American Nightmare

American Nightmare – Demo cassette

Growing up in Northern California in Oroville, CA, my best friend Zach Harlan and I made buddies with all the hardcore dudes in Redding, CA.  I remember when Azy and Jesse from Redding moved to Boston, they sent word back via Rusty, Duane, Skones, and the guys that they were starting a band Tim from Ten Yard Fight.  It took a while to materialize, but after a bit the American Nightmare demo popped up.  Things moved quickly from there.  It seemed like every time the band played a new area on the East Coast for the first time, there would be a bunch of crazy posts on the Rev board about it.  I thought the demo was kinda rough, and I wasn’t sure how into it I was. 

American Nightmare – “s/t” 7″

Then came the announcement that this label Bridge 9 was going to release a 7″.  I always thought Bridge 9 was cool because I liked their straightedge shirts.  Zach had this banana yellow shirt with little japanese character dudes on it, Dragon Ball Z style. Shit was cool. haha.  I also thought the Trust  7″ was totally sweet (and still do!), so I was interested on the prospect of the new AN 7″ on B9. 

Summer came and B9 released 300 early copies of the AN 7″ for a short East Coast tour they were doing.  The A-side label is shown above.  I had one of the guys in NJ that I had a little agreement with (they’d buy me East Coast stuff, I’d buy them CA stuff) pick me up that limited “Please Die!” tour pressing on blue.  I had moved away to San Luis Obispo, CA for college, but I remember I had them mail it to my mom’s address in Oroville, CA because I knew I would be going home for the summer. 

The NJ dude(s) came through, and when I arrived home for summer, the AN 7″ arrived shortly thereafter.  My copy was #231/300, numbered on the “Please Die!” b-side.  I remember throwing it on, not expecting a ton.  I was instantly pumped. It was so much faster than I expected it to be, and Wes’s vocals were so eclectic, different than anything else going on at the time in that sub genre of hardcore.  I drove over to Chico and was trying to get Zach and my friend Tim pumped on it. They were kinda hesitant, thinking it was probably some hype type stuff. I eventually got Zach to check it out and he really liked it.  Somehow we got ahold of the CD version of the record, which had the bonus track – Farewell.  That song was fucking brilliant.  Wes and Standhard’s dueling vocals at the end, shit was so sick.  Like everyone else, we got pumped on AN. 

Prior to receiving the tour pressing, I had already put in a pre-order with B9 for the AN 7″.  From the beginning with B9, Chris always hooked me up when I would snail mail pre-order stuff, because I’d been picking up records since the Proclamation 7″.  Initially I think I had pre-ordered 2 copies of the AN 7″, so Chris sent me red vinyl out of 152 and white vinyl out of 355, the 2 most limited colors. The red vinyl had a special stamped number, mine is #63/152.  I liked the 7″ so much I ordered another one to get the blue copy out of 500.

Not only was the music fucking sweet, but the packaging was like nothing I’d seen before on a 7″!  The front cover opened in the middle, and it had this cool little sliding sleeve that held the cover closed (the “American Nightmare” piece shown above slides up and down, and actually comes off).

The layout itself featured this great painting of a distressed American flag.  You could tell that Bridge Nine really went all out with the packaging of this 7″, and it made a huge impression on everyone.  I think that was such a good idea, because it instantly made you take a step back and realize B9 was now a major “player” in this new modern hardcore era. B9’s “profile” as a label was instantly quadrupled over night.

