Interview with Eddie Tamanini of Nothing but a Nightmare
Since 8th grade when being introduced to the alt-rock band Panic! At The Disco, Eddie Tamanini knew he wanted to be a musician. In 2018, Eddie and his friends launched that dream into a reality by forming Nothing but a Nightmare and releasing their first single and music video for “The Girl From Scandinavia”. The song was heard incessantly around the halls of Neshaminy High School where Eddie attended along with most of his bandmates. Even after a rocky start at Berklee College of Music, Eddie has now found a home at Rider University with Nothing but a Nightmare still by his side.
The group has just released their third album “The Salvation” which features more of the pop-punk influences that Eddie cites as his main drive to becoming a musician. With nine new grungy, lyrically loaded songs as well as the re-mastering of earlier hits “Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions”, NBN is delivering a vibrant, fresh rock sound that will surely resonate with the next generation of pop-punk lovers.
Q. Tell us about your time at Neshaminy High School. How has that community strengthened or inhibited your growth?
A. Oh, it totally strengthened my growth. I’m glad to say that I went to Neshaminy now that I’m in college, I’m a music [education] major. My ultimate goal is to teach in the district I grew up in so if I somehow get to teach at Neshaminy that would be the coolest thing, obviously if performing doesn’t work out. The music program at the high school was a huge stepping stone for me. Teachers of mine from high school, they’re like the most incredible humans to me. They’ve become friends now more than teachers. Also, the community itself and the friends that I had. I wouldn’t have started the band in the first place if it weren’t for Neshaminy. It’s totally helped me grow for sure.
Q. A lot of your songs have personalized titles that seem to be referring to certain people like “The Girl From Scandinavia” and more recently “Sex With My Ex”. How do your personal experiences play into your songwriting process?
A. This album for sure was kind of like a diss. I hate to say diss but yeah, towards certain people. “Sex With My Ex” for example, I had that title for a long time and I just had it in my back pocket and one day Clayton our bass player was like “I got this riff, check it out.” He plays this riff, the opening riff of the song and I go “that would totally work for the title I have”. So yeah, based on his personal experiences and other personal experiences from people around me, we created this album. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of stuff from friends and I think a lot of people can relate to it. I know it’s kind of blunt and to the point with the story and stuff but I think there are people who get out of relationships and get back with the person for a second. You know it happens that way.
In terms of relationships, I used to have, back in the day when the band was what it was before with different members, cause obviously, we’ve had members change. It was always David and I. It was always him and I together. For “Nostalgia” and “Kleptomania” it was him and I, and Ryan would come in certain times and do things. Then Clayton and Dom would kind of have to learn the songs. I think that now things have changed in our lives and as a group, everybody was involved in this. David and Ryan aren’t with us anymore but they had a piece of this too. Everybody had a piece and that feels good for me to know.
Q. You’re a huge Panic! At The Disco fan and even took lessons from touring bassist Nicole Row during the pandemic. How was that experience for you?
A. Nicole is one of my favorite people I got to meet [over zoom]. I kind of hit her up during quarantine cause she was offering lessons and I was like “I’ll try”. She taught me so much not just about playing the instrument but also musically like things that I didn’t even think about. It translates well to guitar and to all other instruments that I play.
Q. Were you able to see Panic! on tour recently?
A. My girlfriend and I went to see them on September 30th in Philly and we were in the 6th row. That was my 7th show. I went to go see them on the Today show in New York recently. I woke up at 2:00 in the morning. My girlfriend didn’t wanna go cause she didn’t wanna wake up early so I brought Owen who’s one of our bandmates now. That’s my girlfriend’s brother. So he came with me and my friend Latrice who I’ve been friends with for years. We blasted the album in the car just to stay awake. I love listening to something brand new because I didn’t expect what was coming and I was like “oh my god”! Anyway, that’s my Panic! speil (laughs).
Q. Who are other major inspirations for your music?
A. There are tons. For this album in particular we were listening to a lot of Machine Gun Kelly. Say what you want about him as a person but his music was a big inspiration. Fall Out Boy has always been one of my listening points. Harry Styles recently. I’m crazy into Harry Styles. A lot of people have been saying that one of our new songs “The Old Days” is kind of like giving those “Sign of the Times” vibes so I was like “ok, makes sense”. It goes across the board like Adele, her new album. “Easy On Me” was another inspiration for “The Old Days”, I was listening to that song a lot. Then it goes back into the old days of rock like Journey, Queen, and Billy Joel. Even jazz like Sinatra and Dean Martin. We didn’t do horns that much on this album. We re-did “Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions” which were two of our older songs and we have horns on those, and kind of like a jazzy feel. My parents raised me listening to rock and roll like old school 80s, 90s, and all that. It’s all across the board there are so many influences.
