Meet: Californian (N.W.O.T.H.M.) band Night Demon

Californian band Night Demon recently played The Grand Social in Dublin, while there Abigael Paquet got to sit down and have a chat with the band.

Words Abigael Paquet: Photos Ian Mc Donnell:

Abby: When was your band created and how did you come up with the name ?

Jarvis: Oh, 2011. Officially the band started – we didn’t do much though for a couple years, it wasn’t really a band ‘till 2013. Sleep Paralysis ,the night demon. If anybody knows about sleep paralysis, it’s a real thing. First, the band was called Night Demon with a K, like a knight in shining armour. And then we’ve changed it to N and then realised: “oh, that’s like the sleep paralysis demon, known as the night demon !”. So, that was a weird synchronicity that had happened. But yeah, that’s it. And it was like, you know, just kind of a heavy metal name. And we were surprised that it actually wasn’t taken because a lot of the good ones we thought were taken, but it stuck with us.

Armand: It’s funny, we get some random hashtags on Instagram sometimes. Night demons things, like: “What the fuck is that ?!” Or somebody’s really cool artwork that they drew of their paralysis night demons. Stuff that has nothing to do with the band !

Jarvis: Or like, cars. Like, Boy racers, you know ? Like, my Honda Civic. 

Abby:  It’s funny. And is it because you had experiences with sleep paralysis ?

Jarvis: I did, I have. Yeah, yeah. Yeah … A lot. I know, it’s no fun [laughs].

Abby: Oh, I know ! Crazy. So, you’ve released a new album recently. Could you tell us a little bit about it, and how it compares to your previous work.

Armand: It’s different for one, as it’s a concept record. So, there’s a storyline that weaves in and out of the songs throughout the record. So, I’ve never done that before ! There’s a lot of things that we’ve done on this record that we’ve never done before, musically. Just really trying to expand, you know, take it to the next level instead of just rewriting what we do or you know … staying in that traditional heavy metal style. That’s still there, but there’s obviously some kind of experimental things.

Jarvis: Yeah, I agree. That’s the kind of the same thing, just to evolve as a band and not repeat yourself. You know, I mean, we are who we are, we’re still going to sound like a metal band. A lot of people say it still sounds like Night Demon. So, when you hear other people say it, that’s cool.

Brian: I mean, no matter what you do, if you keep putting out albums of a similar style, people will complain: “Oh, they’re just putting out the same album over and over again !” But then, if you change everything: “oh, they completely changed ! I want them to go back to the old style !” You know, with a lot of people you can never win. So, it’s best to just do what you do.

Armand: But we haven’t heard much of that, I don’t think. I haven’t experienced much of that. Everybody’s been really positive about it. So yeah, it’s good.

Abby: Yeah, you’re right, you can’t please everyone, so just do your thing !

Armand: Well, we got to please ourselves first. Hopefully, everybody else will like it too. 

Brian: If you do your own thing, you know, usually it works out. You stay true to yourself.

Armand: Yeah, not try to change just to change [laughs].

Abby: And did you work on this album throughout COVID ? If so, how did that impact you ?

Jarvis: We had time. It was great ! There’s never time to do anything. I mean, like even right now, right ? We’re gonna sit here and try to write a song. We’ve got a million things to do tonight, you know ? 

Brian: I might try to write a song.

Jarvis: You might try. Try and learn our existing songs first please, before you start writing !

Abby: How would you convince people who actually don’t know you to listen to your music ?

Armand: Mhh … I don’t know. I guess, find out what they like and say: “Hey, check this out”, or don’t bother.


Jarvis: Yeah, yeah … I think people think it’s a metal band, and then they hear the band name and they think they already know what it is. 

Armand: Yeah, more extreme. When it’s actually a lot more straight up rock.

Jarvis: Yeah and melodic. And we have a lot of dynamics, you know, so I would say just listen to it before you even judge it. That’s what I would say: “it’s not what you probably think, so check it out !” 

