Today, in a special guest blog, Audio Antihero head honcho Jamie Halliday shares his love for Nosferatu D2.
Words: Jamie Halliday
Band: Nosferatu D2
I first came across Nosferatu D2 in 2006, long before I became the modern day Suge Knight. Back then I was the tuneless and girlfriendless vocalist of doomed alt. rockers Arko Volcano (the more things change, the more things stay the same), we were rocking South East London toilet scene. I set about finding Croydon bands that I could try and sweet talk into letting us open for them, I came across Nosferatu D2. Bands didn’t get much more Croydon than Nosferatu D2.
Being young, vain and shameless, I didn’t really stop to listen to many of the bands I found, but Nosferatu D2 had a song called 'Springsteen' which instantly got me thinking “what the hell are these Croydon schmucks saying about The Boss?!” and so I listened. My aggro soon subsided, as the song’s gentle introduction calmed my nerves, before the screaming thrashing climax took a big bite out of my heart, a hole I sought to fill with more Nosferatu D2.
The two times I got to see them live will always be with me. You almost couldn’t believe the words that were rapid firing out of Ben’s mouth and drummer Adam really just couldn’t be touched, he had catlike reflexes and octopus arms. Seeing them live was a little unreal, stupid as it sounds, they seemed too good to exist in our timeline. They seemed like something that should have started a movement, something that should have been ripping up the world for Sub Pop or SST in 1992 and remained the stuff of legend to this day. But they were playing Croydon pubs in 2006, which seemed odd.
When my own band split up, reformed and split up again, I decided I wanted to start a label. Who would I release a record by? Nosferatu D2? Yeah! No. By the time I was anywhere near ready to start a label, Nosferatu D2 had left the building. They had split up.
Time went by and eventually I was in the position to start a label, but by then there was no band out there that mattered to me in the way that Nosferatu D2 did. So I e-mailed Ben Parker. In fact, I e-begged Ben Parker. I begged Ben to let me birth my doomed DIY label Audio Antihero with the “lost” Nosferatu D2 album, though bemused, he and Adam agreed to let me spend all my money on releasing a record from a band who couldn’t gig to support and promote it. I have all the best ideas.
Late 2009, I had a crate of Nosferatu D2 'We’re gonna walk around this city with our headphones on to block out the noise' LPs and a stack of Benjamin Shaw 'I Got the Pox, The Pox is What I Got' EPs (life changing artists are like buses...), a bedroom label and a dream to live. Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide, large and in charge.
Which brings us to here. My relationship with Nosferatu D2 was always just that I was a fan. I was a fan listening to them on Myspace, going to gigs and nagging for demos, and starting a record label around their debut album just seemed like the right thing to do. I didn’t want to see their music die, floating around in spirit as a set of compressed files out there in the internet somewhere, I wanted to give people the opportunity to discover them, love them and miss them, just like I did and do. To quote a line in their song, 'Colonel Parker': “I want people I don’t recognise crying over me” – I wanted that for Nosferatu D2, or at least a chance at that.
I’m aware that I haven’t really spoken much about the music contained within this “buried treasure”, but I never could. Nosferatu D2 never belonged to a genre for me, nor did they particularly sound like anyone else. Having released the album, I’ve heard countless names used as reference points; Wedding Present, The Fall, Arab Strap, Mission Of Burma, Pavement, lots of great stuff. But none of those comparisons ever really clicked with me. Nosferatu D2 felt one in a million.
It was just frantic and disenchanted, beautiful and witty, and really quite timeless music. Parker always had a way of saying exactly what I wanted to say but never could, but even that doesn’t quite explain why this 33-minute disc of fuzzy racket means so much to me.
Nosferatu D2 were just a leading band in the brief time where music really could feel as though it was your life. If I had to pay to manufacture 1000 copies just to get one copy on my own record shelf, then so be it.
DOWNLOAD: Nosferatu D2 - Springsteen
The Nosferatu D2 album is out now on Audio Antihero, for the bargain-tastic price of under £6 here. T-shirts also available.
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Nosferatu D2: MySpace