DISCLAIMER: Lord Veil here. As stated before, this underground Gothic Rock icon refuses to let us use his identity and will roll under the pseudonym “DRAC” for the purposes of this interview.
The setting is now a darker bar in the basement of a hotel. It’s the kind of place that looks repurposed from one of H.H. Holmes’s torture chambers.
It’s so dim I can’t tell if that’s dried blood congealed and streaked down the grey bricked wall or if it’s intentional. Drac has just received a Tom Collins but orders us 2 shots of Patron with beer backs before taking a single sip. I’m still nursing my rose’, but apparently Drac has decided we’re getting torn up this evening. We clink glasses and finish our respective drinks in a swill. I’m really curious about him beating his keyboard player and setting the stage on fire but I decide to ferret out some info about my interviewee’s nom de plum.
LV: Before we continue, why did you choose to use the name “Drac” for this interview?
DRAC: It’s a sort of an honor I pay to my… parents. I believe they truly hated me. They would call me “Dracula” with as much disdain and venom they could possibly add to the word. Mostly when they thought I was out of earshot. (He pauses then amusedly adds) Much akin the way Malfoy* spews the word “Potter” in the films.
*Harry Potter reference
LV: Oh come the fuck on. Why would you say your parents hated you? No parents hate their children. I’m going to need elaboration.
DRAC: Well I was never trusted with a house key, even into my 20’s and 30’s when I still paid mind to them.
LV: That doesn’t mean they hated you. And why would you honor them by referring to yourself as something they called you as an insult?
DRAC: Just because they hated me doesn’t mean I hate them. Sure, they meant it as an insult. But what better way to indirectly insult an insulter than by taking the insult as a compliment? I’m actually rather fond of the Count. Anyway, to your request for elaboration. You know that a young musician’s life is mostly couch to couch. At one point I’d run out of couches and I had to flop there in my late mid 20’s. They actually padlocked my bedroom door from the outside then locked their front door when they had guests over!
LV: Why would they lock the front door if you didn’t have a key?
DRAC: Well I had to climb in and out of my bedroom window if I wanted to go anywhere after they’d shut the house down or otherwise deemed the house unexit/unenterable. -I was the human embodiment of smoldering lava when I woke up in need of the facilities and found my door locked from the exterior! I could hear laughter and music in the living-room and kitchen. I could smell food. And the knowledge that the bathroom was just a meter away finally sent me over the edge.
LV: Oh my… Okay they probably hated you. What did you do?
DRAC: Well, first, I had to use an empty 40oz beer bottle as a chamber pot. Next, I did much more extreme make-up than I’d usually wear. I was like FUCK THIS MOTHERFUCKING GUY, because I knew dad did this and as usual my mother did nothing against it, and I quickly devised my revenge.
LV: Revenge? Oh shit. This just got interesting. What happened?
DRAC: Well I’ll tell you if you can manage to shut your fucking gob!
LV: I am sorry. Please proceed.
DRAC: Thank you. Well, I spent some time typing out lyric sheets to go with my demos. Dad HATES anything to do with my music. When I was finished I strapped on my giant boots, stuffed my gear bag with tapes and pages and climbed out the window just in time to enter the house with approaching guests. Stepdad harshly whispered that I’m not to talk about my music after quickly cornering me by grabbing my shirt in a fist. I was like, “Relax, dad, I’m just hungry.” And I spun out of his grip. I casually swiped one of HIS beers off the counter and went and ate an enchilada.
LV: Is that it? Kind of anticlimactic…
DRAC: Well, not exactly… After my delicious enchilada and cheap beer (mum’s an amazing cook, probably where I get it from) I decided to use his little firefighter party as my own promotional event. I won over all his friends despite the heavy make-up, scanty fishnet clothing and leather pants. I handed out demos. Gave away stickers. Took pictures with people. It was great! Then I blasted one of my demo tapes over HIS sound system. First, a love song to lure them in. THEN, I decided to tell them the truth about their host. I got them really excited to hear the next tune. I am an entertainer afterall. So I passed out my lyric sheets and turned up an autobiographical song in his honor. It’s actually a very lively tune!
LV: (thinking I can trick him into revealing his identity in his answer) Autobiographical? What song?
DRAC: It’s one that never saw the stage. I think I wrote it more for therapeutic purposes. Here are the relevant lyrics.
Drac takes another shot of Patron followed by a drink of water. He then proceeds to use his Micron art pen to write out lyrics for me on a notebook page he politely snatched from my knapsack.
“Get drunk. Throw the bottle at me.
Throw my brother through a window. Kick me out on the street.
Do drugs… right in front of your kids.
Never take responsibility for what you did.
How many excuses do I need?
How many more times will you make us bleed?
How often should I run away?
How many more insults should I take?
How many more lies will the teachers believe?
How many more meals will we never receive?
8 years old, I just want to die.
How many more times will mother cry?
I’M TAKING OVER! I’M GONNA RULE THIS LAND!
MR STEP DAD, YOU MADE ME WHO I AM!!!”
DRAC: I left it playing when I unceremoniously exited the house.
LV: Oh… shit… Remind me not to piss you off!
LV: I kinda see why they hate you. Is this the kind of antics you pulled growing up?
DRAC: Not really. I grew up in mortal terror. But I always tried to make the best of it, ya know? Like after the nightly beatings, after dad and mom were in bed… My brothers and sisters were always sniveling under the covers at night. Trying not to cry, but catching their breath and weeping into their pillows as silently as possible. I couldn’t let them go to sleep like that.
LV: Um, this took a turn for the horrible. How do you make the best of that?
DRAC: Even before I’d known it I had always been an entertainer! I’d had this giant blue moving blanket that I wore as a cape and flapped it as if I had bat wings. I used it to cover half my face like Bela Lugosi and started going after my siblings. I would chase them threatening to drink their blood. And I sang this silly song to let them know how serious this was!
Drac proceeds to smile and sing the words in animated fashion,
“Underwear Dracula. Underwear Dracula. Underwear Dracula, coming to get ya!”
DRAC: Ya, we had to be really quiet during this whole bit so as not to rouse the parents and get another beating. So instead of stifling themselves from crying I got them to stifle laughter. They went to bed being tickled instead of remembering the emotional betrayal involved in nightly spankings. That’s how you make the best of hell, you make everyone forget they’re there.
LV: So this is how a Goth Rock Icon is born…
DRAC: Oh, I wouldn’t say that my past defines how all of us come into being. How can we even say that I’ve come into being? I told you not to put my name. So how can your two readers even know that I’m not fictional? And didn’t you initially want to know about the stage fire?
LV: Yes, actually, let’s get back on track. What I’m more interested in is the fact that you beat a guy half to death as part of your stage show. I’ve seen the video. Brutal stuff.
DRAC: It wasn’t half to death. Exaggeration. Sheesh… I mean he had some mild nerve damage after. Couldn’t feel his arm for a month or whatever… But it was all consensual!
I’ll post the continuation of this rather in depth interview next week.