Vampire Slumber Party - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Yusuf of Vampire Slumber Party. We discussed how they formed the band, musical influences, their new self-titled EP, releasing physical media, covering blink-182, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

No problem. Thanks for the questions. Always nice when someone takes an interest in who you are and who you eat. You don’t have any garlic on you, do you? I think I smell garlic. 

Can you tell me how you formed the band for those who may be unfamiliar with it? How did you initially become interested in music?

Well, Pippa and I had been talking about starting a band for centuries but it never quite worked out. We had a good thing going with this English kid, Keith Moon. We were called Dead But Delicious. But you see, Keith had this obsession with blowing up toilets. And there was an unfortunate incident involving our dear friend Lestat, a tainted curry and a blown up toilet that ended with Keith’s untimely demise - for the second time. When our current familiar, Charlie, turned out to be a drummer, things kind of happened naturally.

As far as getting interested in music goes, I think it was uncle Vlad that first got my blood pumping. He was in a Romani folk band called Vlad and the Impalers. Good stuff.       

Who are some of your main musical influences?

All the greats. Beethoven. He was always great in concert. I remember Pippa was a big fan of George Frideric Handel, but he insisted on playing matinee shows. And this was, way, waaay before Spotify, Bandcamp, or The Lost Chord. So it was a tricky situation. And of course, the Ramones. Joey was a good friend of ours. We knew him from the old country.       

You recently released your self-titled EP. Can you tell me about writing and recording it?

We could, but we’d have to kill you. Sorry, that’s a band joke. You see, we killed the original producer because we were unhappy with the first mixes. Things got a bit out of hand. They escalated. It was regretful, but you know, who doesn’t have regrets?  

Do you have a favorite musical or lyrical moment from the EP? Why?

When life feels like a horror film I know that we’ll survive.” Purely because it popped into my head reading the question and I love horror films. 

I really like the song “Little Light”. Can you tell me about writing that song specifically?

First of all, thank you. Second of all, during our lifetimes, of course, we've had a lot of experience with anti-vampires. Burning stakes. People who just hate you for no reason other than the fact that you’re a vampire and you want to drink their blood. Which is totally ridiculous. These days, people have shone a light on all kinds of different prejudices. Of course, that’s good and there’s a lot more work to be done. But so far, nobody’s shone a light on the plight of the vampire. Then again, perhaps that’s because we have to stay out of the light. Sorry, vampire joke. And you know what they say about most vampire jokes: they suck.    

You released a cassette for it. Is there any chance that we’ll see a vinyl release at some point?

That’s tricky. These days there’s a two year waiting period for vinyl. And mentally, personally, I’m already working on the next release. We did discuss adding a few songs to the album and possibly doing a vinyl release. Maybe a blood vinyl, like that Australian band Private Function's "piss vinyl," only classier. I guess we’ll see how many songs we can get down. And also how long Charlie lasts as our familiar. So far so good. 

You covered blink-182’s “Dammit” for the new EP. What made you pick that particular song?

We actually just started jamming it at a band practice once with our previous familiar, James, before we knew a lot of songs. And it kind of stuck. I really like sharing vocals with Pippa and I dig her English, less misogynistic take on some of the lyrics. "A day late, a pound short..."

Would you be open to recording more cover songs in the future? If so, what are some songs or artists that you’d like to put your spin on?

We’ve already recorded a cover of Bush’s “Glycerine” and Ednaswap and Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” But we don’t want to turn into a “cover band.” Saying that, we currently play a cover of The Muffs’ “Big Mouth,” which I really enjoy. Maybe we'll record that on the next album.   

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Just to say, please remember, vampires are people too. And nobody likes a smug vampire hunter. Unless you’re talking about Blade, he's cool. But only ‘cos he’s part vampire (and that soundtrack kicks ass).

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