From there the band got really popular, and by the time they did that Back To School Jam version on grey vinyl at the end of the summer, people were going bonkers. I don’t remember who I bribed to pick me up a copy at the BTSJ show in the Boston area, but luckily someone got me one.  Mine is #78/250 – oddly enough, the 78 was written upside down when they were hand-numbering the labels, haha.  So up to that point I was pretty current on the AN 7″ pressing.  In the fall of 2000, AN announced they’d be flying out to CA for a few shows during the winter.  I was bumming hard because I knew I was going to be home on Christmas break in Oroville, whereas if I’d been in San Luis Obispo it would be centrally located to catch the Bakersfield, Ojai, Santa Cruz, and Gilman shows!  The day before their first show in Bakersfield, I said “fuck it”, and decided I’d drive the 8 hours to Bakersfield and just follow the tour around.  I called Lucas, who was living in LA and playing drums in Carry On at the time, and he said he’d ride back to Chico/Oroville with me if I drove all the way down there.  He wanted to come hang out with Zach, Tim, and I, and then he’d take a bus home to Vancouver, BC for a bit.  I picked up this kid Chris Jones on the way down to that first show in Bakersfield (Chris Jones filled in on drums in Carry On for a few shows and pulled some crazy shit which ended up making those bogus Carry On GB covers legendary – I’m sure I’ll write about that when I get around to my Carry On vinyl post).   Man, that show in Bakersfield was fucking sick!  It was at Jerry’s Pizza, which had this brick basement that was super long and narrow.  It would get so hot and crazy down there.  You barely had room to move, and you’d inevitably scrape up your hands on the exposed brick walls when you were thrashing around.  AN had set up their merch, and I was pumped on the two tour shirts – one with a straight razor, one with a gun on the front, but with different back prints. So I bought em both!  I also picked up the infamous AN varsity hoodie with red lettering that night.  Carry On played that night, as they always did, and Givens, Leighton, me, and all the regulars went nuts.  It felt like we had something to prove – like, the west coast always got a bad wrap, ya know? We wanted to show these dudes who’d finally come here from the east coast that Carry On was the shit.  It wasn’t in a confrontational or competitive way, it was like, we wanted to share this little secret we had in CA. They finally believed us.  You could see Standhard, Chris Wrenn, Tim, Wes, all the dudes were impressed.  Then when AN started playing, the room went bonkers.  You could instantly tell that there had been so much anticipation for this show all summer and fall.  It was like a flurry, it felt like they only played for like 3 minutes (maybe they did, I think they only had 7 songs at that time, haha).  When all was done, I was so pumped I’d driven down for the shows, and was looking forward to more.  That night I met Chris Wrenn from Bidge 9, and I thought it was so cool that he recognized my name, knew what I had ordered from him over the years, and was really friendly to me.  It wasn’t like a “star fucker” type thing, it was just comfortable and cool and friendly, and I thought it was rad that he’d taken notice enough to know who I was, even though I didn’t do a band or whatever, etc.  Anyway, fast forward a couple days to the Santa Cruz, CA show.  All of my friends from both SoCal and NorCal were there at the Vet’s Hall basement, it was a cool vibe.  At some point during the show, I’m standing inside to stay out of the cold, and Lucas comes in grinning from ear to ear, and says he wants to go outside to talk.  We go outside, and he tells me that Chris Wrenn had just met with the Carry On dudes in the van and asked them to be part of Bridge 9.  They would be flying to Boston and recording an LP for B9 in 2001.  B9 was still a very small label, but they seemed to be doing all the right things, and it just felt exciting.  Carry On had really stepped it up with their Roll With The Punches 7″, and it was time for an album.  I remember Todd and Ryan being so stoked that night, everything just felt good.  I was so fucking pumped for them, and for all of us in our little crew really, haha!  Carry On was finally going to get the east coast to pay attention to them.  Ok ok, I know this is an AN post, not a Carry On post, but this all seemed relevant to the story explaining how these records came to me. 

So, eventually I got wind of the clear vinyl “friends press” and I always really wanted one.  It took me awhile because they weren’t really things you get could get very easily unless you were super close with one of the current band members.  Then during the Spring of 2001, Carry On went out to Boston to record their LP at God City.  Todd Jones called me on the phone one night after one of their recording sessions, telling me he’d gotten one of those clear copies from Wes and he’d sell it to me because he didn’t really collect vinyl.  He also asked me if I wanted him to pick me up anything else cause Wes was selling some of his personal stash.  He asked me if I wanted a test pressing, so I was able to buy one from Wes via Todd for a very reasonable price.  I was really thankful that he’d called me to check to see if I wanted anything.  Todd has been a really good friend to me over the years, in lots of different ways, and that was an example of something that always made me appreciate his friendship. 

When Todd came home from recording, it was a while before we could meet up because he lived in the LA area and I was in San Luis Obispo.  One weekend Voegtli, James, and I decided to go visit Jeff Givens in Simi Valley for the weekend.  Givens’ parents had like the hangout pad.  Pool, basketball, like 3 refridgerators stocked full of food, and they always let a billion of us come over and hang.  Being the VP of something at Budweiser had definitely paid off for the family!  His dad used to give us all shit because we were all straightedge and he needed our generation to buy beer!! hahaha.  Todd came over one evening and brought me the records. 

I was pumped, my AN collection was now complete.  My clear vinyl friends press is #70/100, and is personalized to Todd Jones.  My test pressing is #24/27.  Later on, the black vinyl copies came out, with and without drummer cover, so I picked those up via B9.  There were 900 with regular covers, 600 with drummer cover. Oh, I never did get a “mosh camp”, so that’s not depicted here.  The real ones came with red vinyl and had blue covers, I think.  Word was that some of the real ones did have yellow covers, but who knows.  Honestly, I just never wanted one of these things unless it was gonna be cheap. They seemed so easy to bootleg, and more and more seemed to pop up over the years because of that.  I just wasn’t very interested…

Close-up of the AN “s/t” 7″ test pressing label.

Here’s a promo poster for the first AN 7″.

This would have been such a dope show to attend…

American Nightmare – “The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter” 7″

I pre-ordered the 2nd AN 7″ via snail mail from B9 and Chris hooked me up again!  He sent me a copy on orange vinyl, the 2nd one shown above, to be exact.  There were only going to be 100 copies of any colored vinyl for this release, so this orange version was very sought after. 