Abby: I know it’s a hard one, but I love asking this question. And, what can people expect from your shows ?

Jarvis: A lot of energy. 

Armand: A lot of sweat. 

Jarvis: A lot of sweat. A real rock show. A live show. Nothing computerised behind the music, you know ? It’s just  a live band playing our music. Three guys playing live music, you know, it’s kind of rare these days. But yeah, it’s one of those things like you think: “okay, rock’s not as popular anymore”, but I’m glad that we’re doing it, you know. The pool is smaller, and that’s fine. I mean, it’s not like everybody’s doing it now. And I think the people that come to the shows really care. So, instead of having 20,000 people that are going to the hottest thing … How many people really care about that, you know ? We know that everybody that’s at a gig really wants to be there. And that’s way more important. Because sometimes the people that don’t want to be there can ruin it for the people that really do want to be there. You know, so it’s a good way to look at it. 

Abby: But, rock is coming back !

Jarvis: Well, I’ve been hearing that for years. 

Armand: But yeah, I guess in the mainstream or something. 

Jarvis: Well, I guess Post Malone is doing rock now. Machine gun Kelly’s doing it. Ariana Grande and …

Brian: Dolly Parton’s got a rock album coming out ! 

Jarvis: Yeah, I guess that’s their version of rock. As long as the Kardashians keep wearing Metallica and Iron Maiden shirts, I guess … [laughs] 

Abby: What was your worst experience on stage ? 

Jarvis: Soundcheck today. No, I don’t know. Someone tried to fight me once on stage in Vancouver. Yeah, that was probably the worst. I don’t know … I’ve fallen down a lot of times on stage. 

Armand: Getting shocked …

Abby: Getting what ?

Armand: Getting shocked by electricity.

Abby: Oh, I thought you said ‘shot’ ! 

Jarvis: Oh, I got shot at ! At a show that we played. It wasn’t on stage, it was outside right after we were done, in LA. 

Abby: Were you the direct target ?

Jarvis: Uhm, [shots were fired] just at the crowd. Yeah, but it was right by my head.

Abby: Wow … Scary !

Brian: I’ve had probably every technical issue that could possibly happen at this point. A few nights ago on stage, my snare fell off, the stand was on the floor. The stand was a supply for me and during Curse of the Damn, it just went on … It was on the floor !

Armand: Yeah, it’s tricky with these kinds of shows because we’re not necessarily on tour. So, usually we don’t have our equipment, so we’re just using whatever we get every night, you know. So, tonight’s drum kit isn’t quite that up to par. But you know, we work with what we have to make it work. We still put on a great show.

Abby: You just gotta laugh at it I guess !

Armand: Yeah, you just gotta laugh at it. Sometimes … I mean, in the moment it’s frustrating. 

Abby: So, what did you do ?!

Brian: When the snare fell off ? I just, I was trying to figure it out … I never tried to stop. That was a moment where I was like: “okay, we need to just stop, I need to get repositioned here”, like for a second but I did this floor tom pattern, basically just to keep the time going and hoping somebody would come up. And somebody from the audience came onto the stage and put it back for me. It wasn’t perfect, but it was enough to get me through the song. So, I made it through.

Abby: That’s good. I love asking this question too, I’ve heard a lot of funny stories ! Such as people eating spicy food before going on stage and feeling sick … 

Armand: Oh yeah, we had food poisoning or Montezuma’s revenge from Mexico. And we were basically all sick for like, four days. And luckily we had a few days off at our friend’s house, but it lasted until the first few shows and it was tough to be on stage [laughs].

Abby: Which artists do you listen to which would surprise/shock your fans ?

Armand: We like all kinds of stuff …  but probably not. I don’t know. Our fans are pretty

open, you know? Maybe someone like Bjork.

Jarvis: Rock set. 

Brian: I don’t really feel guilty for listening to anything, you know. I like what I like. And honestly, like most of what I listen to is within the realm of rock at least, you know, something that’s band driven. I

Jarvis: You like ABBA !

