Interview with Micheal Orlando
Micheal Orlando, thee Vampire of Dead Girls Academy takes some time to chat with Epic Pulse during this Quarantine.
EP: Oh my god, finally!
Michael: I know, I’m sorry. The time difference is crazy.
EP: I know, I actually had to set my phone time and date to California timing so I don’t miss the time again for this interview.
Michael: All right, Where are you at now?
EP: I’m in New York
Michael: New York!! How’s that going?
EP: Oh, it’s okay. I went out a few days ago to get some camera gear and it looked like little ol' New York. The only difference is the mask. Nothing crazy is going on.
Michael: You guys were in a really bad position, Now you’re better than everyone else. So that must be good.
EP: We’re not 100% there but it’s getting slowly but surely
Michael: Yeah, I heard that The numbers look better for NY, unlike California.
EP: Yeah I heard that. I don’t know about the numbers, I stop checking.
Michael: Yeah, I, unfortunately, get addicted to this insanity going on. So I'd like to know everything going on which is not a good thing.
EP: How is it over there?
Michael: It's okay. I mean, you know where I'm at in Hollywood everybody's kind of invincible. You know, a lot of the kids and stuff like they don't give a fuck. So, you know, they're all on those scooters or whatever, no masks, you know, having parties in my building so it's, it hasn't changed.
EP: Sort of the same deal with kids over here as well. Anyways let’s get into this. How are you holding up during this time?
Michael: um, well, not too long ago. I want to say now it feels like three months ago. We were coming back to Nashville right as the pandemic was kind of hitting and it was pretty crazy because we're finishing up doing a record out there, and so I didn't really feel the effects of it until I got back home from Nashville and basically came back to a lockdown which has been pretty debilitating. I mean the only upside for me is that I was able to have a chance to work on the music and I have more time than I would have normally had to get things done as far as being stuck in the house as much as we are it is kind of shitty but luckily outdoor dining is open so that's keeping the hopes alive a little.
EP: Great good to hear you’re getting things done. How was the band name decided upon?
Michael: A lot. Well, my passband Vampires Everywhere -- I always wanted to name that band Dead Girls Academy and it wasn't agreed upon at that time by the label that we were on and I kind of held on to it. Eventually, you know, I was at a point where I was living with Ronnie from Falling in Reverse and, you know, we were trying to figure out the name for the band at that time, and I was like, I'm gonna do say Dead Academy and he's like, bands always sound better when there are three words, you know, and I was like, what would you put he was like, give me a bunch of options and came up with Dead Girls Academy and it just fit you know, it's like, I've been a longtime fan of like AFI and stuff like that, and three name words have always been very catchy to the ear you know, and I mean Dead Girls Academy for me. I mean, especially being in so many tragic past relationships that kind of really hit home. So it fits.
EP: Tell me about “THIS IS WAR”, how was the process of filming, etc.
Michael: The filming process was great. I mean, we got lucky again, it was like right before the pandemic got bad and Scott Hansen, who's been a longtime friend of mine, and he's done so many videos, he came down to LA, we did this whole warehouse thing and it went very smooth. Every time I shoot with Scott, it's very smooth, He’s very professional and I'm happy the way it came out. I mean, I'm a big fan of like the underworld. and I love the tonality of those movies, like the light blue tinge to everything and I think that really encompassed that video, obviously doesn't have it doesn't have any kind of supernatural things in it. I didn't go to any kind of cheesy lengths with that, but I definitely had that vibe and I like having that vibe. I think Scott did a great job putting it together.
EP: Where do you get your inspiration from when writing?
Michael: I have an unusual process. I usually sit there with music and things just come to me. I have a lot of repressed emotions, I tend to be cold in a lot of different circumstances. So writing is like an outlet for me to kind of release how I'm feeling, but inadvertently, it just comes out of me, and it kind of flows out. It’s weird because when I sit there and try to think about, oh, well, this is how I'm feeling. It never comes out right, It always comes out better when it just flows naturally out of my repressed feelings, which is kind of messed up, but it's that's kind of how it goes.
EP: Hey man, we all got our own way of bringing words to paper. Once we get it done, we accomplish, we’re good to go.
Michael: That’s right
EP: We’re going to take it back a bit — One of my favorite song of yours is ‘conversions” absolutely love it, what influenced the writing of that song?
Michael: Well, that's a great question. I started writing that song in my previous band before that called the killing lights in between vampires and that song was just like, the whole idea of writing was like, Who am I? Where do I stand in the world? And does anybody care? -- you know, that was just a resounding thing for me because I had been vampires and I was, I stopped that band at the pinnacle of that Bands career and to go into something else, and that was in failed relationships at the time, I was trying to figure out who I was musically. It was just me trying to reach out I guess, more repressed feelings going on, you know, Who am I? How do you perceive me? Do you care? And I think that's how that song kind of came to be.
EP: Whoaa that’s kinda deep, maybe that’s why it's one of my favorites!
Michael: Haha, Thank You!
EP: What inspired “No Way Out”, part of your latest album “Alchemy”? And “Everything”
Michael: No way out, was basically kind of like a relationship song. You know, you're kind of trials and tribulations of something, you know, until it's about a love and hate relationship. You know, most people will call it toxic. So you're with somebody and you know you love them but it's absolutely terrible. The idea that it's terrible, but there's just something inside of you that makes you want to stay. Everything was basically about, you know, my experiences me and Ronnie living together in Los Angeles and people coming in and out of our lives, basically, you know, social climbing or whoever, that kind of kind of prevails itself in that situation like, Who is your true friend? And, you know, what do they stand for and why are you know, why am I here doing what I'm doing and how does that correlate with, you know, Los Angeles and everything like that. So it was kind of more of like an environment thing. Where am I right now?