Q. I heard that you got into a very prestigious music school but you didn’t end up attending to keep playing with NBN. Talk about this decision.
A. I actually ended up going for a little bit. I got into Berklee College of Music. It was my dream music school. I visited there in Boston, the city is beautiful, and the school was very nice. A lot of prestigious alumni went there like John Mayer and Charlie Puth, Imagine Dragons. I ended up going to the school and for the first couple months or weeks, I don’t even know, it was such a blur I don’t even know the timetable. It was terrible and it wasn’t anything the school could’ve done. I was depressed. I got there and I didn’t eat. My family had left and I was extremely scared. I was like “what’s happening right now”? I lost like 15 pounds more and I had already lost 40 pounds that year so I was a skinny little kid walking around Boston all sad. I wouldn’t go to any parties, nothing. So I called Ryan (Scott) one day and I cried my eyes out. I said, “I miss you guys, if I came back would you guys still play with me in the band?” And his response was, “F— yeah dude, what are you talking about?”(laughs). That’s what he said.
So, my parents came up and they were like, “Eddie you look terrible like you need to come home.” My parents are so supportive, and it really was a big decision for me, but it was the best possible choice, and to come back and get back with the band and do what I’m doing now, it’s been the best choice. People always say, “do you regret not going to Berklee and following through”? Nope. I was upset and I needed to leave. I have a lot of experience from that city and from going there. I would not have written “Sittin’ in the Corner (Friday Night in Boston)”, that song we did off of “Kleptomania” if it were not for that experience. I took that back and a lot of the Kleptomania album was based on my experience in Boston and Covid and stuff like that.
Q. What is it like practicing and meeting with the rest of your band members now that you’re all working and or in college?
A. Well, the Scott brothers (Ryan and David) are not with us anymore, so we had to rethink our formation. I can’t replace Ryan like I can’t see anyone else playing guitar besides Ryan so I said, “I’ll just do it myself”. I took on the guitar roles. We thought “oh we could kind of be like Blink-182 you know”. We brought in Owen to play the keyboard. It formulated itself very quickly. To come together and play; that’s why we do it. Practicing is just an excuse to hang out. We all come together and talk about different things. We’re mostly talking rather than playing and laughing about something and then we get down to business. I felt like a couple of years ago maybe during Covid, the practicing process was getting too serious. People in our group were knocking each other down and it wasn’t a positive environment anymore. I hated to go there. Once the band worked itself out, everybody kinda reconvened and got back together. But yeah it was a bad time during Covid when we didn’t even wanna talk to each other. It worked out for all parties, everybody’s in their own lane and happy and that’s all that matters.
Q. NBN just released “The Salvation”, talk a little bit about bringing the album together.
A. The process for it started about two years ago. You can go back even further cause we did “Can’t Fix Stupid” and “Pretty Good at Bad Decisions”. Those songs were on like a little EP. They never really got the attention that I believed they should’ve because we weren’t really as produced as we are now at the time. The album has its own flow and story. Its production came together very quickly. “Baggage Claim” for example was a song that I had for years. I’ve had that melody since I was maybe 15 years old but I didn’t have anything to use it for. I finally put it into that song. We were looking to do a punk album, that was the goal. The first album was very much experimental I guess, like finding our footing and figuring out what we were going to do. Kleptomania was very pop-rock, more on the poppy side.
Then we kind of divulged into this pop-punk deal. This definitely is my favorite album we’ve done, definitely my favorite thing I’ve ever done musically. The best part about this album and the process is we all did it together. On other albums, it was like me, David, and Ryan putting together tracks. Dom never actually played drums on anything(laughs). On this album, he ended up having all the say on the drum parts. He created them. Clayton created some bass lines. They all did backing vocals, everything was how it should be. We wanted to kind of create the feeling of a live show in an album. We wanted to make it sound as live as it could be.
Q. Are there any shows or music videos coming up?
We’re definitely gonna make some more music videos. We did one for a song called “I Hate You”. We usually have a crew do our videos, and we’ll have people come out and help us but this one I was like, “you know what it’s too much money let’s just do it ourselves”. I got a camera for my birthday recently so I rented this piece of equipment called the “glide gear”. It’s this thing that makes it look like you’re in the first person. The view is like the environment is moving around you and you’re just stationary. So that’s what we did, we just did it all ourselves. In terms of shows, we have a show at Shadybrook Farm on the 27th of October, and a show at Rider University on October 29th, at my school. My ultimate goal is to play some college basement shows, like some underground stuff. So yeah, we’ll make that happen. We’ve got some more shows coming up that I can’t talk about just yet, but we’re excited to play some more.