Below, you can read our interview with Count Dirtula, and listen to his album 2 Fangs Check out our full music review of 2 Fangs, HERE.
Q: A pleasure to be speaking with you, Count Dirtula! You are without a doubt the first vampire we’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing, and you tell us you’re not exactly sure where you’re from. What is the first thing you can recall about your life since becoming immortal?
A: I must disagree. I’m most certain you have met my kind before, but typically we aren’t so open or outspoken about what we are. I guess you can say I felt it was time to “come out of the coffin.” I unlike others have made a statement, and a career of sorts from being open about who I am, and I speak for all the minorities, as we all deserve equality. Sure, there are a few bad apples in the bunch, but there always will be – and frankly, without them, life would be sort of a bore, would it not? Vampires, you see, are no different from any of you. You eat your steaks rare, so do I. Though, I rarely touch the steak.
As for immortality, it’s merely something you learn to live with I suppose, as there is much living to do. I try to redefine myself through the ages and stay modern, but I maintain all of the parts I liked most from my past. There is no era, it’s all collective. Mozart to Ozzy Osbourne, it’s all Rock & Roll if you turn it up loud enough.
Q: The fact that you are a vampire now means you were human once as well. Do you think your affinity for music and the arts started before or after your transformation?
A: I’ve had a knack for music for as long as I can remember. But I think music is the same as any art. I think the expression of ones inner thoughts, feelings, actions, is all art in some way. It’s all up to us how we choose to express it. When Ed Gein made furniture of his victims, could that not be considered art? When a lawyer takes the stand and gives an incredibly powerful argument, based on the lack of evidence against his client, when he himself knows of his client’s guilt; is that not art? I am at my deepest level an Artist – that is my purpose. Vampires are only really ever credited for their feeding habits. So, in all fairness, are you just a fast food junkie, or is there more to who you are? I use this the same way a salesman uses his knowledge of human behavior. You stop and look at the fanged creature before you, but you stick around because the stories, images, and music tell of so much more. And if you like what you’ve seen and heard so far, then I assure you there is much more to come.
Q: I imagine our human world is fairly bland for a supernatural creature such as yourself. What inspires you to create music?
A: I am no different than any human. I enjoy all the same things you do; sex, love, drugs, fancy things, exotic places, and all inspire me. I am also inspired by what humans cannot understand. Humans struggle to even understand each other most often, and you all for the most part share the same feelings, emotions, ideas, and dreams. However, you’re all so focused on yourselves for the most part, albeit by intention or necessity; you can never seem to ever really stop being at war with one another. Like some everlasting competition, where both the winner and the loser ultimately share the same fate. It’s quite ridiculous, but entertaining nonetheless. And THAT is ultimately the most important part of humanity. You long to be entertained. You work, you love, you trust, you heal, you hurt, you dream, you laugh, you cry… all of it, for entertainment. So, I shall give you that. I will entertain. I share with you my stories of people and places long ago. And I listen and I take part. I learn from what you like, what your passionate about, what’s “cool” or trendy. I follow your politics, and stand beside in solidarity and “fight the system” as you like to do so. After all, they can’t kill us both.
Q: You’ve told us that any previous works of yours prior to “Two Fangs” have been destroyed to protect your anonymity. We don’t mean to pry, but does that mean you’ve been prolific in your musical releases over the millennia?
A: Ah, yes. This question always comes around. As I stated prior, I try to reinvent myself through the times. I didn’t always have these tattoos, nor were my fangs always this shiny or diamond studded. Back in the 90’s, “bling bling” as they used to say. I take the parts I like of every era, and continue to make them part of my every day, much like a “hipster” or “rockabilly” type might. But this isn’t all fashion or style, but also mannerisms, tastes in music and art, etc. So, much like all of you, I am forever a work in progress, but my progress bar is infinite. And as I create art and music, while remaining ever open about my vampirism, I always gift much of my past through my stories. But, if I do not adapt and find a way to relate and modernize, well then…It’s like watching the Beach Boys performing with surfboards and wheelchairs. So, out with the old, in with the new. I am not so worried with my anonymity like a snitch in a prison gang, as most certainly all of you will perish before I anyway. But, I would rather you know me as I am now, rather than knowing me for who I was centuries ago, for you would never be able to understand immortality like I do. So my stories and memories are tailored in delivery for your smaller conceptual understanding of time.
Q: How long did “Two Fangs” take to record?
A: Not long. The studio musicians and producers at IYAM Entertainment Studios in Las Vegas are great guys, and did a fine job I’d say. But human life is full of complex issues so with your pandemic and all, things got a little sluggish at times. This album is rather short though. As I tend to craft my art toward the relevance of the era, your mortal attention spans have gotten ever so much shorter with technological advancement. So, in an era of singles, but with my love for films, radio shows, theatre, long concept albums on vinyl records, etc. I decided to find a middle ground, and created a concept album, though not so common anymore – but with a shorter E.P. style length, and playability in singles form. Each song its own story or episode, in a longer collection. The songs are quite longer than most today, but I am not looking to be a radio pop star. I am a classic, a romantic, a lover of love and of death, for it is such a sexy and desirable concept that I myself may never know. I am a dark artist at heart, with an antique flair and though modern in my style and delivery, I can certainly find my audience in the vastness of the underground scene and the darkest corners of the internet. Plus, timing could not have been more ideal, with Halloween approaching. So, why not give a spooky introduction and then deliver a much larger and deeper follow up album. So, stay tuned!