Here’s a little note that Chris Wrenn wrote included inl the pre-order package.  Most orange vinyl went to friends and locals, with very few going out via pre-order, so I was pretty pumped that he sent me one.  Instead of colored vinyl, B9 decided to do colored labels.  So there were 150 with red labels, 350 white labels, and 500 blue labels – exactly matching the pressing info of the first 7″ on colored vinyl, which I always thought was a cool idea.  I had pre-ordered like 3 7″s, so I think I got the red labels and white labels too. I placed another order to get the blue labels.  As for the 2nd orange copy I have… Many years later, I remember my buddy Lucas (drums in Carry On and Go It Alone) telling me that when they had been out there recording the Carry On record, the Boston dudes had mentioned that the orange vinyl copies were about half bright orange and the other half were a really light creamsicle color. I always thought I’d like to get a really light color.  A couple years back, Scott Roseberry was selling a light orange copy, so I bought it from him.

Somewhere along the line I got the 1st pressing silver labels with black ink out of 900, as well as the 2nd pressing black labels with silver ink out of 1,000.  These are pretty impossible to tell the difference unless you compare them side by side.  The 1st pressing silver labels is on the left (though this pic makes the labels look almost white).  The silver is more dull, and the black isn’t quite solid because it’s ink.  The 2nd pressing black labels is on the right, with metallic silver ink so the silver appears a little brighter and sparkles a bit. 

The purple copy was sold on a Euro tour, and to be honest I don’t remember how I got it. I probably just did a trade with a euro kid for some other tour pressing here in the U.S.  It has special “Fall 2001 European Tour labels”.  It was kind of a bummer that they pressed this on purple vinyl, because I liked the fact that the only colored vinyl for this entire release was the 100 on orange vinyl to represent “The Sun”.  But, the dark feel of the purple looks nice too, so at least they didn’t do a bunch of ugly colors.  You have to hold it up to the light to really notice it’s purple anyway – laying on a table it looks almost black.

The last copy on the bottom right hand corner of the main photo was silver labels again, but has a small “IV” on the label underneath the B9 logo to denote the 4th pressing. I showed a close-up above.  B9 did these as a final pressing, and I bought it directly from them.  When I started Rivalry and we started doing a lot of 2nd and 3rd pressings of things, I shamelessly stole this idea. I didn’t want to over-do different colored vinyl, but I wanted to preserve a way to denote first vs. second vs. third pressings. So if the “main” color of the first pressing was white vinyl, I’d do the second pressing as all white vinyl as well, but the label would have a little “II” on the label.  Thanks for the idea, Chris! 🙂

Just showing the inside and outside of “The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter” 7″ layout.  The “AN angel” ended up being kind of a classic piece of artwork in the 2000’s era of modern hardcore.  It was also interesting that the band’s name didn’t really appear on this record anywhere.

These screen-printed posters were made for a Bridge 9 triple record release show in Providence, RI on March 18, 2001.  The records released were AN “The Sun” 7″, Shark Attack “Blood In The Water” 7″ (B9 version), and Death Threat – “Peace And Security” LP.  The posters feature original artwork by Linas Garsys and are hand-numbered out of 120 and signed by Linas at the bottom.  The poster on the left is obviously Shark Attack, the middle is Death Threat, the right is American  Nightmare.  These things are so fucking sick!!  They are framed together and hang on the wall in my home.  My friends Sarah Clark and Walter Yetman picked these up for me when they lived out on the East Coast during this period.  Oddly enough, these framed copies hanging on my wall are actually Sarah’s copies.  She is the one that got them framed, and they used to hang in her old place, but they don’t really fit well in her current place.  I was talking about how much I liked hers and wanted to get mine framed to hang in my house.  She offered to let me borrow these indefinitely until a time when she had more room to hang them up again.  So someday when she takes these back, I’m going to have to get off my ass and get mine framed too!

Around this 2000-2002 period, Linas and Robby Redcheeks were doing a lot of these screen-printed posters.  Here’s another one for a show in Philly with American Nightmare, Count Me Out, Striking Distance, etc.  I wish that I had the “Sid and Nancy” ones from the Adult Crash show!  I never got those but I want em!

American Nightmare – “Background Music” LP

When Background Music was slated to come out, it was one of the most hyped/anticipated releases that I ever remember in all of my years in hardcore.  American Nightmare had gotten huge in the underground hardcore scene, and they’d even started to get attention in the “Converge” type scene, as well as “The Locust” type scene, etc.   I guess that’s how they landed on Equal Vision Records!  We all clamored to get our pre-orders into EVR. I was lucky and got the blood red vinyl out of ~200-300 (I never did know which it was), and a copy on clear as well.  After the LP came out, they did a full U.S. tour, and there were these epic shows at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, Gilman St. in Berkeley, and the Ojai Women’s Club.  The show at the Phoenix Theatre ended up getting shut down because of hardcore kid vs. bro dude type fights, etc.  Robert Knox beat the shit out of some dude – what else is new! haha.  I remember Tom, the owner of the Phoenix, trying to come out and calm everyone down multiple times “Hey guys, all we can do is a mellow circle pit, ok?” (said in a funny total hippy vibe).  haha, yeah right.  Luckily there’s a video of the Petaluma show on YouTube!

