Michael Vampire Interview
added: 9 Dec 2013
interviewed by: Cate Altamura
Michael Vampire grew up in Florida and started out playing in punk bands. Being on the road was intoxicating for Michael and he soon realized he wanted to dedicate his life to music.
The former Vampires Everywhere! lead singer has begun the next chapter of his life with American metal band The Killing Lights. After a near fatal car accident, Michael suffered from severe post traumatic stress and desperately needed closure resulting in the birth of his new band The Killing Lights.
Music has been a therapeutic outlet for Michael and he also credits his family for his recovery. The Killing Lights front man recently had a chat to Music News about overcoming his inner demons and the next phase of his life with The Killing Lights, which includes a tour of the UK in 2014.Music News - When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I started taking music seriously at around 18 years old. I started out playing in punk bands and doing small tours around Florida. At first it was more of a fun hobby but I loved it so much that I decided to dedicate my life to touring full time. I must have joined/started 8 bands while I was living in Florida! I was addicted to the feeling you get right before you get up on stage and give it your all. I wanted nothing more in life than to do this for a living and it sent my brain into overdrive! I think most touring musicians would agree once you start touring full time it becomes an addiction. Music News - Which artists have influenced you?
There are so many amazing artists that have helped pave the way for me as a musician. Bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Metallica, Nirvana, Misfits, Alice Cooper, Phil Collins, Pantera and Korn just to name a few. I never limit myself based upon a genre. I love all kinds of music and find inspiration in every one of them. Music News - Can you tell me about the early days of your previous band, Vampires Everywhere!? How did the band form?
Well, I always had an obsession with the 1987 cult film "The Lost Boys" & I thought it would be a cool concept to start a band based upon this movie. I probably toyed with the idea for a couple of years before I had the guts to actually form the band. I remember moving to Los Angeles about 5 years ago and was searching for studio gigs to pass the time. During this painstaking search I met different musicians along the way that were tired of the same old BS studio gigs and pop bands. I basically decided to involve all the misfit musicians I met along the way and formed VE! The most common question asked during my time with VE was 'Did you start the band because of Twilight??' I always found this funny because I never even heard of the movie or book when I started the band. I simply created something I believed in and used a concept that has meant a lot to me since I was a little chap. I had a clear vision of what the band would look and sound like so it wasn't hard to get the whole project moving within a couple of months. We landed our first music video for our single "Immortal Love" on MTV's Headbangers Ball and a week later we were signed to a worldwide deal with Century Media. It all happened so fast but I wouldn't change any of it for the life of me. Music News - I understand you recently changed your bandís name to The Killing Lights after you were involved in a tragic car accident. What can you tell me about that?
I'd like to think of The Killing Lights as a new chapter in my music career and not just simply a name change. I was involved in a near fatal car accident around 9 years ago and this had a great impact on music career. I started VE because of all the inner demons I needed to let out. There was so much built up anger and pain from the accident that I needed an outlet to focus all this negative energy or it would've eaten me alive. It took me 5 whole years in VE to realize that I needed closure and I needed it instantaneously. This was the defining moment where I knew it was time for a change. I decided to take the name The Killing Lights since the lights were the last thing I saw before the drunk driver hit me 9 years back. I felt the name symbolized closure and a new start. Music News - How did the accident impact your music?
I experienced severe post traumatic stress and it literally drove me insane for a long, long time. I had so many crazy nightmares that I decided to put these thoughts into songs and later formed VE based upon these nightmares. I actually wrote the placement of the "Immortal Love" video based upon one of those nightmares. In any case the accident left me with so much pent up anger. So it was no surprise that I wrote hard, dark, message driven music in VE. When the anger subsided I was left with a horrible feeling of grief and remorse. The continuous negative energy I experienced for so long began taking a toll on my relationships with friends and family. Focusing on closure and writing music to help people cope with the same feelings is the staple purpose of The Killing Lights. I write lyrics that come directly from my soul and I stay true to these feelings no matter how much pain there is buried in the words or what anyone thinks of me. TKL has changed my life and it's only just the beginning. I am excited to start this journey and finally write music with a clear head. Music News - What advice do you have for people going through a life-changing event? What helped you get through it all?
Honestly, the best advice I can give is stay positive and keep your mind busy. It's kind of ironic to say this but idle hands tend to bring out the devil in all of us! My mind is always working 150mph every second of the day. So that being said keeping myself busy and staying positive was the toughest challenge I had to face. My family played a great role in my recovery and I used my down time to soul search. However, all said and done it was still very difficult through the whole recovery. Music News - What can you tell me about your single Donít Turn Around? What inspired the song?
This song represents closure. I tend to use metaphors and double meanings when it comes to my lyrics but this song is pretty straightforward. It focuses on my last relationship, which was toxic to say the least and the relationship with myself. I was always criticizing myself, my music and my life which got both mentally and physically taxing. So "Don't Turn Around" has a double meaning representing closure of both relationships. I was pretty excited to see so much positive feedback on the song and it's a great feeling to finally express myself openly.Music News - Youíll be embarking on a tour of the UK in 2014, what can your fans expect to see?
Fans can expect an intense live show! We will be testing out new songs and new ideas on this tour. It's kind of awesome that UK fans will get to experience the very first TKL shows and get a raw feel for whatís to come! I've never been overseas so I'm really looking forward to meeting all the dedicated fans that have been supporting me for the last 5 years. Music News - Your new band The Killing Lights has helped you to close a chapter on a difficult part of your life. Whatís next for The Killing Lights? Anything you would like to share, from upcoming shows to albums?
I am so grateful for my all fans! Without them I wouldn't be able to pursue my dream and can't thank them enough. TKL will be releasing new singles in 2014 and we will be focusing on making an amazing album. I will keep fans updated on upcoming events and news through my social media channels. I can assure you we will be working hard in 2014 and I am SO excited to start this journey. Check out The Killing Lights Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheKillingLightsBand
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