The vampire aesthetic isn’t new. It’s almost as old as time itself yet during the last five years we’ve seen an increase in the interest for it. VAMPYRE HEART have their own take on it. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Vampires have been a fascination in literature since the 1800s. We have seen a resurgence of interest within the Twilight Saga and also TV shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. What is it about the undead that is so fascinating?
-There have been so many myths and mysteries surrounding the unknown, there is just something about an old graveyard at night that is so inviting. We have been interested in the history of Vampires for so long now. When our singer Summer was passing through Daytona Florida back in 1995 where she toured as a Dancer, she came across a clan of Vampires who showed her their world. They fascinated her and I guess they left a lasting impression on her. She said that their whole world was miles apart from anything that she had ever seen before. But what she loved the most about them was how protective they were of each other. She loved the way they dressed and they were not afraid to live in this way at all. On her return, she later introduced DSoul to the world of Vampyres and then eventually Taff when he joined the band.
What does it say about our society that we spend so much time on reading and watching stuff about vampires? Trust me when I say that I have seen literally hundreds of movies about vampires (in my capacity of a film nerd)
-It’s really good that people have such an open mind when it comes to the myths and mysteries of Vampyre’s, Demons and Witchcraft. Perhaps in some ways society also looks to these films and stories as a form off escapism to reality, although people still like to believe/hope that there is more to this life. We came from somewhere and so we must go somewhere when we die. Who is to say that these myths are not true or not real? Maybe the truth is that these things do exist but they are forced to stay underground hidden in fear of their safety. If Vampyre’s were found to be in our society, the government would certainly capture them, lock them up and experiment on them. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that the government burnt thousands of Witch’s at the stake because they were afraid of their craft and what impact they would have world. Anything’s possible.
Is death and mortality/immortality leaving some sort of impression on the world before you pass on the true destiny of mankind?
-Perhaps the truth is that everyone is afraid of death, but people forget that we were born to die; that’s evolution. This is what happens at the end of our life, but life is not about the destination it’s about the journey. There are so many myths about life yet there’s now people living past 100 in some cases. A few hundred years ago, this would not have been thought possible…or if it was, they’d have still burned you for being and evil wizard or witch. If death is what we fear the most then who wouldn’t want to live forever. But then you could argue that if we are reincarnated over and over again, then maybe it is our soul’s that our immortal and are bodies that our mortal. We feel that every living soul is here to make an impression or impact on this world and that it is all about Karma. Life is a challenge to each and every one of us and it is up to us to treat others like we would like to be treated ourselves. The true destiny of mankind is to live every passing day like it is our last and not to be afraid of death but to embrace that time that we are alive. There’s so much good in the world, let’s live it!
How do you take the vampire theme and transform it into something viable when you create music?
-Vampyre Heart the story is what the music is based around and certainly the lyrics are telling the story as it unfolds. When Summer sits down and writes the story she tells us that it is like a film playing back in her mind. But the lyrics are also based around our own personal circumstances and life experiences and feelings, so they often have alternative meanings that others can hopefully relate to in their own world. With this type of mystical story line, it generally leads the music to be a little darker (in a Gothic style), but can also be a more diverse if that’s what the song requires. Sometimes the music chooses its own course so you have to ride with it and steer it along it’s progression.
How important is it for you guys to draw inspiration from different sources to make something of your own
-We feel that it’s important to be inspired by other artists and styles of music, however it is equally important to tap into your own creativity and what feels right to you. It is really important to feed on your own emotions when you are writing music both lyrically and musically. That doesn’t always mean though that every sad song needs to be written in D minor, sometimes it could be more melancholic, or simply just throw out the rules and go with what feels right. Music can be like painting a picture using the colors to bring out the story. As a band we currently do not perform any covers, all of our songs are original and we’re fortunate to have to freedom to write the songs we want to. It’s great fun and really rewarding to see the song evolve right through to us playing it live on stage. We can’t wait for our new CD to come out too!
Where do you find the majority of your inspiration? Is there one specific style of music that is more domineering?
