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April 21, 2024
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From Zero To Nightmare: Erlend Skaar’s Journey from Classic Melodies to Haunting Beats

From Zero To Nightmare: Erlend Skaar's Journey from Classic Melodies to Haunting Beats
Photo Credited to: Julia Nicole Jones

Erlend Skaar was born in Oslo and was raised as a small child in Kongsberg before his family relocated to Scotland for several years then back to Norway. Eventually, he moved to the United States, where Erlend decided to settle down in the cultural hub of St. Augustine after meandering around a few states. 

Growing up, his mom played a lot of classical music, including renditions fromJames Last, whose Classics Up To Date Vol. 2 record he wore out as a child, leaving an indelible mark. As long as he can remember, Erlend has had melodies in his head. At first, he expressed himself through singing in his church choir, which actually traveled to Wales to record a vinyl album at the York Minster Cathedral when he was about 10. Erlend then moved on to learning guitar, getting his first one at 14, trying to play along to Metallica and Anthrax. He and some friends performed at their High School Battle of the Bands to great audience enthusiasm. When it was announced that they hadn’t won, the kids protested, and Erlend and his band were given a prize post-show in true anarchic fashion.

In college, he studied as a music major before switching to business because he was scared to go all in on the music career at that time. Erlend wanted a comfortable life and to be able to support a family. We are all too aware of the sentiment of “starving artists.” He tried forming bands here and there in his 20s but somehow always came up with a drummer short. Lord knows there are enough guitar players out there. Occasionally, he would get out and perform at local venues, Battle of the Bands in Atlanta and Birmingham City Stages in Alabama. 

Then life happened and Erlend eventually settled into life with a stable tech industry job but couldn’t totally shake his need to express himself through music. He would sometimes play for his son or friends, who always encouraged him to pursue creating music. But Erlend always had a hard time viewing himself as a “real” musician, an imposter syndrome I’m sure we’ve all experienced in some form or another in our lives. 

One day, randomly, Erlend rediscovered some of his old songs and was surprised to still really like them. It reawakened something in him. Then, upon returning to school to get his MBA, during one of the leadership class’s soul-searching sessions, Erlend suddenly realized that music was what he truly wanted to be doing and that his career choice wasn’t fulfilling. He had that epiphany moment of, “If not now, when?”. Tired of being told, “You can’t do that, you’ll never make it!” In life and by the voices we all have in our heads, Erlend decided he didn’t want to die with regrets and bravely set out to chart a new path for himself.

He started to take vocal lessons with Draven Grey out of Colorado. But most importantly, he started to write music again and gained confidence in himself as a musical artist. Draven has been instrumental to Erlend on that front, helping to make these projects possible.

Listening to Erlend’s music, you can tell that bands like Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon, Tool, Korn, Alice in Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins have influenced him. However, there’s also a flavor of his childhood favorite, Classical. Some of the singles Erlend plans on releasing over the winter are evocative of Bach’s cello suites. Normally, Erlend likes to steer his music into the heavier stuff, which is on excellent display in his freshly released single “Anything For…” under his stage name ‘Zero To Nightmare.’ I highly recommend everyone download and immediately add to their Halloween playlist, especially if you’re a Rob Zombie fan. This single was ready in time for a Halloween Weekend release due to the last-minute mastering magic performed by Thistle Dew Productions in CA, and the amazing Iliki Studios out of Hilo, HI.

Erlend doesn’t like getting locked into one genre and wanted room to grow his discography as well. ‘Zero to Nightmare’ perfectly encapsulates the breadth of music creativity that Erlend has to offer. He says that in today’s society, it feels like audiences are more accepting of a variety of music, and he is excited about the future places it will take him.

Though he is currently still juggling the tech job and music, he is hopeful that he will get to focus more and more on his creative side as his music sees success. “Music is magical. I don’t know where it comes from, and I’ll be playing the guitar, humming something… At least for me, it’s different every time, but before you know it, something exists where nothing did before! It’s always exciting! 

The release of his new single, “Anything For…”, is hitting the digital airwaves just in time for Halloween. With deliciously spooky vibes and hard-hitting beats, this song is a must-add to any true Rocker’s collection.

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