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Blood Thirsty in the Right Way: The Fearless Vampire Killers

The word ‘vampire’ is now typically associated with tween hysteria and hands-off Mormon love stories, but those with more discerning ears and suspicious eyes might find a better match in Melbourne band The Fearless Vampire Killers.

In a slight deviation from the old ‘met at school and started a band’ cliché, the members of the Vampire Killers were actually brought together by shared musical influences (of the same awesome variety).

“Our roots are definitely in bands like The Beatles, as well as the Doors, the Stones, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin,” says lead singer Sean Ainsworth.

Although the inspiration from these bands can be heard in their sound, it’s not so obvious that it becomes irritating. While I’m loathe to try and pigeonhole a band’s style, I admit that I did attempt to force Sean into doing some descriptive legwork for me. Alas, I was unsuccessful.

“It’s kind of like my signature, it changes every time,” he admits. “It’s 60s rock and roll, it’s pop, it’s blues, it’s country, it’s western. It’s a bit of everything, really.”

Taking another step towards musical notoriety, the band has recently released their self-titled debut EP, which has been playing the rounds of local community radio and that old bastion, Triple J.

“People still might not know who you are, but they know your songs, which is a good start,” says Sean.

While he admits more radio play is one of the band’s major aims at the moment, I suspect their commitment to touring will do just as much to help spread the word. The band has already had a pretty busy year on the live show front, performing their home residencies in Melbourne and touring along the east coast. They’ve played four shows in Sydney to date, and are looking forward to getting back on the touring circuit. Although according to Sean, more time on the road may not be entirely helpful for their mental status.

“When you’re stuck in a car for 10 hours, the first two hours of conversation are pretty normal, but for the next eight it’s just weird shit that you’d never normally talk about,” he says.
“If you think people in touring bands are weird, it’s just because they get so fucking bored moving between places in such a confined space!”

But the band is certainly getting an experience out of every destination – albeit a highly unpredictable one.

“In rural towns, people are either absolutely fucking wild, getting drunk and going crazy, or they’re really quiet, they’ve just come out for a night at the pub,” he said.
“In Sydney, everything is different. I actually really like playing there, because people always seem to be enjoying themselves, there’s no heckling and the audience always comes up and tells you that they enjoy your music.”

photo by T Ainsworth

According to Sean, the band’s live shows are pretty much a case of ‘anything goes’.

“We don’t plan; we just play and see where the music takes us,” he says.

“As psychedelic and fucked as it sounds, we just do what comes naturally.”

As for what’s next, Sean says the focus has been placed firmly on building their profile and getting the band's music out to more people. With plans to release an album at the end of summer next year, it seems like we’ll be hearing a lot more from The Fearless Vampire Killers over the coming months - which is just the way Sean wants it.

“The dream is to live off the music," he says.

"I don’t have a choice really, it’s the only thing I’m good at and that I enjoy. Well, I’m not sure if I’m good at it, but I definitely enjoy it!”

photo by T Ainsworth

Sydney fans wanting to see what all the fuss is about will be pleased to hear that they are currently winging its way around Australia alongside fellow Victorians The Frowning Clouds (another band definitely worth keeping tabs on).

While the original gig they had planned has now gone by the wayside thanks to the untimely demise of the Hopetoun, interested parties need only detour to Ruby Rabbit on Oxford Street.

The Fearless Vampire Killers
Tomorrow: Thursday, October 8, 8pm
Ruby Rabbit
231 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

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words: Jacqueline Flint


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