Alt-Fest is proud to have one of the UK's most original and entertaining bands headlining the S.O.P.H.I.E. Stage in association with TBFM Online this year. The Fearless Vampire Killers death pop sound and flamboyant stage shows have seen them rapidly gain an army of adoring fans. Guitarist and vocalist Kier Kemp had a chat with us about playing Alt-Fest, touring the US and... er... nudity.

Things have really taken off for you recently, so much so that some people are surprised you formed half a decade ago. What was it like realising all that hard work was paying off?

"Well something you need to realise is bands exist in a bubble. We get such a twisted view of our own 'success' that it's hard to gauge. That's why we like playing live so much... A live headline show is the only way that you can really quantify how you're doing. So we're keen to test the water soon!!"

You've just returned from a lengthy spell touring the US. What was the experience like? How did The Americans take to your music?

"It was an amazing experience. We got a lot of people trying to tell us what US audiences were like before we went but we weren't really ready for what we got... they were lovely. It was also good to see how new audiences took to us, in England people know who we are and have often formed pre-conceptions but in America we were totally new. We had men digging it, children, grannies, dogs. The lot!"

How do audiences in America differ from here in the UK?

"They're pretty similar in lots of ways. Just a load of people that like great music and want to have a good time. Americans are much more specific though. I had a couple compliment me on my "amazing control of my falsetto" after one show..."

You really go all out when it comes to your stage outfits which have been compared to steam punk. How would you best describe your stage look.

"Hard one... We've never really thought too much. We just all like similar things and knew we hard to look dark and cohesive. Barrone was the one that really nailed the Steampunk think with his goggles! We always just like to make an effort. We're here to entertain. I hate it when bands come on stage looking like they're going to fix your boiler! I mean you don't need to be Kiss but you do need to make SOME effort!"

You're known to be very hands on with many parts of the running of the band being kept in house. Have you had to let go of anything previously done by band members because of your success or are there any areas which are tabboo such as art work?

"Ha. you've done your research. Yes we have had to let things go... there inevitably comes a point where the work gets too much for mere human beings. We recently started working with a new management company that are taking a lot of the work off our backs, mainly the boring stuff. You're right though some stuff is still sacred. I can't ever see a time that Barrone won't do our artwork... You'd have to pull the pencil from his cold dead fingers!! The up shot of all this though is that we can concentrate of the most important things... Being great live, writing amazing music and keeping our selves in tip top shape ready to melt your face!"

The album has been a major success. Are there any firm plans for a follow up anytime soon?

"Yes there are very firm plans. We haven't finished it yet tho so you'll have to wait patiently!"

We're very happy to have you headlining the S.O.P.H.I.E. stage at Alt-Fest. We felt it was a must to have The S.O.P.H.I.E. Lancaster Foundation well represented with a named stage at such a major alternative gathering. Are there any charities or causes that you give particular support to and if so why?

"The S.O.P.H.I.E. campaign has been the centre of our charitable efforts for some time. Mainly because it's a touching story and we can all relate. The law is mislead when it comes to catagorising hate crime and that's something we feel needs to change. It's about human ethics more than anything else really!!"

Other than Alt-Fest have you got any other appearances in the pipeline for 2014. Will you be out touring the UK and farther afield?

"Plans are shaping up. I can't say anything yet... but what I can say is the members of this band will do everything in their power to tour as much as physically possible this year and beyond!"

We all know crazy stuff happens on the road. What's the funniest or weirdest thing you've seen or done while playing a show or travelling?

"Well I'm not particularly mental but we've had several incidents with nudity and mountains..."

Would you like to say anything to all those Alt-Festing Fearless Vampire Killer fans out there?

"CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU! We promise we're going to make this a show to remember!"

Fearless Vampire Killers headline the S.O.P.H.I.E. Stage in association with TBFM Online on Saturday August 16th.


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