-The majority of the musical direction is inspired by the book that Summer is currently writing. The book is called Vampyre Heart the Story and it is an excitable mix of fiction verses non-fiction, telling the story about the love of two people fighting to keep their love alive, whilst overcoming the challenges and myths of the underworld, it is filled with Betrayal, Witchcraft, Vampyre’s, Ghost’s, Demons and much much more. From a musical point of view, we are lucky because we are able to take quite a broad approach with the styles that we can use, however although we call ourselves a Gothic Rock band there are also metal influences in there along with Electronica, Dark Wave and Industrial…. and many more.
The times of a record deal or releasing an album seem to come to an end soon. How much importance do you put on finding the right partner(s) to work with to spread your music? What is it that you look for? Do you mourn the death of the physical record? I do.
-It was so much harder to get your music heard before we had the internet and other digital media. Now though, it really is all about the social net working in general, however due to the impact that downloading has had its made it so much harder for record labels and artists to actually sell their material either in CD format or Online, and unfortunately Vinyl is dead. (There was always something special about going to a record store and buying the latest track 7”, 12” or LP. We have had a few of our fans ask if we would consider releasing an LP. It would certainly be something that we would definitely consider doing. We like the idea of maybe releasing a picture disc. However the demand for this would probably only work if you were a really well known signed artist and sold them as collectable items. We certainly find that in this era, our genre of music is still very hard to get played on the main radio stations. In fact most of what is played on the radio now days we wouldn’t even call decent music, it seems to be all about pop music and rock seems to have been forgotten. Thank goodness for online radios – both as a fan and an artist!
I have always wondered how you go from the idea of forming a band to getting known for your music. Where do you find the necessary information for you to reach the right kind of people?
-Vampyre Heart was originally just two members, Summer and DSoul. But then after a few years Taff joined on Bass. The band originally was put together as a hobby and we were only ever supposed to release one song – The Ghost Of Time, which is now been completely re arranged and will be our title track for our upcoming Album. It is all about spending hours promoting our music and spending time on the social networking sites, whilst also spending hours in the studio writing, recording and producing the music. As well as being very time consuming it’s also very expensive. But when you hear the end result it is the most amazing feeling inside especially when you get to hear your music playing on the radio. Unfortunately though it is really hard for unsigned bands to get the right people to hear you so that you can become successful leading you to get signed or funded. You’ve got to be really dedicated or just simply crazy to do this job…or both. There are lots of bits information available on the web and other music sites for bands, however some of it is only ever relevant to certain genres. We would suggest that you speak to other bands so that you can learn from their experiences; also the Unsigned guide has some great information. As a band we are really lucky because DSoul mixes and produces all of our music and Rich ‘Mixer’ Ott from Florida gives his time to Master each track once DSoul has mixed it all up. Sometimes it just needs another pair of ears to reach the finished result. We also have some great support from Dave at Raven Heart music and also and we have some really cool fans. Our fanbase is important to us and hopefully one day we’ll get to play in all of their countries.
How hard is it to get people to actually listen to your music? Is it enough to put it up on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube and people will come to you?
-These social networking sites do help promote your music and get it out there but a lot of them block you from promoting your material and then close down your page, and/or people are bored of being sent a hundred invites from loads of bands anyway, and don’t even read them. MySpace used to be great for bands but they changed their layout about a year ago and since then it’s lost its mojo. Facebook just tells you that you’re spamming people and if you post more than a few comments on YouTube they also block you for spamming. With Twitter we like to follow-back our followers but you can’t past a limit. So how they call them social ‘networking’ sites when you can’t really promote or talk to people you don’t know. In general they are a good thing and Revebnation is also really good too. It’s fantastic that you also have such a choice of videos on Youtube etc …including ours, Lost Within the Shadows.
What have you in store for the future?
-We’ve already started some pre-production work for the second album although our main focus is to get the first album out as soon as possible; we’re really excited and can’t wait!! We also have two videos part shot and another video is due to be filmed in August. Hopefully the story book will finished soon although that may take a little while until it’s completed the publisher process. We’re also looking forward to getting out on the road again and playing lots of gigs. We’d also like to start playing at more festivals too including other European venues. The future ahead is all really exciting for the band we just wish that everything could happen a little bit quicker but it takes time to create an Album and write a novel whilst jugging all the other priorities. Like we’ve said, it’s about the journey, so we’re just trying to enjoy every moment that we can. Long live music!!!