Exultantly creeping and crawling from a dark and misty Irish fog brought the fangtastic Tragedy Vampires to Species 2015. Reminiscent of the early emergence of Gothic rock, these Enniskillen based vampires have awakened anew in this long dark tradition, with the deep, driven, and gloriously ghoulish sound of Gothic Deathrock ! With the recent launch of their debut album this was a live performance we enchantingly take to our grave…
Tragedy Vampires live at Species 2015
An Interview With Tragedy Vampires
All questions answered by band member Paddy, except where indicated:
- Tell us a little about yourselves as a performance artist’s living in Enniskillen:
We are ‘Tragedy Vampires’ and we play our own miserable blend of Gothic punk, with just perhaps a little hint of a smile on our pale white faces. To most people it may appear, at least on first glance, that country music is the only thing that goes on around Enniskillen. The fact is though that there is a very healthy, albeit somewhat underground rock music scene here at the moment. In fact for a small town, that to put it mildly is somewhat off the beaten track in Northern Ireland it has spawned some surprisingly eclectic and interesting bands.
- Tragedy Vampires was formed in 2014 out of the ashes of previous bands ‘The Mysterious Deadbeats’ and ‘Joy Of 6′. Tell us a little about the transition and conceptualization from these into Tragedy Vampires.
Well it’s been a long and complicated story, so I’ll have to condense and simplify it greatly, lol! Between the period of 2005-2006 we were called The Mysterious Deadbeats’ and released an EP titled ‘Songs To Die For’ followed by our one and only album ‘Kiss of Death’. We pressed up around about 60 ‘physical’ copies of the album on CD, as well as offering the album and EP to download for free online, back in the days of MySpace & Megaupload. Yes we really are ‘that’ old! Well I mean we are vampires! J Then we split up for a few years until 2010 when we decided it might be fun for us to play together again. As the original Mysterious Deadbeats guitarist Lenny was unavailable myself, John and Bob hooked up with Darron and returned under the name ‘Joy of 6’, and guess what; there were now six of us! We started out playing ‘quirky’ covers and some of the old Mysterious Deadbeats material, before deciding to ditch most of the covers and try and write some fresh new material. Then our drummer departed (in a left the band way, not in a shuffled of this mortal coil way) so we decided to use a drum machine as a stopgap, ”If it’s good enough for the Sisters it’s good enough for us” we thought so, so the drum machine stayed. Time progressed and as more members departed we imploded and 6 became 4, meaning that the ‘Joy of 6’ title didn’t exactly fit, so in October 2014 we renamed ourselves as ‘Tragedy Vampires’.
- Is there a story behind the name ‘Tragedy Vampires’?
It was Darron that came up with the name so I’ll let him explain…
Darron: I heard an interview on the radio of a film director describing a scene from a film. In the story, the partner of the main character had disappeared, and as a consequence the gutter press were camped out on the doorstep of the house. As they seemed to be attracted to misfortune, the interviewee described them as “Tragedy Vampires”. I liked the sound of the phrase, and the fact that it had a darker meaning to it.
- Your band members comprise of Bob on guitar and vocals, Darron as lead guitar and backing vocals, John as lead vocalist, Keyboards and drum programming with Paddy on bass and vocals. Do you compose all your own music? If so tell us a little about the steps you make within a group dynamic to bring a new track into existence?
Yeah we play all our own material, both the stuff we wrote as ‘The Mysterious Deadbeats’ and our newer ‘Tragedy Vampires’ material. Plus we have still been known to throw the odd cover into the set. When we write songs Paddy usually comes up with chords and a basic structure, then everyone adds to it until we find something that works. Lyrically the songs are mostly written by Paddy or Darron, but everyone is free to contribute, even if it’s just a word or line changed here and there, stuff often gets changed lyrically and musically numerous times along the way .
- Are these songs autobiographical to you in some way?
I mean can only speak for the stuff I write lyrically, but I think I have only written one and a half songs that were in any way autobiographical, so as a rule no! If you know my lyrics, I’ll keep you guessing and not say which ones, it’s a scary thought ain’t it 😉 lol!
- Working collaboratively as a band; do you ever have creative differences? If so how do you work through them?
Well, we try to listen to each others opinions and try out different stuff. The others may be inclined to say that we work through our differences by doing things Paddy’s way, I feel it’s fairly democratic though lol! Bob: In the same way as Kim Jung Un thinks he runs a democracy!
- What part of Gothic culture intrigues you most?
Personally I can’t say I have ever given it much thought. I was always fascinated by the fun side of being scared and have a special penchant for dodgy 80’s horror movies. Basically, if you like to dress up in black and shovel on lots of makeup then do it, but if not, you can still celebrate your love of all things dark in your own unique way!
- If you could bring any other elements to your performance through collaboration across the arts, what would these be?
I suppose some visual elements would be nice, maybe some zombie dancers on stage. My dream would be a horror ballet, lots of folk dressed as creatures of the night dancing around to our music. The others would never allow it though, I’m just one sick puppy I guess lol!
Darron: I’d like to have a projector showing appropriate video clips as we play, (and not just to distract the audience from looking at us too closely!)
- Which artists have been influential to the development of your style and what aspects of these inspire you most?
The artists that influenced us the most musically would be 45 Grave, The Misfits, Sisters Of Mercy, Alice Cooper, (early) Adam & The Ants, The Cramps, Suicide, The Boys Next Door, Rocky Horror Show. I love bands that are Gothicly inspired, but that don’t always fit neatly into the goth category, which I think that sums up ‘Tragedy Vampires’ nicely!
- What advice would you give to new artists who would like to pursue a career in creating music?
I’d like to quote the immortal words of Mr Johhny Rotten, at the start of what (I believe) was the first televised performance of the Sex Pistols. ‘Get off your arse’ Bob: And don’t expect to get rich, or even paid!
- What is your view of Gothic and Industrial culture in Ireland today?
I think that Gothic culture is very healthy in Ireland as a whole. You may not always see a lot of ‘Goths in the street’, but just look at its history, Ireland has always been a pretty dark place, yet with a wicked sense of humor and I really like that!
- What parts of Species did you enjoy most?
Well just getting the chance to play to such a friendly and responsive crowd was the icing on the cake for us. The whole thing was an absolute blast, thank you Species smile emoticon
Darron: Hey, I didn’t get any cake! Although the food was great (and the cup of tea went down a treat).
- Would you like to be musically involved next year?
We most certainly would, bring it on… 🙂
Tragedy Vampires New album ‘Reasons To Be Tearful’ is available to purchase as a CD & download from Amazon, CD baby, bandcamp, i-tunes and to stream through Spotify and all good digital outlets.
Tragedy Vampires are on SoundCloud!
‘Tragedy Vampires’ is on facebook!
Click LIKE below to follow their page!