After four years since their last album Hellbound and Heartless in 2012, Vampires Everywhere! finally released their third album Ritual produced by Matt Good and mixed by David Bendeth!
Not only are the Los Angeles rockers currently on the Make America Hate Again Tour, they also just released a music video for their latest single “Perfect Lie.”
National Rock Review recently caught up with Michael Vampire, lead vocalist of Vampires Everywhere! to talk about how the band got their name, their latest album Ritual, touring, their fans, some of Michael’s inspirations, and more.
Michael Vampire: When I was looking for the band name I knew I wanted something that stood out. I wanted something dark, yet symbolized my love for horror. I was watching The Lost Boys and it basically struck me. I’ll just call the band Vampires Everywhere! At the time I wasn’t too familiar with the teen vampire phenomena popping around commercial America haha. Not too many people actually know the name stems from the movie The Lost Boys, so I got plenty of hate for combining the two words. However, six years later people are finally starting to get it!
NRR: Did you ever have any other options or backup names? If so, what were they and why did they interest you?
Michael Vampire: I had tossed around many different horror related names. Haha, kind of ironic but I wanted to call it The Coven! I must have foreseen the American Horror Story phenomena and went with Vampires Everywhere!. In any case many people don’t know I was in a near fatal car accident and most of the stuff I relate to has to do with not dying. Hence, the vampire culture really captivated me.
NRR: What or who inspired you to become a vocalist in the rock scene?
Michael Vampire: I would have to say my biggest inspiration at the time was Kurt Cobain & Billy Joe Armstrong. I had a tough childhood. I bloomed slowly if you will and even though I wasn’t considered an outcast, in my head I knew I was. I was the only kid listening to “Teen Spirit” and N.W.A at the same time, haha! I might get chastised for saying this but I always loved a singer to have both a great voice and a badass image. That has always stuck with me. It drew me close to people like Marilyn Manson, Trent, and Rob Zombie. The mystic behind these singers always lured me in deeper and deeper. I have a profound love for Jim Morrison as well. I guess you could say I have an eclectic taste when it comes to singers and what they stand for.
NRR: After not releasing an album since 2012, how was the creative process for your latest album, Ritual?
Michael Vampire: Well, I wish I could say it was super hard and that I dug really deep to figure it out, but I can’t. I had a very easy time pouring my heart on the table for this one. I had an extremely bad breakup with my ex fiance, whom I loved whole-heartedly. But of course just like wild fire spreads, so did my bad luck! My father passing away of cancer added to the misery that was my life at that time. So both of those disasters really hit me like a freight train writing this LP. I hate to sound like a pussy but shit, I cried my ass off recording the first three songs. My life was in shambles. Luckily for me I had Matt Good & Stetson Whitworth helping make this LP, because without them pushing me, I don’t know where I would be.
NRR: Why did you guys decide to put out a cover song (Hozier’s “Take Me To Church) as your second single?Â What drew you to a song that’s so different from the genre of music that you play?
Michael Vampire: Well, the first time I heard the song I was like… “Yeah, this is ok,” but I didn’t really get Hozier until I sat down with his lyrics one day. I was like oh fuck this guy is morbid! I need… no I must cover this song! I knew right away that I wanted my homie Alex Koehler (lead vocalist of Chelsea Grin) to sing with me on this one! This song was made for me to cover, haha! I mean, that’s how I saw it. I rarely look at genre separations. I feel it’s dumb to classify music but I guess it is the reality we live in.
NRR: How was it working with Alex Koehler from Chelsea Grin on the track? Did you ask him to be part of the song or did he come to you?
Michael Vampire: Alex has been my boy since 2012 Warped Tour. We just have mutual bond that I cannot describe. I don’t have many guy friends because I guess I’m weird. However, for some reason certain vocalists and I get along like peas and carrots. I asked Alex to be part of the track during vocal prep in SLC [Salt Lake City.] I was super excited he agreed and I knew this song would cause waves.
