American Nightmare (US band)

  (Redirected from Give Up the Ghost (band))

American Nightmare (briefly known as Give Up the Ghost) is a hardcore punk band from Boston, Massachusetts.[1] They have released three albums, one EP and a compilation of earlier released material under the name American Nightmare.[2]

American Nightmare
Background information
Also known asAN
American Nothing
Give Up the Ghost
OriginBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
GenresHardcore punk, melodic hardcore, emo
Years active1998 (1998)–2004 (2004), 2011–present
LabelsRise, Bridge 9, Equal Vision, Burning Heart, Deathwish
Associated actsTen Yard Fight, Cold Cave, Panic, Some Girls, The Hope Conspiracy, XO Skeletons, Head Automatica, My Chemical Romance, Bars, Ye Olde Maids, Count Me Out, Old Poets, Cross Builder, Get Down, Cloak/Dagger
MembersWesley Eisold
Joshua Holden
Brian Masek
Alex Garcia-Rivera
Past membersJarrod Alexander
Jesse Gustafson
Frank Iero
Nate Helm
Azy Relph
Jesse Van Diest
Zachary Wilson
Matt Woods
Tim Cossar
Colin Kimble


Formation (1998–2004)Edit

American Nightmare was formed when Tim Cossar and Wesley Eisold (who was then a roadie for Ten Yard Fight) met up with Azy Relph and Jesse Van Diest in 1998. They recorded a demo tape in 1999, followed by their debut release, a self-titled EP on Bridge 9 Records in 2000.[3] After extensive touring and line-up changes, the band recorded their second EP, The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter.[4] This was later combined with their self-titled effort to form Year One, which was released by Reflections Records in 2001 and reissued posthumously by Bridge 9.[5]

Their debut full-length, Background Music, was recorded for Equal Vision Records in 2001 and was released to much acclaim.[6] In 2003, the band faced a legal battle with a similarly named band from Philadelphia. The band then changed their name briefly to the initials "A.N." then to American Nothing for a brief period. After the other American Nightmare threatened to file suit again, they changed their name to Give Up the Ghost (which was intended to be the name of their second album).[7] Their second full length, We're Down Til We're Underground released on Equal Vision, displayed the band experimenting with their sound, with longer songs that didn't follow the typical hardcore songwriting formula they had adhered to in their previous releases.

Breakup and aftermath (2004–2010)Edit

The band broke up suddenly in June 2004, a day after announcing the cancellation of a European tour.[8] The band issued a statement which cited "health and personal reasons" for the split.[9] Members went on to join/form other bands such as Cold Cave, Some Girls,[10] XO Skeletons, Ye Olde Maids, Head Automatica,[11] Bars, and the Hope Conspiracy. Give Up the Ghost came back into the headlines in 2007 under accusations that Fall Out Boy had taken lyrics from Wes Eisold, the band's lyricist, resulting in an out-of-court settlement and a credit in the liner notes of both the multi-platinum selling From Under the Cork Tree and Infinity on High.[12]

Reunion shows (2011–present)Edit

After seven years of disbandment, the band reunited under their original name and performed two reunion shows in December 2011. The band performed in Revere, Massachusetts on December 29, and in Los Angeles on December 31. Deathwish Inc. reissued the albums Background Music (2001) and We're Down Til We're Underground (2003) to coincide with the reunion dates.[13] Since the original 2011 reunion shows, American Nightmare have played a small handful of shows almost every year.[14][15] In November 2017 they announced a new album for release on 16 February 2018 through Rise Records. The first track from the self-titled album, "The World Is Blue", was released 19 December 2017.

Musical style and legacyEdit

American Nightmare have been categorised as hardcore punk,[16] melodic hardcore[17] and emo.[18] Their music was a reaction against the lyrical positivity of Youth Crew revival bands that had been popular in Boston at the time like In My Eyes, Floorpunch and Bane. The band perused a more dark and nihilistic sound in comparison through the influence of The Smiths and Joy Division.[19][20] Other influences include Black Flag, the Cro-Mags and Siouxsie and the Banshees.[21] Their music often makes use of high-tempos, breakdowns, gang vocals and singalongs.[20] They have been cited as an influence by The White Noise,[22] Frameworks,[23] Killing The Dream, Defeater, Touché Amoré and Dead Swans.[24]


Studio albumsEdit


  • Year One (2001, Bridge 9, Reflections Records)


  • American Nightmare (2000, Bridge 9)
  • The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter (2001, Bridge 9)
  • Love American (2003, Bridge 9)
  • Live in London (2003, Bridge 9)
  • Life Support (2020, Deathwish Inc.)

Compilation contributionsEdit


  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "Give Up the Ghost | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  2. ^ "Give Up The Ghost". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  3. ^ "American Nightmare - American Nightmare". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  4. ^ "American Nightmare - The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  5. ^ "American Nightmare - Year One". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  6. ^ "American Nightmare - Background Music". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  7. ^ "American Nightmare change their name". 2003-03-17. Archived from the original on 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  8. ^ "Give Up The Ghost Cancel UK Dates". Rock Sound magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-04.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Give Up The Ghost Give Up The Ghost!". Metal Hammer. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  10. ^ "ARTISTdirect - Some Girls". ARTISTdirect. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  11. ^ "Head Automatica biography". Yahoo Music. Retrieved 2007-04-04.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Dan Goss (2007). "Fall Out Boy's Local Lyricist". Fall Out Boy's local lyricist. Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  13. ^ Battan, Carrie (October 27, 2011). "Give Up the Ghost (American Nightmare) Reunite for New Year's Shows". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  14. ^ "American Nightmare aka Give Up The Ghost announce NYC Reunion Show July 22". May 24, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  15. ^ "American Nightmare/Give Up the Ghost schedule 2015 dates". BrooklynVegan. Spin Media. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  16. ^ Belis, Tito. "American Nightmare". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Give Up The Ghost". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  18. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. New Wave of American Heavy Metal. p. 30.
  19. ^ Rettman, Tony. Straight Edge A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History.
  20. ^ a b "Wesley Eisold of American Nightmare Talks Legacy, Mental Health and Stripped Back Hardcore". Kerrang!. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  21. ^ Hughes, Josiah. "American Nightmare Announce New Album, Share "The World Is Blue"". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Getting Lost Within The White Noise & 'AM/PM'". 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  23. ^ Sacher, Andrew. "Five Notable Releases of the Week (2/16)". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Back on the Deck: American Nightmare – 'Background Music'". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  25. ^ "American Nightmare Announce First Album in 15 Years, Share New Song: Listen - Pitchfork". Retrieved 18 January 2018.

External linksEdit