Brian: I do ! When did I say that ?

Armand: Right now !

Abby: So, how are you finding Ireland ? I know you were saying you were in Belfast and Derry too …

Armand: We love it. He [Jarvis] basically lives here half the year.

Abby: Oh, no way ! In summers or winters … ?

Jarvis: I try to do summers. I’ve done a couple of winters and  … nah … ! This year I didn’t do winter, we were in California, fuck that !

Armand: Yeah, what’s the first time we came over here ?

Jarvis: 2017 ! This is our fourth run, our fourth time here playing.

Abby: So, what do you look forward to the most when you get to play in Ireland ?

Jarvis: Fresh Guinness ! Yeah, that’s the number one answer.


Armand: I mean, the people are great, the scenery … You know, Dublin’s cool. We’re gonna see some places we’ve never been. Like, we’re gonna go to Limerick and we’ll stay in Kilkenny for one night. Yeah, see some of the countryside.

Brian: I’ve never been to Ireland, this is my first time. It exceeded my expectations. Great, great country.

Jarvis: Ireland has the most metal aesthetic of any country and that’s why we’re trying to bring more metal here. Yeah, more fancy to come here. 

Abby: And what would your dream venue, city, or country to play live be and why ? 

Jarvis: I don’t know there’s so many places which played … they’re all cool, but I don’t know, you might have one.

Armand: I don’t know, we were just in Japan. That was amazing. So, can’t wait to go back. We played two gigs [within a week there], so we had a lot of time to explore. But the gigs were great, and we didn’t know what to expect, we’d never been there. They were really good.

Brian: I’d really liked to play the Hammersmith.

Jarvis: Madison Square Garden. In New York City. Not because of the size but yes, it’s one of those legendary places.

Abby: I see. Are there questions that you wish journalists would ask you but never or rarely do ?

Armand: I think most of the questions you ask are actually really good.

Jarvis: Yeah, pretty first time questions.

Armand: It’s usually: “So, how did you start ? Who’s your influences ?” Don’t tell me they’re your next questions.

Abby: [laughs] Actually, no !

Brian: Nothing I can think of … I mean, just when a journalist shows that they know about the band is a big thing. Because there’s a lot of people who come in to interview bands and they have no idea who they’re talking to or what they’re asking about and it shows. And then it doesn’t make for a great interview.

Abby: For sure. Now, what is your most meaningful song ?

Armand: I want to say it changes over time. I mean, one of my favourite songs right now is off the new record, called The Rath. But as far as meaningful, it’s hard to say because I don’t write the lyrics, it would be more of a singer question I guess.

Brian: I would say that my favourite songs to play on the drums are probably MastermindKill the Pain is another one that I like. Interesting drum parts … deviation from normal just ‘four four beats’ and everything, so that’s cool. 

Abby: So, it’s because they’re fun to play ?

Brian: Yeah, they’re fun to play. Kill the Pain is one that’s a little bit more challenging, Mastermind is not so much challenging, but it’s just fun to play.

Jarvis: They all mean something, man. But I can say the least favourite one is Livin’ Dangerous. That’s the only one that ever kind of copped out on, you know ? 

Abby: Yeah, that’s something I don’t want to ask people: “which is your worst song ?” [laughs]

All: But that’s a good question !

Jarvis: See, there’s the question that you’re asking that people never get asked; ask them that ! Because they could probably tell you honestly. Because, most bands put a lot of effort into all their stuff. But there’s also some ones that they never want to play, that they probably thought that sucked, you know ? That’s a good question actually.

Abby: Noted ! Alright, last question: what is your most useless talent ?

Jarvis: Useless talent ? Music ! 


Jarvis: Singing, yeah, it’s maybe the least amount of money and probably the most heartache in my whole life ! 

Armand: I can French inhale a cigarette.

Jarvis: I can blow smoke rings !

Brian: I’m really good at guitar hero. I got so good at it that I was like: “you know, maybe I should put this effort into real guitar !” and then: “whoa, this is different !”


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