EP: By Whom are you musically influenced by? Who’s your favorite musician
Michael: Oh man, um Motley Crue, Nine Inch Nails, Guns ‘n’ Roses.
EP: Love Guns ‘n’ Roses, literally one of my all-time favorites, never will leave spot number one on my list of favorite bands.
Michael: Oh God, do you like Guns ‘n’ Roses?
EP: Yes, Always!
Michael: Yes!! There is also Marilyn Manson. Wow, I mean it can go on and on with Big time Phil Collins fan, love Genesis, love Billy Joel. Stuff like that. I mean, it's all over. It's across the board for me, but you know, as far as punk I mean, Green Day, Pennywise, etc.
EP: If you didn’t have a career as a musician, what would you have been instead?
Michael: Well, that's a great question. I was going to college to be a lawyer.
EP: A Lawyer? Haha, that is so funny.
Michael: Haha Yes! That’s where I was headed. I couldn’t balance school and touring and so Music won!
EP: That’s funny
Michael: I’d be a funny Lawyer, I think.
EP: I believe you! As a touring musician, you probably see a lot of things. Good, Bad, weird. what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen?
Michael: I've seen a lot of weird things. I mean, there was one guy who came on to our bus once, he was a big fan and I guess we had a couple, you know, a couple drinks and man I let him on the bus. He was weird. He was weird to begin with. But I let him on and he just sat there for a while and I was like, Hey, man, are you okay? And he pulled out a knife and I was like, Oh, this is gonna go sour and he's like, "I've been a fan for forever and I want you to sit here whiles I carve your band initials in my arm".
EP: What the fuck?
Michael: Yeah! It was pretty bad. I've got vials of blood through the mail before.
EP: What the heck are people sending you, oh my god.
Michael: Oh man it’s crazy. You know, I've always wondered nowadays, you know that I feel like that would never happen especially with the current situation, but I opened it up and a fan had sent me vials of his blood and at first, I didn't know about that's what it was, but he was online talking about it and showed pictures of him. Kind of. Yeah, I have had a lot of occult stuff happen to me, I think that's, you know, probably because of my name and my nature and you know, the bands. So, I mean, that's a lot of weird so I mean, I can talk to you forever about that. But there's a couple there. Yeah.
EP: Crazy! Glad you’re still alive and well. Damn people are just, honestly, I don’t know Haha! I don't think anything bad crazy ever happened to me but then again my life is not as cool as yours.
Michael: Well, That’s not true.
EP: What’s the best show you ever played and why?
Michael: Vans Warped Tour 2012 on Main Stage, um, this was when I was in vampires everywhere and I woke up that morning, they're like, God, you're on the mainstage and I was like, ah, it’s too early, you know and it was in Vegas. I thought we were going to be shot but we ended up getting to the stage and there's like, 10,000 people and it just blew my mind. I mean, they ripped my shirt off, They were carrying me into the crowd. It was pretty bananas. It's only memorable because a warp tour for me, you know, I've done it many years but that was the most memorable moment and, and the fan interaction and Them singing the songs was the best I've ever seen in my career yet, so it was really cool.
EP: Awesome, You guys were scheduled to hit the road for the near dark tour 2020, man I was supposed excited for that. Since it didn’t work out.. is there any news you’d like to share of any upcoming tour?
Michael: Yes. I mean, we're rescheduling our UK Europe tour right now, for 2021. As far as, the US tours right now we haven't heard anything from Wednesday or anything like that as far as that tour goes. Obviously, you know, the state that everything is in right now. It's so sketchy and so up in the air that nobody really wants to commit, commit. So I'll let you know as that comes into beings, you know.
EP: Thank You, I was excited about that Tour! We all were!
Michael: I was looking forward to that, too. I've been on tour with Wednesday when I was in vampires at least five or six times. I feel like it was five times. I've known ash from the New Years' day for like, I don't know, it seems like over a decade. So we've never toured together? I don't think so. And that would have been really cool to like, do that. And I was really bummed to see that we weren't gonna be able to, but maybe it'd be rescheduled.
EP: Hopefully, Fingers, and Toes cross. We only have 5 months left of 2020, thank god. Can we expect anything new from Dead Girls Academy before the year ends?
Michael: I am hoping so, we're going to try to get this LP out. We're going to try to get this body of music out that I've been sitting on for a while and expect new music. Expect new videos, expect new everything that's coming soon.
EP: Yes! I can’t wait That’s all I have for you.
Michael: Well, I appreciate it. You know, I'm happy we got to connect and you know, obviously, anytime that we're in New York or this Touring thing starts again, let's keep in touch and hopefully, you can shoot the show that'd be really cool.
EP: Oh awesome, I’d love to. I’ve actually never seen you guys live before it was gonna be my first time at the Near Dark tour.
Michael: Oh shit! Yeah, well, I think you'll like it. Um, you know, we bring like if Motley Crue were to be Nine Inch Nail vibes.
EP: That’s sick! I'm familiar with the band and how you guys, you know, do your thing. I just never had the live experience. But I hope to!
Michael: Well I hope to bring that to you soon!
EP: Please Please! That would be much appreciated. Michael thank you so much for doing this interview with me. It’s been lots of fun. Stay Safe out there. Talk soon.
Michael: Thank you so much for having me.