What does the vampire mean to you and why do you think they are so popular?
[laughs] Everything! The vampire has been a part of my life for many years, a wholly dominant faction for the past one and a half. Call it an obsession or an overwhelming passion, it goes way beyond reading books or watching films, it's deeper, much deeper, than that. The vampire for me is somewhere in that gulf between fantasy and reality, an area in which I've spent much of my (un)life. I'm not a day dreamer, nor is my head forever in the clouds, I'm just a creature with the energy, drive and enthusiasm to turn fantasies into reality. The vampire is portrayed in latter day 20th century literature, film and art as a most desirable and romantic figure, something to aspire to. Add to that the seductive, sophisticated, eternal youth, freedom and power factors and who isn't interested in the concept of the vampire?! Of course there's the darker side, which has always fascinated the human psyche, the blood-drinking, nocturnal, deadly and murderous side to the vampire. That's what really gives vampires the edge and makes them so popular. A lethal combination of light and dark, Beauty and the Beast, the Maiden and the Monster – infernal. Vampyria II should open doors to more people becoming interested in the vampire, more so than before because of the Mother and the Legend – maternal – aspect. But yes, that's what makes the vampire still so popular today. Although as I said earlier, for me, and I know this is the case for a lot of our Blood Brothers and Sisters out there too, it's a whole lot deeper.
What made you decide to do a vampire event in the first place?
Quite simply a love of all things vampire. Music, literature, films, art – you name it. I wanted to do a vampire event in what is supposed to be our thriving capital city. Whilst many people think that it all happens in London quite the opposite seemed to be true. So basically I set out to do something big and extravagant to celebrate the Dracula Centenary, right here in old London town. The response was incredible, from humble beginnings it finally turned out to be the largest vampire event in Europe. I must confess on several occasions I did ask myself why I had decided to do it, but on reflection it was a very good decision for me.
Vampyria is a trilogy. What is the significance for you of doing three?
It never started out that way. Originally Vampyria was a unique one-off event, but even before the first one happened I knew that there would be more than one. In fact it was after making the decision to push ahead with Vampyria II that I thought: where will it all end? People would be sick of it by the time it reached Vampyria V or VI, so why not make it a trilogy? Three is a very important and powerful number, and besides, what does one call a five-fold or six-fold event? Flogging a dead horse! [laughs] Trilogies always have the edge: take Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' for example. Without a doubt her best and most powerful works, next to the 'Mayfair Witches' (another trilogy), three Brides of Dracula, three wishes etc. The best things always happen in threes: good news, deaths – it's like a law of nature. The concept of Vampyria is influenced by the Pagan creatrix of Maiden, Mother and Crone – the life cycle, a circle, the most powerful symbol in the universe. A circle has no beginning, no end, it is both whole and complete. But I digress – the Pagan element was a strong factor in deciding on three and it also makes it special to those who attend. Three also allows me to do one a year until what is basically the end of the millennium. Maiden, Mother, Crone. Monster, Legend, Myth. Infernal, Maternal, Eternal. All threes, all powerful, all relevant to each event and (un)life.
So tell us about the line up this time: who are the VIP guests?
No, I'm not prepared to say who the VIP guest (or guests) is. It's up to everybody out there to use their imagination as to who it could be. I'm not announcing the name or names because this time I want to maintain an element of mystery. The only way you'll find out who the guest is is by coming to the event or reading about if afterwards, and of course if you aren't there it's too late. But rest assured all will be revealed on the day. As far as the special surprise guests go, we are actually inviting a whole gamut of special guests, so keep those eyes peeled on the day as you never know who may be standing next to you!
Someone has leaked that the Chupacabra will be on stage this year – what on earth is El Chupacabras?
The Chupacabra or El Chupacabras is the legendary and mythical creature from South America and in particular Puerto Rico who's been draining the blood of livestock including, amongst other things, goats. All I can say is El Chupacabras will be making an appearance live on stage so leave your goats at home!
We have also heard that you plan to do vampire Oscars – what are these?
Bloodstone's vampire 'Oscar' awards is the first awards ceremony in recognition of contributions to the vampire world. The categories for nominations include Best Vampire Film, Best Vampire Actor/Actress, Best Vampire Author, Best Vampire Book, and Best Vampire-influenced Album/Band. The award trophies are a unique design incorporating the vampire and the whole ceremony will be conducted on the night by a top British comedy entertainer with assistance from the three beautiful Princesses of Darkness. The Bloodstone team are responsible for the nominations as well as picking the final winners.
And you also plan to launch a book on Caroline Munro?
Ah, the book: yes, a dream finally come true! I've been a huge fan of Caroline Munro for longer than I care to remember and to have been given this opportunity is such a great honour. The book is really a pictorial tribute to Caroline, beginning with her early modelling days in the 1960s and following her multi-media career in films, television, advertising and music right up to the present day. The text is being written by myself, with the publisher doing the design, layout – and publishing it of course! It's actually being launched at Vampyria II and Caroline will be there to sign copies so it's really quite exciting for me.
You have pyramids on the leaflets and advertising for the event – why the Egyptian element this time?
There are a number of reasons for the strong Egyptian element to the event. Of course many people out there may wonder what Egypt has to do with vampires. Well, for starters, both subjects are richly shrouded in mystery, magic and legend, both are eternal, and hold an absorbing fascination for a great many people. Then of course there are writers such as Anne Rice who have also made the connection between the two. In fact I came across an internet site a couple of months ago which stated that the vampire actually has origins in Ancient Egypt; this is something worthy of investigation and I'm hoping to write an article for Bloodstone on this in the near future. Truth be told, I've always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt from a very young age and have always longed to make the pilgrimage there. Another dream which I shall fulfil later on next year with the London Vampyre Group. The whole Egyptian flavour to Vampyria II is a very personal thing – physically, mentally and spiritually – hence the Sekhem Horus project. I don't want to go into it too deeply now but I sincerely hope people will really get into the whole concept of the Egyptian/vampire link, as well as the Vampyria concept itself.
What is Sekhem Horus all about?
Sekhem Horus is a music/recording project and something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I'm going to be doing the vocals and will be working with Trev at Nightbreed Recordings (in Nottingham, UK) and a Black Metal guitarist, to record two, possibly three, tracks which I'm releasing as a mini album. The first of these tracks is very Egyptian in origin and will be performed live on stage as part of the opening ceremony for Vampyria II. The lyrics have been taken from the Egyptian 'The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day' (nowadays more popularly known as 'The Book of the Dead') and combine the whole very ritual Egyptian concept with Black Metal undertones, and of course vampires! So this year rather than me going out on stage and rattling off a pre-prepared speech – and consequently fluffing my lines – I'm just going to belt out my dulcet tones as a live performance!
So, you've got the trilogy of events, you're doing a book, you're singing – whatever is next?
[laughs] A holiday! I don't really know at this point, it really depends on how the magazine goes and of course Vampyria II. I'm not really a writer at heart, so it's doubtful that another book is on the cards, apart from the sexually explicit vampire one of course, as I have four short stories in that! A lot also depends on Sekhem Horus, if that goes according to plan then who knows. Of course next year is the final part of the Vampyria trilogy, Egypt and the end of the millennium. All I can say for certain is that so long as there are vampires, and people interested in them, then I'll be around somewhere doing something or other.
see also on this site: Vampyria II Vampyria Overview Twins of Evil Vampire Society
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