INTERVIEW: Fearless Vampire Killers @ Islington O2 Academy, London (31/05/2012)

Fearless Vampire Killers are known to most for their quickly style and excess of make-up, but in reality they are just a bunch of young, sweet and (fairly) normal lads who can’t believe their luck that people are coming out to see them live knowing to all of their songs. Let’s not even begin to measure how overwhelmed and thankful for being nominated for the Kerrang! Award as this year’s Best British Newcomer.

Just before heading out on stage in at Islington’s O2 Academy supporting William Control on his headline UK tour, they took the time to talk to us about Download Festival, their fans, their Kerrang! Awards nomination and, most importantly, Disney.

DP!: So you’re about halfway through the tour now, how’s it been going so far?
Drew: Wonderful.
Baronne: Splendiferous
Kier: We were quite surprised ’cause there’s people actually showing up for us.

DP!: Have you been surprised with the amount of people that have come just to see you guys on this tour then?
K: Yeah. It’s strange ’cause there’s such a crossover with the bands playing and it’s nice ’cause we’re playing for the first time in places like Cardiff. People were coming to that show who we didn’t think would have heard of us, and in, I think it was Wrexham, it was the first time we got people to clap for our song ‘Necromania’ which isn’t even a single.
D: And them knowing it is really, really cool.

DP!: Did the weather last week affect some of the shows?
K: It was just really sweaty and things were running, especially our hair spray just running down.
D: It was weird for the first couple because we hadn’t gigged solidly in a little while and it was so hot. Trying not to pass out really.
B: Especially after such a miserable May.

DP!: So when you guys are on tour, who has the worst habits?
D: Kier literally just did his worst habit.
K: Ahh, that one. I play with my hair all the time, like this little bit at the back, I twiddle it.
Laurence: But, apart from that, it’s more our tour manager really.
D: Luke usually sleeps in the other room so we don’t have to hear him because he snores badly, but now he’s in the van. So that’s pretty bad.
L: He’s got other nocturnal habits. We’ll say no more about that.
D: We’ve all got these little bits that grate on each other.
Lau: I’m just the best and they’re always trying to think of ways to better themselves to be like me. They will never will, and that gets very difficult.

DP!: You’ve got a set at Download Festival next week, are you guys excited?
B: I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet.
D: And there’s the Kerrang! Awards before that and that hasn’t sunk in either, nevermind Download.
B: This tour itself hasn’t even really sunk in.
K: I think I’ll make this face at Download where it will all just sink in. I’ll get halfway through the set and have a moment.

DP!: Are there any other bands that you’re looking forward to seeing over the weekend?
K: There’s loads. Luke really wants to see Metallica. Stuff like The Defiled are on and Will‘s playing.
L: Tenacious D, we’ve been listening to loads of their albums in the van. NoFX, I am so happy to get to see them now, unless we clash with them for our signing.

DP!: Are you guys excited to potentially be winning Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards?
D: We’re even questioning whether to go for it at all. Like, our people were like go for it, and even to be nominated. We’ve had a lot of shit from people and then actually our fans in all their awesomeness massively got behind it: they were creating groups, getting all their family to do it, their pets to do it. They were doing everything.
K: Literally, they were training them, their dogs had their own IP addresses’ and yeah, it was them that got us through to the nominations. So it’s amazing, and just to be there because to be honest I don’t even think winning is in the question really. The fact that we are there.
DP!: So have you not even thought about what would happen if you won?
D: No, not really, because we’re by far the newest, like the youngest band. Most have only had one album.
L: Hawk Eye are only there because they changed their name from Chicken Hawk.
D: Don Broco only have one album and Yashin have released a couple, but I doubt While She Sleeps are on their first album.
L: And some of these bands like were around when we were at shows and seeing them, and to even be in the same category as them is unreal. We got a lot of shit for it as well for it, especially from some bands like Lower Than Atlantis. He called our drummer to his face a Fearless Vampire Dickhole. It was during the soccer six game. We were just like super excited about the nomination: like loads of bands have been supportive but we’ve had shit. It gets me stressed like we’ve been labelled faggots, and we’re getting this from our fucking peers, the people that we look up to.
D: We like that this whole band’s coming together, like that’s what we like about the bands on this tour.
L: And other bands have been cool, like as soon as the nominations came out like Yashin tweeted out like “look at these bands, look how amazing UK music is”, and then Lower Than Atlantis came along and not only tweeted about how they didn’t get nominated, they then laid into us. They need to just learn some manners, and it just frustrates me that we’re getting so much hostility from every corner. To be fair, he was probably drunk and probably pissed off, which kinda makes sense, but it’s still just not right. Our drummer was just completely gob smacked.