John Eightclip would always record shows (or have someone film for him) and then he would post stuff on This was before YouTube. It was awesome!  At about the 2:55 mark, you hear Wes say “To everyone that works here – Don’t fuck with my friends”.  Shit starts to get all heated from that point on between security, their bro friends, and the hardcore kids.  He talks more shit on the mic later on.  The fight gets all crazy at 9:50. The band stops playing and you just hear crazy screaming and fighting everywhere.  Then at 10:55, Tom comes out with his classic “What we need to do is mellow the pit down, no more karate”. hahaha, so good.  At 12:10, everything just breaks down and the fights won’t stop.  Wes finally comes out and says “Alright, we’re done. No offense to the owner cause he’s a really cool guy, but everyone else here is a fucking jerk.  We’ll be out back if anyone else has any more words, fuck off.”  The next night at Gilman, the show was way cooler.  Shit went off.  There are videos on YouTube that someone will hit me up every year or two about, “Hey I saw this funny video on YouTube of you losing your mind at Gilman“. hahaha. Yeah, shit was ill. 

In the video you can definitely see lots of stage mosh and stage dive from me, Chris Jones, Rusty, Zach Harlan, Mark Kelley, and plenty of sing alongs for Aaron Menesez, Israel Branson, Sammy The Mick, and plenty of others. What can I say, we were all a bunch of lil mashers.  

At some point I remember there were rumors of another AN friend’s press, this time a “blood splatter” copy of the LP.  I’ve always thought it was funny that the LP displayed above with the purple/black X or “cross” pattern was called the “blood splatter” LP, since actual “splatter” vinyl ended up becoming so common later in the 2000’s era hardcore.  I think this cross pattern was just a new pattern of vinyl that most people hadn’t seen much before, plus blood splatter was all the rage in art/layouts, and I think the intent was to have the vinyl look like some version of blood something anyway. 

I got my copy from Nate Helm.  Nate Helm was this kid who lived in Philly who was playing drums in AN at this point of the band.  I had met him when this youth crew band called Intention toured the West Coast in the summer of 1999 or 2000.  Zach had done a show in Chico, CA for Purpose, Varsity, and  Intention.  That is coincidentally how I first became friends with Thorns too, he was roadie-ing for them.  They stayed in Chico, CA for a couple days at this girl’s house that we knew because I think some of their shows had fallen through.  Anyway, I knew Nate a little bit from those days.  He originally posted on the Rev board that he was willing to sell one of his copies of the “blood splatter” LP.  I think each band member got 3-5 copies or something.  I emailed him and was able to buy it.  Coincidentally, Nate moved to San Francisco for a little bit somewhat recently, when “Violent Minds moved to SF” for a minute.  I remember seeing him around at Gilman a time or two.

Also showing a close-up of the first pressing “blood red” vinyl out of 200-300. They accomplished this by using standard red vinyl with black streaks.

The bottom row of the main photo shows a couple LPs that were re-released by EVR when the band changed their name to Give Up The Ghost and they had to change the LP layout to say the new name.  They are out of 500 copies on clear, 500 on black.  I should also note that right before the band broke up, both AN LP’s were released in Europe on Burning Heart Records (Epitaph’s European label). I actually owned a test pressing of the Burning Heart release of Background Music, but I sold it in 2010. I was able to get the dude who bought it to send me a photo of it (above).  I never did run down regular black vinyl copies of the GUTG version of Background Music or We’re Down, but they do exist.

Here’s a promo poster for the Background Music LP.

B9 and Equal Vision teamed up and put together this big poster with all three of AN’s first releases advertised together.

In 2011, Deathwish re-released both AN LP’s to coincide with reunion shows that AN played in Boston and Los Angeles in December of 2011. I pre-ordered the grey copy from Deathwish and I bought the transparent red copy at the reunion show in L.A. Both versions are out of approximately 300 or so. The transparent red was only available at the reunion shows. I think the smokey grey color looks awesome with this release – good color choice! The picture doesn’t show it very well, but the grey is actually transparent, not your usual grey/white swirl. Very cool.

The layout of the re-release was changed into a gatefold layout.

The gatefold jacket comes with a double-sided poster insert. One side is the “We’re Down” artwork, the other side is the “Background Music” artwork. The same poster was included in both releases. I put the 12″ LP next to the poster to show the giant size.

Give Up The Ghost – “We’re Down Til We’re Underground” LP

I have to admit that I had kind of checked out of AN collecting by the time this LP came out. I just wasn’t as into the song writing anymore, and Wes’s vox had gotten really screechy since doing Some Girls, etc. I think I pre-ordered two copies anyway and got the purple and pink copies, each out of ~200-300, I think.  I think somehow I picked up the clear copy for cheap somewhere along the line.  As for the blood red copy – that is out of 100 and was another “friend’s” press type deal, I think.   It’s out of 100 copies. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know that thing existed until like 2007 when I was buying some Judge records from this dude and he was selling his whole record collection. I noticed he had that LP and I asked him about it and he filled me in. I went ahead and picked it up then for pretty cheap, because I just don’t think this album holds a ton of collector weight.  As mentioned above in the Background Music section, there is also a black vinyl version of the We’re Down LP released in Europe on Burning Heart Records, but I never owned a copy.

