Sunday 10 February 2013

Kerrang Tour Special Part 1 // Interview with Fearless Vampire Killers

The Kerrang Tour is back, and with Fearless Vampire Killers, Tonight Alive, Chiodos, Black Veil Brides on the line up and a DJ set from William Control there is no doubt that it's a stellar line-up. 
Est.1987 headed down to Manchester's Academy 1 to check out all the action and catch up with a few of the bands to bring you the hottest interviews. 
First up we met Fearless Vampire Killers to chat about playing on larger stages, song writing and their new literary exposition...

Fearless Vampire Killers take to the stage in Manchester on The Kerrang Tour

Hey guys. So this is the first bit of touring after the Christmas break. It was the first night last night, how was it?
LAURENCE [Beveridge, vocals]- Yeah, it was great
LUKE [Illingworth (known as Pillnahn), drums]- Such a great reaction, good first day back.

Laurence Beveridge on stage in Manchester

What have you got planned for tonight; is it nice playing on bigger stages?
LAURENCE- Yeah, it’s much nicer. It’s cool because we can get a lot more audience interaction; when you’re playing to over a thousand people you can really see them going for it.
DREW [Woolnough, bass] -You have to space out the energy a little bit more though. On smaller stages you can go a little bit more mental because it’s so confined you can’t really do as much. But on these big stages if you use the whole stage in the first song and run across a couple of times you’re just knackered. So tonight I’m going to pace myself a little bit more.
LAURENCE- Last night I jumped off the stage but couldn’t get back up again.
DREW- It was cool though. I thought you were just having so much fun down there that you didn’t want to come back up.

The rest of the line-up is quite varied; is it nice that there’s a bit of a mix?
LUKE -Yeah, it’s really cool because we’re big fans of Chiodos so it’s nice to be able to watch them as fans and it’s cool to be sharing a dressing room with Tonight Alive who are probably the most opposite band to us on this tour.
LAURENCE- It’s cool as well because you get a varied audience; you’re not just playing to people who come to see you and your band.

And Black Veil Brides; guess you get compared to them because of the theatricalness of both your bands; how’s that?
CYRUS [Barrone (real name Shane Sumner), guitar]- Yeah, it’s great.
DREW- A good lesson watching them perform.

Fearless Vampire Killers
You’ve said that your album “Militia of the Lost” is a concept album. That’s quite a brave move to commit to that; was it always going to be a concept album from day one?
LAURENCE- Yeah, when we started the band we wrote the songs set in this world and we realised that they all told stories. Since we were kids we’ve always told stories in songs rather than them just being about vague happenings. It was always done in a story form and you could tell there was a narrative. So when it came to writing the album we just realised that it all worked. Sometimes the songs inspired the story and other times the story inspired the song. We didn’t do it on purpose, it’s just the way we write.

The prequel to the album is “Exposition”. Songs were written by individual members of the band; was that a challenge or did everyone embrace it? Did you show each other your ideas ?
LUKE- I was nervous about it because it was the first song I’d ever written. I messed about with a few things and kept it to myself for a while. Then thought I need to show it to these guys at some point, so just manned up and dealt with it [laughing].
LAURENCE- It’s cool because it was still a collaborative process, like Drew wrote bits for mine and we all played to our strengths.
CYRUS- It’s quite strange that each one is so distinct and different, so it shows the personalities, but it’s also the most collaborative.
LAURENCE- Exposition is saying goodbye to the old way of songwriting and making it more collaborative. It’s still going to sound like five bands in on song [laughing].

You’ve said it’s not an EP or a mini album, that it’s a “literary exposition”. Was it important for you to give a background to the characters that you’ve created?
LAURENCE- Yeah, although people don’t know the characters yet because the story is being released chapter by chapter at the moment online. They’ve only met Drew’s character, so it’s not really exposing anything yet. But all the characters will be introduced before “Exposition” comes out. We’ve also got five comics coming out, five stories to go with the songs. We make it really difficult for ourselves [laughing].
DREW- We get bored if we don’t do things.

Will you ever play them live?
DREW- Yeah, we will do. We need to re-learn them really [laughing]. Even the ones that don’t sound it are probably the most intricate that we’ve ever written. We recorded them so quickly after coming off tour.

Kier Kemp on stage in Manchester
So I saw you did a Twitter interview with James the editor Kerrang, and you do live chats on your forum. How important is that social interaction in progressing the band?
LAURENCE- That built our band really. Unless we talked to people and fans then we wouldn’t have got where we are. The reason we got in Kerrang was because people were talking about us. If we hadn’t been building this fanbase then people wouldn’t have heard about us. Karrang came to review us at Barfly, but we wouldn’t have been playing there if we couldn’t sell enough tickets to make it worth it. Right from the start we tried to put as much into it as possible and still do now; still reply to all our Tweets and stuff like that.

And finally what are your pans for the rest of the year?
LAURENCE- We’re doing a second album and we also hopefully playing some festivals and a headline tour.

Thanks guys!

Photo credit: Danny Peart Photography

& there's still time to catch the Kerrang Tour 2013-