Q: Your songs tell complex stories and feature intricate, evocative lyrics. How long did it take you to master the craft of songwriting?
A: I have been writing since the days of quill and ink. I was a young lad long ago, and wrote the most beautiful love stories and poetry. I wrote from the heart, as if every drop of my being could be possessed in a love and passion so immortally deep, that God himself would ask me for dating advice. Then low and behold, I got exactly that, a vampire’s curse. Ah, but these days your Netflix and Chill, WAP, and Tinder swipes have made such a sad mockery of what real beauty and romance should be. There are some modern marvels. Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, and others do perform beautiful modern love stories, though modern slang holds not the weight of writers of the past. I read lots of books, and I admire works of so many of humanities own. Shakespeare, Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Allen Poe. But sadly, these types no longer exist. And even more sad was how lonely they often were when they did. Very few understand such depth of emotion. But I am a lover and a killer, and a writer. So, I tell it like it is. It’s up to the listener, just how far would you like to go?
Q: You mention that you enjoy playing many instruments alongside singing, writing, and other forms of artistic expression. Is music your preferred art form, or something else, and why?
A: Music is my preferred art form, mainly because it is so vast and never fleeting. Music has changed so very much over time, but the love and appreciation for it in any form, has only grown. Lots of young people these days have never opened a book, let alone read poetry or stories. In fact, the idea of telling stories in music is even fading. So much of it these days is swagger, slang, and straight up marketing and consumer based lyrics, with no depth beyond how deep your pockets are lined. I do love drawing and painting, and in modern times have found much beauty in digital design and technologically focused art. Hell, even music these days is entirely that. I play a lot of instruments, but had I not, the computers can play them for me. So, cheers to another ever changing age that I must learn to adapt to.
Q: Perhaps in some unspecified amount of time, your musical career explodes in the best of ways. What does that look like for you?
A: I don’t suppose I really know what that would be like. I mean, tis a far different experience I’d say for Beiber than it was for Elvis, even though both played the heartthrob role. Now, consider taking Beiber, Elvis, Marilyn Manson, Eminem, The Eagles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Aleister Crowley all on tour. Wouldn’t that be wild? So, if that’s what your asking me to imagine, oh what stories I’d have to tell for centuries to come.
Q: You get to collaborate with anyone of your choosing. Who is it?
A: Living or Dead? That matters you know. How about in the middle…Ozzy still has a few years left I suppose. Other modern artists I’d probably choose would be elaborate storytellers, much like myself. Eminem, Tech N9ne, Rob Zombie, Melanie Martinez – so cute and weird… Lady Gaga, Lordi – interesting showmanship of “monsters” on stage…Sadly we’ve lost quite a few of my favorites in recent years; M.J., Bowie, etc. There’s a newer artist I recently started listening to. He was on your Idol TV Show, Scary Pool Party I believe is the band’s name. I rather like the diversity. But ultimately, I like working with beautiful ladies the most. My fangs aren’t the only poking around I like to do…
Q: Your favorite album of all time? (Yup, you gotta choose one.)
A: The Monster Mash of course.
Q: Your favorite song of all time? (Again, only one!)
A: So many classics, but how boring would you find me if I start naming Minuets or Concertos…
I’d much rather send you off Googling John Lennon’s “Life With The Lions” and give some of you nightmares… But rather, I’ll play along with your little “you only get to choose one” game… “Sleepwalking Past Hope” by H.I.M.
Q: What would you like fans to know about you that they’re most likely unaware of?
A: I believe I already mentioned that music is not the only art I do. And personally, I am much more fond of writing poetry and stories, however, I feel like there is less an audience these days. So perhaps if fans convinced me otherwise, I’d release some of my poetry and books. But, only if people would actually read them. Otherwise, it’s more worth my time and money to just make music. Yes, vampires do use money too. We live just as you do, and need to earn a living as well.
Aside from that, I also get a lot of dumb questions – so might as well get them out of the way. No, I don’t know Dracula. He is not real. Vlad Dracula was, and No, I didn’t know him either. I did meet Bella Lugosi and I was very fond of him, so I reference him a lot in my writing. My favorite color is purple, not red. I like the color of passion, blood is merely lunch. I DO in fact have a reflection, I DO like garlic, but not sunlight. I do not burn and die from crosses and holy water. Hogwash! That’s all just Harry Potter centuries before. And lastly, No…I will not be voting for Donald Trump. Any more questions, feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org- or just listen to the bloody album!
Q: Any shout-outs you wanna make?
A: Thanks to IYAM Entertainment Studios in Las Vegas, Nevada for the production. Thanks to all the guys and gals there for all their time and support. To my dearest, beloved Mary…I love you eternally, with every drop. And to all my immortals and my cohorts, cheers to you all. Pints on me. Let’s have another!
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Blah Blah Blah… sorry, I promised someone that I’d add that. Hotel Transylvania reference for those who didn’t get it. Don’t worry, neither did I. Fang-you very much. Please enjoy the album; and may the darkness keep you ever cold and the pain of life be ever quick and death most beautifully frightening.
(Want to be interviewed by The Ark of Music? Click HERE.)