In 2011, Deathwish re-released both AN LP’s to coincide with reunion shows that AN played in Boston and Los Angeles in December of 2011. I pre-ordered the yellow copy from Deathwish and I bought the transparent purple copy at the reunion show in L.A. Both versions are out of approximately 300 or so. The transparent purple was only available at the reunion shows.

The layout of the re-release was changed into a gatefold layout.

The gatefold jacket comes with a double-sided poster insert. One side is the “We’re Down” artwork, the other side is the “Background Music” artwork. The same poster was included in both releases. I put the 12″ LP next to the poster to show the giant size.

American Nightmare – “Demo” 7″

There are a bunch of pressings of this Demo 7″. There was also a version of the AN “Demo” 7″ in the “Mass Grave Boxset” that Malfunction sold at Posi Numbers Fest one year. I’ve included a photo of that down below. Once Deathwish bought Malfunction Records, they pressed even more variations of this record, so I haven’t really kept up with getting the most recent stuff.

I thought it was kinda cool that the test pressings for this release were on blue vinyl, especially since it’s called “the Ice Age demo”.

All the rarest versions of this record are blue vinyl. There are only 15 test pressings on transparent blue vinyl. Then there were only 30 regular copies on solid/swirled blue vinyl copies. You can see in the photo above that the test pressing on the left is clear blue, whereas the copy on the right is more of a solid blue with white swirl.

You may notice I have a really cool blue/yellow/turquoise looking copy in the upper right of the main photo, as well as the close-up above. The blue vinyl copy of the AN demo had always eluded me, so I did a big trade with my buddy Paolo Bilia in Italy (what’s up man!), and the trade included an AN 7″ on blue /30. When it arrived, I was excited to see it was this really cool turquoise swirl color, but didn’t think it was anything special other than being out of 30 on blue. I figured all of the blue copies were this way, because I’d never really payed attention or seen another copy. That trade we did was big – it included an original Project X 7″ that I’ll post in the Schism Records collection, the AN 7″ on blue/turquoise, a Mouthpiece 7″ on clear with “increase the grease” stamp /50, and a couple other things. Anyway, many years later I was talking with Scott Roseberry on AIM, and he was super surprised when I showed him a picture of my turquoise AN 7″. He said he had owned a couple different blue 7″s, and they were all just a blue/white solid swirl color. Eventually he was selling a second copy of a regular blue that he owned, so I bought it – that’s the blue copy you see next to my turquoise copy. Other than that, there’s nothing really all that special about any of the other pressings, other than the brown “Wolfpack Skateboards version” on the bottom. It came with the AN skateboard deck! Pretty cool!

Here’s the insert that comes with the AN “Demo” 7″.

This is the “Mass Grave Boxset” released by Malfunction Records and sold at Posi Numbers Fest – I believe in 2003. Malfunction was run by Tru Pray and Linas Garsys, and they wanted to do something cool to celebrate the releases they’d been having fun with over the last few years on their label. Each set is hand-numbered out of 150 copies. It features a special pressing of the first six Malfunction 7″s on gold vinyl – Time Flies, Count Me Out, Barfight, Wheelbite, Worn Thin, and American Nightmare. The boxes themselves are screen printed, and there is a cool stapled booklet included. More detailed pics shown below!

Screen printed box cover, mine is #77/150.

The stapled booklet features original painted artwork by Linas Garsys.

Here’s the first page of the booklet. It’s an explanation from Linas regarding the creation of this boxset, as well as some history on Malfunction Records.

Each band has a page in the booklet, with an explanation surrounding how Malfunction came to put out that release, as well as some custom artwork as a background. This page happens to be American Nightmare.

The last page of the booklet is a note from Tru Pray. The boxes used for this boxset were purchased from Yesterday & Today Records of Dischord Records fame, just before Y&T closed for good. (Check out my Dischord blog entry, there are many references to Skip and Yesterday And Today). That is really cool how an old D.C. hardcore staple like Yesterday And Today could have somewhat of a mark on a current release on another local D.C. label.

Here’s a close-up of some of the gold vinyl. Count Me Out at the top right, American Nightmare on the bottom right, Worn Thin top left.

I got my copy of the Mass Grave boxset when Linas Garsys flew out to California for some Redemption 87 reunion shows, sometime around 2003/2004. He stayed at my place for the weekend, and as a thank you for giving him a place to crash, he brought me this boxset. He obviously did not have to do that, and I was very grateful! While he was staying at the house, my girlfriend Isa got to talking to him about how much she liked his artwork. So he told her that if she went and bought some paints, he would do a painting for her! It ended up being a custom painting of her and our dog, Amos. He ran out of time and never finished it, so it is only half complete, but it looks kinda cool that way! You can check it out in the photo above. I thought it was super nice that he offered to do that for us. To this day it hangs in my home and is one of my favorite things I own.

American Nightmare – “Year One” 2×7″

The “Year One” double 7″ set features the first two American Nightmare 7″s, as the artwork depicts. This 7″ came out after the band had to change their name, so you see “Give Up The Ghost” on the labels. The set on the top was 500 on orange and clear vinyl, the blue and black set was out of 1,000

Here’s the inside and outside of the “Year One” double 7″ layout. It’s printed on matte non-glossy stock, so the printing looks kinda washed out. Kind of a bummer – the euro gatefold LP version shown below looks a lot better.

