Interview with Fearless Vampire Killers

Emma Younger headed to the Record Club at Camden Rocks Festival to catch up with Fearless Vampire Killers before their set at the Underworld. With their highly anticipated second album to be released later this year, we talked about the album, William Control and their thoughts on the UK's current rock scene. Find out what happened right here.

You’re lucky enough to have two slots on today’s Camden Rocks Festival bill. What’s it like to switch it up and play acoustically as well as electrically?

Its good. We like challenging ourselves, especially as a rock band who’s a bit out of the ordinary. But we prefer to play electrically. We like to have it large really and your instincts come in.

So with 20 venues and tons of bands playing today, why should we choose to see you guys?

Because we’re better than all the other bands!? (laughs) Simple. We look better, we’ve got better songs, we sound better. Anything else? (laughs). I’m kind of joking, but you’ve got to feel that you’re better than other bands otherwise I wouldn’t be in this band.

You recently announced that you’ll be releasing your second album later this year. How does it feel after all this time to finally be able to release these songs that you wrote with producer William Control?

I know! We really just want to get it out there. We’ve always felt like we should have been releasing it, but now we’ve finally been given permission. Its a great feeling.

Earlier this year you were tracking demos with Dan Weller. What was it like knowing you already had material underneath it all that you wanted to release but couldn’t?

It was a bit weird. Its a complicated situation. We were told we couldn’t release something, so we were like ‘fine’. We had every intention of releasing it later, but then thought that now is the time, lets fucking do it. There’s going to be a lot of music!

In your interview with William Control and Alternative Press, William Control said that ‘You’re real musicians with great potential’. How did that feeling coming from him?

It was nice and very flattering. Its nice for anyone to say that, but we’ve got a lot of respect for Will. He’s become a really good friend over the years, so its always nice for your mates to give you a pat on the back.

Today's event is a celebration of Camden and all that is represents. Why do you think Camden is so special?

Its obviously got a lot of musical heritage right back from god knows when, playing host to god knows who! Its great to part of that kind of history that goes with the whole thing, and there’s a lot of fucking good bands as well on this festival bill. So to be a part of that and included in that group is awesome.

As a band, what would you say is your best memory in Camden?

Probably our Underworld show! We headlined last year and it was just a fucking great show. It was our biggest headline show up until that point. There was a massive queue around it which was such a great feeling.

What are your thoughts on the UK’s current rock scene?

I think its a bit shit right now to be honest. There are good bands, but just a lot of them, and there are also a lot of shit bands too. To be honest, the music industry is in a really tough state at the moment and it hasn’t got a lot of money, so people are less willing to take a risk. But taking risks is how all the best and the most historic stuff came around. For example, people like The Beatles who eventually got signed after approaching every record label there was in London. There are just a lot of really middle of the road bands and then there is a lot of amazing stuff that goes quite unnoticed, just because they don’t really have the means to make themselves bigger.

You guys created your own virtual reality city called Grandomina, and that was in regards to a particular time the band was going through. What would your virtual reality be today about where the band is now?

Actually, we’re continuing that story in the next album, so it kind of carries on. The second album goes into a lot about what were doing at the time, but metaphorically through storytelling. So I’d say we’re still in Grandomina at the moment till album three.

You’re up for the Best Event Award for your show at the Kingston Peel at this year’s Kerrang! Awards alongside Arcane Roots and We Are The Ocean. Why is the issue of saving Britain’s venues so important to you guys?

Because otherwise we won’t have anywhere to play! (laughs). Little bands especially need places to play. It does sound obvious, but the place we played, the Peel, every band who played at that event had a story of how that venue featured in their history. If those venues disappear, where are these going to go to spread their wings and break themselves in? Its really important.

Fearless Vampire Killers are knowing for bending and breaking the rules a bit. So what’s the worst rule you’ve ever broken?

I guess to date, not having a label and doing whatever the fuck we want to do for ourselves. That’s not necessarily through choice so much, but we’ve proven that it is possible if you work your little tits off and really, really want something. You can actually have a sustainable career in music.

You recently went on your Cabin Fever Tour, how was that and what were your highlights?

London was a highlight! It was fantastic. The whole tour was. Our fan base are the best in the entire world. I know every band says it, but ours are mental in the best possible way, because they’re always there and super into it. They remind us exactly why we’re doing this, so the tour was very rewarding on that front. Our London show at the end; loads of people came down and we all just had a good time.

As festival season is officially with us, what are your top five festival tips?

Wet wipes! Cannabis!? (laughs)

E: That’s not an essential!

Money, because they’re fucking expensive. Booze. Wellies. You need a mate too! (laughs)

Finally, apart from the album, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

Well, we’re basically building a fan network, which will be launched very soon, but I can’t tell you anymore than that because we’re not allowed to! But our second album is also going to be released in a pretty unconventional way, but will be released conventionally at the end. But that’s all I can say! You were the first to hear that.

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Music Journalist to be, gig-goer and mosh-pit enthusiast, who will head bang to any heavy riff you throw my way. Basically, if I'm not listening to music, then I'm doing it wrong.

Follow me on Twitter at @emyoungerr