Ten Questions, Ten Minutes with Eramnesia
A relatively new act on the block, Eramnesia is the combined talents of vocalist Aimee Zambrana and guitarist Patrick Reilly. The pair came together last year, and the first fruits of their collaboration is a truly fabulous song entitled ‘Alone Under Neon Lights’. “We want our music to be nostalgic and classic,” says Aimee, and the evidence so far certainly supports that. So, that’s a good place to start with Aimee and Pat undertaking the Ten Questions, Ten Minutes challenge...
Q1. Let’s talk about that song. It’s a truly fabulous piece of work...
AIMEE: “Thank you so much! ‘Alone Under Neon Lights’ was actually the first song that Pat and I collaborated on. He sent me some instrumental ideas to choose from- I selected the idea that would eventually become this song. I wrote the first melody and lyrics that came to me. At the time, I guess this was around April of last year, we were just trying to get a feel for each other’s style and see if we could work together well. We didn’t have a direction back then, we weren’t Eramnesia yet, but the song was born and it required very little reworking before we felt like it was ready- this one came very naturally.”
Q2. The cover art is pretty striking too.
PAT: “I knew we wanted an image that would speak to the atmosphere of the song. We hired Giannis Nakos of Remedy Art Design to draw inspiration from the music. As usual he delivered with flying colours!"
Q3. The song is accompanied by a great video clip. How long did that take to pull together? And do you enjoy doing such things, or are they a ‘necessary evil’ of the business?
AIMEE: “Everything happened so fast. We spent more time looking for a director/videographer than anything, and we were lucky to find Eric [Taylor Parker] within about a week of putting out the call. Filming was a single day, and we were a small group – just everyone you see in the video, plus Eric, and my fiancé who helped run the snow machine. Personally, it was a new experience for me and while I rarely get nervous when performing, I’m pretty shy about cameras. So I was a little scared, but more excited than anything. I wouldn’t regard the process as a necessary evil though: I think videos are another artistic outlet and an opportunity for even further expression and storytelling. I’m more comfortable with the experience now, and I know we will have way more to express in our next video.”
Q4. What have you been doing before hooking up in Eramnesia?
AIMEE: “Well, me, I’m a singer and a writer and all I’ve ever cared about or wanted to do with my life is create and perform music. That’s the long and short of it. Any time I’ve gotten too busy with other things to make music, my life didn’t just feel like it was ‘missing something,’ it felt totally empty. But I did go a good eight years without making music, after trying and failing miserably. When I gave up on trying to achieve success or make a career of it, I fell back in love with it. And I was able to put myself out there again, and I met Pat.”
PAT: “I am a bit of a musical nomad, always itching to be a part of something that I deem to be special. I am proud to have worked with Tengger Cavalry, Tom S. Englund, and Fellahin Fall, whom I continue to work with actually. But I have always wanted to be a founding member of my own project and recruit musicians that share and believe in my vision. When I heard Aimee’s voice, I knew that it fit perfectly into the music that I imagined.”
AIMEE: “Luckily, a lot of Pat’s musical influences are bands that I am a fan of, and we had similar goals in mind.”
Q5. The band’s name is very interesting. My understanding is that Eramnesia is a belief that you’ve been born in the wrong period of time and wish to be elsewhere, time-wise. Does that relate to you musically at all?
AIMEE: “Musically, we each take influence from many different eras. I mean, that’s the case for all musicians. For me, it’s all about the ’70s and the ’90s. Do I wish I was in that period? Not necessarily. In 2023, we have access to all previous eras of music, and we can even use technology to create sounds never imagined before. I think everyone has ‘eramnesia’ to an extent – all of our playlists are filled with nostalgia. For this band/ project though, we wanted to create sounds that are strongly reminiscent of our influences. Neither of us try to go out of our way to create something that’s never been done before just for the sake of originality. We want our music to be nostalgic and classic.”
PAT: “I honestly do wish I was born in a different time period at times. The culture of music in the past was so much more communal, there were more shows, record release parties, you’d see people lining up in the streets for the newest albums. Eramnesia is my way of paying tribute to that time, and those feelings.”
Q6. So, what album or albums made you think “I want to be a musician; I want to do that”?
AIMEE: “So many… Music has always been a huge part of my life, my father is a drummer and my mother was a singer herself when she was around my age. I sang a lot in church and school, it was a natural thing. This might be totally out of left field but I think I became infatuated with the idea of doing it as a career when My Chemical Romance came out with their video diary, ‘Life On The Murder Scene’, in 2006. The group of misfit kids from New Jersey getting together and forming a band, doing it for the love of it, because they had energy that they needed to get out, maybe they had something to prove to themselves, it was like the hero’s journey but with 2000s’ emo/punk music.”
PAT: “Like many other guitarists, I was first inspired to play by Metallica, and I hate to say it,” he laughs. “Not to take anything away from Metallica, but I am so far away now from who I was when I was first inspired to play music. That being said, I had already been playing for around a year when I got introduced to Megadeth. When I heard Marty Friedman, it was the first time I’d heard someone play in such an unorthodox, unique, professional, yet unpredictable, emotionally gripping way. Whereas, when I first heard Kirk Hammett, I was a brand new guitarist, and his playing sounded like the most interesting / awesome / cool thing I’d heard up to that point. Hearing Marty’s playing gave me inspiration to continuously evolve as a musician to this day.”
Q7. What are your strengths, the pair of you, do you think?
AIMEE: “Well, Pat has more experience with what it is to be in a touring band, what it is to publish your own music, he is literally good at everything and could handle every step of a song’s lifetime, from inception to production, marketing, etc. And I sing the songs!” she laughs, raising her thumb.
PAT: “I think as musicians, Aimee and I are completely different. When I first heard some of Aimee’s past work, I was blown away by the emotional impact she was able to create with such simplicity. I tend to be the opposite sometimes, creating songs with a hundred tracks, meticulously chosen sounds, etc…”
AIMEE: “I can provide Pat with a bare-bones, shoddily recorded, totally pared down demo, and he will instinctively know how to flesh it out with instruments and effects to create an even more impactful and emotive piece than I originally envisioned.”
PAT: “I guess my strength is that I can combine our two unique stories into one grand story? Sorry,” he adds, “I’m not used to discussing myself.”
Q8. Where do you go from here? What’s next for Eramnesia?
AIMEE: “Well, I’ll never stop writing, and Pat is overflowing with creativity so we are definitely gonna keep coming out with tunes. But we’re both itching to get out there and perform, more than anything. If all goes as planned, we’ll hit the stage sometime before next Fall.”
Q9. What film would suit ‘Alone Under Neon Lights’, as part of its soundtrack?
AIMEE: “Well, one interpretation of the song is that it’s about a toxic relationship, so I’m thinking any film that has Batman and The Joker in it.”
PAT: “It definitely has a Bladerunner-esque vibe, maybe a movie telling the story of a couple within that world, not focused on the world itself, but the people. A cyberpunk love story.”
Q10. And finally, if you drove an ice cream van, what tune would it play?
AIMEE: “One of the funkier Korn songs. Something equally danceable and diabolical, so their cover of ‘Word Up!’ or ‘Y’All Want A Single’.”
PAT: “Definitely a White Zombie song – probably ‘Super-Charger Heaven’!”
‘Alone Under Neon Lights’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofOhr49hcmc
© John Tucker February 2023