The romanticized form of the vampire is painted as a seductive, enticing being with an underlying hint of danger. From the prepubescent dreamboat that sparkles in the sun to the bratty prince of the night, each of these fictional creatures we see today seems to be the picture of immortal perfection.
In the real world, the artist — specifically the rock star — is what most closely mirrors the mythology of the vampire. They become almost otherworldly with their ability to move bodies and capture people’s souls with words. In their own way, they reach immortality through fame and glory—without a bloody mess to boot. Plus, you only see them at night.
The New York-based Miami natives, The Goodnight Darlings, were inspired by the mythological monster for their new single ”Empire Vampire,” a track off of the new EP All I Ever Wanted. Vocalist Kat Auster came to collaborate with Goodnight Darlings partner Wilson Jaramillo after she heard some of his beats.
“I listened to the beats for the first time on our car radio while driving through New York City late at night, which made it feel very seductive and mysterious…I could feel the excitement of staying out all night, hunting in the nightclubs,” says Auster on the vampire theme.
The husband and wife duo, originally members of Bon Bomb and Majorette respectively, released their debut EP Doll Drums back in 2013. The current album is a five-track release that followed the vampiric single.
Roger Ingraham, who is no stranger to the bloodsucker genre, directed an elaborate music video for the track. His directorial debut, Moonshine, involved a vampire story that premiered at the Sundance Festival in 2006, making it a fitting collaboration.
“All we knew was that we wanted to throw a legendary party, and we knew we wanted epic fashion. Roger built a story that transcended the all-night party idea to epic proportions of good and evil, including ancient goddess iconography,” says Auster.
The project also saw Auster’s reunion with a junior high friend, Isis Masoud, who collaborated with the band through her dance film production company Close Up Experience.
Filming took place in Orlando at the Howey Mansion, an abandoned (and slightly creepy) relic from the '20s.
“Through there's a little decay, it is still a beautiful place where you can feel the history in the air, and it makes you want to know and see more. There were plenty of places on the property that felt different, like I seriously wasn't alone, but I didn't experience anything that was obviously paranormal or anything. It was an easy place to get freaked out, especially at night,” says Jaramillo.
The creation of the EP was motivated by Auster’s newfound sense of urgency to live life to the fullest after the unfortunate passing of her mother after battling cancer the previous year.
“I think the overall theme is a personal one; not any musical pattern. We learned a lot about ourselves, deep surpassing love, and how to fight a good fight. It was an incredible give-and-take with the universe. The pain we swallowed charged up a new strength,” says Auster.
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“I hope listeners can feel beauty and power from our effort,” he adds.
As for what’s next for The Goodnight Darlings, more touring and reaching out to more people is on their list of goals.
“Being a husband and wife duo on the road is the ultimate blast," says Auster. "Bonnie and Clyde-rs driving around in my red mustang convertible. And we have it down to a science, fitting our gear in that trunk."