XL Halloween special: Love, Blood and Wine.

Halloween is almost upon us, and once more, we have arisen from the crypt to serve up an extra-large selection of appropriately themed tracks.

Did you recognize the sample in the intro? We’ll tip a classic movie about eternal life, and we’ll even have an interview with the vampire. Or indeed, several vampires, who love blood… and wine. And on that note, we have a WORLD. EXCLUSIVE. TRACK. for you. Because, in this episode, for the first time in public, you’ll be able to hear the track that gave the band Of Blood And Wine their name. A World Premiere! We are super excited to bring this to you tonight.

But first, we express our undying gratitude to several of you, our followers, who helped us exhume tonights’ most excellent songs about vampires, and blood. We love, like, blood.

Killing Joke – Love Like Blood Extended 12″ mix (1985)

@Kerpelo from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, requested this song. And we are happy to oblige, Ole, since it is a terrific song and fits perfectly with tonight’s theme. Thanks for suggesting this track!

Recently we’ve discussed how Killing Joke had a hand in helping other great post-punk bands step up into the limelight, with Play Dead and Strange Boutique great examples that we’ve played in last week’s episode “A night call from the Crypt.” But obviously, Killing Joke was a force to be reckoned with in their own right. A “Love Like Blood” was their greatest hit and their only chart entry in Germany (#24), Holland (#5), and New Zealand (#6).

Many people think this song is about vampires, but in fact, the inspiration for this work was the book ‘The Samurai Ethic and Modern Japan’ by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. The song is about approaching love the same way a soldier approaches battle. You have to be ready to give it your all, to spill blood for your love. As Jaz Coleman once explained. “One must aspire to walk and talk what you write about in your songs – actually live it. The song itself is a distillation of everything we hold dear. I loved the warrior principal. To freedom with blood, if you like.”

And that exact theme, to freedom with blood, is also the theme of tonight’s Big Picture…

The Big Picture – The Lost Boys

All this blood made me think about movies, and especially The Lost Boys. For our listeners that don’t know this film yet: This is a teenage Vampire movie from 1987, directed by the famous Joel Schumacher. Not with sparkly, smooth vampires like in Twilight, but fun and action-packed. I like Twilight too, by the way, but also think that franchise is stretched out too much and slow.

The Lost Boys It is about two brothers that move to a new town. They soon discover that the area is a haven for vampires. And the older brother eventually gets bitten and also becomes a vampire. This movie is great because of many reasons:

  1. The style and atmosphere are very 80’s
  2. It’s a movie with some gore and seriousness, but also light-hearted and fun
  3. All the 80’s movie brats are there: the 2 Coreys (Feldman and Haim), Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, and on and on
  4. And the soundtrack is one of the best. It features INXS, Echo and the Bunnymen, Run DMC, and much more.

To me, the main appeal of vampire movies has always been the many meanings you can take from them, just two examples:

  1. Vampires can be seen as Psychopaths or Sociopaths that walk among us in society and feed off others to survive. Vampires are depicted as manipulative and dark creatures that hunt for their prey and suck them dry.
  2. Also: These movies are romantic, even erotic sometimes (like Interview with the Vampire). The human neck is associated with a sensitive and vulnerable piece of the body. Then you have themes like seduction, submission, kissing/biting, etc. It doesn’t take that much imagination.

In movie terms: to wrap this up, it is our favorite vampire movie by a mile.

It is a perfect example of 80’s cinema. It almost feels like a darker Howard Hughes Movie. Let’s play one of the best tracks of its soundtrack, a cover by Echo and the Bunnymen of the Track “People Are Strange” by the Doors.

Echo and the Bunnymen – People are Strange

If it has been a while since you heard the original version by The Doors, you’d have to listen closely to hear that this is not the version by The Doors.

Maybe that’s also because Ray Manzarek (keyboard player of The Doors) produced this cover. 2 things that you will hear are Ian McCulloch’s nasaly voice and a bit different piano work.  

I tend to like originals more, but this is one case where I think Echo & The Bunnymen’s cover tops the original. I like Ian McCulloch’s voice more, and I like the faster pace better. It sounds just a tad quicker.

Nosferatu – Vampyres Cry (1993)

Nosferatu’s Vampyres Cry was the second element in our Trifecta. Nosferatu is a second wave Gothic Rock band from South London. Formed in the late ’80s by Damien DeVille (lead guitar), they are still active today, 34 years later, sparking whispers of an unnaturally long lifespan for this band…

Over the years, they have made 11 albums and have sold over 100.000 copies worldwide of their singles and albums, making them one of the most successful Gothic Rock bands ever.

