Vampires Everywhere are a five-piece from California aiming to bring the sex, drugs and rock & roll aesthetics back into the metal scene. On June 19, 2012 the band released Hellbound and Heartless, a collection of songs heavily influenced by the discographies of Marilyn Manson, mixing 90s industrial rock with elements of modern metalcore. After the replacement of their bassist Philip Kross, a stint this Summer on the Vans Warped Tour, and the release of their newest music video "Drug Of Choice", the band shows no signs of slowing down. In a world where shock rock is dead, Vampires Everywhere's goal is to remind us of the badass, whisky-inspired rock & roll that we’ve seem to forgotten. I got a chance to talk to Michael Vampire about surviving the Warped Tour, their new album and the state of rock music today.
Firstly, how was spending the Summer on Warped Tour? Michael: It was an amazing, unforgettable tour to say the least! We were expecting to be the black sheep of the tour, but it was quite the opposite. Everyone was amazing to us: from the bands to the crew, and we definitely felt like part of the Warped family.
Do you have any fun Warped Tour stories to share with us? Michael: My favorite day on Warped had to be Vegas! I woke up at 8:00am and our crew told us were moving your gear to main stage to open the day. It turned out we played 2nd to a sea of people including our manager, label owner and booking agent! It's safe to say it was an epic moment and one that will never be forgotten.
What could have a fan expected from your Warped Tour set? Michael: We wanted to bring an intense, yet composed stage show to Warped. I feel that definitely worked out in our favor with the kids wanting to rage in the pit and get loose in the heat. Now the composed part was sometimes compromised due to my old friend Jack Daniels, but it was intense all the same.
Check out the song: "Drug of Choice"
Your new album Hellbound & Heartless came out June 19th. How did the writing process for that album differ than that of your previous release, Kiss The Sun Goodbye? What is the record mainly about? Michael: The best way to answer this question is... Rock n Roll! We decided to take a completely different approach to this record and I finally chose to write about myself. Now that being said, most people that know me know I'm completely insane, so writing about myself turned out to be quite interesting. With topics such as religion, porn, social climbing, abortion and sex, it was definitely going to be an intense first impression for my fans. The writing process was less dramatic, but very smooth all the same.
If you could pick one song off the new album that has the most meaning to you, what would it be and why? Michael: "Amanda's Song", which is the last song on the record and the only song written in the studio, was and still is the most important to me. The song is about my muse... the girl I fell in love with that inspired the entire record for me from beginning to end. It's sort of like the Spiderman analogy... every great story starts with love. However, my great story started with lust, revenge, hate and madness! This girl played games with me and drove me literally insane! She had a boyfriend at the time and things just got horribly complicated to say the least. But all in all I was in love with her. The chorus idea spawned from Bram Stoker's Dracula... love never dies and blood is the life... forever in love. Yes, I am more romantic than I lead on, but that's what makes for intense story-line now doesn't it?
What was it like shooting your latest music video "Drug of Choice"? Michael: I hate shooting music videos! They are stressful and intense all in the worst ways! Being on video is like being immortalized frame by frame so you’re constantly critiquing yourself hoping it will come out okay. I chose not to be that drunk during the story-line process to make sure I was on my game, but during the live footage I was a fucking wreck haha, kind of like on stage! I don't like to come off contrived, it's not fair to my fans who try to be themselves every day. Now that being said Robby Starbuck was an amazing director and made an amazing video for us! Aiden Ashley who has become quite the little figure in my world did an amazing job portraying herself lol! The reason I chose her was because she is the real deal and needed to have real authenticity this time around. I am definitely proud of the final outcome and the response has been amazing!
There is definitely a huge Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper influence in your music. How have those artists played a role in shaping your sound? Michael: I have always been a giant Manson/Zombie fan and since I wanted to make a record I would listen to, it was only right to use my true inspirations in my current music. Now that being said, DJ our lead guitar player, brought elements of Pantera to the table creating a very unique sound that I am very proud of.
How do you feel about the state of what’s popular in rock music today compared to when Manson/Zombie ruled the airwaves? Michael: Well simply said it's a giant cluster fuck! However, things are starting to change yet again and hopefully things will come full circle and rock n roll will be the #1 music on the radio. Now everyone said rock was dead years ago when hip-hop dominated the charts. However, you look now and that is now on the decline... everything has its moments in time and hopefully ours is on the rise once again!
What are three must-have items you need when touring on the Warped Tour? Michael: Jack Daniels, water and air conditioning!
What are your plans after the tour is over? Michael:We will departing in the Fall on the Inked Music Tour with our friends in Alesana! Very excited about this and dates can be found online.
Why should someone who has never heard of Vampires Everywhere check you out? Michael:If you’re sick of all the same old played out shit... we can be a fresh cup of whiskey for ya!