Earlier this month, Already Heard was at Southampton University for Takedown Festival. We were able to catch up with Obsidian Stage headliners and curators Fearless Vampire Killers. A band for whom 2014 was a turbulent year to say the least, the sextet have come out the other side more motivated and driven than they’ve appeared to be in years.
With topics such as the band’s Obsidian Bond fan network, their upcoming tour with Annisokay and Zoax, as well as the bands they shared a stage with on the day; we nabbed some time with the whole band to discover just how 2015 is panning out for Fearless Vampire Killers.
Already Heard: So you’ve been together as Fearless Vampire Killers for 7-8 years now, have you guys noticed a change in reception or perception over that time of you as a band?
Drew Woolnough: People like us more now…
Lawrence Beveridge: I’ve noticed recently that we’re almost more acceptable.
Cyrus Barrone: Everyone’s going like “oh, you’re doing really well” and it’s weird ‘cause…
Luke Illingworth: Well we don’t think we are.
LB: Well things have definitely been getting a lot better. We had a really tough year in 2014. It was like the worst year ever, so now we’re on the way back up.
AH: You mention 2014 being a tough one, this year started off with the tour having to be rescheduled and that’s back on for May now. Do you feel like you’re getting back up to speed again and finding momentum again?
LI: I think by the end of 2014, it was hard but we’d already built back a bit of the momentum that we had.
LB: We’d all built up a lot of debt. We all had to get jobs again and it became a really miserable time. We’d just come off tour with Black Veil Brides, which was a really good tour. We’d just done our biggest ever headline show and then we immediately went into really shit jobs. It was a pretty depressing time and we just kinda thought “well fuck, man, game over”. But we didn’t realise how well our album was doing. Our new album sold more copies in two months than our debut did in its entire run and we had no idea we were actually building a fanbase. Then we got the In This Moment tour and we were in Milan. Now we’re doing the Zippo Stage at Download, back out on the next Black Veil Brides tour and our headline tour’s coming together as well!
Kier Kemp: And we’re the biggest band in the world! Woah!
LB: Well suddenly everyone’s going “oh you’re doing really well”, but three months ago I was the most miserable I’ve ever been. And now people are saying that so it’s kind of mad.
AH: One thing that does stand out from last year is kicking off the Obsidian Bond. You’re approaching the first anniversary of that now, how’s the reception been?
KK: It’s been superb. Beause it was so built for our fans, we had them in mind entirely when we were making it. So it was only them we were working to please and it went down a fucking treat. We delivered to them what I guess was their perfect hub for interacting with each other as well as us.
LB: It’s only going to get bigger as well. At the moment we don’t have time to do as much as we want. We’re doing a lot, but we want to do more and when we’ve got the opportunity there’s going to be a lot more stuff going on.
DW: We’ve got quite a lot of stuff held back as well so we’ve got that to get through.
AH: From the Obsidian Bond to the Obsidian Stage it seems, and you’ve been curating this stage as well as headlining it. Are you able to sum up the responsibilities you’ve had with this?
KK: It’s pretty much been to literally just pick the bands. They fired a few suggestions over and then we just picked the rest. We thought it’d be a good opportunity to showcase the best shit that’s coming up underneath us; nd there’s a whole movement in rock that’s getting quite duck at the moment. Bands like us, Creeper and Pvris that have all got this vibe going on.
LI: Everyone’s feeling the shift to something slightly darker.
KK: Exactly, and there’s all these bands coming up and we wanted to stamp in people’s minds that there’s a load of great bands who look good, sound good but you know, they’re ‘out there’. But you know, we’re all friends. We like them musically, so we’re able to show them off a bit. Some of them we already know like Dead, so it’s been really great for us to go out there and do that.
AH: You’ve toured with Dead, Hawk Eyes are playing as we speak and we managed to catch City of Ashes earlier on; if we were to pressure you to pick one band on there to watch other than yourselves?
DW: Dead and Fort Hope.
KK: And us. Dead though, they’re a really great band.
LB: But they do look ridiculous. Sam looks like he’s wearing a skirt.
AH: Well you’ve got the show here, then you’re on the road with Zoax who are here as well. Do you have much lined up for after that or is it all still up in the air?
LB: Well we’ve got the Zippo Stage slot at Download, then we’re hopefully gonna be releasing some stuff.
KK: Yeah, more music, definitely another EP. We’ve got to keep them coming.
LB: Thing is, we wrote these songs while on the Unbreakable Hearts tour, so they don’t really reflect the band we are now so much? So we’re gonna try and release songs that reflect who we are now.
‘Unbreakable Hearts’ by Fearless Vampire Killers is out now on Goremount Records.
4th Arts Centre, Norwich
5th O2 Academy, Oxford
6th The Hub, Plymouth
7th Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
8th The Underworld, London
10th O2 Academy 3, Birmingham
11th King Tuts, Glasgow
12th Sound Control, Manchester
13th O2 Academy 3, Liverpool
15th O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
16th Corporation, Sheffield
17th The Key Club, Leeds
18th Rock City Basement, Nottingham
19th Exchange, Bristol
21st The Haunt, Brighton
22nd Joiners, Southampton
Support will come from Annisokay (May 4th – May 13th), ZOAX (May 15 – May 22nd) and Myth City (May 4th – May 8th + May 13th – May 22nd).
Words by Antony Lusmore (@Metacosmica_)
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Takedown Fest 2015 here.