Hot off the Press

Michael Vampire of The Killing Lights

by Anabel DFlux
– Senior Photojournalist —

Senior photojournalist Anabel DFlux caught up with Michael Vampire of The Killing Lights, the Hollywood heart throb for many. They chatted about the band’s name, how the aesthetics have changed, and what’s coming up next!

TKL-062_flat - credit Chad Michael Ward

HRH: Hi! Thank you so much for talking to me today! First thing’s first- how have fans reacted to the change of name, from Vampires! Everywhere to The Killing Lights? Do you feel this name change has allowed you to broaden your genre?

Michael: Thank you for taking the time to interview me. Well, since The Killing Lights is a brand new project and not a name change fans seemed confused at first. It’s been a few months since the new band announcement on a smaller level and I think people are finally starting to catch on! The internet may be the best way to reach your fans but it definitely takes a while to reach a majority of them. I think the new band will reach a bigger audience because we chose not to stay in one genre. We believe music should just be music and not placed into a box. TKL speaks the truth and I think fans will see that with every new release.

HRH: Being a photographer originally, I certainly notice a change in aesthetic and promotional imagery between Vampires! Everywhere and the Killing Lights. Was this intentional, or have you simply changed as a person and the photographs reflect this?

Michael: This is a great question! Lets just say I hid behind the makeup for too long. I was so angry and pissed off about my life that I choose a dark path to help harness that anger! I also took the whole Manson thing way overboard on HellBound & Heartless, haha. I am a giant fan of Manson but shit… I’m not Manson! I was given a crap load of bad advice from all angles and the result was an image that was not me at all. I think TKL reflects who I am as a person! It is the stripped down real version of Michael Vampire. I chose to keep the stage name “Vampire” because my fans know me by this moniker and I’m proud of my past achievements. I just will not hide anymore!

HRH: The accident that inspired the change in name occurred many years ago. Why go down this path now, and not from the beginning?

Michael: Actually, the accident did inspire VE! But with the popularity of BS movies like Twilight it got misconstrued completely. I wanted to start a band based around the 1987 film The Lost Boys. The whole concept was “not dying” haha. Kids and industry alike took it as “Commercial BS” …. now this goes for our own team too! So you can imagine how I felt being that I wanted the band to represent the accident I was involved in. The name The Killing Lights represents the last thing I saw before the car hit me many years back. I choose a straight forward name so people wouldn’t confuse the actual meaning. So to answer your question people fucked up the actual meaning on VE!

HRH: You’ve accumulated a slew of fans and quite a cult following- did you ever expect such grand momentum? What advice would you give to bands looking to ‘make it’ as well?

Michael: I gave 100% of myself to VE! and fans picked up on that. I think bands need to understand it’s not a hobby! Being in a career band is like having a child and caring for that child is a full time job. Now, in TKL I am viewing this project as my love child and I have not stopped thinking of ideas and communicating with fans since its inception. Bands have to remember without the fans there is no you!

HRH: Tell me about the upcoming EP. I hear you’re contemplating releasing it to your fans for free- why?

Michael: I am so excited about the upcoming EP! I think fans will love this album and I cannot wait to release it. We slaved over this record to make sure it sounded exactly the way we wanted. We recruited an amazing team to mix and master the EP. From those that heard the EP, they all agree it’s my best work yet. I can honestly say I am proud of this EP. Me and DJ Black spent long long nights in our studio preparing this for the world. We knew what we wanted to make and at the same time we knew what our fans wanted. I am not sure of the release date yet. However, the anticipation has been the best part, haha.

HRH: What inspired the EP?

Michael: The EP is a lyrical journey through the last five years of my life. It was extremely hard writing for this album because I didn’t want to come off contrived. The whole concept of the EP is being truthful to ones self. I was misled for so many years by people I loved & cared for. I have more daggers in my back than I’d like to admit. However, all this hate and rage inspired amazing ideas for this record. I wanted to not only explain what I’ve been through but to also show I’ve survived it! I wanted my fans to know that they can survive hardship as well. My main goal is to change the lives of my fans and help them live a better life. Dealing with stress and hate is horrible! I want to be the rock for them to lean on through all the tough times. I think this EP is a truthful representation of myself and I know my fans will understand it completely!

HRH: You lads have released a music video for Lies Spread Like Fire. What was the filming process like for you, and are there more music videos currently in the works?

Michael: The filming process was amazing. Our director Will Da Rosa took my ideas and brought them to life! I wanted to define the idea of “the grass is greener on the other side” I mixed this idea with the movie “Bedazzled” haha. Which I have to say worked out great. Both Harper Leigh & Jared Simms did a great job getting my point across. We wanted to utilize what we know best and that’s Melrose street culture. We didn’t want a stupid desert video, haha. I mean I know you are all tired of these desert videos with no meaning and some random girl dancing or some shit. We wanted a straight forward truthful video and I think we achieved that. We have a new video idea in the works but there is no plans for release at this time.

HRH: What’s your ultimate goal as a band? What’s next?!

Michael: Our ultimate goal as a band is to inspire as many people as possible. I want to make TKL a household name. There are so many bands out there doing it for the fame, which to me is funny! First off, we’re a Metal band not a pop band. Life is not about lollipops and unicorns. I can’t remember the last time I saw my fans tweeting about how happy they are! Life is hard and sometimes people need an outlet for that rage. I want to be that outlet and I also want to help people get through the hard times. I will not preach to you but I will tell you how is it from my past experiences. I think TKL has a long bright future. We will remain truthful to our fans and will strive to release quality music.

Photo credits: Chad Michael Ward