If you haven't already heard, The Killing Lights is the new, re-named project from Michael Orlando (a.k.a. Michael Vampire) of Vampires Everywhere! fame. The band's loyal following is excited for the group's new music, a taste of which they got with the release of the first single "Lies Spread Like Fire" - see the video below. The Killing Lights have recorded a self-produced, self-titled five-song EP which they plan to initially release for FREE to fans in September. Expect a full-length in 2015. In the meantime, check out some of the awesome stories behind Michael's tattoos.
When, where and what was your first tattoo? Orlando: I got my first tattoo when I was 18 in Florida. It's a star outline on my right shoulder. I had no idea what I wanted and it seemed like a good idea to get a star. Not sure how I rationalized that back then, but it seemed OK at the time. I wanted something that I wouldn't regret, like a lizard or something!
Do any of your tattoos have a particularly special meaning behind them? If so, do share man! Orlando: My first noteworthy tattoo is the "Immortal" script on my chest. This tattoo is located right below my tracheotomy scar from a near fatal car accident. I was hit by a drunk driver who drove into my tour van going the wrong way on a public highway. The driver killed himself upon impact and left me with a broken jaw, arm, teeth and mouth. My recovery was long and painful. The surgeons said I was lucky to be alive. They said I must be immortal or something to survive such a crash. This prompted me to get "immortal" on my chest. It's a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be alive.
Do you have a specific shop or artist that you frequent (insert shameless plug time!)? Orlando: Yes, most if not all of my work is done by Zoey Taylor. Zoey has a quint little shop in downtown LA. If you are familiar with the TV show Madmen you will understand what her shop looks like. She tattoos in a cupcake dress and has the lightest hand in Los Angeles. Getting tattoos is a religious process for me and Zoey understands the importance of perfection and placement. She is definitely worth checking out! Instagram -> ZoeyTaylor.
Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway? Give us the dirt dude! Orlando: I have a couple of projects in the works so far. I want to finally fill in my right arm. Haha, the funny thing about me is my patience for certain areas of my body. When I get tattooed I'm always looking for a new experience. The last tattoo I got was on my throat and needless to say it was a new experience for me. Imagine being strangled and stabbed over and over on your throat, haha! My second idea is to tattoo David from 'The Lost Boys' on my right calf. I know Zoey will be able to kill this idea and make it as real as possible. As most of you know I'm a giant fan of the 1987 cult film 'The Lost Boys' and this will be the ultimate tribute.
Have you seen any fans with a band tattoo, anything crazy memorable? Orlando: There has been sooo many VE! tattoos it's hard to count. My last project Vampires Everywhere! had a loyal fan base that enjoyed paying tribute by getting ink. The whole thing is very humbling for me. The craziest VE! tattoo had to be a full portrait of me as a cartoon with lyrics from one of the songs. She got the tattoo on her forearm, which was amazing! The dedication and love from my fans always amazes me. I have only seen one TKL tattoo so far but it is amazing! She tattooed my lyrics from "Lies Spread Like Fire" on her upper shoulder. The band has only been active for a short time so this is very flattering. I do however, urge more fans to get ink! I love seeing pics online and will gladly re-Tweet or post them on all of our social networks.
We know you have one... tell us about that stoned/drunken joke-tattoo you once got.... Orlando: Haha! Well, I was shitfaced in Ft. Lauderdale and decided it would be a great idea to get a tattoo of the name "The Lost Boys" on my left ankle. Now keep in mind I was close to "black out" on this little excursion. I walked into a random shop on the beach and told the dude what I wanted. He asked me "What script do you want to use?" and I must have been blind that night because I choose an Arabic font, haha! Not only did I not remember getting the tattoo but it's the worst tattoo I have ever received. When my leg moves a bit to the side it looks like it says "I Love Boys" which is always fun for me in WeHo! However, I am still proud of every piece of art I get... it all tells a story.
Do you have any tattoos that you now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why? Orlando: I actually got a giant Kanji tattoo covered up. I got it on my left shoulder when I was younger. I thought if I got the word "Success" tattooed it would bring me good luck! However, it was quite the opposite and became a a bad luck charm over the years. Zoey covered this bad boy up with a giant crow. Crows are supposed to bring messages whether good or bad and it seemed like the right choice since I'm obsessed with the occult. Native American culture always intrigued me and I am beyond happy with this cover up. I highly recommend covering tattoos that bring negative energy into your life.
Have any tattoos that were painful. Like made you cry, see white light, and regret being born? Orlando: I know there are a ton of musicians with tattoos and I know for the most part it is no big deal. However, my black rose tattoo on my throat has two significant facts worth talking about. Most of you know me from Vampires Everywhere! a band that thrusted me into the metal spotlight for more than admirable reasons, haha! In any case that band was dark dark times for me. I braved multiple member changes and betrayal beyond my wildest imagination. This prompted me to move on with my career and start The Killing Lights. TKL symbolizes the light in my dark life and a chance to start over. During this transition I went through epic realizations about who I am and reflected on who I am not.
I decided to get the black rose on my throat to symbolize the MV you once knew to the MV you know now. I couldn't tattoo my vocal chords, haha, so my neck was the closest thing that I could think of to represent my voice. The choice of color had to do with remembering what it was like at my lowest low. It is always best to remember where you came from to remain grounded and focused! I want to thank Zoey Taylor my tattoo artist/therapist for her amazing work on my throat. But to answer the question directly I did see white light! Actually it went like this... Zoey strangling me to get the line work done... "White light"... Zoey strangling me to fill it in... "White Light" hahahah! It was pretty intense and I actually feel like won a prize once the tattoo was done. I highly recommend getting this done if you enjoy pain.
If you HAD to get someone's face tattooed on you, who’s would it be and why? Orlando: This question is PERFECT! I actually have a portrait tattoo on my neck of my girlfriend Dorothy! It is one of my favorite tattoos. Zoey did an amazing job turning Dorothy into a vampire. This tattoo always brings so much attention because people are amazed that I would my girl tattooed on me. Some people think it's a bad luck charm to get anything "relationship" oriented tattooed, but that's all hogwash.This tattoo brought me and Dorothy amazing luck and I'm beyond happy I got it.