For years, the band used to drive to concerts and tour in a hearse, a car built to transport dead people. It was a classic black Vanden Plas Princess, outfitted with thick carpet, velvet curtains, and an eight-speaker stereo system. Really cool. Talk about arriving at your gig in style! I’ll put a pic right here:

The track we played, Vampyres Cry by Nosferatu, was requested by some very dear friends of the show, it was requested by the band you just heard: Of Blood and Wine!

Of Blood and Wine – Of Blood and Wine (2020)

(Current track a placeholder until the release of Of Blood and Wine)

The Grand Finale of the Trifecta then, was the World Premiére of the track Of Blood and Wine, by the band Of Blood and Wine, who will release their First Full-Length Album this Halloween, on October 30th, 2020.

As friends of the show, Of Blood and wine were kind enough to invite us to their Khrypt. The small cabal that forms Of Blood And Wine are rumored to be vampires originally from Transsylvania. They are vocalist Lord Crobath, guitarist Count Kristoffer and Marquis Nosferaatu, the bass player. The three of them were happy to receive us in their abode, in a secluded part of Finland.

So about the name of the track, and the band, Of Blood and Wine: They indeed are the sources of our energy, Blood,” says Lord Crobath, raising his glass and smiling: “…and wine”. Life in the dark Finnish woods is good, they say. Lord Marquis Nosferaatu: “Our main challenge is to drink blood and survive the daytime; other bands may have it rougher. What we miss most, at the moment, are live performances. We hope that it will be possible to arrange some new shows soon.”

Lord Crobath: “Experiencing music is a beautiful experience. I think the wonderful thing about it is that everyone can have their interpretation of it. If the experience is good, that’s all that matters.” Count Kristoffer: “Music should evoke emotions of any kind. At least for me, music is one of the greatest goods; you can always rely on it, and it can bring anything you are able to imagine to you, sometimes even something you don’t, and that is the best part.” Marquis Nosferaatu, brushing back his long hair: “Music is the purest form of magic.”

Lord Crobath adds: You have to realize, our new release Of Blood And Wine, all of this, it is just the beginning. We are continually evolving, our tastes maturing.” Marquis Nosferaatu: “Actually, my tastes have shifted towards O Negative, whereas as a young vampire, I was all about that A positive blood.” Lord Crobath: “Yes, the local victims do have better tasting B positive than the ones back in Transylvania, and I really appreciate that.” Count Kristoffer: “And in music, back in the day we were all about heavier music whereas nowadays our music tastes are spanning almost every genre. On my Khrypt playlist, I am playing bands like Witches of London and 616. Both are awesome, and they are relatively new bands like us.”

You can read the full interview with Of Blood and Wine right here in the interviews section of www.theinfected.nl. We were happy enough to escape not only with our lives but even with a newfound friendship with these Lords. The love for dark music, it seems, can form a bond, even stronger than blood…

The Cult Sounds – What Gets Done in the Night

The Cult Sounds is a band that has followed us on Instagram for quite some time now. They have been so kind as to respond to our “Talk to me” invitation on Instagram and Facebook. The song they submitted perfectly fits our Halloween theme.

The Cult Sounds is a band that’s hard to give one specific label. I would classify them as playing Dark Rock. They are six guys from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Some of them knew each other from University and fit very well together as a group with similar ideas and musical preferences. They started making music as a project in 2018. Their influences (as you can hear in this track) are grunge and goth rock. Also, horror movies, dark imagery, and old games like Castlevania as I read in an interview. That was also my favorite on the Gameboy back in the day. You basically play a character with a whip that has to fight his way through medieval goth-like levels to defeat count Dracula. Awesome. https://youtu.be/1oj7AdERJHc

What I also like about these guys is the covers that they did of tracks by Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, and Bauhaus. I particularly like Rhiannon, as a fanboy of Fleetwood Mac. It now has an extra layer of mood and balls, I think without losing the original’s spirit. Well done.

If the music video for “What Gets Done In The Night” indicates their stage presence, I would love to see them perform live. Under current circumstances, it will be hard for them to do so, I’m sure. Hopefully, they can use their time to work on new material or write lyrics.

The song we played/going to play is their latest single from august of this year. This is What Gets Done In The Night

Cocteau Twins – Blood Bitch

We covered the Cocteaus in season 1 already, so I will keep it brief this time around. I can’t stop myself from playing them again today with the track Blood Bitch, in style with Halloween.