American Nightmare – “Year One” LPThis one was pressed in Europe by Reflections Records, and kind of accompanied Bridge 9’s release of the “Year One” Double 7″.  I think the pressing info is /250, /250, and /500, so there were only 1,000 total.  It actually has this really cool gatefold layout, which is really nice.  The only bummer is the vinyl colors – so ugly!  Layout gets a thumbs up, but vinyl colors not so much.

Here is a promo poster for the “Year One” LP on Reflections Records.

American Nightmare – “Year One” LP (Bridge 9)In 2011, Bridge 9 released their own LP version of the “Year One” collection. Originally B9 had only done the 2×7″ “Year One” release, whereas Reflections did the LP release. This time they went all out with an LP release to celebrate the 10+ year anniversary of the original AN 7″s on B9. The cover of the LP has the angel embossed so it is raised up off the cover, similar to the lettering on the 1st pressing of the Gorilla Biscuits LP. The insert is a huge fold out poster, with a cool live pic of Wes on one-side, and a collage/lyrics on the other side, featuring a bunch of cool photos and items from the early AN days. To top it off, the “colored vinyl” for this release is very unique – there is just a small “splotch” of color in the black vinyl. According to B9, this was something they wanted to do on the original release of the “The Sun” 7″, but costs were just prohibitive at that time, so they opted for the colored labels instead. So this time around, the LP got the proper treatment, all the while following the original pressing order – red vinyl is most limited, then white vinyl, then blue vinyl. By the time I got around to putting in my pre-order, the red vinyl was already gone, leaving me with a choice of white or blue. I know white is more limited, but I thought blue looked cooler, so I bought that one. I have since stopped “collecting” records, so these days I rarely buy vinyl, and if I do, I only buy one copy of whatever is the coolest to look at. So blue vinyl splotch it is!

Here’s a photo showing the reverse side of the insert with the collage and lyrics. Props to my buddy, Chris Williams, for appearing in like 4 of the 20 or so AN live photos. Dude is a moshing, stage diving machine, and has been for…. Shit, it’s pushing 20 years!!

Close up of just the vinyl.

American Nightmare – “Love American” 7″

The “Love American” picture disc was a single that came out sometime between the band’s two LP’s on Equal Vision Records. There are only 1,000 copies and they are all picture discs. The only exception is the test pressing on black vinyl out of 10 copies. There are no markings on it, other than the AN angel stamped on the dust sleeve. This is a particularly cool test pressing to own since it is the only non-picture disc version of this 7″ ever pressed, out of 10 copies! I bought this direct from Bridge 9 during one of their eBay auctions.

Close-up of the AN Angel stamp on the “Love American” test pressing, out of only 10 copies.

American Nightmare – “Live In London” 7″

The “Live In London” 7″ all came on white vinyl out of 750. It was one of the free Bonus 7″s that Bridge 9 gave away to those who did some summer pre-orders for other releases.

Here’s the little note that came with the Summer 2003 pre-orders, apologizing for delays due to the seven different 7″ releases that were going on at the same time! This AN 7″ was a free bonus 7″ to those that ordered all seven releases.

V/A – “Black On Black – A Tribute To Black Flag” LP

There was a series of 7″‘s compilations that had several bands doing Black Flag covers. Volume #3 featured American Nightmare and Dillinger Escape Plan.  My 7″ shown here is#407/1000, numbered on the back.  Later, they combined the Black Flag covers from all of the 7″ series into one LP release.  They were all on grey vinyl out of 2,500 copies.  I also owned a test pressing of the LP version, shown below.

What you see here is a test pressing of the LP version of “Black On Black – A Tribute To Black Flag”.  Mine is #1/53 – kinda cool that I had #1.


In addition to AN vinyl, I originally set out to collect every AN shirt ever made. I continued up through their summer tour after Background Music came out in 2001. On that tour they had 4 or 5 new t-shirt designs and I decided that they were getting too big to keep this up – I couldn’t afford it! haha. So my collecting pretty much ended with the round of shirts that included the Summer 2001 “Drummer” shirt.

The original AN demo shirt design.

This is the front of the AN “Farewell” shirt.

To this day, the “Farewell” shirt is still my favorite AN shirt. “Farewell” was my favorite AN song from the first 7″, and there is just a lot of nostalgia attached to this shirt. Way back when, I had to trade someone to get ahold of this shirt, because the band only sold it once or twice and didn’t remake it.

Here’s a closer look. Notice Wes’s X-swatch! Yet another reason I always loved this shirt.

When AN came to California on that first Winter Tour in December of 2000, there were 3 designs that I bought that first night in Bakersfield – “Razor blade”, “Gun”, and the AN Varsity hoodie. The razor blade and gun shirts each featured the new AN logo that Linas Garsys had designed for them.

The razor blade design has the tour dates on the back.

Here’s a closer look to display the tour dates. These actually aren’t correct. I believe the Oxnard show became Bakersfield, Los Angeles became Ojai, and San Francisco became Berkeley (Gilman St.), but all locations are still in the same general vacinity.

