Give Up the Ghost

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This article is about the hardcore punk band. For the album by Brandi Carlile, see Give Up the Ghost (album). For the song by Radiohead, see The King of Limbs.
Give Up the Ghost
Background information
Also known as American Nightmare
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Genres Hardcore punk, post-hardcore
Years active 1998 (1998)–2004 (2004), 2011-present
Labels Bridge 9, Equal Vision, Burning Heart,
Deathwish Inc.
Associated acts Ten Yard Fight, Cold Cave, Panic, Some Girls, The Hope Conspiracy, XO Skeletons, Head Automatica, Bars, Ye Olde Maids, Old Poets, Cross Builder, Get Down
Members Tim Cossar
Wesley Eisold
Joshua Holden
Brian Masek
Alex Garcia-Rivera
Past members Jarrod Alexander
Jesse Gustafson
Nate Helm
Azy Relph
Jesse Van Diest
Zachary Wilson
Matt Woods

Give Up the Ghost (originally named "American Nightmare" sometimes stylized as A.N.) is a hardcore punk band from Boston, Massachusetts.



Give Up the Ghost was formed when Tim Cossar and Wesley Eisold (who was then a roadie for Ten Yard Fight) met up with Azy Relph and Jesse Van Diest in 1998. They recorded a demo tape in 1999, followed by their debut release, a self-titled 7", on Bridge 9 Records under their original name American Nightmare in 2000. After extensive touring and line-up changes, the band recorded their second release 7", The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter. This was later combined with their self-titled effort to form Year One, which was released by Reflections Records in 2001 and reissued posthumously by Bridge 9 Records.

Their debut full-length, Background Music, was recorded for Equal Vision Records in 2001 and was released to much acclaim. In 2003, the band faced a legal battle with a similarly named band from Philadelphia. The band then changed their name briefly to the initials "A.N." then to American Nothing for a brief period. After the other American Nightmare threatened to press charges again, they changed their name to Give Up the Ghost (which was intended to be the name of their second album).[1] Their second full length, We're Down Til We're Underground released on Equal Vision Records, displayed the band experimenting with their sound, with longer songs that didn't follow the typical hardcore songwriting formula they had adhered to in their previous releases.

Some fans of the band have been known to refer to them by their original name, The Slamminals.

Breakup and aftermath[edit]

The band broke up suddenly in June 2004, a day after announcing the cancellation of a European tour.[2] The band issued a statement which cited "health and personal reasons" for the split.[3] Give Up the Ghost's success, combined with the success of contemporary Boston bands like The Suicide File, cemented the position of the Boston scene as the bellwether for new trends during the early 2000s. Members went on to join/form other bands such as Cold Cave, Some Girls,[4] XO Skeletons, Ye Olde Maids, Head Automatica,[5] Bars, and the Hope Conspiracy. Wes also went on to start a publishing company called Heartworm Press and co-owns Philadelphia based bookstore/performance space Juanita And Juan's. Give Up the Ghost came back into the headlines in 2007 under accusations that Fall Out Boy had taken lyrics from Wes Eisold, the band's lyricist, resulting in an out-of-court settlement and a credit in the liner notes of both the multi-platinum selling From Under the Cork Tree and Infinity on High.[6]


After seven years of disbandment, Give Up the Ghost played two reunion shows in December 2011. The band performed in Revere, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston) on December 29, and in Los Angeles on December 31. Deathwish Inc. reissued Give Up the Ghost's albums Background Music (2001) and We're Down Til We're Underground (2003) to coincide with the reunion dates.[7]

Tickets for the two reunion shows went on sale on October 29, 2011 and both shows sold out in under a minute.[8] As a result, a special ticket package was announced to go on sale November 7, with all proceeds going to Shirts For A Cure Project, which benefits the Syrentha Savio Endowment. The package included two tickets and two t-shirts for $100,[8] which in turn also sold out in under a minute.

Give Up the Ghost played additional reunion shows on July 20 and July 22, 2012 at Webster Hall in New York City.[9] In addition, Give Up The Ghost performed at the FYF Fest in Los Angeles, California in September 2012 under their original name American Nightmare.[10] They scheduled two more shows under the American Nightmare name in June 2013 in Chicago and Toronto.[11] Shows in Anaheim CA and Seattle WA are also scheduled for December of 2013.


Studio albums


  • Year One (2001, Reflections Records)

Singles and EPs

  • 4 Song Demo (1999, Malfunction)
  • American Nightmare (2000, Bridge 9)
  • The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter (2001, Bridge 9)
  • Love American (2003, Bridge 9)
  • Live in London (2003, Bridge 9)

Compilation contributions


  1. ^ "American Nightmare change their name". 2003-03-17. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Give Up The Ghost Cancel UK Dates". Rock Sound magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  3. ^ "Give Up The Ghost Give Up The Ghost!". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  4. ^ "ARTISTdirect - Some Girls". ARTISTdirect. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Head Automatica biography". Yahoo Music. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  6. ^ Dan Goss (2007). "Fall Out Boy's Local Lyricist". Fall Out Boy's local lyricist. Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  7. ^ Battan, Carrie (October 27, 2011). "Give Up the Ghost (American Nightmare) Reunite for New Year's Shows". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ "American Nightmare aka Give Up The Ghost announce NYC Reunion Show July 22". [1]. May 24, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "American Nightmare Announce Toronto Show". Exclaim!. 23 March 2013. 

External links[edit]