DP!: At the Kerrang! Awards, is there anyone you are looking forward to meeting?
B: Anyone.
D: Yeah, anyone really. Like Corey Taylor is presenting it, and James (editor of Kerrang! magazine) has invited Keith Chegwing, so if he comes…
L: I really wanna meet like Yashin and stuff, and Don Broco. That’s the thing, like Don Broco have been really kind to us from the start, giving us advise and stuff. We just want to meet people at our level. Obviously we’re really excited about meeting famous people too.
K: I’ll probably be too scared and fan boy over them, but if there’s going to be so much booze and we’re in awe of the whole situation. I’ll either cry or vomit… or both.
L: We were at Frank Turner‘s party and we were like “woah, this is like such a big deal” and Kier just drank so much he was vomiting the whole time. A couple of weeks back we got special passes for Black Veil Brides and we were just hanging around, but once again we just drank so much. We were just sitting in the press dressing room, just leaning out of the window, and we all had our make-up on and people were like screaming at us thinking it was Black Veil Brides.
DP!: Yeah, their fans are crazy. Some people in the audience had been queuing since the night before.
D: We got our first taste of that in Birmingham, where people were queuing early for us. That was pretty cool.
L: It was the Academy 3, and we’re still like this tiny band which is why it’s so hilarious with the whole Kerrang! Awards. Being at these little tiny venues and not even filling them, like some people feel threatened by us.
B: Which is better than people not feeling anything about us.
D: Look how terrifying we are. You’re either going to be terrified or want to hit him.
K: You wouldn’t want to hit me ’cause you wouldn’t want the consequences.
D: I’d probably hit you ’cause you look grubby, all dirty.

DP!: Your new album ‘Militia Of The Lost’ has only been out for like a few weeks now. How’ve you found the reaction to it so far?
L: Really good. Once again we’ve had stupidly good reviews.
D: The first one we got was like the Rock Sound one and it was something like 8/10. It felt like we’d made it.
L: We’ve had like some crap reviews from places like The Guardian, but you got into some stores and you can’t even find it. Amazon sold out really quickly.
D: It was less us not preparing for it, but rather places not preparing for it.
L: Most HMVs like everywhere pretty much only ordered like two and they sold out immediately. Like in Norwich they only had two and they were gone immediately. It’s really silly because so many places are missing out, you know? Some of our fans haven’t even been able to buy it. We wanted to sell it through loads of places, give people plenty of options and then places might want to stock like future stuff. Build relationships.

DP!: What’s your favourite song to play live from the album?
Luke: My favourite is probably also my least favourite. I love playing it, it’s necromania. It’s so fast and mental, which is the same reason I don’t like playing it.
L: We begin one with a bit of Buffy.
K: So super geeky, and so fun.
D: It’s so good, ’cause you can get away with some nostalgia and raw rock energy. It’s like, “here you go rock critics. This is what you’ve been waiting for as you always compare us to things like Buffy, so have it”.
K: Maybe we should do a cover of Decode. I think I might just write a song about Edward.
*the band argue for a few minutes about Edward Cullen’s name from Twilight*
D: We reviewed that film for Kerrang!, red carpet and everything. You’re just jealous.
Luke: Yeah, I couldn’t go because I didn’t have any clothes. I would have had to turn up straight from work in my John Lewis outfit.
D: I tried to make it look like I was a proper film journalist.
K: Me and Kristen Stewart definitely had a moment. Me and the back of her head, there was a vibe.
L: I don’t even see the attraction really.

DP!: In Kerrang! magazine recently you said that you liked the magic of Disney films, so what are your favourite Disney movies?
*Drew and Laurence start singing Aladdin ‘A Whole New World’*
L: Oh, it gets serious now.
B: Hmm, that includes Pixar too. Up is good, but probably Wall-E. That’s so good.
K: Beauty And The Beast is one of the originals I watched and I like.
L: He’s not exactly hardcore. We watched it the other night.
K: I could have walked in and sung it all.
D: I fluctuate but I think Lion King. I’m back and forth, that’s always been my favourite but we watched Aladdin the other night and I love Aladdin. I’m going to give a little shout out to the under-rated film, Basil The Great Mouse Detective. No one else would say that.
L: On a serious note, Basil didn’t do perfectly against Fievel Goes West: An American Tale. It didn’t do that well against box office but it revitalized Disney, so as Drew says it is under-rated. It’s not like a song Disney one.
Luke: Hercules.
*all sigh*
D: I forgot that one.
L: I was going to say Aladdin, because I think that might be my favourite. It was the first film I ever saw at the cinema as well. But, I think I’m going to go Tarzan.
*all start singing a bit of Tarzan*

Fearless Vampire Killers‘ latest full-length ‘Militia Of The Lost’ is out now. You can follow the band online on Facebook, Twitter or on his official website (here).

Interview by Rhian Westbury