Nemhain is a London-based rock/punk/gothic rock influenced band named after Nemhain, the mythological Celtic goddess of battle fury. It was formed by Adrian Erlandsson, then with Cradle of Filth, and his wife, model Morrigan Hel in 2006.
Their music deals with the darker side of sex, drugs, addiction, passion and revenge. They have also recorded and performed covers of songs by The Distillers, Nirvana, Misfits and The Gits.
Their first album, From The Ashes, was released on 22 January 2010 on Tiefdruck-Musik.
One night early in 2006, Erlandsson on guitar and Hel (Amber Erlandsson) sang Lead Belly's classic "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" and had the idea to start their own band came. They decided to draw on their influences from the likes of Danzig and the Ramones and to create a self-styled "Blues stained punk rock" group.
Adrian's career began in 1981 when, inspired by Judas Priest, he formed the Black Nuns which evolved into Berits Polisonger playing until 1986. There then followed a series of other bands including thrash metal band Penance in 1987, until he became a founding member of At the Gates in 1990.
During his time with them he was part of the punk band Skitsystem, recording three EPs between 1995 and 1996. Erlandsson had another two bands with ATG connections with Terror (who recorded a three track demo) and Hyperhug. In 1996 he formed The Haunted with fellow ATG brothers Jonas and Anders Bjorler, cutting one demo in 1997 and releasing one album in 1998.
Leaving late in 1998, Erlandsson drummed for Swedish black metal purists Nifelheim and numerous other bands. He was approached by Cradle of Filth in June 1999 and played drums on one track of the Cradle To Enslave EP, before becoming a full-time member, playing on no less than 20 albums, singles and DVDs until May 2006 when he joined Needleye playing on their album Ode To None as well as additional demos that were available on their Myspace page.
Morrigan Hel is also well known for her Cradle of Filth connections, touring as a stage performer with them as well as being the model on the Cradle To Enslave EP, in the video for "Born In A Burial Gown" and the horror movie Cradle of Fear. That aside, she has had a career as a fetish model, TV presenter, stage/fire performer with bands such as Motörhead and Godhead and actress in Nature Morte and as an extra in the films Still Crazy, Judge Dredd and Hackers. Her musical projects date back to her teens when she first learned the guitar and with a friend played and sang along to Black Sabbath; they formed a band called The Art Of Falling Apart. Later she joined the band Obsidian. They also recorded a version of "Girls Like Honey", a song later resurrected for Nemhain.
Cherry Forever began her music career as bass guitarist with all-girl group Desolation Angels. When their drummer dropped out, Charlie Simpson (Busted, Fightstar) stepped in.
Forever also sang backing vocals for Franz Ferdinand on the track "L.Wells" (on the single "The Fallen") in April 2006 and numerous tracks on the Demented Scum Cats LP, which was an all-star side project from Demented Are Go. Forever then switched from bass guitar to guitar and continued to write songs drawing on her numerous influences. When not making music, Forever was also a model and made an appearance in the film Nature Morte.
Music had always been part of Lisa Witch's (Lisa Dickinson) life since learning to play the tenor horn at school. When she went to university she and some friends "messed around" with some comic songs but nothing came of this. In 1997, Witch decided to learn the bass guitar. She also made an appearance in the film Nature Morte.
Liv Fast (Olivia Boeree), a lead guitarist, completed the line up. When Fast entered a poker competition she became hooked and was soon offered a job presenting Poker TV in Las Vegas, which she accepted.
Her replacement was Sam Hain (Sam Astley), a multi-talented musician who can play numerous instruments. Despite the experimental nature of his solo work, under the name of 'EWSS', he is a fan of Slash and Children of Bodom. He is also one half of The Cry & The Chainsaw, a small independent film company which has made a number of music videos (including "Ana"') and short films. Apart from the production and filming he contributes to the soundtracks.
After rehearsals and writing sessions a small private gig took place at the Dungeon. By August they were ready to perform at an all day music festival at the Bar Monsta in Camden. More gigs followed in October as did a recording session in Eastbourne, resulting in the EP called Blood Runs Free, named after a song written by Morrigan but not recorded. Cradle released the Thornography album and soon after the official announcement was made about Erlandsson leaving.
The Blood Runs Free demo was released as a limited pressing of 1000 copies only. It went on sale at the Bar Monsta gig on 12 November 2006, the same day they also shot the promo video for the song "Ana". The year ended with a New Year's Eve gig with King Lizard at the Purple Turtle club in Camden.
In January 2007, they played the newly located Intrepid Fox in London wearing clothes designed by Kates Clothing at a launch party gig. They also recorded a version of "Die Die My Darling" with Tristian McGarrigle for the Misfits tribute album Anniversary of Brutality. The band minus Hain then went to Los Angeles for the NAMM convention, where much work was done including gaining a sponsorship deal with Orange Amps.
