BANGS! Featured Artist: Interview with Hyde of the VAMPS (Visually Arresting Music Performance Sanctum)

VAMPS- Visually Arresting Music Performance Sanctum.

With Contributing writer/photographer Song River

The beast has captured Japan and now the deliverance of what rock is about culturally is taking America over. VAMPS are a visually dramatic monster to be experienced. It is the perfect union in the darkness of night between theatrics, lyrics, and playing.  Unleashed, in full presence they have quickly taken over and conquered triumphantly. It is time for some Sex Blood and Rock N Roll to overtake your city and bite hard into your rock needs. Come and join the VAMPS and feel the dark side of the theatrical night. It is time for a potent injection that bites hard and rocks you off sweetly.

Song River:  It seems for quite some time Americans have been sending their bands over to Japan and the people there have embraced the sounds we produce.  Now, we have Japan delivering back and as always the creative artistic way of thinking from Japan takes a standard set and turns it up a notch. Creating something that goes one step beyond the usual. How similar or different are we in this genre between the United States and Japan?

HYDE: Japanese people like the American sound, but they don’t like all of it. And vice versa for Americans.  We have our differences. We have to figure out those differences and find the fine line where we can create music that will be accepted by both sides.

SR: What are some of the visuals the Vamps find absolutely necessary to make a Vamps concert SCREAM this is the VAMPS?

HYDE: We never go on stage in onstage clothing.  Like, just a T-shirt, for example.  After all, there were no T-shirts 200 years ago.

SR: Do you feel as a band that in some ways you are creating a new environment or sound in the theatrics presentation and music sound? 

HYDE: I enjoy thinking about the theatrical aspects, so we do a lot of interesting things on stage in Japan.  We put extra thought into things like using extra-large sets, projection mapping, lasers, lighting, and so on.

We’re not that popular in the U.S. yet, so we can’t bring all of that here.  But I hope we can go all out at our U.S. shows one day.

SR: Having released four Live DVD's and three studio albums, plus played numerous festivals worldwide are you more at home as Vamps onstage, in the studio or performing in a music video? 

HYDE: Definitely on stage. I’m uncomfortable anywhere else.

SR: The release of your next album, Underworld, April 28th you worked with producer Howard Benson. How did this come together?  

HYDE: We were given many options and ultimately chose him.It was a very exciting experience. He and his team were outstanding.

SR: What did Howard bring to Vamps that you all were seeking or maybe needing to be defined?

HYDE: Working with him just was very collaborative and we incorporated a lot of his unique thoughts. And in a short time period. His recording process is very focused and phenomenal, and he has a fun personality.

SR: Talk about this new album. As the story developed in its creation and where did some of the inspiration come from in your tracks?

HYDE: "UNDERWORLD," which is also the album title, is what we call our gathering place. 

UNDERWORLD is where our other albums, like SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ ROLL (sacred scripture) and BLOODSUCKERS (worshippers) gather.

The music in this album is heavier, but the melodies are catchy. We want to make sure it’s easy for our fans to catch on to the songs and that they can sing along to the lyrics easily. 

SR: Hyde and K.A.Z. would you say Vamps has a responsibility to bring back the wild, raunchy, debacle side of rock n roll?

HYDE: Definitely.  We’re vampires that rock out.

Better watch out.

Our scripture is SEX BLOOD ROCK N’ROLL, after all.

SR: Your first video single to drop from this next album is "Calling." Who did you work with on the video production and theatrical scripting- it certainly has an Anne Rice feel to its development?

HYDE: Glad you felt that way.  I love Anne Rice.

For “CALLING” we thought we’d go with a different approach and leave everything to an American director.  So all we really did was select a great director and left almost everything to him.  We wouldn’t get anything done if we kept butting in (laughed). We’re glad we chose him and ended up with a great video.

SR: A new album usually means a tour. Where are we going to be able to find you in 2017-18?

HYDE: We are touring the U.S. right now, so I hope more people will come see us. And we’re hoping to come back in the Fall so everyone’s support would be appreciated.

SR: And of course fans are going to want Vamps Merch. Have you created anything spectacular in the realm of merch to go along with the release of the new album, Underworld?

HYDE: We have a lot of merch in Japan.  The jacket included in the limited edition album box set is very popular over there.

We’re still newer to the U.S., so we can only bring some of our merch but we’re very happy with the way the new merch for the tour turned out as well. We’ll work harder to become more popular so we can bring even more merch here in the future.

SR: You are setting records and conquering venues, cities, states, countries. Can you think of one place possibly that you both have always dreamed of playing and how close is that to a reality of happening?

HYDE: I want to play at Madison Square Garden 3 years from now!