The last time I interviewed VAMPYRE HEART they were about to release an album. That album has been out a while now. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
When we spoke the last time in July 2012 you were in the process of putting the finishing touches to your first album. How did that go?
-It went great thank you. Everything leading up to the album release has taken a lot of hard work from us all, as we rely mostly on ourselves to get everything done, even down to the album artwork. We were incredibly grateful to have worked with Rich ‘Mixer’ Ott from Florida, who did a great job Mastering the tracks for the album. We’ve known Rich for a number of years and he’s always seemed to believe in us and what we were trying to achieve with Vampyre Heart. It’s great to have people around you like this, because this industry is vicious and takes no prisoners. You have no choice but to work hard if you want to succeed, and even then there’s still no guarantees. Vampyre Heart are also really grateful to be working with Ravenheart Music, who are now officially distributing our music worldwide. We’re really happy to have finally released our debut album ‘The Ghost of Time’ through Ravenheart Music, and we’re really looking forward to working on the on the second album and various other projects.
How far along are you on your next album now? How will that differ from the previous album?
-Honestly, that’s difficult to answer, because it’s a little too early to confirm how many tracks will be on the next album. We have already started the writing process for the next album and we have various tracks at different stages of completion, one of which we have already played live, whereas some tracks are still skeleton tracks that need to be built up and produced into the final product. For the second album, it’s likely that we may follow a similar format to the first, which ultimately means it could potentially be another double-album. All of this is still to be decided yet, so watch this space.
I noticed that the album ‘The Ghost of Time’ is spread out over two discs. What was the thought behind that?
-In some ways, it became a double-album by accident. The problem that we had, was once we’d taken out the tracks that weren’t going on to the album, we were still left with too many minutes worth of music to fit on one disc. It was always our intention to have a mixture of Gothic styled tracks, with some tracks that were more Rock & Metal based, compared to the more darker Electro-Synth type tracks and then some others that were more slower and Orchestral. When it came to deciding the track order, we thought that it may be nice to have the slower tracks on CD Two, creating a slightly different mood for that disc. As a band, we like to mix it all up musically and we feel incredibly fortunate that we’re in a position where we can combine the genres a little. The second album will also feature a mixture of different styled tracks, some up-tempo, some down-tempo, but all with the Vampyre Heart twist to it, and hopefully this will continue to appeal to a broader range of fans.
Now that you have a physical product to show for is it easier to get people interested in the band? What kind responses have you had to the album?
-Holding our CD is a great feeling as a personal achievement, but from business point of view, having a tangible product was really important, especially when we play Live as fans often like to buy your music after the show. Also from a brand point of view, we can now use this as a basis for Vampyre Heart products, with other merchandise and CD’s to follow. All of these things help when attracting and maintaining a worldwide fanbase. Most importantly though, we now have professionally made music, which is a better representation of us currently, compared to that of the old ‘demos’ that were previously on our social networking sites and demo CD’s. We’ve had a positive response so far with the new music from ‘The Ghost of Time’ album, and it’s always interesting to hear from people which track or style of track is their favourite.
I don’t think I asked you about the significance of spelling vampire with a Y. Is there a bigger meaning behind the spelling?
-Generally, spelling Vampyre with a Y is often perceived or referred to as being a more ancient way of spelling the word, and it’s more that type of image we prefer, so that’s partly why we didn’t choose the modern spelling. Also, it’s good to be different, so Vampyre with a Y it was.
When you play live, how do you transform the concept of the band/story to the stage settings?
-What we do and what we’d like to do are quite different. We’d love to have a more theatrical based stage show, with more props, fire and pyrotechnics and much more. However, the reality is, that until we reach the big stage that’s not really possible. We play normal size venues with stages full of band equipment so it’s not really the right sort of environment for the ideal show type. However, we still have great fun on stage and our clothing, guitars and equipment already do a great job of setting the image for the band. The sound and lyrics of the songs also help tell parts of the Vampyre Heart story. Regardless of however the concept does actually come across, we just hope the audiences have as much fun as we do when we play Live. In the future though, we would love to explore other opportunities that would allow us to have a fuller stage show.
What does playing live add to the experience? What kind of dimensions come to life on stage?
-We as individuals come to life on stage, that’s for sure. Playing Live is a really fun experience, but it is hard work too. We really try to give it everything when we play Live, so staying fit off-stage is equally important to us. If everything is going well on the night (such as the venue sound system working well) then it makes the night so much better, and perhaps easier to relax too. When you’re able to relax more, you’re able to feel the music more and so playing with passion comes naturally. It’s such a great feeling! There’s also a real sense of self-satisfaction when you can take your music to the stage and bring it to life.
Something I’ve been thinking about, is if there are different flanges groups of Vampires and if some are considered more hardcore and true than others? I’ve watched a lot of Vampire TV shows in the last 12 months and they all have their take on the life of vampires.
-Absolutely, but this is the same in all walks of life. We had the opportunity to spend time with the Manchester Vampire Guild who appear on our music video to the song ‘Crypt’ (due to be released soon). They were a really nice group of people to work with. I’m sure they have their own beliefs and way of approaching the Vampire society, however someone like the London Vampire Guild or even Los Angeles societies may have a different approach. It’s really interesting when you research this subject, and there are some people who really do take it to the extreme. Whatever it is that you believe though, or however absorbed you are within the Vampyre lifestyle, as long as no one gets hurt, and everyone has fun, then that’s all that should matter. To some people, that’s all it is, just a bit of fun, whereas for some people it’s a serious way of life. Either way, Vampyre Heart respects that in people, and that’s not limited to just the Vampyre world either as we apply the same approach to all walks of life.
What do you think it was that Bram Stoker wanted to say when the first novel was written? What was it about Count Dracula that fascinated the author?
-It was the history of the area that fascinated him. The Saxons put out rudimentary leaflets accusing Vlad the Impaler, also known as Vlad Dracula (a title given to him by the Vatican ironically), of eating people, which through folklore turned him into a mythical Vampire. He was feared by his own people, but more so by the Ottoman (the Muslims) empire and the Saxons (modern Germany). He saw in the folklore a great story in the making and in fact, did a lot of research of the area concerned, and most of the descriptions of places in the book were very accurate to enhance its realism.
What will 2013 bring to VAMPYRE HEART?
-The main priority that we’re working on at the moment is finishing the storybook ‘Vampyre Heart – The Story’. Summer has finished writing the story and it’s currently being edited, ready to send off to the publishers. Once this is finished, we have the finishing touches to add to the music video ‘Crypt’. It’s then back to working full-speed-ahead on the next album, although we do have a few other music videos planned for some tracks off the current album, so they’ll be squeezed in over the coming year. We’re planning to hit the road more during the summer and we’re also hoping to be on some festival slots around Europe, so we’ll be looking forward to breaking out of the UK a little more. Although we have lots to keep us busy away from the stage, we really can’t wait to get back on stage and make some noise. 2013 will hopefully be fantastic year and we really look forward to meeting many more new fans across the world. That’s for sure one of the best parts of playing Live around the country, as it’s really great to visit new places, meet the fans and meet new people who just like ourselves, have a passion for music.
See you on the road! VH