The other Winter Tour 2000 shirt was the “gun” design.

The back of the “gun” shirt. This is another one of my favorite AN shirts. This was also the first in a series of shirts where the illustration would relate to a simple AN lyric underneath it. This one says “I Quit, I Quit, I Quit”.

A closer look. Hopefully you can make out the “I Quit, I Quit, I Quit” near the bottom.

The classic AN “Varsity” hoodie. This has been bootlegged over time, and I believe it was officially re-released on a merch store recently. Mine is an original, purchased at the Bakersfield, CA show in December 2000. You can tell because it is a weird brand – Lee. These hoodies had an abnormally small front pocket, and unfortunately they fit really weird – they run really long. Since I didn’t do the printing myself, I can’t say 100% for sure that all the original AN Varsity hoodies were printed on Lee, but I can tell you that if yours is a Lee, it’s almost certainly an original. This was not a common garment brand for hardcore bands to print on, so bootleggers probably didn’t either. PS – That “spot” on the right isn’t actually on the hoodie – it’s some sort of smudge that must have been on the lens of the camera when I snapped the photo.

This shirt was released around the time of “The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter” 7″. Maybe it was sold at a Posi Numbers Festival? That sounds about right.

A closer look at the front.

The back of “The Sun” shirt has a casket and “Hearts” written underneath it.

Here’s a closer look at the back of the shirt, hopefully you can read the “Hearts” at the bottom.

I really liked this simple shirt. A very small photo is printed on the front center of the shirt, with “Fuck These Memories” underneath. There is no back print.

A closer look so you can read the “Fuck These Memories”.

The classic AN “Angel” design. There is no back print.

Close-up of the angel.

Here’s the AN “Flag” shirt.

A close-up to show the band name at top and bottom.

The back of the “Flag” shirt is one of the very few early AN shirts that had the Bridge 9 logo.

The classic AN zip-up hoodie. During this time period, everybody had this hoodie, including myself and all of my friends. Seriously, if you went to a show, you would see 25 of these, guaranteed.

This was a pretty popular AN shirt. I feel like I saw these around at shows for years.

The back of that film strip shirt features a girl laying in a pool of blood, with a quote underneath, “Nobody’s got style like us”.

Here’s a closer look to show the “Nobody’s got style like us” in the bottom right.

This round of shirts for the Background Music Summer 2001 Tour made me decide to stop collecting every design. There were 4 or 5 new designs just for this tour and I knew I couldn’t afford to keep doing this! haha.

Here’s the back of the Summer 2001 shirt. The AN “drummer” image became a classic moniker for AN and was even used as a limited 7″ cover for one of the later pressings of their self-titled 7″.

Here’s the European Tour version of the “drummer” shirt. This time the drummer is printed on the front, but much smaller than on the US Tour version. I had to buy this one on eBay since I didn’t really have a contact in Europe at the time.

A closer look – Europe 2001.

The back of the European drummer shirt.

This was one of the few AN shirts that was not a black t-shirt. It’s got the classic AN shield design, appearing in color for the first time.

The back has “Please Die!” printed between the shoulder blades. The band name does not appear anywhere on this shirt.

This navy blue hoodie with the AN “shield” on the front is actually pretty tough to find. I believe that they only sold it on one tour. Like the grey t-shirt, it says “PLEASE DIE!” on the back, and doesn’t have the band name anywhere on it.

The back of the navy blue “shield” hood.

Close-up of the back

Despite Wes always wearing longsleeves on stage (for obvious reasons), this was the first AN longsleeve design that I ever saw them sell. I bought it at a show in Santa Cruz, CA. I believe that was a show on the AN, Death Threat, Striking Distance tour. That was a great tour.

A closer look shows “This is the soundtrack to saying goodbye” written on the mix tape.

The back of the longsleeve has a clever design of the headphones turned into a noose.

When the stupid conflict with the “other” American Nightmare first went down, AN changed their name to American Nothing. I think they only did one short tour under this name. The “other” AN still balked at the American Nothing name, so ultimately they had to change it to Give Up The Ghost.

This was one of 3 shirts sold at the AN reunion shows in December of 2011. The angel is printed very large on the front of the shirt.

The back of the angel reunion shirt has “Los Angeles 12.31.11”. There was also a version of the shirt with the Boston date.

Roses reunion design, printed on a black shirt.

The back of the black Roses shirt.

The Roses design printed on a white shirt.

For some reason the band name on this particular shirt was printed super low, towards the middle of the back, instead of between the shoulder blades. It almost makes it look like it should be a chest print on the front of the shirt.

