Interview: Fearless Vampire Killers, MTC (Köln)13. Oktober 2015
Laurence – Vocals/Guitar
Drew – Bass/ Background vocals
Lest We Forget: This is the third time for you playing in Germany this year and you also played some festivals during this summer. What do you like more, festivals or club shows?
Laurence: Club shows.
Drew: Yeah, I think we like these small sweaty sort of club shows.
Laurence: Festivals are always more rushed as well. You don’t get a soundcheck and tend to be playing in front of people, who aren’t necessarily big fans of your band. People don’t get into it as much at a festival because they’ve already seen a bunch of bands earlier.
Drew: It would be different, if we would be the headlining band at a festival, that everyone comes to see. But when you’re playing quiet early onto the day, warming people up for the bands, it’s more like trying to convert them to like you. You’re trying to fight for them to like you.
In club shows, even when you’re supporting, there are more people getting into it.
Lest We Forget: Do you already have some fans that follow you at your tours threw the world?
Lest We Forget: So you know them or even are friends with them?
Laurence: No, we’re not friends with them, but we know them. When we toured America, a girl flew from japan to see us in America. We’ve got Americans coming to England see us.
It’s best not to cross the boundary between fans and friends. When someone’s a fan of you it’s not a real friendship, because they love you so much and it’s a dangerous line to cross.
Drew: We used to have this. With our first group of fans we actually became kind of friends with, but it got strange.
Laurence: They didn’t treat us like friends. They still treated us like the band they’re fans of. When we couldn’t hang out with them they didn’t do what friends do. They got really angry about it.
Drew: Yeah. It’s nice to be friendly so we always chat with the people, having drinks after the show and talk to them.
Laurence: They can come have a few drinks with us, but we never really let it get to texting things. Especially in todays culture. Because people make up so much stuff and you never know what will happen.
Lest We Forget: Was there ever something bad that happened to you, when the contact to a fan got too close?
Drew: Nothing bad really. Maybe we had a couple of experiences where people got a little too intense.
Lest We Forget: This was an extremely hot summer. How was it like to play on festivals with all the sun and heat?
Laurence: It’s not really good, but it’s better then when it’s windy. We’ve played download festival in England and it was so windy. We did our hair before we went on stage, but the wind blew it in the completely opposite direction and we looked ridiculous.
Drew: [laughs] I mean, hot shows are hard, but they’re also good because it feels more intense. We played a few shows after we came back from recording in America a couple of years ago and it was the high of british summer. Those shows were the hottest we’ve ever played. It was like we were just dead by the end of the shows. Strained in sweat. So, it can be really tough.
Lest We Forget: Last time we talked you had been playing at the Essigfabrik in Cologne and now you’re playing at the MTC. How is it like to play at such a smaller stage then 7 months before?
Drew: We used to play in small venues when we were starting in England. When we toured America we played in really small venues. Some were way smaller than this. Sometimes it can be better, because the crowd is tight together and there is more atmosphere. Or it can be much worse. The sound is often a lot worse because it’s harder to get a good sound in a small place. Small venues versus big venues is tough. No one is better really. I like the actual gig in a small venue. That’s always much more entertaining.
Laurence: I don’t know. I think I’m enjoying half and half. When you play to a lot of people it feels more like a performance, but when you play to a small amount of people it feels like art, like something real.
Lest We Forget: And what was the best venue you’ve played at?
Laurence: The one I’ve always used to love is shot down now. Just for the experiences there. The place is called the Cockpit 3 in Leeds and it was a really small venue. Maybe for 120 people, so we always used to sell it out. There was no real stage, just something like half a stage for the drummer. Everyone else was down on the floor.
Lest We Forget: You are going to release your first non-conceptional album in a few weeks. Do you think that the fans might miss the story of Grandomina?
Drew: The fans are enjoying the releases so far of it.
Laurence: I don’t think our current fans really cared about our concept. Most of the fans we’re getting have no idea that we have had a concep,t because we’ve been letting it go already. I don’t think they really care. I think most of our fans just like the music.
Lest We Forget: Have you already made plans for a release after „Bruises“? Will it be conceptional or non-conceptional?
Laurence: The plan was always to do a third, last concept album, but it just depends what will happen. We’re going to see how things work.
Lest We Forget: How was it like for you to write these songs about the real world and not Grandomina?
Laurence: It’s probably easier for Drew.
Drew: Yeah. I mean, Laurence is the writer of the books and obviously when we’re doing conceptional stuff he’s the one who knows what works the best.
I guess in times of writing songs with lyrics it’s kind of easier for me because I’m more the kind of self emotive lyrics writer.
Drew: For this conceptional change I think hat Kier got the best out of it because he could write songs about what he really wants to write about.
Drew used to write all the songs that Kier sing and I wrote the ones that I sing. But it’s a bit difficult, because Drew had to write songs that Kier likes enough to sing.
Drew: And we’re quiet different people, so it’s hard for him to get into it if I had written the lyrics.
Laurence: Moaning. Mine is moaning.
Drew: I’m good at doing shit jokes that aren’t funny. I make a lot of sarcastic comments and bad jokes.
Laurence: I think Drews best talent is completely describing someones entire personality with one impression or joke. If he looks at someone and everyone knows that there’s something annoying about this person, but they can’t understand what it is, Drew just says the thing what you hate about that person. He’s very malicious.
Laurence: I got several, I guess. Drew, Shane, Kier, Luke. The whole band.
Drew: I always find it hard to choose a best friend, so I have a lot of people I’d describe as my best friends.
– Concert on this tour (so far)
Drew: I think Hamburg was the most fun. That was the kind of club gig we talked about. It was really good. Even if we had Shanes guitar cut out for a little time it was one of the shows that almost made it. Sometimes things go wrong, but it makes it fun for a reason.
– Memory with this band
Drew: Maybe when we got to Brixton. When we were walking out of the academy of Brixton for the first time in London was a pretty good memory.
We did a show before our second album came out and it was that time when we were still unsure, if people really gave a shit about how we were doing. We played the title song of the album and it was an emotional moment. We sold out our biggest London show and it was on Halloween with big celebration. You could feel the people actually caring.
Laurence: There is a documentary on youtube called Remember my name.
– Best song, you’ve ever written
Drew: I think in times of people liking it, it’s a song that will be on the next album called „Regrets“. It felt natural to write, not forced and that doesn’t happen very often to me.
Laurence: Mine is probably a song called „City Falls To Dust“, that I wrote when I was 19. We’ve put it on the last album. I haven’t really done something better after that.