It’s the first track of their first album, Garlands, from 1982. A garland is a decorative string with flowers or leaves that can be worn around the neck. However, I can’t link that to the music or atmosphere of the album, anyway. Liz Frazer has the voice of an angel. But on Garlands, they were still in their formative stage. She’s singing with a lot of vibrato on almost every song. That style gets old, soon if you ask me. Luckily she stopped this particular style after the first album, but it is an excellent post-punk album and their darkest work to date.

Garlands consists of 8 grim and dark tracks, with a total playing time of only 35 minutes in total. Relatively short, and it also only took them seven days to compose.

The album suffers a bit from using a drum machine, and several songs are overly repetitious (something rarely found on their later albums). Garlands does offer a sound that, while not in line with their following work, still played an essential role in defining the 4AD sound of the early 80s. And it is an album that I always enjoy and play often.

Belfegore – Belfegore (1984)

This is a tip from Philip Taylor from England. Phil, thanks for this suggestion, great track!

(Mind you, we have played the 12”version on the show, the Spotify version is somewhat different)

So, Belfegore was a German Gothic New Wave trio from the early 1980s formed by singer and guitarist Meikel Clauss. The band was formed in 1982 in Düsseldorf as part of the movement called Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave), a distinctly German style of new wave music that owes a lot to both the early UK goth scene as well as the European punk movement.

They made a couple of singles and two albums. The first few releases were on a small German label, but the self-titled 12″ EP Belfegore, which we will play for you in a second, was also imported in the UK, and it would become their breakthrough.

After this twelve-inch, in 1983, they were picked up by major label Elektra who financed their next album, Belfegore. Thanks to this major label’s backing, the band supported U2 on the Unforgettable Fire Tour in Europe. However, in 1985, Clauss dissolved the band because he claimed he’d had enough of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. The other band members continued in different bands, but Meikel indeed quit music and went on to study medicine in Germany.

However, we can still enjoy this track, their breakthrough twelve-inch from 1984; Belfegore by Belfegore.

Cocteau Twins – Blood Bitch

We covered the Cocteaus in season 1 already, so I will keep it brief this time around. I can’t stop myself from playing them again today with the track Blood Bitch, in style with Halloween.

It’s the first track of their first album, Garlands, from 1982. A garland is a decorative string with flowers or leaves that can be worn around the neck. However, I can’t link that to the music or atmosphere of the album, anyway. Liz Frazer has the voice of an angel. But on Garlands, they were still in their formative stage. She’s singing with a lot of vibrato on almost every song. That style gets old, soon if you ask me. Luckily she stopped this particular style after the first album, but it is an excellent post-punk album and their darkest work to date.

Garlands consists of 8 grim and dark tracks, with a total playing time of only 35 minutes in total. Relatively short, and it also only took them seven days to compose.

The album suffers a bit from using a drum machine, and several songs are overly repetitious (something rarely found on their later albums). Garlands does offer a sound that, while not in line with their following work, still played an essential role in defining the 4AD sound of the early 80s. And it is an album that I always enjoy and play often.

Dead can Dance – The Fatal Impact

The band is from Melbourne, Australia, and mainly consists of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry; they are also a couple. They quickly moved to London after making music together because there was more chance of success getting signed by a record label than in Australia. After arriving in London, they bought some bicycles and then rode around with their tape-cassette demo’s that Brendan had made. They dropped them off at several record companies, but not a single one of them responded. One year afterward, they received a letter from Ivo Watts saying, ‘I can’t stop thinking about this music. Can you come to see me?

Then they were signed by the famous alternative label 4AD, so they became label mates with Clan of Xymox and Cocteau Twins. I thought this would be a fitting title for this week, nice and violent. This band is hard to fit into one genre. They started with a very Goth album, self-titled in 1984. That is quite a raw sounding album and is different from the music they made after it. That’s where this track is on.

Later on, they continued making dark soundscapes, ethereal music, and recently making folk, chant type music. Lisa and Brendan feel like music is packaged emotion and a poetic language between people. Their ultimate idea is to hit people in the heart.

They are not so much influenced by other bands, but by life in general. Every time they learn in life, travel, or discover new cultures, they incorporate those feelings into their music. That’s the reason why their sound is unique and evolved and changed so much over the years. One thing that has not changed is their ability to make you reflect and think or float away with their music. It is music that makes me feel something and gets me thinking.

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