NRR: What’s your favorite song off of Ritual so far and why?
Michael Vampire: I would have to say it’s a tie between “Ghost Inside My Head” and “Perfect Lie.” Both songs are light years apart when thinking about genre separation, but shit they both strike a nerve with me. “Ghost Inside My Head” is a depressing tale about my past breakup. I wish I could even begin to describe what it was like trying to write this song. I was beyond drunk sitting in my apartment with no furniture trying to express myself on paper. It took me 8 hours to write the intro because I wanted it to mean something. I never write lyrics for the sake of it anymore. Every word has to mean something. Every time I hear the song I want to cry. Haha, I know that sounds terrible, but it just strikes that nerve in me. “Perfect Lie” is the same story but with more promise. This is me trying to be strong and putting the situation into a different perspective. Getting your heart ripped out is never pleasant and this song helped me realize it wasn’t all my fault. I get down on myself a lot and music is my only way out of the depression.
NRR: While touring, what are the daily lives of Vampires Everywhere! like? Do you tend to explore the area you’re in more often or relax for your shows?
My ritual is simple. I wake up and get a Starbucks latte. We drive to the venue and hopefully we are not late. We get to the venue and our TM [tour manager] checks us in, then we load all the equipment into the venue. However, being I’m the singer, I just sit there and watch, haha! Hey, just trying to be honest here. Then it’s the waiting period. I usually warm up for an hour before I play. I gotta make sure I get the taste of weed out of my mouth. After I warm up I get a few drinks in me, then boom! We hit the stage. After the set I try to meet every fan that came to the show. Without the fans there is no show so all attention must be on them. Then we cop some drinks at the local watering hole and shove off. I always viewed the whole process as very pirate-like in comparison.
NRR: After years of being a band, what’s your all-time favorite song to perform live and why?Â Do you think that’ll change after this tour?
Michael Vampire: I would have to say “Star Of 666″ stood the test of time. We still open up with that song and it gets the crowd pumped! I’m sure my managers would love for me not play old material and focus on the new! However, I like some nostalgia in our live shows and it’s always great watching people sing the lyrics. As far as the new songs, “Perfect Lie” is a fun one to play live. I love dancing around the stage like I’m the goth James Brown! Come to a VE! [Vampires Everywhere!] show and you will see this in action.
NRR: What are some of the most rewarding things a fan has told you when it came to your music? (If any, or multiple fans)
Michael Vampire: I always get mind blown when a fan says “Your music saved my life.” I always stop and reflect on that statement and it never really sinks in all at once. I think for someone to say that they need to believe it, and that makes me feel like all the shit I’m going through to make these shows happen are worth it! People don’t realize how hard being in a rock band is. Â They see the BS being peddled online but they never really get a glimpse of the money being put in and the friendships being lost. So, when something like that is said I really take it in. It makes my day for sure.
NRR: Do you have any advice for your fans who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
Michael Vampire: The music is industry is the most cutthroat, BS ridden, money wasting, yet most amazing industry in the world. Be prepared for large ups and downs! The key is to stick with it and never give up! I gave up VE! [Vampires Everywhere!] two years ago because I was stupid. I listened to others advice and got my confidence cut into a million pieces! You must believe 100% in what you are doing and never sacrifice yourself because somebody else told you to do so. Stay true!
NRR: If your fans could only know one thing about you, what would you want the fans to know about Michael Vampire and why?
Michael Vampire: Hi, I am Michael Vampire. Â I am the founder/singer of the band Vampires Everywhere!. Two years ago I chose to let a part of me die.However, my loyal fans stuck with me pushing me in the right direction. It’s because of the fans that I am back and ready to take over the world again. Â I battle everyday with sex addiction, alcohol dependency, and my own demons that dance on my shoulder. Â Music is the only thing I have left in this world besides what’s left of my family. I wish I could say I do it all for the nookie, but that would be a lie. Â I do because it’s all I have. I do it because I love it. I do it because of you Thank you.