New mint post-hardcore band Vampire Champagne releases new infectious first single, "Medusa Stare."
Vampire Champagne is comprised of Sasha Gordy (vocals), Von-Aldrynne (vocals), Alex Weislow (guitar), Kyle Scott (guitar), and Jake Malet (drums). A fierce post-hardcore outfit mixed blended with shades of math rock, emo, metalcore, and progressive rock, the Portland, Oregon outfit has consistently aimed to bring an infectious energy that was built to make you feel, dance, and mosh a bit at the same time. A project that started with Von-Aldrynne and Sasha when they moved to Oregon, the scene would provide the affirmation they needed to continue their path onward as a band.
Typically different songs tell different stories for me. A lot of them are personal though and so if you want some insight into my own experiences and you can relate to that, that's awesome. It really lets me know I'm not alone in all the daily stuff I go through. That's really the goal, to express myself and relate to people. -Von-Aldrynne (vocals)
From there, Jake's macabre and humorous play on words would manifest Vampire Champagne. Since the formation of Vampire Champagne, the band has released "Medusa Stare." A single that dives into a story of a figurative toxic relationship of being led only to be stabbed in the back, "Medusa Stare" shares an authentic and painful experience while still remaining strong enough to come out okay on the other side. While the band is just getting started, "Medusa Stare" will be one of many contagious singles to come.
What made you guys want to start Vampire Champagne? What is the story behind the name?
Sasha: When Aldrynne and I first arrived in Portland, Oregon, we were both certain that we wanted to launch a project here. The environment was so welcoming when we were here on tour with our former band that we knew we wanted to be a part of it.
Von-Aldrynne: The name "Vampire Champagne" came into fruition because of our drummer, Jake. It was after practice. I mentioned I was going to go donate plasma the next day. Jake mentioned something about harvesting champagne for Vampires. The sound of that just rang well in the ears, so it just kind of stuck when it came to naming our band. It gives a spooky but fabulous vibe and I'm all for it
Jake: Well, I moved to the Portland area a few months before Vampire Champagne. I had been playing in bands most of my life and after moving I was feeling a pretty crazy hankering to make music again. So that's when I found Sasha and Aldrynne's CL post about looking for people to start a band and the rest is history! What is the story behind the name? I made a joke about Aldrynne donating plasma in the morning and how it's all just a front for harvesting plasma because it's Champagne for Vampires.
What instrumentally inspired "Merdusa Stare?" I know you guys perform under a post-hardcore vehicle, but there are so many other genres underpinned within your soundscapes such as math rock, emo, metalcore, and progressive rock.
Alex: A big goal for me was to create something a post-hardcore fan could happily pick up but would offer something a bit different on each listen. My influences are all over the place and it's fun trying to fuse and blend to make something that can be funky and heavy at the same time!
Kyle: I think for this one, we were really going for something upbeat and memorable, while still showing off all the different genres we like to incorporate, without getting too out there. Most of the song presents as post-hardcore, but I thought it would be cool if the breakdown of the song hinted at the prog-metal stylings that we go further into on other songs. For example, the low notes in the song started as a bass line, but since I'm using an 8-string guitar, we tuned it down an entire octave, and I think it shifts the mood of the song for a moment there and does something that most songs in the genre don't!
Lyrically what is "Medusa Stare" keying in on?
Von-Aldrynne: It's a story of a metaphoric toxic relationship of being led only to be stabbed in the back multiple times. I'm about to get real right here so brace yourself. The song is a reflection of this girl I know who would only appear in my life on random occasions and, when she did, she would always tell me she loved me. When we first met, I had just broken up with one of my exes and she had been going through some crazy stuff in her life as well. We would kind of trauma dump to one another, staying up endlessly through multiple nights.
We eventually started falling for each other, telling each other how much we even "loved" one another, but, the catch was she was in a relationship. One day, she mysteriously moved across the country and we stopped talking for a bit. Long story short, she would periodically message me and we would end up going through the same cycle. We've since established that this isn't going to work. We're all good now but I needed to write about this rollercoaster that happened in my life. I hope when you listen to the song, you can now view it through that lens
Sasha: Ultimately on my end, it’s about aching for the sensual connection you have with certain people, it's like an energy you need to absorb to live. It’s almost like being a succubus but not necessarily a bad thing because it’s mutual. The toxic part about this feeling is that it’s like a drug and you become codependent, when it’s gone or fades you’re left desperate for more.
Being that this is the first single for this band, what have you taken from this personally as you move on as a band?
Alex: A significant goal has been the cooperation of each member's unique voice as we have all become more comfortable composing for this band. "Medusa Stare" began as a foundation I brought, but when everyone contributed their thoughts and voices to the track, it quickly evolved into something quite new (and far better!). We were able to improve our collaboration abilities in forthcoming releases and discover even better methods to interact with the content as a result of the process.
Kyle: This was the first song we finished as a band, and I think we have learned a lot about how we want to write together in the future and collaborate in new ways!
Sasha: Aldrynne and I haven’t been in a band together for a minute so in a way it’s definitely a feeling of being home. It’s also been an amazing experience creating with new people, some stressful moments, but absolutely beautiful. I’m excited about our future releases and creating more music.
Von-Aldrynne: As a new band, we're learning a lot from trial and error. I think as we move forward, our music will sound a lot more cohesive as we figure out our core sound. We work well as a unit but there's always room for improvement and now that we're more comfortable writing with each other, we'll only be tighter as a group
Is "Medusa Stare" a part of a larger story you are trying to tell?
Sasha: Yes and no. We didn’t set forth to make a collection of songs with a concept but life is art. Every lyric and story we tell connects and grows from real-life experiences. Even past music from other projects is connected, it’s the true spider-verse.
Kyle: Musically, I think the song stands on its own. But, I see it as a beginning, a prologue to the future, and an introduction to who we are! -Kyle
Alex: Conceptually, we have bigger and brighter things coming up, so stay tuned! But for this first release, we all needed to share a side of ourselves, whether it be lyrically or instrumentally, that you'll continue to hear in our upcoming releases.
Von-Aldrynne: Not necessarily. Typically different songs tell different stories for me. A lot of them are personal though and so if you want some insight into my own experiences and you can relate to that, that's awesome. It really lets me know I'm not alone in all the daily stuff I go through. That's really the goal, to express myself and relate to people.
What is next for you guys?
Sasha: We have so much more coming and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. We’ve set our goals high and we’re working hard to meet them while enjoying the journey along the way.
Von-Aldrynne: Our ultimate goal is to write more music and eventually tour. In the immediate future, I see us picking up more shows and prepping to release more music soon. Our first show is a local one here in our home city of Portland Oregon. Then it's only up from there! -Von-Aldrynne
Alex: I can't wait to release our next single and show off a different side of the band. Along with that, playing live until my fingers fall off!
Kyle: We want to keep things moving at a fast pace, and plan to keep recording, writing, releasing music, and playing shows often!
Jake: We're going to Disneyland!
Really though, we're already working on our next single! We're just getting started so we'll be pumping out tunes, playing shows, and hopefully touring soon!