at our shows, and online. Music isn't paying our bills. We are happy to know that somebody is pulling up our bandcamp page and putting our music on at a party. If you are good at what you do, word will get around.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Music videos have become less interesting.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? I have no idea. Why, do you have some sweet industry hook ups?
Do you have any role models or idols? We had an opportunity to see Neil Young play live not long ago, and that guy is ripping it up as hard as ever. To see somebody at that age, with that much history, and no real monetary incentive to even try anymore, still play such a transcendent show, was very inspiring.
Why do you think that they exist? Because playing music - or creating any art - is incredibly therapeutic and fulfilling. There are people who will do anything they can to get on the radio or TV, or become a Youtube sensation simply because they want to be noticed, and others who will write and perform so long as they live, even if it means having to work a revolving door of terrible jobs just to have a bit of money or time to do so. When the latter is actually recognized, and can make a career out of doing what they love, and were born to do, they prove to others that it is possible, and worth everything it takes to get there.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Sometimes its easier for us to be inspired by older bands. Maybe because, by virtue of a booming industry, they all seemed larger than life. Like gods amongst mortals. Whereas today, for better or worse, most of the cool music seems to be made by people who could be (and often are) recording it onto a laptop across the street, burning off a few copies, then playing it on cheap instruments at your local coffee house for donations. Its still cool, but the whole "what planet are these people from!?" element is sometimes lost.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Playing in a band has been the biggest obstacle in trying to live a respectable, upward moving life - and the idea of a respectable, upward moving life has been the biggest obstacle to playing in a band.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Not to take a lick of advice from us.
How do you get psyched for a gig? We get to go on stage, play our instruments very loudly, jump around, thrash our bodies, roll on the floor and make people dance. We don't need any sort of pre-show ritual, that is enough to get us psyched. Though, maybe a stretch routine would help the days of bodily aches that follow.
Do you have any new material? Yes, we've just started playing a lot of it live. We've got a new album recorded. If anybody wants to put it out, we can be very easily persuaded.
What are your web sites? The most important one is All of our current releases are streaming there.
How can people reach you? Our facebook page is your safest bet. Just search Lightmares. We're not the only one but we are the most popular (HA HA!)
What are your plans for the future? World domination, or at least a semi-comfortable living.
Do you have something to add? Yes, check out Shawn Kosmo & the Dirty Princes, Like a Girl, Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs, Slam Dunk and The Kerouacs. Support the artists in your life. Make good choices. If you find yourself too drunk, eat lots of bread and drink water until you feel like you're going to burst.
Much love, thanks for the interview.

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