My American Nightmare collection, at its peak:

  • American Nightmare – s/t (TEST PRESS, #24/27)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (CLEAR, 1st press, #70/100)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (RED, 1st press, #63/152)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (WHITE, 1st press, out of 355)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (BLUE, 1st press, Summer Tour 2000 press, #231/300)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (BLUE, 1st press, out out of 500)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (GREY, 2nd press, BTSJ4 cover, #82/250)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (BLACK, 3rd press, out out of 900)
  • American Nightmare – s/t (BLACK, 4th press, Drummer cover, out of 600)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (LIGHT ORANGE/CREAM, 1st press, LIGHT ORANGE is more rare than the darker orange out of the 100 pressed on orange)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (ORANGE MARBLE, 1st press, out of 100)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (RED labels, 1st press, out of 150)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (WHITE labels, 1st press, out of 350)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (BLUE labels, 1st press, out of 500)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (SILVER labels, 1st press, out of 900)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (BLACK labels w/SILVER ink, 2nd press, out of 1000)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (PURPLE, 3rd press, Eurotour version, out of 600)
  • American Nightmare – The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter (BLACK, 4th press, IV label detail, out of 1500)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (TEST PRESS, CLEAR BLUE w/blank labels, out of 15)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (BLUE MARBLE, out of 30)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (BLUE/TURQUOISE, out of 30, this one is actually more of a turquoise with yellow/green in it. Pretty cool looking record.)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (WHITE, 1st press out of 200)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (CLEAR GREEN, 1st press out of 800)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (DIRTY GOLD SWIRL, 2nd press out of 100. w/Wolfpack Cover that came with skatedeck. Also have skatedeck.)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (GOLD, 2nd press out of 383)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (BLACK, 3rd press WHITE labels, out of 1000)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (BLACK, 4th press RED labels w/PINK insert, out of 2000)
  • American Nightmare – 4 Song Demo (CLEAR)
  • V/A – Malfunction MASS GRAVE BOX SET #77/150 (6x 7″ GOLD vinyl, Count Me Out, Time Flies, American Nightmare, Worn Thin, Wheelbite, Barfight, out of 150 each)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Love American (TEST PRESS, out of 10, AN angel stamped on dust sleeeve)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Love American (PICTURE DISC, out of 1000)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Live In London (WHITE, B9 Bonus 7″ #2, out of 750)
  • American Nightmare – Year One 2×7″ (1 ORANGE, 1 CLEAR vinyl, out of 500)
  • American Nightmare – Year One 2×7″ (1 BLUE, 1 BLACK vinyl, out of 1000)
  • American Nightmare – Background Music (BLACK/PURPLE X, out of 100)
  • American Nightmare – Background Music (RED, out of 200)
  • American Nightmare – Background Music (CLEAR, out of 600)
  • American Nightmare – Background Music (BLACK, out of 1000)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Background Music (TEST PRESS, Burning Heart Records in Europe – released in Europe right before band broke up. Very few of these test pressings made.)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Background Music (CLEAR, out of 400)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Background Music (BLACK, #127/500)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – We’re Down Til We’re Underground (RED, out of 100)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – We’re Down Til We’re Underground (PURPLE, out of 200)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – We’re Down Til We’re Underground (PINK, out of 200)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – We’re Down Til We’re Underground (CLEAR, out of 500)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – We’re Down Til We’re Underground (BLACK, out of 1000)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Year One (YELLOW, out of 250)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Year One (MAROON, out of 250)
  • American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) – Year One (YELLOW w/BLACK splatter, out of 500)
  • V/A – Black On Black, A Tribute To Black Flag, Vol 3 (BLACK, #407/1000, AN / DEP / Anodyne)
  • V/A – Black On Black – Tribute To Black Flag (TEST PRESS #1/53, American Nightmare, Hope Con, DEP, etc)
  • V/A – Black On Black – Tribute To Black Flag (GREY, out of 2500, American Nightmare, Hope Con, DEP, etc)
  • American Nightmare – original demo tape

13 Responses to American Nightmare

  1. Steve Kane says:

    I can’t wait for the Carry On installment. Great blog!

  2. Pingback: Detailed vinyl photos added |

  3. jassie says:

    this entry rules!!!

  4. Josh says:

    All of the Black On Black test presses are labeled “1 of 53”. I thought mine was #1 too, but then saw others pop up that were the same. I think they just meant as “this is just 1 of the 53”, haha. We’ve been fooled!

  5. Brandon. says:

    Thanks for this. Allowed me to figure out what I’m missing on my own collection.

  6. Pingback: American Nightmare shirts added to the AN vinyl blog |

  7. Paul Klein says:

    that skateboard is fucking awesome, along with everything else on this blog, theres no chance of me buying it off you is there?

  8. Miles says:

    This is an awesome post! I stumbled upon it looking up some pressing info, though I am not an avid record collector. I currently live in San Luis Obispo and moved here to go to school, so that was eerily relatable. Cherish that collection! I’m sure there’s many other readers who are green with envy!

  9. Paulo says:

    Dammit, Lovely collection!! I want those prints so bad… Maybe someday will get them on ebay, I hope!!

  10. Marco Gonzalez says:

    yo, badass collection! would you be open to selling/trading your AN “fuck these memories” shirt? lost mine awhile ago and have had no luck tracking another down.. let me know. – Marco /

  11. I know this is a long shot but if you ever wanna sell the AN farewell shirt let me know! I’ve been collecting a few of their olde shirts myself and love that design :).

  12. Pingback: Bridge 9 Records – Moje notatki

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