Erlandsson also announced a busy schedule with sessions for Netherbird, Tenet with former guitarist Jed Simon (Strapping Young Lad) and joining Mexican legends Brujeria on their first world tour. When Needleye announced that they had taken the band as far as it could go, Duncan Wilkinson and Ray Holoryd began working on some new ideas and demos and formed 12 Ton Method with Erlandsson as session drummer. Two further tracks were recorded, "From The Ashes" and "Dirty Weekend" (based on the book by Helen Zahavi), at Fortress Studios and produced by Greg Brimson (Rammstein) and Russ Russell (Dimmu Borgir).
In March, Nemhain was given the opportunity to support Australian rock group Rose Tattoo at the Scala in London. As Erlandsson was touring with Brujeria at the time he asked his friend and fellow session drummer Robin Guy to take his place. Guy is a seasoned session musician whose credits include Faith No More, Bruce Dickinson and GMT.
April began with two gigs in Wales and London. On the 26th Hain left the band. His replacement on the 28th was Dick Limelight (Daniel Kjolsrud) a Swedish bass guitarist previously with King Lizard. Limelight had played on their third EP, titled Late Night Dynamite.
The new line up made its debut at Camden's Electric Ballroom on 6 May, followed by its first mini UK Tour. New songs were introduced into the set, including a disturbing cover of Nirvana's "Rape Me". Also in May, Cradle of Filth released a live DVD/CD set from April 2001, and the song "Dirty Weekend" appeared on a CD given away with Devolution magazine.
At the end of June, the band was due to play the River Town Festival in Prague, but the band never made it there as both Limelight and Forever suddenly left due to "personal reasons" as stated in an email on July 2. Model/TV presenter/music journalist Samara Kain, the bass guitarist with Spiders Superstars was found as a replacement for Forever. Stevie Lee, formerly of controversial glam band Spit Like This, replaced Limelight. Lee had made himself known to the band at the Download Festival.
The new line-up made its debut at the Revue Bar in Soho on July 30 and then set off on a tour of Holland.
In November, they went to Belgium to record a new EP. Erlandsson also announced that At the Gates were reforming for a series of one-off gigs around the world.
After a gig at club SIN in Soho it seemed that there was a degree of tension in the band. They played the Hard Rock Hell festival without Kain then Lee quit afterwards and Samara did not return.
In December, a reliable and talented guitarist was found with Lakis Kyriacou. Kyriacou has been playing in bands since the age of 13; he was the driving force behind the band Area 54 formed in the late 1990s. Their brand of thrash/maiden styled music saw them release three albums: No Visible Scars (2000), Beckoning of the End (2003) which featured guest vocals from At the Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg and Bring Out Your Dead (2007). In July, however, they decided to end the band with Kyriacou putting all his efforts into the glam influenced band Love & Bullets which he had formed in September 2006.
2008 began with a return to NAMM in America again, but this time they played two gigs as well. Returning to the UK, Erlandsson set off on a massive European tour with Swedish glam/goth band Deathstars who were supporting KoRn throughout February.
In March and April, they recorded their first album in Sweden with Fredrik Nordstrom (At the Gates, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy) producing, one song of which features a guest appearance from The Haunted vocalist Pete Dolving is a cover of The Gits 'Second Skin'.
With huge touring commitments with At the Gates the band was quiet until October 5 when they appeared on Total Rock radio and broadcast four new tracks.
A four track promotional EP was also released and they then played the "Night of the Evil Red" Halloween show at the Big Red bar in London's Holloway Road.
In November, Kyriacou performed at the Camden Underworld for a one -ff appearance with Love And Bullets, where he was joined by Fast as guest guitarist. Also, Mick Priestley and Adrian released an EP under the name of the Green River Project. On the 15th, Nemhain had the honour of playing the final night at the Ruskin Arms in East London for the charity Clive Aid, which is a charity to help Iron Maiden's original drummer Clive Burr, making them the last female fronted band to perform at the venue.
The December gig with Municipal Waste at the Peel in Kingston saw the return of Hain bringing the band's twin guitar sound back.
In January 2009, they filmed a video for the song "Second Skin" with Gdrax from Ted Maul replacing Dolving who was touring with The Haunted at the time. They also headlined a charity concert called Rock Against Rape in aid of Rape Crisis.
Amber "Morrigan Hel" Erlandsson - vocals,
Lakis Kyriacou - guitar,
Sam Astley - guitar,
Lisa "The Witch" Dickinson - bass,
Adrian Erlandsson - drums